By Jacob Bourne
A 75,909 square foot assisted living facility in San Mateo at South Norfolk Street and East Hillsdale Boulevard, is in the beginning stages of renovating a defunct single-story building on its 1.84 acre property to better serve residents with Alzheimer’s and related conditions. Originally built in 1960, the facility is home to Atria Hillsdale, a licensed Resident Care Facility for the Elderly that currently offers 145 beds for combined assisted living and memory care in its main three-story building.
Atria Hillsdale is in the pre-application process for the renovation project with the City of San Mateo Planning Commission and a study session was held on June 14 to review the proposal. Larry Cannon, a consultant for the City of San Mateo, will review the design to assess compatibility with the General Plan Urban Design Element, which are guidelines for the physical form of neighborhoods in relation to the overall development of the city.[contextly_sidebar id=”jbC8auKb3fLq2e2kcwtK3HsCDOHwYVcS”]“As soon as we finish the formal application process estimated in early July, we expect to start work in the second quarter of next year,” said Matthew Winsryg, development planning director for Atria Senior Living, based in the company’s Orange County office.
The project isn’t aimed to expand the facility’s current services. The number of beds will remain the same, however 40 of the beds will be moved over to the newly renovated single-story wing, marking a separation between the memory care residents and the assisted living residents who will remain in the current three-story building.
“Demolition will be on the single-story building, which was initially built as a skilled nursing facility that’s been vacant for the last 10 years,” said Tricia Schimpp, senior planner for the City of San Mateo. “The three-story building will get cosmetic remodeling at a later date.”
Moving the 40 beds and creating a separate, structurally independent, memory care facility will allow for improved service to the memory care residents as the newly renovated building will provide state of the art design and security for residents with Alzheimer’s. In addition, the project will increase space in the main building, enhancing living conditions for assisted living residents. Though the building renovation designs are in the preliminary stages, a large open-air courtyard in the building’s center will provide a secure outdoor environment for the memory care residents. The building’s footprint will be slightly larger in order to better configure the interior space. Energy efficiency updates will also be a substantial aspect of the renovation, as required by code.
The renovation will result in a more modern version of the current single-level building and is expected to take approximately 14 months to complete after construction groundbreaking.
“The project is on the Planning Commission level and won’t go to City Council. After the study session, they’ll go back to the drawing board to create a formal set of plans and then submit a formal application,” Schimpp commented.
As the number of beds won’t change with the renovation, parking requirements will remain the same as from prior project proposals. If the facility ends up seeking a reduction in spaces, a parking variance planning application will be required. The facility will also need a modification of its Special Use Permit to allow for the new memory care use as opposed to the existing skilled nursing permitting.