KFC Site Development Proposal Update

The Planning Commission meeting on Tuesday, July 10th at 7:30pm will include a Study Session on Windy Hill’s 406 E 3rd Ave development application. This involves the area between Claremont and part of 3rd, including the area where the KFC restaurant is today. Whether you missed the neighborhood meeting last month in the library, or just want to see the next step in the process, the commission meeting will be a good opportunity to learn more and share your input. (Read the Project Application Materials Online).

The following Neighborhood Meeting Notes were taken by Adam Loraine, Secretary of HANCSM, to share with HANCSM members.

Notes from Neighborhood Meeting with Windy Hill Property Ventures
Re: Proposed Project at 406 E 3rd Ave and 304, 306, 308, 310 & 314 S Claremont St
San Mateo Main Public Library, Monday, June 11, 2018

  • About 23 in attendance, including Brittni Barron (Associate Planner, City of San Mateo) and Michael Field (project lead, Windy Hill Property Ventures)

The below are notes taken from Michael’s presentation:

  • Windy Hill’s other projects in San Mateo:
    • 2 E 3rd Ave (tenants include Motif and SoulCycle)
    • The “Endo development” on 4th Ave between Claremont & Railroad
      • This project is directly adjacent to the “Endo development” and will connect with it in some ways
    • This proposed project will be mixed-use:
      • Office density: “about 1 person for every 250 sq. ft. (about 432 employees could work in the building)
      • Claims it’s not possible for startups to (want to) use this building, that it would be too tough for them to use it (sorry, my notes on exactly why are unclear here. I believe the reasoning had something to do with the age and design of the neighboring infrastructure (electrical and otherwise) making this not conducive to packing in more employees than the target office density above)
      • 108,000 square feet of office space (spread across three floors)



    • 23 apartment units on the fourth floor
      • Studios and 1BR apts., rental units, from 520 – 650 sq. ft.
      • Called “workforce housing”
      • “3 to 4” units will be offered below market rate (BMR), to comply with San Mateo’s Measure P
    • 2 levels of below-ground parking will provide 160 spots
      • Some in-lieu fees will be paid to the city as well
      • Will be connected with the parking garage to the adjacent “Endo development”
      • Windy Hill will offer to make this parking garage available to the public —subject to City rules, regulations and management — after 6:00 p.m. on weeknights and at all hours during the weekends. This will be offered in the garage of the adjacent “Endo development” as well.
      • Garage entrances proposed:
        • Eastbound on 3rd Ave
        • Via S Claremont St
        • No entrances via Railroad (future unclear with potential high-speed rail developments needing space)
      • Additional proposed pieces of Transportation Demand Management (TDM):
        • building employees will receive complimentary Caltrain passes
        • building employees will be able to bring bicycles to their desks
        • the building will have an on-site transportation coordinator
    • Planning broad sidewalks with outdoor seating on S Claremont St
    • No retail space currently planned in the project
      • Multiple attendees asked “Why not?” They had concerns that this would reduce the potential of the project, billed somewhat as an extension of downtown, to actually draw people eastward across the train tracks. One asked specifically about having a small café at the Northwest corner (3rd and Railroad) on the ground floor.
      • Michael responded by noting that downtown already has 143 restaurants, and that those working in this project’s office space will support those current restaurants and other retail, especially during important lunch time hours. He also said “retail doesn’t work everywhere,” and that he’s skeptical that he could even find and keep a tenant such as a café for many reasons (cost, location, competition, etc.). If he could find an interested tenant, he said he would consider adding ground-floor retail, but—noting similar difficulties in finding tenants for the 2 E 3rd Ave building—he thinks such a tenant will be difficult to find.
    • Attendee concerns over aesthetics on Claremont side
      • Attendee asked about reducing the amount of glass used as desks and computers are not aesthetically pleasing, concerns with heat and glare management.
      • Another asked if the look could be “softened.”
      • Another attendee said he liked the design profile of the 2 E 3rd Ave building better and asked if this could more closely match that look.

Michael’s response: this project already uses much less glass than the “Endo development” next door. Also, this project will actually look quite similar to the 2 E 3rd Ave on the first and second floors, but it’s a bit difficult to tell from the presentation because the trees in the rendering obscure some of the design

    • Other attendee concerns and questions
      • Parking garage hours (one noted that tech workers don’t necessarily work “9-to-5,” implying that the garage won’t necessarily be empty after 6 p.m. on weeknights.
      • Safety of the parking garage
      • Traffic; one asked for comprehensive traffic studies that include impacts from upcoming downtown developments
        • Michael’s response: that would be up to the City
      • Bicycle parking
      • Multiple attendees urged Windy Hill to do its best to mitigate traffic impacts from building construction
        • Michael’s response: residents should please call if they notice anything that shouldn’t be happening. He gave an example of a time when someone called to report construction vehicles parking in improper areas nearby, and he contacted the contractor to resolve the matter immediately.
      • Attendee question: Will the remaining businesses on that block of 3rd Avenue (Fuji Sukiyaki & Little Saigon Restaurants, shoe repair business, etc.) be able to keep adjacent street parking during construction?
        • Michael’s response: he believes so
      • Attendee question: Why only 23 housing units? Why not more?
        • Michael’s response: it can be tricky (from electrical and logistical perspective) to mix housing and office space on the same floor, so the difference would be between one floor of housing and two floors.

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