Contemporary Mixed-Use Office Proposed for San Mateo

Hoffman-Schefsky General Partnership San Mateo WRNS Studio Caltrain SF Police Credit Union Commercial Office Retail South El Camino Real

By Jacob Bourne

A pre-application was filed with the City of San Mateo by Hoffman-Schefsky General Partnership to demolish an existing building at 1495 South El Camino Real and construct a two-story, 27,025 square foot office and retail building. Architecture firm WRNS Studio is working on the design.

“It’s a preliminary application that’s currently being reviewed by all departments,” said Margaret Netto, senior planner. “Comments should be ready for the pre-application by the beginning of June. It’s a two-story podium style building with office and a little retail. There’s one level of surface parking and one level of underground parking. The retail portion will keep the existing tenant, a credit union.”

Current plans show the first floor containing 2,000 square feet of retail, 5,080 square feet of office space and a 625 square foot lobby. The amount of open space proposed exceeds requirements and includes a landscaped perimeter of mature trees, raised planting beds, a pedestrian plaza with permeable paving and a tenant garden. The parking totals 83 spaces with 75 for the office use and eight stalls devoted to the credit union. Five short-term and five long-term bike parking spaces will also be provided. The project also entails streetscape improvements to sidewalks, curbs, bike racks and fencing on the surrounding blocks.

The development site is situated on a busy stretch of El Camino Real with a church, schools, several dining options, San Mateo Zoo and Safeway in the vicinity. It’s also a few blocks from the Hayward Park Caltrain station and adjacent to a large residential area with mainly single family homes. The Highway 92 juncture lies just a few blocks south. The property carries a zoning designation of mixed-use, executive office/high-density residential.

“The developer wanted to maintain a lower level building for a transition to the residential as well as provide a landscaped buffer for the residences behind,” commented Netto. “It’s a pretty contemporary podium style. There’s a lot of glass and wood. The area is kind of eclectic so this isn’t anything that would stand out but is contemporary in a good way. It gives a nice transition to the neighborhood with the two levels and landscaping.”

The existing building is a one-story structure devoted to retail with surface parking and some landscaping. The tenant, SF Police Credit Union, first began in San Francisco in 1953 and opened its San Mateo location in 2003. The non-profit financial institution serves California first responders including law enforcement, fire protection workers and emergency medical technicians.

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