By Jon Peterson
A partnership between the City of San Mateo and three other developers are part of a public/private partnership that hopes in the future to bring a mixed-use development project on a full city block in downtown San Mateo. The seven-story affordable housing building with 60 units with a five-story 156,000 square foot office and retail building along with 128 underground parking spaces, is located at 445 South B Street. The project is looking to transform this block in one the most centrally located Peninsula markets, according to a preliminary planning application that was presented on the city’s website.
“The City of San Mateo has an interest in the project [and] it has donated land that is currently used as a city-owned parking lot. This amounts to roughly 32 percent of the project’s site, which is an entire city block and totals 1.15 acres,” says Julia Klein, a principal planner with The City of San Mateo.
The main developer on the application is Oakland-based Harvest Properties. According to the City of San Mateo, the other developers involved in the partnership are Prometheus and Alta Housing. The development team still is a long way before it could start the project, and the likely timeline is at least couple of years in the future. Some of the next steps include neighborhood meetings and a planning commission study session.
One part of the project calls for the development of 60 housing units that would be 100 percent affordable. “We believe that this part of the project would create housing for families that would need two- to three-bedroom units. We would be creating housing with much larger units than what currently exists today. The units would be available to families that earn 30 percent of the average medium income within San Mateo,” says Preston O’Connell, a partner with Harvest Properties based in Oakland.
One part of the potential development is that it will replace the Talbots Toyland store that closed down in January of last year, according to the city.
The City of San Mateo believes that this project is an important one for the city and its community. “This potential project would bring much more affordable housing to our area. It also will add to the main thoroughfare of the downtown through new shopping venues. This project also has the benefit of being only three blocks from the San Mateo CalTrain station,” said Klein.