Wilson Meany Pushes Office Project at Bay Meadows


By Jon Peterson

San Francisco-based developer Wilson Meany and its financial partner Stockbridge Capital Group have filed an application for a building permit to construct a 189,000-square-foot office building at the southwest corner of Delaware Street and 28th Avenue in San Mateo’s Bay Meadows master-planned community.

[contextly_sidebar id=”6aae4a8c685ddc80921bfb9702dcdbdf”]The developer filed the application with the city on May 16, according to San Mateo building records.

The movements are the latest signal that systems are on go at the 84-acre mixed-use community, which first hurdled a difficult entitlement process and then had to soldier through the housing and financial markets crash.

In an annual update of the development’s progress to the planning commission on May 28, Darcy Forsell, an associate planner with the city, said construction to build roads, which began in 2009, continues. The developer also has recorded an offer of dedication to the city for a 12-acre community park. The Nueva School, which is building a new private high school, bought 2.76 acres at Bay Meadows in January and is proceeding quickly, Forsell said. The city has issued foundation permits to Nueva, which expects to be complete by next year.

Wilson Meany also announced May 28 the groundbreaking of its 108-unit Field House apartments. The rental homes follow the start in the fall of 2012 of two townhome projects with a total of 156 units by developers TRI Pointe Homes and Shae Homes. Ninety-seven of those units have been permitted, Forsell said.

“We expect the construction of the three office buildings will start this summer,” Forsell told planning commissioners. “We have been reviewing the foundation permits for that.”

But Wilson Meany partner Janice Thacher cautioned that the developer remains unwilling to begin office construction on a speculative basis. “We will start once the building is substantially pre-leased,” she said. She would not define an exact pre-leasing requirement or divulge the cost of any of the Bay Meadows projects.

The first releases of the Amelia at Bay Meadows subdivision by San Ramon-based TRI Pointe Homes and Landsdowne by Shea Homes, involving about 30 homes, sold right away, Thacher said. There was a lottery for the homes because there was so much buyer interest.

Planning commissioners heaped praise on Wilson Meany for the progress at Bay Meadows. “I have felt delighted to see this coming to fruition,” said Chris Massey. “The process was long but due to the dedication of the developer and the developer’s willingness and ability to stick with it through the bad years, what we are seeing now is very exciting, and it is the fruit of a lot of effort. The developers have met their obligations and more to the city.”

“I have friends who have bought into the first units here, and I can’t wait to go to the housewarming party,” said Joshua Hugg. “It is going to be important to us as a community to make sure this project is well-integrated into everything around it.”

Immediately after the Bay Meadows public hearing, the planning commission took up the Bohannon Development Co. project to rejigger the north block of the Hillsdale Shopping Center. The Caltrain rail line and South El Camino Real separate the shopping center and Bay Meadows. Target Corp. intends to open a 170,000-square-foot, three-story store in an existing Sears building at the Hillsdale center. The store would feature a two-story glass entryway and foyer with decorative elements. The store is expected to employ 250 people.

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