Windy Hill Clears San Carlos Planning Commission for 528,000 SQ FT Development

Windy Hill, San Carlos, Palo Alto, Peninsula, Bay Area, San Francisco, San Jose

Windy Hill, San Carlos, Palo Alto, Peninsula, Bay Area, San Francisco, San JoseA Class A office development planned for the Peninsula city of San Carlos received planning commission approval late Wednesday night, as the Palo Alto developer Windy Hill Property Ventures looks to transform six industrial buildings bordering US Highway 101 into a 528,000 square foot campus with modern amenities fit for a growing tech tenant. The project is named Meridian 25 because it sits 25 miles away from San Francisco and 25 miles away from San Jose.

The deliberation lasted over three hours, and most of the questions the planning commission posed focused on the size of the parking structure—some felt it was too big and was designed to accommodate more vehicles than needed—and the proposed routes trucks would use for hauling of contaminated soil. Nearly an hour was devoted to public comment, where 18 of 22 people who spoke were strongly in favor of the development.

[contextly_sidebar id=”SFozyB3A5BAXUMVG8SzszKMSiFVZdc4O”]The nearly 8-acre site, which was constructed in the early 1970s, today is comprised of six lots with a single industrial building on each. Windy Hill assembled the lots between December 2014 and December 2015 and paid just over $25.5 million for a total of 134,187 square feet ($190 per square foot), according to public documents. A range of businesses have been located at the site, including light industrial, fitness, general office and retail uses.

Windy Hill is proposing to demolish the existing buildings, remove all existing improvements and landscaping and build a new Class A office complex. Two equally-sized office buildings would front onto Industrial Road and a parking structure would be located adjacent to Highway 101. The office buildings are mirror images of each other and each includes a floor area of 264,260; the total floor area of the office buildings is therefore 528,520 square feet. The buildings are proposed to be six stories with a height of 87’-3” to the top of the parapet and 97’- 2” to the top of the roof screen. The parking structure at the rear of the site includes three levels of below grade parking, one level at grade and two levels above grade.

“It’s a tremendously unique location given the current office demand in the general Bay Area,” said Mike Field, founder of the commercial division at Windy Hill, who is leading the development and spoke on behalf of his firm. “The project is extremely transit-oriented. If you look at travel times to and from airports, trains and to our major metropolitan cities, it’s really within the tolerances that most people are willing to drive.”

The overwhelming support from the city residents was echoed by the planning commissioners, as well. They lauded Windy Hill for their inclusive process that made citizens aware of what they were planning and for including recommendations into the agreement.

“I think you get a sense after working with developers and being on a planning commission for a while which developers are looking for a win-win and which ones are looking out for Number One, and I just wanted to say than you. I think you guys did an excellent job in trying to make a win-win for San Carlos,” said Angela Harper-Pedersen, planning commissioner.

The goal of this meeting was for the planning commission to conduct a public hearing and provide recommendations to the city council on the proposed project. There were a total of three motions that captured that process, all of which passed unanimously.

Following the panning commission meeting, the city council will conduct a public hearing and take action on the proposal for a final approval and go-ahead for the developer.

West Coast Commercial Real Estate News