A proposal to build a three-story, nine-unit apartment building where Feldman's Books and a youth mental health clinic sit now will head to the Menlo Park Planning Commission for a study session Monday, March 11.
The Planning Commission will weigh in on the proposal and its design, but won't make any final decisions on the project until a later date.
The property includes the addresses 1162 through 1170 El Camino Real and sits between the Fed Ex Office Print and Ship Center and Ann's Nail Salon. The two buildings are currently occupied by used bookstore Feldman's Books at 1170 El Camino Real and Bay Area Clinical Associates, or BACA – a mental health care provider working primarily with teens and young adults – at 1162 and 1166 El Camino Real.
The buildings there have long histories in the city. The building at 1162 El Camino Real was constructed in 1910 and was formerly Doughty's Meat Market. The building at 1170 El Camino Real was built in 1905 and was formerly Martin J. McCarthy Groceries, according to a staff report.
Analyses found the buildings are not considered historic resources under the California Environmental Quality Act, the report states.
The proposal, from Chase Rapp of Prince Street Partners, a Palo Alto-based developer, is to demolish the existing buildings and construct a three-story building with nine prefabricated modular apartments – two studios, three one-bedroom units and four two-bedroom apartments – on the top two stories. The developer plans to build a parking garage on the ground floor with nine parking spaces, as well as a lobby. The development proposal is at the "base" density level, meaning no public benefits would be required by the developer. The building would also have skylights, solar arrays and privacy screening from El Camino Real.
Architect Toby Long, of Toby Long Design Architects, Inc., wrote in a letter to the Planning Commission that "The high-quality materials and sophisticated design and construction strategies will be a wonderful addition to the El Camino corridor and will provide much-needed housing for the downtown area."
Rapp is also developing the site of the former Mid-Peninsula Animal Hospital at Santa Cruz Avenue and Merrill Street. In negotiations with the city to redevelop that site, Rapp agreed to dedicate two of the units from the El Camino Real project for below-market-rate renters, on the condition that these units are completed within two years of the occupancy of the Santa Cruz Avenue buildings.
The Menlo Park Planning Commission is scheduled to meet starting at 7 p.m. Monday, March 11, in the City Council Chambers at 701 Laurel St. in the Menlo Park Civic Center. Access the full meeting agenda here or stream it online here.