By Jon Peterson
Menlo Park-based Acclaim Companies has issued new plans to the City of Palo Alto for its future apartment development project located at 3128-3160 El Camino Real. The new plans are a follow-up to the initial plans filed by the developer in 2021, according to the project documents, and the reason for the update is an increase in units that the developer is looking to deliver.
The new plans, designed by Studio T Square, have increased the number of units in the project from 129 to 380, which almost triples the initial number that the developer was planning a couple of years ago. There is a possibility for the developer to increase the number of units in the future, as well, since Acclaim has not yet applied for a density bonus. This would allow them to add affordable housing units to the present count and also include additional homes to the total.
The plans filed in Palo Alto now call for an 84-foot tall structure with a total area of the development measuring over 627,000 square feet. The design calls for four different types of housing units in the project. The largest number of units in the project will be one-bedroom, and Acclaim is planning to develop 252 of those homes. In addition, the plans call for 95 two-bedroom, 19 three-bedroom and 14 studio units. The developer is also looking to allocate 39 of the total units to low-income households.
The project plans to include sufficient parking that exceeds City guidelines; 443 cars will be able to park at the complex. This puts it well above the required amount of 171 spaces, according to zoning requirements in the City.
The planning permit filed for the development also included an application for protection with Senate Bill 330. The 2019 Housing Accountability Act introduced by State Senator Nancy Skinner, prohibits undue delays by various organizations that would jeopardize the development’s progress. The bill reads, “To prohibit a local agency from disapproving, or conditional approval in a manner that renders infeasible, a housing development project for very low, low, or moderate-income households.”
Part of this application could also create certain waivers for the developer, who is requesting five to be granted. They include waivers for the maximum residential floor area ratio, maximum site coverage, maximum height, ground floor retail requirements and upper floor setbacks.
The site of the planned development has two existing commercial buildings that would need to be demolished to make room for the new project. The site is located one mile from the California Avenue Caltrain Station in Palo Alto.
This development is near two other residential projects that are underway. There is an affordable housing development by Charities Housing at 3001 El Camino Real and a multi-family development at 2755 El Camino Real by Windy City Property Ventures.