By Jon Peterson
Related California with offices in Irvine, San Francisco and Los Angeles and Stanford University have broken ground this month on the development of 2500 El Camino Real in Palo Alto. This is a mixed-use development that will have a combination of 70 multifamily affordable apartments and 7,000 square feet of retail.
Colby Northridge, project manager with Related California, who works out of the company’s regional office in San Francisco, is the lead working on the project. He did not respond to several phone calls for this story.
“This is a project that we and Related have been working through for a long time. It will bring much needed workforce housing for people who are employed with the Stanford Research Park,” said Tiffany Griego, managing director of asset management for Stanford Real Estate. She declined to comment on the construction cost of the project.
This formulation of the project in Palo Alto goes back 10 years. In 2005, Stanford and the City of Palo Alto entered into the Mayfield Development Agreement. For this, Stanford made two major commitments.
One of this was to construct the affordable apartments and 180 market-rate units on identified sites in the Stanford Research Park. At the same time this would displace more than 330,000 square feet of existing office/R&D space.
The other part of the plan was to provide the community with a new six-acre facility on El Camino Real at Stanford’s expense called Mayfield Playfield. This was done by Stanford in 2006. In turn, the City of Palo Alto granted Stanford the right to relocate 300,000 square feet of the office/R&D space elsewhere within the Stanford Research Park.
The affordable and retail project is covering two acres of land. This is where around 90,000 square feet of existing office/R&D space has been demolished. These properties were formerly known as 2450 El Camino Real, 2470 El Camino Real and 2500 El Camino Real.
The site for the future 180 market-rate apartment units is now in the process of being demolished. This covers 17 acres and totals around 180,000 square feet of existing office/R&D. The addresses of these properties were 1451 California Avenue, 1501 California Avenue and 1601 California Avenue. Once the demolition is complete, the construction of the new units will be started.
On the project at 2500 El Camino Real, Stanford is expecting leasing to start in the late summer of 2016 while the completion of the development will happen in the fall of that year. The designer of the project is San Francisco-based David Baker Architects and the general contractor is Pleasanton-based Seque Construction.
The new apartments will be available to families that are earning between 50 percent and 60 percent of the area median income. The individual apartments in the complex will be a combination of 24 1-bedrooms, 24 2-bedrooms and 22 3-bedrooms. These units will be developed on the second, third and fourth floors. The first floor of the development will be 7,000 square feet of retail. This will include a street side café and vista center for the blind and visually impaired.