News

94-unit apartment building proposed on Independence Drive

A 94-unit, eight-story apartment building at 111 Independence Drive in eastern Menlo Park, near the Marsh Road-U.S. 101 interchange, has been proposed by SP Menlo LLC. Fourteen units would be designated for below-market-rate rent, according to owner and developer Sateez Kadivar.

The site is currently a 15,000-square-foot office building that would be demolished and replaced with the proposed 87,182-square-foot, 99-foot-tall structure, according to Menlo Park city staff. The developer proposes to build 32 studio apartments, 36 one-bedroom apartments, 22 two-bedroom apartments and 4 three-bedroom apartments. The ground-floor would have public open space, a fitness area, bike parking and some parking space, according to building drawings provided by city staff.

The matter is scheduled for a study session at the Planning Commission's next meeting on Monday, June 18, according to a city notice.

According to Thomas Rogers, principal planner with Menlo Park, the project hasn't received any feedback yet, as it's in an early stage.

Kadivar said that so far, he's "very excited to play a small role in addressing the housing crisis and the severe jobs-housing imbalance in Menlo Park."

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In addition to the 14 below-market-rate units, he said, the proposed development offers publicly accessible open space, landscaping, lighting, sidewalks and would put power lines underground. "The project is ideally situated to create much-needed housing within walking and biking distance of jobs," he said.

One of the problems, he noted, is that "getting a project entitled in Menlo Park is no small feat and seems to get more difficult by the day."

He said he's hoping the project, which will require an environmental impact review focused on analyzing traffic impacts, will receive entitlements within a year.

"Affordable" housing requirements shifting

One major question this development will face is how to meet the city's below-market-rate housing policy, which is currently shifting.

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Because of recent state legislation, Menlo Park is now permitted to require that below-market-rate housing be installed or paid for as part of new multi-family housing projects. The proposed development is on territory that the city of Menlo Park upzoned in November 2016, before that state legislation was passed.

One of the conditions the city had imposed then was that if a developer wanted to build over a certain density or height limit, it would have to give something back to the community. The city expressed preference that the community benefit be that 15 percent of a new residential development's housing would be dedicated for rent at rates affordable to lower-income tenants.

Now that it is legally permitted to do so, the city has made it a standard requirement for multi-family housing developers to provide 15 percent of the total number of the units for rent at below-market-rate fees, or to pay an equivalent fee. For the Independence Drive project, the city could express preference for the community amenity to be an additional 5 percent of below-market-rate housing – for a total of 20 percent – or the developer could propose something else, Rogers said.

Principal Planner Deanna Chow added that the City Council is scheduled to consider on June 19 changes to the city's below-market-rate policy that would require affordable units to be provided on the development site.

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Kate Bradshaw
   
Kate Bradshaw reports food news and feature stories all over the Peninsula, from south of San Francisco to north of San José. Since she began working with Embarcadero Media in 2015, she's reported on everything from Menlo Park's City Hall politics to Mountain View's education system. She has won awards from the California News Publishers Association for her coverage of local government, elections and land use reporting. Read more >>

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94-unit apartment building proposed on Independence Drive

by / Almanac

Uploaded: Thu, Jun 7, 2018, 11:03 am

A 94-unit, eight-story apartment building at 111 Independence Drive in eastern Menlo Park, near the Marsh Road-U.S. 101 interchange, has been proposed by SP Menlo LLC. Fourteen units would be designated for below-market-rate rent, according to owner and developer Sateez Kadivar.

The site is currently a 15,000-square-foot office building that would be demolished and replaced with the proposed 87,182-square-foot, 99-foot-tall structure, according to Menlo Park city staff. The developer proposes to build 32 studio apartments, 36 one-bedroom apartments, 22 two-bedroom apartments and 4 three-bedroom apartments. The ground-floor would have public open space, a fitness area, bike parking and some parking space, according to building drawings provided by city staff.

The matter is scheduled for a study session at the Planning Commission's next meeting on Monday, June 18, according to a city notice.

According to Thomas Rogers, principal planner with Menlo Park, the project hasn't received any feedback yet, as it's in an early stage.

Kadivar said that so far, he's "very excited to play a small role in addressing the housing crisis and the severe jobs-housing imbalance in Menlo Park."

In addition to the 14 below-market-rate units, he said, the proposed development offers publicly accessible open space, landscaping, lighting, sidewalks and would put power lines underground. "The project is ideally situated to create much-needed housing within walking and biking distance of jobs," he said.

One of the problems, he noted, is that "getting a project entitled in Menlo Park is no small feat and seems to get more difficult by the day."

He said he's hoping the project, which will require an environmental impact review focused on analyzing traffic impacts, will receive entitlements within a year.

"Affordable" housing requirements shifting

One major question this development will face is how to meet the city's below-market-rate housing policy, which is currently shifting.

Because of recent state legislation, Menlo Park is now permitted to require that below-market-rate housing be installed or paid for as part of new multi-family housing projects. The proposed development is on territory that the city of Menlo Park upzoned in November 2016, before that state legislation was passed.

One of the conditions the city had imposed then was that if a developer wanted to build over a certain density or height limit, it would have to give something back to the community. The city expressed preference that the community benefit be that 15 percent of a new residential development's housing would be dedicated for rent at rates affordable to lower-income tenants.

Now that it is legally permitted to do so, the city has made it a standard requirement for multi-family housing developers to provide 15 percent of the total number of the units for rent at below-market-rate fees, or to pay an equivalent fee. For the Independence Drive project, the city could express preference for the community amenity to be an additional 5 percent of below-market-rate housing – for a total of 20 percent – or the developer could propose something else, Rogers said.

Principal Planner Deanna Chow added that the City Council is scheduled to consider on June 19 changes to the city's below-market-rate policy that would require affordable units to be provided on the development site.

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Comments

Overdevelopment
Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Jun 13, 2018 at 10:32 pm
Overdevelopment, Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Jun 13, 2018 at 10:32 pm

This development is too big for Menlo Park. 8 stories is too dense and 94 units too many for this development. Stop this madness and Manhattanizing the city. It's all for the profit of the greedy developer.


YIMBY
another community
on Jun 14, 2018 at 10:33 am
YIMBY, another community
on Jun 14, 2018 at 10:33 am

The Bay Area has a critical housing supply problem and every city needs to be building more units to help. Enough with the "oh but we are just a small quiet suburb!" excuses to keep people saddled with crushing housing costs just because you don't want to see anything change. Facebook HQ is in your city for crying out loud!

Build it taller and build it denser.


really?
Menlo Park: other
on Jun 14, 2018 at 10:02 pm
really?, Menlo Park: other
on Jun 14, 2018 at 10:02 pm

We need housing and this should be encouraged, but it would be helped if it didn't look like some crappy resort hotel in Cabo.


yimby2
Menlo Park: other
on Jun 21, 2018 at 9:19 pm
yimby2, Menlo Park: other
on Jun 21, 2018 at 9:19 pm

That needs double the number of "affordable" units. 15% is laughable.


Richard Vaughan
another community
on Jun 21, 2018 at 11:37 pm
Richard Vaughan, another community
on Jun 21, 2018 at 11:37 pm

So, let's just review the traffic capacity of 84, Willow Rd, Marsh Rd and Woodside Rd when coupled with the insanity of 101 at rush hour. Right now, there are already at least 2 days a week when traffic is just stopped right in front of where this building is proposed. And this is before the haven Street apartments are all rented or sold and before the new Stanford Medical center is completed on Bay Rd in redwood City. Let's just add in, for fun, the developments being proposed for Broadway Plaza by the Sobrato Group
Web Link
And the development that was proposed for the Mailbu Golf/Raceway land next to the new jail -
Web Link

Looks like we've got a development party!

Seems to me that before any more development is approved in this region there needs to be a very serious discussion about transportation. This should be a San Mateo County and Chamber of Commerce concern because 101 is fast becoming a parking lot from 3-7 PM and 280 ins't much better. Why would a new company move here when so much productivity time is lost due to traffic. Housing costs are soaring but the traffic drives my family batty! Get some Swiss boring machines and connect BART to San Jose. Call Elon Musk and his hyper loop! Consider light rail starting with anything that is a new development. We need to get people lessening their dependence upon cars as the primary mode of transportation.

We are diminishing the quality of life that has made the peninsula so special for so many. YES, we need more housing - but we need to be much smarter about it.


You Idiots
Menlo Park: Stanford Hills
on Jul 13, 2018 at 4:38 pm
You Idiots, Menlo Park: Stanford Hills
on Jul 13, 2018 at 4:38 pm

Overdevelopment - you idiot. We need more housing.

yimby2 - please learn to do math. Doubling affordable housing would mean the developers make negative profit. Guess how many units of affordable you get when NO units are built?

Richard Vaughan - it's clear we need transportation solutions. And we need leadership that will push for better public infrastructure.



whatever
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jul 13, 2018 at 6:04 pm
whatever, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jul 13, 2018 at 6:04 pm

Just curious. All these large buildings (some quite tall) developed and being developed between 101 and the bay, what impact has it had and will it have on the cooling effects of the bay on our ever increasing "inland" temps.

Folks keep saying we need more and more housing. Well maybe some better solutions would be birth control, immigration control and not saying yes to every corporation that wants to build here.


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