Westlake’s San Mateo Headquarters Remodel in the Works

Westlake Urban, San Mateo, San Francisco Bay Area, 2Bridge Communications, Westlake Urban, Planning Commission, Zoning Administrator,

By Meghan Hall

Westlake Urban Inc., a full-service real estate development company based in San Mateo, submitted a Planning Application with the hopes of securing an approval to renovate their headquarters located at 520 South El Camino Real.

The company has managed and developed numerous commercial, residential and mixed-use properties across the San Francisco Bay Area and has been based at 520 South El Camino Real for the past 35 years.

The proposed plans, submitted to the City in December 2017, are part of a $40 million renovation project to reimagine the original façade and upgrade the building’s mechanical, electrical and structural systems to increase the structural integrity of the building. The building was constructed in 1965 and is currently nine stories and 118,000 square feet.

“The remodel will feature an elegant exterior design of the building, which will enhance the experience for tenants while also improving the visual image at 5th Street and El Camino in the heart of downtown San Mateo,” explained Donovan Cole, the development manager for Westlake Urban.

The new exterior of the building will feature a modern curtain wall system with a crisp white exterior and large, energy efficient floor-to-ceiling-windows.

An additional conforming 6,379 square feet of new Class A office space will also be added by expanding the second and third floors above the existing one-story annex at the back of the building.

Plans for the remodel also include a rooftop terrace with foliage placed in stacked block walls, glass railings and ash wood decking. The deck would have space for a bar, moveable shade structure, barbeque grill and sink. Other amenities include covered bike parking, EV chargers on both the grade-level and lower parking levels, and showers located on the basement level for future tenants.

“This will be a great feature that will allow tenants the ability to spend time outside on the deck and enjoy the fresh air and views of the coastal mountain fog rolling over the San Mateo hillsides in the summer months,” said Cole.

Currently, there are no tenants confirmed to move in when the renovations are completed, but Cole did say that Westlake is hoping to attract tenants interested in leasing entire floors.

Because the proposed addition is less than 10,000 square feet of non-residential floor area, the project is not subject to either the Planning Commission or City Council review and must only be approved by the Zoning Administrator. According to Cole, Westlake Urban Inc. anticipates that the approval will come through in late February or early March, after which construction drawings and permits will be submitted to the City.

Westlake Urban plans to begin construction in July 2018, and Cole expects the construction process to run smoothly.

“The project is in Downtown San Mateo and a building like this only goes through these major improvements once every 40 to 50 years,” said Cole. “So this is a significant upgrade, but we have a great team, and don’t anticipate any challenges out of the ordinary.”

The core and shell work for the building is set to be completed in January 2020, and Westlake Urban has plans to return to the building and resume occupancy once construction is complete.

West Coast Commercial Real Estate News