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Planned San Mateo Project Creates New Twist On Transit-Oriented Development

Rendering of Passage at San Mateo

A new multifamily project planned in San Mateo incorporates several aspects Silicon Valley millennial renters are seeking, many of whom prefer more transit-oriented living options.

Coastal California Properties’ plan for Passage at San Mateo, a huge multifamily project near Caltrain, integrates many transportation options that are expected to reduce daily car trips by 25%, according to MVE Architects associate partner Pieter Berger, who is part of the design team.

The 935-unit project includes what appears to be a coffee shop at first glance, but provides much more than coffee. The Depot will provide Uber/Lyft pickup and drop-off locations, a San Mateo bike-share program and a place for private employer shuttles, Berger said. The complex will be near the Hayward Park Caltrain and Hillside Caltrain stations.

MVE associate partner Pieter Berger

The project will include 72 affordable units and 10 artist lofts where residents can live and sell goods. Berger said live/work lofts have been in demand. These units allow residents to use the front of their homes as a retail space to sell goods, he said.

In addition, 35K SF of retail will be incorporated into the plan, which includes a revamp of an existing Trader Joe’s and 7-Eleven.

A food hall with curated local eats will be a main part of the retail. The food hall will take design elements from Eichler-style homes in the neighborhood while providing a community gathering point, he said. Unlike traditional food courts, this food hall will provide healthy local options alongside hospitality and customer service, Berger said.

Rendering of the food hall at Passage at San Mateo

“Incorporating retail into multifamily projects is one of the design elements [renters] crave, and it brings with it a variety of lifestyle benefits,” Berger said. “It creates a micro-economy where residents and the surrounding community can live, work and play within a hyper-localized space. This also reduces traffic, commute times and carbon emissions, as well as boosts the local economy and creates a walkable community.”

Berger said the property includes a physical passage that runs through the site, creating a large open space park in the middle of the property. The property will have about three and a half acres of parks.

The project is in the pre-application phase.