SAN MATEO, California — December 11, 2017 — Today, San Mateo is one step closer to realizing a 20-year vision to build a transit-oriented, integrated mixed-use community that actually relieves some of the city’s most critical issues, especially related to housing and traffic. That vision has taken shape as Passage at San Mateo, a proposed experiential living community that will provide much needed housing near transit, public open space, and walkable shopping and restaurants for the entire community.
After two decades of community input and outreach, environmental study and planning refinements, Passage at San Mateo will realize some of the best ideas generated through that public process. The project aims to alleviate local automobile trips by focusing instead on increasing walkability and improving access to transit. It’s pathways and paseos will connect the proposed community to the surrounding neighborhoods, providing everyone with retail, public gathering and open spaces, live-work art spaces and a unique market-hall culinary experience.
“We approach our work as collaborative community builders,” said Brian Myers of Coastal California Properties, which submitted its pre-application (PDF) to the City of San Mateo for Passage at San Mateo. “We see Passage at San Mateo delivering lifestyle-as-service, designed to engage residents and the surrounding community alike. We’re not interested in swooping in and imposing our vision; we want to know the long-term needs and desires of the community and help to realize them.”
With a total of 930 rental housing units — including 72 affordable housing and 10 live/work units — within a quarter of a mile of 5,000 existing local jobs, the project offers residents a chance to radically shorten their commutes, which will also mean fewer cars on local freeways. Passage at San Mateo will reduce car trips by 25% over the existing allowable retail use of the site. As a similar development at Bay Meadows has shown, when housing and retail are available near major employers and multiple transit options, automobile traffic goes down.
“If the site remains purely retail, as it is currently zoned, studies show it can generate up to 12,000 daily car trips,” said Meyers. “Instead, the mixed-use community we are proposing can reduce that number to just over 9,000 per day, while offering the neighborhood far more amenities than exist today.”
The project as proposed complies entirely with all aspects and goals of local zoing and planning guidelines established and approved by the City and City Council.
The project will include a full “mobility hub” that provides residents and the neighboring community a single-address location for deliveries,ridesharing pick-up and drop-off, bicycle parking and public transit access. Other amenities accessible by the surrounding community include three acres of public park space and well-lit pedestrian pathways that connect the open space with the adjacent neighborhoods. Best of all, the Trader Joe’s already at the site will stay, simply moving to a new space. It also includes a state-of-the-art market-style food hall and entertainment center easily walkablefrom the adjacent neighborhoods, providing an important community gathering space. A community gallery will feature local art.
In preparing its plan for the site, California Coastal Properties conducted meetings with some local stakeholders to ensure its vision met the needs of the surrounding community. For example, talks with the nearby YMCA provided key insights that could be incorporated into the project.
“In meeting with the Passage at San Mateo team, it’s very clear to us that their focus is on building community. They have already shown us how collaborative and forward-thinking an approach they take. We look forward to the opportunities their project will bring not only the Y, but to the community at large,” said Rachel Del Monte, District Executive Director of the Peninsula Family YMCA.
“It was important to us that we meet and build relationships with the community as early and often as possible throughout this process,” Myers said. “That input informs much of the project detail that ensures we are meeting long-term community need. We are just at the beginning of our public engagement process and we will be aggressively reaching out to local neighborhood groups, residents, civic leaders and concerned citizens to seek their input and discuss our vision. We expect this process to take many months as we are just at the beginning.”
Community meetings for the proposed Passage at San Mateo project will be held in early 2018 on dates to be determined.