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Sand Hill Property Co. Hires Palo Alto Housing CEO Candice Gonzalez, Pivots Toward Housing

Sand Hill Property Co.'s incoming Chief Housing Officer and Managing Director Candice Gonzalez

Sand Hill Property Co. has hired Palo Alto Housing President and CEO Candice Gonzalez as chief housing officer and managing director. This new hire is part of the company’s shift into developing more housing.

“The Bay Area’s housing crisis has been caused by the decades-long failure to build an adequate housing supply,” Sand Hill Property Co. principal and founder Peter Pau said in a statement. “Report after report has shown how this failure to address housing is placing tremendous strain on our economy and our quality of life by exacerbating traffic, pushing people out of the communities where they live and forcing long commutes. We believe the solution to these main challenges is to increase housing supply at all levels of affordability.”

The developer has increased its interest in mixed-use and housing properties over the past decade. In March, Sand Hill invoked SB 35 to apply for Vallco Town Center, a proposed mixed-use project in Cupertino that includes 2,400 housing units, 50% of which will be affordable. The project is on track to receive building entitlement through the law’s streamlined process in late September with construction expected to start soon after.

It also has a substantial stabilized portfolio of rent-controlled multifamily housing through its affiliated company, Woodland Park Communities. It is the largest provider of rent-stabilized housing in San Mateo County, and operates over 1,800 apartments, duplexes and rental homes in East Palo Alto.

Sand Hill’s housing portfolio includes the recently completed 120-unit Main Street Cupertino Lofts and the proposed 800-apartment mixed-use project at North First Street in San Jose.

The company also has an active charitable arm, the SHP Foundation, which preserves and creates supportive housing opportunities for very-low-income households and homeless residents. It is active in San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Alameda counties. Its properties include Hotel California in Palo Alto and other buildings across Redwood City, Daly City, San Francisco and Newark.

Rendering of Vallco Town Center

Gonzalez will begin her new position in early September. She served as CEO and president at Palo Alto Housing for over 10 years.

During Gonzalez’s tenure at Palo Alto Housing, the company expanded its geographic reach beyond Palo Alto. The developer manages and develops affordable housing properties and currently manages 700 units and has another 600 in the pipeline.

“With our substantial pipeline, we are on target to nearly double our number of housing units in the next few years,” Gonzalez said in a statement.

Palo Alto Housing’s pipeline includes a new 67-unit affordable housing community at 2821 El Camino Real in Redwood City, which recently received entitlements from San Mateo County. Construction is expected to begin in early 2019. 

Eagle Park Apartments, a 67-unit affordable apartment community in Mountain View expected to be completed late this year, will house low-income veterans and households earning up to 60% of the Santa Clara County area median oncome. The roughly half-acre property is at 1701 West El Camino Real, within walking distance of grocery stores, pharmacies, restaurants and public transit. 

Palo Alto Housing board of directors Chairwoman Sheryl Klein will oversee the organization’s search for a new CEO and will lead the board in managing the company until a new president and CEO is named.