San Carlos Mixed-Use TOD Project Placed on Hold

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San Carlos Transit Village Legacy Partners real estate The Registry

By Jon Peterson

The San Carlos Transit Village mixed-use apartment/office/retail project adjacent to the San Carlos Caltrain station has been put on hold while the city and SamTrans discuss the density allowed for the apartment component of the project.

“This project has run into a snag as to what we consider a high-density apartment project as far as we are concerned. Until this situation works itself out between us and the City of San Carlos, the project will not be moving forward,” says Christine Dunn, public information office for SamTrans.

This issue came about as the City of San Carlos decided to lower the number of stories the apartment component of the project would be allowed to have from four stories to three. “With this limit, we don’t think in our opinion that this makes this project a high density mass transit development,” said Dunn.

SamTrans owns the 8.7 acres of land under which the project sits. It had been talking with the project’s developer, Foster City-based Legacy Partners Residential, about setting up a ground lease for the project. This development company did not respond to several phone calls seeking comment for this story. This part of the project’s negotiation has also been put on hold. “These discussions have been stopped until the other issues have been worked out,” said Dunn.

The number of apartment units planned for the project has been lowered significantly. There were two initial proposals made for the development. One was for 453 units and the other of 320 units from Legacy. Legacy was selected because it was believed to be a better fit for the community, according to Dunn. She declined to name the other developer who was a finalist for the project besides Legacy. The number of units now approved by the City of San Carlos for Legacy is 197 units.

SamTrans still thinks the project has merit. “I think on a long-term basis the project would be attractive for the community. It is close to CalTrans and is near several bus stops so that people who would live in the project would be near several forms of public transportation,” said Dunn.

The entire project is located on El Camino Real at the Holly Street intersection. Besides apartments, the project has plans for a total of 20,000 to 24,000 square feet of a combination of office and retail space.

The City of San Carlos believes that the project will be a benefit to the community on a long-term basis. “I think that this is a project where you are adding housing stock and is also near public transportation so that there won’t be any cars added to the major freeways in the region, which is a good thing for the community,” says Al Savay, community development director for the City of San Carlos.

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