(EDITOR’S NOTE: According to public record, the transaction closed on November 1st. The price of the property was $42 million.)
East Palo Alto, Calif. – Today Sand Hill Property Company announced the acquisition of the six-acre parcel in East Palo Alto known as Four Corners, located at the corner of University Avenue and Bay Road.
“We are excited to engage with the community on how they envision this site within the context of the Ravenswood / 4 Corners Specific Plan,” said Michael Kramer, Managing Director at Sand Hill Property Company. “We want to see this result in a vibrant mixed-use project that the community can be proud of. This site has been vacant for decades, it is time to activate this important corner in the heart of East Palo Alto. We plan to start speaking with the City and the community very soon to get feedback on what a future plan may look like.”
The Ravenswood / 4 Corners Specific Plan, which was passed in 2013, was developed through a robust outreach process in which residents and community groups were engaged through more than 18 public meetings and community workshops. The mixed-use designation at the University and Bay site allows for “multi-story mixed-use buildings that have retail stores or community facilities on the ground floor, with apartments or condominiums on upper floors.” Office and medical lab uses are also allowed. Sand Hill expects to own the site for the long term, and build and operate the future mixed-use property themselves.
Woodland Park Communities, an affiliate of Sand Hill Property Company, is a major housing provider in East Palo Alto since acquiring a large apartment portfolio nearly four years ago. The operation of Woodland Park, and related development plans, will be managed independently of the University and Bay site, which is held by a different ownership entity.
In their first three years owning Woodland Park, Sand Hill has increased parking, replaced the security company, hired more bilingual staff, opened a resident services office and two technology centers, opened two pop-up parks, and hosted more than 30 community meetings and listening sessions. They have recently submitted a development application for the Euclid Improvements, a proposal to replace outdated buildings with new rent-controlled and mixed-income apartments with no displacement.
Last year, Mayor Ruben Abrica, who is a resident of Woodland Park, recognized Woodland Park Communities and Sand Hill Property Company in his State of the City address.
“I have seen that [Sand Hill] has tried to restore the trust between management and the tenants, they have addressed more directly issues of parking, of maintenance, of security, and they have also done additional activities for the children and for the families,” said Abrica in his address. “Thank you very much for being a good example to all landlords in how they should treat their tenants and work with the community.”
The City Council recognized Woodland Park Communities with a proclamation for “its effort to improve relations and services to tenant families.” “I’ve seen a professionalism by the management team that has really helped raise the quality of life for the residents of Woodland Park,” said Councilmember Larry Moody. “One of the things we certainly have seen over the past 2-3 years, is not only have they done a great job of addressing the issues for the tenants, but they have also made a strong commitment to integrate themselves into the affairs of the city.”
Sand Hill Property Company is a local real estate investor and developer based in Palo Alto, and is focused on providing high quality spaces that fit the community and the greater region. Sand Hill develops, owns, and operates properties with a long-term perspective and is active from San Francisco to San Jose, with a particular focus on mixed-use development.