News

Menlo Park: Stanford updates plans for El Camino development

Stanford University submitted to the city of Menlo Park this week updated plans for its 8.4-acre "Middle Plaza" mixed-use development at 500 El Camino Real.

Stanford's plans for the complex of housing, offices and retail reflect some architectural changes, such as the shape and location of some buildings, according to Stanford officials.

"To the casual observer, the current project will look very similar to the images we showed in September 2015," said John Donohoe, associate director of planning and entitlement at Stanford.

The development, which will run along El Camino from the Stanford Park Hotel (100 El Camino Real) in the south to Big 5 Sporting Goods (700 El Camino) in the north, will still contain about 215 rental housing units, 144,000 square feet of office space and 10,000 square feet of retail space.

Also unchanged from the plans submitted in September 2015, the project will not include medical office space. About 48 percent of the apartments will be one-bedroom, and 52 percent will be two-bedrooms, according to Mr. Donohoe.

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A large plaza, also expected to be named Middle Plaza, will remain part of the development. It will be publicly accessible but privately owned and maintained, and will have landscaping, outdoor seating and shops, according to the plans.

The plans also factor in the presence of a bike and pedestrian crossing at the Caltrain tracks and Middle Avenue. While the crossing is a city-sponsored project, Mr. Donohoe said, "Stanford stands by its previous commitment to make a significant contribution toward the cost of the crossing, and we have designed our Middle Plaza to integrate with the crossing when it is ultimately constructed."

Residents who participated in Stanford public events on the project "overwhelmingly endorsed the idea of a significantly expanded public plaza that serves the community as an asset and vibrant gathering place," said Steve Elliott, Stanford's managing director for development, land, buildings and real estate, in a press statement. "Beyond the plaza, residents also made it clear that they want to see more restaurants featuring a diversity of cuisines, more open space and more rental housing to support the City's growth."

The city of Menlo Park is expected to release its draft environmental impact report on the development later this week, Stanford officials said.

Stanford will hold an open house for the public to learn more about the project on Thursday, March 16, from 6 to 8 p.m. The informational event will be at Little House at 800 Middle Ave. in Menlo Park. Staff will answer questions and explain the changes on a drop-in basis.

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Stay tuned for updates as more information becomes available. Documents about the project are likely to be uploaded to the city's web page on the project here.

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Menlo Park: Stanford updates plans for El Camino development

by / Almanac

Uploaded: Mon, Feb 27, 2017, 11:54 am
Updated: Mon, Feb 27, 2017, 6:10 pm

Stanford University submitted to the city of Menlo Park this week updated plans for its 8.4-acre "Middle Plaza" mixed-use development at 500 El Camino Real.

Stanford's plans for the complex of housing, offices and retail reflect some architectural changes, such as the shape and location of some buildings, according to Stanford officials.

"To the casual observer, the current project will look very similar to the images we showed in September 2015," said John Donohoe, associate director of planning and entitlement at Stanford.

The development, which will run along El Camino from the Stanford Park Hotel (100 El Camino Real) in the south to Big 5 Sporting Goods (700 El Camino) in the north, will still contain about 215 rental housing units, 144,000 square feet of office space and 10,000 square feet of retail space.

Also unchanged from the plans submitted in September 2015, the project will not include medical office space. About 48 percent of the apartments will be one-bedroom, and 52 percent will be two-bedrooms, according to Mr. Donohoe.

A large plaza, also expected to be named Middle Plaza, will remain part of the development. It will be publicly accessible but privately owned and maintained, and will have landscaping, outdoor seating and shops, according to the plans.

The plans also factor in the presence of a bike and pedestrian crossing at the Caltrain tracks and Middle Avenue. While the crossing is a city-sponsored project, Mr. Donohoe said, "Stanford stands by its previous commitment to make a significant contribution toward the cost of the crossing, and we have designed our Middle Plaza to integrate with the crossing when it is ultimately constructed."

Residents who participated in Stanford public events on the project "overwhelmingly endorsed the idea of a significantly expanded public plaza that serves the community as an asset and vibrant gathering place," said Steve Elliott, Stanford's managing director for development, land, buildings and real estate, in a press statement. "Beyond the plaza, residents also made it clear that they want to see more restaurants featuring a diversity of cuisines, more open space and more rental housing to support the City's growth."

The city of Menlo Park is expected to release its draft environmental impact report on the development later this week, Stanford officials said.

Stanford will hold an open house for the public to learn more about the project on Thursday, March 16, from 6 to 8 p.m. The informational event will be at Little House at 800 Middle Ave. in Menlo Park. Staff will answer questions and explain the changes on a drop-in basis.

Stay tuned for updates as more information becomes available. Documents about the project are likely to be uploaded to the city's web page on the project here.

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Comments

ronald
Menlo Park: Downtown
on Feb 27, 2017 at 1:48 pm
ronald, Menlo Park: Downtown
on Feb 27, 2017 at 1:48 pm
2 people like this

This is all happening too fast.


Peter Carpenter
Registered user
Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 27, 2017 at 2:10 pm
Peter Carpenter, Atherton: Lindenwood
Registered user
on Feb 27, 2017 at 2:10 pm
16 people like this

"This is all happening too fast."

Yeah, it has taken almost 8 YEARS to get to this point!!!


ronald
Menlo Park: Downtown
on Feb 27, 2017 at 2:22 pm
ronald, Menlo Park: Downtown
on Feb 27, 2017 at 2:22 pm
20 people like this

My ironic point, Peter.


really?
Menlo Park: other
on Feb 27, 2017 at 4:30 pm
really?, Menlo Park: other
on Feb 27, 2017 at 4:30 pm
9 people like this

Can we just put an end to all this Spanish revival schlock? It's getting really corny, especially now that Greenheart is moving forward.


MPer
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 27, 2017 at 6:52 pm
MPer, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 27, 2017 at 6:52 pm
6 people like this

Realllt your right the current buildings on ECR are way more attractive. Who wants style when you can have dilapidated boxes with zero character.
So tired of the "architecture critics" poo pooing every thing while ECR & downtown look like crap.


really?
Menlo Park: other
on Feb 28, 2017 at 8:41 am
really?, Menlo Park: other
on Feb 28, 2017 at 8:41 am
6 people like this

Poo pooing? I protest. I'm very happy to see the lots get filled as quickly as possible and certainly not taking the M road. But why is it that Stanford produces world-class buildings and projects for themselves, but leaves us with their low-brow junk? If filling vacant lots it the upper limit of our desires, then we deserve what we get. But I'm just saying it could be a lot better, not using Safeway as their design example.


observer
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 28, 2017 at 10:46 am
observer, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 28, 2017 at 10:46 am
4 people like this

215 rental units? What is the average range of rental prices per month? Are these low-income or high-end? There is a big difference.


Where have you been?
Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Feb 28, 2017 at 1:23 pm
Where have you been?, Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Feb 28, 2017 at 1:23 pm
8 people like this

Oh my dear Villagers. Stanford has taken us for fools and Spanish low Brow is exactly what the center of the tech world thinks we can handle. Imagine corporate malls along high way 580. Clock towers and arches into the gathering spaces. This design is right out of architecture 101 back in 1982. It's either this or glass boxes a la Cupertino.

Affordable housing? Silly man. These are residential units for Stanford affiliates. Every 6 to 10 months Menlo Park gets an "update" from Stanford and this one is no different from the last. The Stanford affiliate residential units might help with our growing traffic congestion because Stanford will schlep tenants between this development and campus. The office component is a money maker for Stanford and will add to their growing endowment.


be a better neighbor
Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Mar 1, 2017 at 3:38 pm
be a better neighbor, Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Mar 1, 2017 at 3:38 pm
Like this comment

maybe the rental housing will be for people who work on the expanding stanford campus, but that only means there might be less traffic from that new growth, not less traffic overall.
plus, the office buildings will add more commuters. stanford should put in more housing and less office. All their offices mid-peninsula bring more congestion because they aren't providing enough housing for their own much less their for-profit offices. How about being a better neighbor, stanford?


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