By Meghan Hall
The Commonwealth Corporate Center, a 13.3-acre site located off of Jefferson Drive in Menlo Park, is set to see a new building rise in the near future. Owned by the Sobrato Organization, two office buildings — constructed in 2015 and currently occupied by Facebook and are referred to by the company as Buildings 27 and 28 — have already been constructed. Now, Commonwealth Building 3 is nearing approval. The City of Menlo Park recently completed its Environmental Impact Report on the project, which will include a 249,500 square foot office building and a 324,000 square foot parking structure.
The site’s two original buildings were completed in 2015 are each approximately 67 feet tall, with an area of just under 130,000 square feet. Currently, a courtyard café with outdoor seating is located between the buildings, while a bocce ball court and wood deck are situated to the north of Building 28 —referred to in project documents as “Building 2.” The site also includes numerous pedestrian paths, water features, and 779 surface parking spaces. City documents indicate that the Center is currently home to roughly 2,080 employees.
The newest building, to be located at 164 Jefferson Drive, would accommodate approximately 1,996 employees and would be situated north of the original two buildings on the Commonwealth site. Patios with an additional café would surround the building, while the new parking structure, located to the east, would replace most of the existing surface parking lot.
In addition to the proposed Building 3, an adjacent parcel, known as the Jefferson site, would be converted into a community park. The Jefferson site is roughly 1.2-acres, and the park itself, which will total 0.73 acres, would be publicly accessible but privately owned. Its features will include a multi-use sports court, flexible lawn area, an area with accent pavers, as well as lounge and dining seating. A playground is also set out in the plans, although it is not yet a confirmed addition. The park will also be accessible to an adjacent high school, located at 150 Jefferson Dr. Project documents indicate that there will be 128,533 square feet of publicly accessible open space and 107,333 square feet of private open space.
According to previous reporting done by The Registry in February of last year, Sobrato was moving forward with construction of the project on a speculative basis.
The project will also include a TDM program in an effort to provide alternatives to single-occupancy automobile travel to and from the project site. City documents show that the project would encourage access to public transit and bicycle use.
The project site is well situated between State Route 84 and Highway 101, and is close to downtown Redwood City and the Stanford Shopping Center, where numerous retailers such as Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus are located. L-3 Communications, SPACES and Ocular Dynamics are just several of the companies who neighbor the Commonwealth Corporate Center site.
The project site is located within the ConnectMenlo study area, which was approved in November 2016. The plan’s land use element identified an allowable increase in net new development of up to 2.3 million square feet for non-residential uses, up to 4,500 residential units and up to 400 hotel rooms.
The Sobrato Organization is one of Silicon Valley’s largest developers, and according to its website, the firm currently owns and manages 86 commercial properties comprising nearly eight million square feet. Sobrato has also developed and constructed more than 250 office and research and development facilities throughout the region, totaling some 15 million square feet.
The Sobrato Organization declined to comment for this story.