By Meghan Hall
After several decades, a key corner site in San Mateo has been primed for redevelopment. 222 S. Fremont has been owned by San Mateo-based Wall Street Properties since the 1980s. The site has been considered for redevelopment several times over the years, but now Wall Street has decided now is the time to move forward with a project. The firm submitted a Preliminary Planning Application in December of 2019, but since the rise of COVID-19, has been using the slowdown in the commercial real estate industry to refine its plans for the 40-unit project.
“It is that nice corner site right on 3rd Ave., coming off of the freeway and right across from The Metropolitan and Gateway Commons. We were really starting to think of a building that would make sense in the context of the neighborhood,” explained Wall Street Properties’ Regan Catanzaro. “…We submitted originally about this time last year and have been working within the preapplication process. Obviously, COVID-19 has slowed things down for everyone, and we will be resubmitting the project. We took the past few months…to really absorb the comments from planning and try to come up with some creative solutions to move forward.”
The primary specs of the project will remain about the same upon resubmittal. Called 222 Gateway Terrace, the project will include 40 condominium units, which will be a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom residences. There will be 12 one bedrooms between 899 and 971 square feet, 18 two-bedrooms between 924 and 1,390 square feet, an additional six bedrooms that total around 1,500 square feet, and four three-bedrooms between 2,074 and 2,735 square feet.
60 parking spaces will be included in the plans, as will more than 6,000 square feet of common open space. Many units will include either private patios or balconies. Community amenities also include a pool area with cabanas.
Initially, the design of the project aimed to blend traditional and modern. The original design scheme featured a Tahoe Blue roof, white smooth plaster white metal rails and columns. According to Catanzaro, Wall Street Properties is in the middle of a “major redesign” of the building, based off of comments received from the City.
“We have taken the building from what was a modern take on a traditional, classical style of architecture, and instead of going for that version, we instead decided to employ the Spanish-style architecture which you see not only in our neighborhood, but throughout San Mateo,” said Catanzaro. “It seemed to speak a little bit better to the design that was being requested by the [city’s] consultant.”
A palette of terracotta on the base two floors will be carried up through vertical articulation, while the upper floors will be clad in beige and white cream tones. Wall Street Properties is currently working on the redesign with Walnut Creek, Calif.-based HDO Architects-Planners and expects new renderings to be ready in the coming weeks.
222 Gateway Terrace is not Wall Street Properties’ first in San Mateo; Wall Street Properties also developed 200 Fremont, a 15-unit project, just next door to the Gateway Terrace site. That project was approved by the City Council in November of 2016.
The two projects are ideally located just off of the 101 Freeway and within walking distance of the San Mateo Caltrain station. Numerous restaurants and shops, such as Philz Coffee, Bakers Dozen and Pacific Catch, are also nearby.
Wall Street Properties is pursuing condominium and infill-oriented projects believing that multifamily living—especially in densifying neighborhoods—will continue to be pivotal to the health of the Bay Area multifamily industry moving forward.
“I truly believe that condominium living and multifamily projects are going to be very commonplace in urban areas like the Bay Area, and other suburban areas,” stated Catanzaro. “You’re always going to need some sort of multifamily housing, and recently there has been a lot of legislation in place trying to increase the scale of multifamily. Duplexes, triplexes, townhomes, those ways of living are going to be important moving forward. People are still going to want to be living around their jobs, their families. Living in a condo or apartment is a very realistic solution.”