The long-term parking lot next to the Hilton Hotel in Burlingame is slated to be redeveloped, but not until city officials approve a zoning update for the Bayfront region, according to a company representative.

In a presentation before the Burlingame Planning Commission, a senior real estate executive representing the hotel committed to rebuilding the adjacent parking lot at 620 Airport Blvd.

For the time being though the 346-spot lot will remain, as commissioners approved during a meeting Monday, Aug. 26, extending a conditional use permit at the site east of Highway 101 for the next five years.

The approval arrived with contingencies though, as commissioners mandated hotel representatives to return before officials with more details development plans for the 3.7-acre property.

Sharon Lai, senior director of Development for Boca Lake Office, Inc., expressed a willingness to abide by the requests of commissioners who asked for more detailed vision for the site by 2022.

“We are really looking forward to working with the city and continue working with the Planning Commission to hopefully redevelop the site,” said Lai, according to video of the meeting. “That has been a long time coming.”

While Lai offered no details regarding the potential nature of the forthcoming redevelopment, a recent general plan update approved by officials limits the scope of what is allowed in the region abutting the Bayfront.

The scope of allowable projects would be narrow, as restaurants, hotels or motels along with retail and office space are the only permissible uses in the Burlingame Bayfront Commercial region, according to a city report. The lot is currently bounded primarily by other airport parking services, hotels or office space.

Lai said ultimately her company’s vision for construction will be determined by a pending zoning ordinance decision from city officials, which is expected to be completed in the first half of next year.

City officials have encouraged most of the companies operating parking lots in the surrounding area to consider redeveloping their property, in hopes of maximizing uses of the waterfront land.

Lai said her company is interested in meeting such expectations, but indicated that more time will be required for officials to update the zoning code, which will ultimately inform the specific redevelopment plans.

“The request for the use extension period is intended to provide sufficient time to explore various potential development options, which would require a minimum of two years and also consider the projected timeline of the pending zoning code update,” she said in letter to city officials.

In April, Enterprise Rent-A-Car offered Bayfront land to Burlingame officials in return for allowing the company to build a new business center at 877 Burlway Road, only a couple miles from the hotel site.

Under the deal offered, officials would be granted their choice of either a 1.8-acre or 2.4-acre parcel owned by Enterprise abutting Old Bayshore Highway near the Shell gas station and Benihana restaurant.

The land would be granted by the company in return for permission to construct a nearby tower which would house a rental office, maintenance facility and storage for about 2,100 cars in the upper floors. The company currently occupies a two-story building on the property, and is also operating under a conditional use permit.

For the Hilton parking lot, which operates at about 80% occupancy due to proximity to the airport, officials said they were willing to extend allowing the existing use so long as there was an update in 2022 offering clearer details of the potential redevelopment project.

Lai said she would be willing to grant such clarity, once the city finishes its zoning update around the area.

“We have seen a lot of changes over the market but since we’ve been operator and owners of the site, we feel like we do understand the market conditions and we feel we can move forward with a project,” she said.

(650) 344-5200 ext. 105

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