The San Bruno City Council began plans to turn the Shops at Tanforan, of 44 acres, to potentially 1,000 units of housing units, a biotech campus and innovation hub, and more.

The City Council finalized and authorized the release of the Reimagining the Tanforan Land Use Fact Sheet July 27 to share with the developers, property owners, potential investors and the public. It outlines the vision of a mixed-use, transit-oriented redevelopment for commercial and retail housing with a minimum of 1,000 housing units.

“It really seems like the stars are aligning around all of these properties. And I think it’s great that we’re being proactive and looking forward to some possibilities, sort of charting that ahead of time and not being reactive or waiting until sometimes it’s too late to make those decisions,” said Councilmember Michael Salazar.

The city hired CBRE, a commercial real estate services and investment firm, to help organize current and future property owners around a shared vision, to manage the interaction between all the parties to create a specific plan that works for everybody, said City Manager Jovan Grogan.

“It is our hope in partnering with all the property owners and the investors that are interested in Tanforan that we can reimagine Tanforan and have it be that locale of destination, e-commerce and community collaboration,” Grogan said.

Through this process, CBRE will focus on carbon neutrality as a goal for the project and also include nature and green spaces designed into the new streetscape and landscape for this site that includes accommodation for public and private open spaces, said Jay Sholl, senior vice president in the San Francisco office of CBRE.

“This is an amazing opportunity for us to provide housing, to provide jobs, community space, retail and other commercial opportunities for the next generation and to do it in a sustainable way,” said Councilmember Tom Hamilton.

After distributing the Reimagining Tanforan Fact sheet, they will meet with the current Tanforan property owners and potential investors. From there, the estimated timeline to launch the site master planning and environmental review processes is by late 2021 or early 2022. And by winter 2022 or summer 2023, the master plan would be adopted. In early 2023 or 2024, initial entitlements and construction permits would be reviewed. Groundbreaking will likely not take place until 2024 or 2025.

Requirements include amending the City’s General Plan, establishing a new Specific Plan, amending the current P-D zoning district to incorporate additional uses such as life science, housing, hospitality, and other viable land uses, reviewing the California Environmental Quality Act including the Environmental Impact Report and working with the San Francisco Airport Land Use Compatibility Plan and the San Mateo County Comprehensive Airport Land Use Plan to be issued a construction permit.

The three privately held parcels at Tanforan are actively being marketed by Queensland Investment Corporation or QIC and JCPenney, seeking buyers for the site. Seritage, a real estate investment trust that holds a former Sears location, is actively seeking investors for a biotech campus and an innovation hub.

The total property is owned by BART, JCPenney, QIC and Seritage.

(650) 344-5200, ext. 105

Recommended for you

(4) comments


when you approach the bart station in Millbrae it looks like barnam and Bailey circus there will be no parking for commuters when all these units are finished already a joke to park there now..where are the brains in all these do gooders thinking that want to fit in the world wher we have to oark a big joke. looks like ciurcus circus now.


1000 units across 44 acres is 23 units per acre. This is climate change denialism taken form. It would be a climate crime. Should be at least double that density. It isn't even the minimum density to make inclusionary affordable housing percentages work. This is shameful.

Terence Y

Eaadams – to be fair, housing is not the only goal for these 44 acres. The article says “potentially 1,000 units of housing units, a biotech campus and innovation hub, and more.” At least they’re planning on building housing. Maybe this will relieve the push to destroy desirable single family home neighborhoods.


1000 units... San Bruno's RHNA is VLI 704 LI 405 Mod 573 Market 1,483 Total 3,165 1000 units at a BART Station is an absurd joke.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Thank you for visiting the Daily Journal.

Please purchase an Enhanced Subscription to continue reading. To continue, please log in, or sign up for a new account.

We offer one free story view per month. If you register for an account, you will get two additional story views. After those three total views, we ask that you support us with a subscription.

A subscription to our digital content is so much more than just access to our valuable content. It means you’re helping to support a local community institution that has, from its very start, supported the betterment of our society. Thank you very much!