Small Scale Mixed-Use Residential Project in San Mateo to Invigorate Neighborhood Adjacent to Downtown

Small Scale Mixed-Use Residential Project in San Mateo to Invigorate Neighborhood Adjacent to Downtown

November 21, 2016


A formal application was submitted in July proposing a project with ten residential, two-bedroom units and 3,155 square feet of retail at 2 West Third Avenue in San Mateo on the western corner of El Camino Real. The property is owned by 230 El Camino, LLC and represented by Robert Van Dale of EDI International. After the application was deemed incomplete by Planning staff, another conceptual plan was submitted on October 16. Sixteen5Hundred Inc, a lighting technology company, is also involved in LED lighting systems for the project.
“It’s still in the design review phase and will be at least a year before we finish that,” said Richard Handlen, principal architect, EDI International. “We’ll probably resubmit the application over the next couple months due to the holidays. There have been some meetings held about the project but none are scheduled now.”

The building will have three-stories of residential over retail totaling four-stories with a 750 square foot roof deck above the fourth floor. Mature Oak trees already exist on the site and are expected to be retained with other plant installations around the building’s perimeter.

The most notable aspect of the project is an automated parking system by CityLift, which not only reduces the overall footprint of the below-grade parking garage, but allows residents to park at the push of a button. Based in Oakland, the company engineers space saving parking garages that are customizable to fit the needs of each development. At 2 West Third Avenue, residents will drive their cars into an elevator, get out, press a button and have the vehicle parked automatically. The system will take an average of 90 to 100 seconds to park each car and will be equipped with signage and red and green lights to alert users and ensure smooth functioning. Fobs are to be issued to residents for proper identification of vehicles and the associated parking spots. CityLift recommends the hiring of an onsite attendant to troubleshoot problems along with a monthly inspection program. Twenty-eight automated spaces will be incorporated into the project plus one regular at-grade spot. Indoor and outdoor bicycle stalls totaling 25 are also proposed.

At a community meeting in 2014, Van Dale described it as a unique urban infill project that fits into the neighborhood context. The site is a former gas station and is geared to revitalize the neighborhood by adding housing and community-serving retail.

According to Lily Lim, Planning project manager, the project is being reviewed with no meetings currently scheduled.

“The project isn’t within a specific plan; however, given the location, it acts as a gateway to Downtown and a transition from the uses-buildings on the West side of El Camino Real into the Downtown area,” she commented.

The site is adjacent to a San Mateo Country Library, and in close proximity to outdoor recreation, a fitness center, parks, cinema, restaurants, churches and a medical center. It’s about a half-mile from Caltrain and close to several bus routes.