A massive residential development in South San Francisco will continue to grow as officials approved a proposal to begin a second phase of construction designed to bring an additional nearly 200 units downtown.

The South San Francisco City Council voted 4-1, with Vice Mayor Karyl Matsumoto opposing, allowing Sares Regis to start the next chapter of construction for the Cadence project adjacent to the newly-designed Caltrain station.

Work will soon begin on an eight-story tower designed to house 195 market-rate units at the corner of Miller and Cypress avenues across the street from the first phase of the project where 260 units are under construction, according to the decision Wednesday, Nov. 28.

Councilman Mark Addiego expressed his support for the new project, which advocates claim will revitalize stale properties while also offering badly-needed additional housing units.

“All the pieces are coming together and I remain excited about the change and the improvements we are able to bring with other people’s investments,” said Addiego, according to video of the meeting.

Councilman Pradeep Gupta also spoke in favor of the project, specifically in its contribution to the city’s fight against the housing affordability crisis.

“We need projects like this. We need more housing, not only in South San Francisco … but for the region,” said Gupta, also noting the project’s proximity to a train station which is slated to soon be relocated closer to downtown as an additional perk.

Construction on the second phase of the development should begin next year, at which point units from the first phase of the building should be ready for occupancy, Sares Regis representatives said.

Not all officials were laudatory though, as Matsumoto said she could not support the project due partially to the downtown disruption generated by the first phase of work.

As construction carries on through development of the 260 units, Matsumoto said the traffic congestion and other transportation headaches caused ultimately deter her from attempting to navigate the city’s core commercial corridor.

“I don’t go downtown unless I’m going to City Hall, because it is a gauntlet,” she said.

Traffic and parking problems grew so severe that the owner of nearby Bertolucci’s Ristorante authored a letter detailing frustrations that construction was harming his business, and that its size after completion would block the eatery’s iconic sign.

City officials said they have attempted to work with the merchant to quell those concerns, but with limited success, and felt the efforts to address such issues have been exhausted.

Beyond the traffic congestion concerns, Matusmoto also suggested she was uncomfortable with the building height, with fears that the development was inconsistent with South San Francisco’s architectural and community character.

“I love our downtown and this is part of downtown and I like the character but we look like Redwood City,” she said. “And that’s what is bothering me so much. I support the project, but not at that height.”

In response, a representative from Sares Regis though said the company could not afford to shrink the project, as the loss of units would likely throw off its financing. Alternatively, others noted the project would offer infrastructural upgrades and fund community improvements to public parks and other public spaces through generous development fee contributions.

Meanwhile, Councilman Rich Garbarino suggested he felt the project went far to improve the quality of life in central South San Francisco.

“I like the project, we need the housing and this is the place to do it,” he said.

Gupta shared a similar perspective.

“I’m completely in favor of this project,” said Gupta.

austin@smdailyjournal.com

(650) 344-5200 ext. 105

Recommended for you

(12) comments

Alana

I don't hear below market rate anywhere in the discussion. Seems like they pull the phrases "will donate to parks with developer fees" to justify having to sell that many units. Even union jobs aren't enough to pay for these 3K + pmo. units. A recent settled strike at the Marriott got room maids $27ph ! but they still need two jobs.! You need to make $60 ph to qualify for one of them REgis units.
Gupta lost his seat and so will the others who think over building So. City is a good thing. Now that Measure W passed in the county, we're going to see more homeless out in doorways. I have never witnessed such bone-headed decisions, but of course, the city manager and his crew who don't live here will be long gone after taking away our quality of life
Wait till Brisbane starts building and ads to the mess, can you say gridlock? The City mgr. thinks flush lights will solve the traffic mess Yeaah Riiight.!

philf

100% with you on this Alana, I still can't understand how Addiego won the popular vote. We have a city manager who has no idea of what SSF is I wich he would move back to Louisiana and we have School Board members endorsing all this building, I'm guessing because the district will get something out of it. I for one did not vote for any incumbent in the last election and will continue to speak up about our quality of life being ruined by these greedy losers.

jetski

Personally, I'm glad to see more housing added. There already isn't enough to meet the needs of the city. More people near downtown to support local business and provide additional tax revenue doesn't seem bad either. Areas like this one right next to downtown and near Caltrain are the best option. And from my experience, that area near Airport has always felt dead and potentially unsafe at night for walking around.

philf

Do you live in the area? Have you experienced sitting in traffic? What used to be a 10 minute drive is now a 30 or 40 minute drive. Have you tried to park anywhere near Grand or even on Baden? Or in the lots on Baden? Do you know the development on Linden and Miller has 81 units and only 39 parking places, you know the one, the 7 story building that was built about 6 inches away from both the little houses on either side. I'm betting if you lived in one of those houses or anywhere in the area and this had an adverse effect on you like it does many of the people in the area just trying to park in front of their own house, you wouldn't be so glad

nicetrysfgate

I am soooo glad I DON't work is South City anymore!

vincent wei

...Alternatively, others noted the project would offer infrastructural upgrades and fund community improvements to public parks and other public spaces through generous development fee contributions.....

Hey, how about some DETAIL...from someone other than 'market-rate' developer reps ?

Marko

I agree with Councilmember Matsumoto about the disruptive effects the "Pinefino," "Cadence" and "Rotary" developments are having from Airport Blvd. to Linden, between California and Baden. Traffic exiting US101 southbound, as well as from East Grand has become noticeably worse, and construction issues have encouraged bad driving-behaviors among regulars transiting this area.

Some of this could be cleared-up by suppressing the "entitled" conduct of the construction crews, who not only routinely halt traffic while they casually move equipment and supplies around, but also individually block streets while they stroll along.

But more effect could be had by a reasonable and responsive traffic design by the CIty. Instead, we have a "Traffic Commission", which appears to be a monthly city-paid lunch for a half-dozen city employees who evince NO accountibility to the public, and are responsible for creating or enhancing some of the worst traffic problems on the Peninsula. We're long-past due for a citizen board to oversee a real traffic plan, to which developers and infrastructure maintenance would be accountable (remember the five-year disruption on Mission Rd. near El Camino High/BART?).

I sympathize with Peter Sodini, whose turn-around of the Bertolucci restaurant may be ended by Sares Regis' corporate greed. Their enormous prison-like monoliths have introduced a Manhattan-like scale to a neighborhood whose population of Hispanic families and semi-transient single working adults are unprepared to organize any effective resistance. In their place will come an even-less-involved and more transient population who will park their extra vehicles on the street, look for civic and commercial services they won't find, and will have economic power to disrupt the whole of downtown SSF.

I particularly excoriate Pradeep Gupta, who appears to have no idea that there are real people living in South CIty, and Mark Addiego who has lived here all his life and ought to know better. I spoke with incoming councilperson Nagales, who promised to make things better (somehow, some day). I have no faith that Buenaflor Nicolas will do anything except advance chaos.

I gues it's time to move to Lodi or Templeton ...

philf

Marko, I too and so discouraged by Addiego, I've known him for years and cannot understand how he's missing the mark so bad. I refused to vote for any incumbent this past election and an happy Gupta is gone, it's obvious that guy was not in touch with the residents. I'm hoping Mark Nagales does a good job for us I know him and like him, and I'm not giving up hope on Nicolas just yet, she can't be as bad a Gupta thats for sure

Marko

philf - just shows that you don't know her...

Cs

What about the traffic? Developers are stuffing their bank accounts while the community suffers.

philf

I'm with you Cs the long time residents are the ones who will be giving up so much. I think Gupta being voted out was good but it would have been better if both he and Addiego got the boot. They could care less about us

philf

well Gupta is gone so thats a good thing. While I don't care for a lot of what Matsomoto says I have to agree with her on this one. To all those who voted for Addiego this is what you will get our city being ruined.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
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.