Two old office buildings sitting only a couple doors apart on a small street in north Burlingame are expected to be redeveloped into separate housing projects offering a total of 210 new units.
Burlingame planners during a meeting Monday, Dec. 14, weighed plans to build 120 condominiums at 1868 Ogden Drive, where a convention hall with historic relevance is located. The project is only a few feet away from two office buildings at 1814 and 1820 Ogden Drive, where developers are seeking to build another 90 units.
The two proposals are located in the region spanning north from Rollins Road to the Millbrae border along El Camino Real where officials have targeted the city’s next phase of residential development.
“The projects are spot on in terms of what the city anticipated,” said Senior Planner Catherine Keylon, who is managing the proposal spanning 1814 and 1820 Ogden Drive.
The project, still in its formative planning stages, is expected to spread 90 units across a six-floor building. It is proposed to offer 145 parking spots, using tandem parking spaces and stacking machines. Of the 90 units, five are proposed to be set aside at an affordable rate.
Keylon said plans are still under development, but she anticipates the project could begin advancing through the public planning process in the early part of 2021.
The two sites are currently occupied by low-rise commercial buildings, one which is occupied by medical offices. The parcels are sandwiched between an apartment building on one side and the Sunrise of Burlingame senior living community on another.
For her part, Keylon acknowledged the neighborhood is occupied by many longtime residents of existing apartment buildings who may have some concerns regarding plans to concentrate development in north Burlingame.
But noting the area’s proximity to the Millbrae train station, officials have said they consider the region suited to accommodate an influx of transit-oriented development needed to accommodate the demand to live in Burlingame. To that end, officials approved a general plan update with loosened development regulations in the city’s north end to facilitate residential development.
Regarding the 1868 Ogden Drive development, which the Planning Commission discussed during the Monday meeting, officials raised some reservations that the city’s infrastructure would be able to manage the increased demand brought by the rise in development.
At the site, real estate magnate Stanley Lo is proposing to build 120 units with five floors of for-sale units above a ground floor reserved for community gathering space.
Of the 120 units, 35 will be studios, 30 will be one-bedroom units and 55 will be two-bedroom units, according to project plans. Six of the units will be set aside at an affordable rate, and 156 parking spaces will be provided, a majority of which will be in a two-story subterranean garage. The ground floor will be 1,600 square feet of space reserved for community gatherings which Lo said could host events such as art exhibits or meetings.
The site is the former home of the Teamsters labor group, which the organization occupied during its historic dispute with the United Farm Workers, led by Cesar Chavez. When tensions between the two groups were at their peak, the site was bombed with such force that repercussions were felt 4 miles away, according to a city staff report.
Because the relevance of the site, officials are required to analyze the historical impact of redevelopment plans. For their part, commissioners downplayed the importance of the building itself, but expected that any future building at the site would pay tribute to what occurred there.
Additionally, city officials confirmed there are plans to place a plaque in a public plaza proposed in front of the development that will serve as a memorial to the historic relevance of the site. No decision was made at the meeting, and the project will return for further action at a later date.
“We won’t lose that memory because of the loss of that building,” said Commissioner Richard Terrones.