The Ravenswood City School District school board voted unanimously on March 9 to enter into a contract with Alliant Strategic Development to build teacher-prioritized affordable housing on the site of the former James Flood Magnet School in Menlo Park.
The agreement with Alliant Strategic Development specifies that the project would have 80 to 90 affordable rental units, with priority for teachers and school staff. The proposed agreement includes a 90-year ground lease, with the school district retaining ownership of the land. Ravenswood will receive about 20% of the gross rent from the units annually over 90 years.
The cost of the project is estimated to be between $50 million and $60 million, according to a district presentation, though the design of the project has not been completed.
According to the contract, the developers have a maximum of 39 months to begin construction.
The campus at 321 Sheridan Drive in the Suburban Park neighborhood has sat vacant for a decade before becoming a flashpoint in the affordable housing debate during the 2022 election. Neighborhood opposition coalesced behind Measure V, a citizens initiative proposed by residents of Suburban Park that sought to put all rezoning of single-family homes to a citywide vote, stripping the authority from the Menlo Park City Council.
Measure V was soundly defeated in the November 2022 election, but received its highest level of support in the precincts surrounding Flood School.
One strong concern held by residents was about traffic in the neighborhood, and the new drivers that the units would bring. To combat this, the school board is asking the Menlo Park City Council and the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors to contribute the funding to build a second entrance onto the property that would lessen the number of vehicles traveling through Suburban Park.
The district is considering two possible locations for the second entrance, one through Flood County Park and a second alongside Van Buren Road.