Nestled against the Hayward Park Caltrain tracks, a large segment of San Mateo is in the midst of a noticeable metamorphosis as three major redevelopment projects are slated to create hundreds of housing units and more than 300,000 square feet of office space.
Years of planning Station Park Green and the Hines office complex — two major redevelopments near the intersection of State Route 92 and Highway 101 — are coming to fruition as a flurry of construction activity is underway at both sites.
The train station has served as the catalyst for nearly 18 acres immediately east of the tracks being tagged for redevelopment; even Caltrain is in the early stages of planning a new housing project on its surface parking lot.
On Monday, San Mateo city officials gathered with the development community to commemorate the first of four buildings beginning to rise from the ground at Station Park Green. Owned by Essex Property Trust, the 12-acre site of the former Kmart will be transformed into a mixed-use 599-unit housing development with more than 2 acres of parks and open space.
A stone’s throw away, also at the corner of Delaware Street and Concar Drive, the Hines office complex is nearing completion as two four-story buildings will have about 300,000 square feet of Class A office space.
The Hines office complex is further along and anticipated to open late this year, while Station Park Green is expected to welcome new tenants beginning spring of 2018.
Both projects are planning to capitalize on their location — centrally situated between San Francisco and Silicon Valley, near the intersection of Highway 101 and State Route 92, and a short jaunt from the Caltrain station.
Creating a new community
Alan Talansky, whose company EBL&S Development oversaw the entitlement process before selling Station Park Green to Essex in 2014, said he’s thrilled to witness the transformation.
“This project is going to change the whole neighborhood and it’s going to make it better,” Talansky said. “Imagine you walk up, so many years ago, to an ugly Kmart shopping center that’s outlived its useful life. And you have a plan in your head and you get the community to buy in to that plan, then you bring in the guys who can actually get it built under any circumstances. … This is going to be a whole new area of San Mateo and it’s going to be a local area and it’s not going to take away community.”
Station Park Green will have a total of four buildings; the first will be four stories tall with about 192 units, 25,000 square feet of commercial space and 10,000 square feet of office space. The other three five-story buildings will have residences wrapped around a parking garage that is hidden within the “core” of the structure.
It’s a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom units, with about 10 percent set aside for those making very-low incomes, said John Eudy, Essex’s vice president of development. With the new Hines office complex next door, Eudy said he’s hopeful the two projects will complement each other with tenants walking to work at Hines or commuting via the nearby Caltrain station.
“This location, at Concar and Delaware, proximate to [transit-oriented development] and the train station, it’s going to do fine,” Eudy said. “We’re going to have a lot of tenants that can walk to work we hope. … And we’re short on housing in the Peninsula and the South Bay, and we do have 60 units at the affordable low rate that will help.”
San Mateo Mayor Joe Goethals highlighted various efforts the city is undertaking to help address the regional housing crisis and noted the importance of partnering with developers during Monday’s ceremony.
Between a sustainable design, the site’s proximity to transit, the large publicly accessible park and affordable units guaranteed as part of the city’s inclusionary zoning ordinance, Goethals said he’s pleased to see this long-awaited project proceeding.
“San Mateo is a leader in this region in addressing the housing crisis that makes San Mateo so expensive for so many people who want to live in this vibrant community,” Goethals said. “To all the San Mateo councilmembers who had to approve this project [and] San Mateo planning commissioners … thank you for making this a part of San Mateo. Thank you for getting this done. And to Essex, get it done. We can’t see this completed soon enough.”
The project began late last year with the demolition of the structures that used to house Kmart and the former Michaels Arts and Crafts. Eudy said the concrete was poured this week to begin the first building on the corner of Concar Drive and Delaware Street. The remaining three buildings will be constructed in a clockwise pattern with each starting about 90 to 180 days apart, Eudy said.
Hines has also been funding a steady stream of construction in the area as it completes its own approximately 3.3-acre project that straddles the westbound on-ramp to State Route 92.
The new structures are expected to be finished late this year and are nearly impossible to miss when driving along State Route 92 near Highway 101.
The Palo Alto-based software company Medallia plans to lease about 70 percent of the new office complex to relocate its headquarters to San Mateo. It’s the second Palo Alto company to expand into San Mateo with SurveyMonkey also recently opting to lease new office space currently under construction at Bay Meadows.
The new Hines office complex on Concar Drive “offers the idea combination of location, services and amenities that fast growing, high-performance companies like Medallia are looking for,” Hines Director Sam Cheikh said in an April press release. “Our project offers the best commute options on the Peninsula.”
The Hines and Station Park Green projects aren’t the only to be capitalizing on the locale and transit-oriented development goals centered around the Hayward Park Caltrain Station. The transit agency is in the midst of planning to redevelop its surface parking lot at the station.
Last year, Caltrain agreed to work with developer Sares Regis to build a multi-family apartment complex with between 100 and 150 units on 2.7 acres of its triangle-shaped parking lot. That project will be nestled between the tracks and Station Park Green.
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