Boarding House Demolition Green Lit

Bold new condo development on Bay Road moves forward after 17-month permit acquisition process.

A boarding house on Bay Road will be demolished this spring to make room for four new condominiums, stripping the land of in the process, yet bringing the city no closer to meeting its affordable housing obligation.   

“To count toward the Housing Element affordable housing obligation, land identified as a potential site for housing development must be zoned at 30 units per acre or more,” said Douglas Frederick, Ph.D., housing manager for the City of Menlo Park.

“Such zoning is the only way that sites identified will be counted toward the affordable housing obligation,” Frederick told Patch.  

Menlo Park is struggling to create affordable housing within its borders and needs to build about 1,000 units to become compliant with the law, according to data from the Association of Bay Area Governments. State law requires the city to accommodate workforce growth associated with new businesses.  when Menlo Park began to negotiate the conditions within which it would allow Facebook to develop its new headquarters here.

who are running for the District 4 seat on the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors have that  is a priority.

The four new single-family condominiums that will be built on the land at 731 and 735 Bay Road will replace the 12 boarding-room style units that presently exist at 731 Bay Road. 735 Road is a vacant lot that will be absorbed. Each of the multi-bedroom condos will feature a bold color scheme, roof top terraces and socially responsible power generation on site, said Stan Nielsen, who is the project’s lead architect. 

“We want to provide housing for young workers who travel to work in Menlo Park,” Nielsen told planning commissioners Monday night during a meeting to review the permit required to build the condos. 

“The style is reminiscent of lofts in San Francisco,” Nielsen added.

According to the city's housing department, the only units that count toward a city's affordable housing obligation are those that are income restricted, either through a Below Market Rate program or through tax credit financing. The property owner Ian Carney has not decided whether he will rent or sell the condos when they are finished, although he is leaning toward selling them.

“When I picked it up, I didn’t think much about Facebook,” Carney said Tuesday, highlighting the property’s close proximity to the social media titan’s new headquarters in Menlo Park. “But the market has changed a lot in about a year and a half; I am thinking I might go right to Facebook and market it to their H.R,” he said. 

Carney wouldn’t disclose how much he paid for the property that he acquired when it became available after a foreclosure. Property tax records show that 731 Bay Road was assessed at $673,200 in 2011. Homes nearby are assessed from $400,000 to $1 million. Zillow estimates he could charge about $2,216 for the property if he chose to rent it. 

The Planning Commission green lit the project Monday night with a vote of 5 to 2.

Commissioners , , , , and supported it, while Commissioners and in were in opposition.

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jorgezkendrick April 18, 2012 at 11:03 AM
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