Topgolf received a key approval from Burlingame officials who blessed the recreational center proposed to replace the city’s Bayfront driving range.
The Burlingame Planning Commission unanimously approved the environmental and design documents associated with building the sports entertainment facility at 250 Anza Blvd., home of the Burlingame Golf Center.
Commissioner Sandy Comaroto admired plans for the center, which will feature a 102 hitting bays, a bar, restaurant and event space planned east of Highway 101.
“I think it will be a great place to hang out as soon as we can all hang out again,” she said during the meeting Monday, May 11. “I can’t wait to see it open.”
Topgolf is a chain entertainment company with centers across the nation specializing in golf-style chipping games amidst a sports bar setting. The company offered to pay the city $1.5 million annually to use the site, plus finance building a $15 million state-of-the-art center.
Schematic drawings showed the 71,000-square-foot facility which will house three stories of hitting bays from which players can drive golf balls at targets occupying the range below.
Maximum planned occupancy will be 1,300 people, including 125 employees on the property spanning about 13 acres. Ultimately, it is expected nearly 500 people, including part-time employees, will work at the center.
There are 475 parking spaces planned and the location is expected to operate from 9 a.m. until about midnight during the week, and 2 a.m. on the weekends.
Officials examined detailed elements of the proposal, such as plans to use recycled water and protect the shorebirds which could be threatened by the driving range netting.
But with assurances designs would account for natural resources, commissioners shared their support for the project.
“I think it is a nice project and that it should move forward,” said Commissioner Richard Terrones.
In other business, the commission also approved a proposal to build 21 units in a development at 556 El Camino Real.
The project which was previously rejected by commissioners returned with a reconfigured design that received praise from officials who were satisfied with amendments to the parking configuration and drainage plans.
The sentiment was not universal though, as some neighbors expressed frustrations with the project which they considered too big for the neighborhood.
“It will definitely negatively impact us and impact our view and the peaceful enjoyment we expect to have,” said neighbor Nick Popovic.
Commissioners recognized it would change the status quo, but would not let those concerns derail the project.
“I’m afraid that is the nature of living in an urban environment,” said Commissioner Will Loftis, regarding the impacts of the development on the neighborhood.
Commissioner Michael Gaul ultimately though could not be persuaded to support the project, which he considered too large for its property.
“It is trying to fit a lot of building onto a site that can’t quite handle it,” he said.
Ultimately, the commission voted 5-1, with Gaul dissenting, to approve the project.
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