News

Menlo Park: 15 rental townhouses planned along El Camino Real

 

Curious about what new development is planned for the currently empty lot between the Menlo Park Inn and M&R Automotive on El Camino Real?

The previous buildings there, situated between Valparaiso and Oak Grove Avenues, have been demolished, and according to city documents, a three-story building with about 2,000 square feet of commercial space and 15 rental residential units is planned. The developer, Atherton-based Pinnacle Group Corp., just needs to receive a building permit before construction can start.

Mohammad Mortazavi, owner of Pinnacle Group Corp., said he is waiting for Menlo Park's planning and building departments to issue a building permit. Once he gets the permit, the project is expected to take about 18 months to complete. He is hoping to get the permit in time to lay the building's foundations before winter rains begin, he said.

The residential units will include six three-bedroom and nine two-bedroom units. The units will be built as townhouses but will be for rent, Mr. Mortazavi said.

The commercial space is expected to accommodate two businesses, he said. He plans to use one for his business and rent out the other one. The location is zoned for retail businesses, personal services or non-medical offices.

Each residence would have at least one parking spot, and nine of the residences would have two. The commercial area would get eight parking spots, according to a staff report.

The plans were initially submitted to the city in July 2014 and later approved by the Menlo Park Planning Commission in August 2015.

The project falls within the city's El Camino Real and downtown specific plan area. It adheres to the base level of allowed development and shows plans to follow other measures to mitigate environmental impacts as laid out in the downtown specific plan.

The developer will be expected to pay $26,470 in fees for the city staff to review the project and $8,190 in transportation impact fees. The project is expected to add two trips each morning and none during the evening commute hour beyond the traffic that was generated at the site previously, according to Thomas Rogers, principal planner.

The 15 units account for just 2.2 percent of the city's residential development allowed in its downtown specific plan.

Comments

19 people like this
Posted by MPer
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 7, 2016 at 10:26 am

Awesome!

Bring on more mixed use buildings on ECR! Tired of empty lots.


18 people like this
Posted by MP Resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 7, 2016 at 11:07 am

Excellent, this sounds like a great use of the space. These should be walkable to Downtown, transit friendly (easy walk to Caltrain), and we really do need more housing!


13 people like this
Posted by Love MP
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Sep 7, 2016 at 12:37 pm

I'm thrilled to hear of this development! We need more rentals/housing and to get rid of El Camino blight!
Cheers to the City Council and Planning Commission for moving projects forward!


10 people like this
Posted by About Time
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 7, 2016 at 1:11 pm

but why does it take 2 years from the time of submittal to final approval??


2 people like this
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Sep 7, 2016 at 5:35 pm

Big whoop.


9 people like this
Posted by Mark
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Sep 7, 2016 at 5:58 pm

I seem to recall that the town house units were to be used for businesses to house visiting executives. Is that still the case? Will the development include any low cost housing? And, how much is a town house going to sell for?


2 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 7, 2016 at 7:23 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

"low cost" housing in this area isn't what anyone would think it is. Real estate values are so high here that even reduced costs for these units wouldn't be viewed by regular folk as "low cost."


4 people like this
Posted by City
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Sep 7, 2016 at 8:48 pm

What's up with the former car lots??? Can the city get those and make parks?? Soccer baseball open use fields????


7 people like this
Posted by pearl
a resident of another community
on Sep 7, 2016 at 9:06 pm

pearl is a registered user.

Are there plans for affordable housing for seniors anywhere in Menlo Park?


Like this comment
Posted by John Kadvany
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Sep 7, 2016 at 9:35 pm

For @Mark and others - As I recall from my time on the Plannjng Commission, these apartments were planned to be high end furnished units appropriate for longer term stays, not typical rental units. Whether that's still the business model for this project I do not know.


Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 8, 2016 at 7:11 am

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

City:

do you have any idea what it would cost for the City to acquire those vacant car lots? The city doesn't have that kind of money.


5 people like this
Posted by Judy Adams
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 8, 2016 at 11:44 am

I applaud the addition of rentals, but am concerned about 4
things:

1. more parking provided on site for the residents and potential office visitors/customers
2. thorough study of traffic congestion abatement on an already El Camino
3. inclusion of below market/low income rentals at the site. We desperately need REALLY affordable, way-below market/low income housing and some sort of subsidization for those - maybe 2-3 of the 16 planned units.
4. drought-tolerant, native planting and no removal of heritage trees


6 people like this
Posted by MPer
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 8, 2016 at 12:34 pm

@Judy

This project is already approved. The reason thing don't get done in MP is because every project get's 2nd, 3rd and 4th guessed.

No project is perfect.

Please stop 2nd guessing approved projects. This is why we have so many empty lots in MP.


4 people like this
Posted by MPer
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 8, 2016 at 12:36 pm

and because of all the 2nd guessing 0% of the housing in the DSP has actually been built


5 people like this
Posted by Ernest
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 8, 2016 at 2:52 pm

This is a nice start, but what happened to the low income aspect of revitalizing the ECR corridor? It is very much needed, as are senior affordable apartments, but this project sounds very high end, and doesn't begin to supply the affordable housing issue. I have heard for too long "Not in my neighborhood" for any project, and it is time we considered our blue collar workers and elderly in our plans. Without them we are just greedy rats cashing in on the housing crunch.


5 people like this
Posted by pearl
a resident of another community
on Sep 8, 2016 at 4:43 pm

pearl is a registered user.

Thank you, Ernest. I am a 75-year-old senior who is about to become homeless due to rent increases soon to be greater than my fixed monthly income. I have nowhere to go and am very afraid. I do not hold out much hope that the issue of affordable housing for seniors is going to be adequately addressed here on the SF Peninsula, where I was born, and have lived and worked my entire life. Praying for a miracle.


2 people like this
Posted by Judy Adams
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 9, 2016 at 9:17 am

Dear MPer,
Sorry about second guessing, but Menlo Park has been tolerant about questions that have come in about the general plan and sometimes things do get revised from citizens' input. Comments here do stimulate others to get involved sooner for the future.

Thanks for your comments.


6 people like this
Posted by Judy Adams
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 9, 2016 at 9:25 am

Dear Pearl,

Sorry about your situation, one of many on the peninsula because of high rents and the lack of truly affordable (i.e. low income) rentals. There's a meeting September 15 at the Redwood City Library that you might want to go to - they'll be talking about tenant's rights, including rent increases. There may be something you can do:


Tenants' Rights Workshop


Learn about the legal rights of tenants in San Mateo County, and practical steps to address common problems such as eviction notices, rent increases, lack of repairs, and security deposit refunds. Attend a brief presentation from6:30 to 7:00, with time for individual questions from 7:00 to 8:00.

More Information

Contact: Redwood City Public Library
Phone: 650-780-7020
Email: rclinfo@redwoodcity.org

Two groups regularly meet at the library: Housing Leadership Council of San Mateo County and the group doing the Sept. 15 meeting.

Good luck!


Like this comment
Posted by pearl
a resident of another community
on Sep 9, 2016 at 2:24 pm

pearl is a registered user.

To Judy Adams:

Thank you for that information. Much appreciated. Rep. Jackie Speier held a town hall meeting a couple months ago to address the lack of affordable housing issue. So far, she is the only one of my elected representatives who is actively addressing the situation. Thanks, again, for the information.

Pearl


Like this comment
Posted by J. Adams
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 18, 2016 at 3:06 pm

Ditto on comments for low income housing and for seniors in ALL developments.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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