Mixed-Use, Green Buildings Keep Sprouting Up in San Mateo

Ten years from now, San Mateo will look very different than it does today.

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On Saturday, June 21, 2008 - 16:32
San Mateo

Ten years from now, San Mateo will look very different than it does today.

The construction business is booming, and entire neighborhoods are performing the “voila” act – appearing seemingly out of nowhere. One hard-to-miss example of San Mateo’s new face is the Bay Meadows racetrack.

A storied arena of guts and glory where Seabiscuit ran in the 1930s, the track now finds itself slated for new homes and manicured green space. The old training field has already made the transition: a visitor to the once all-business grounds now will find rows of new houses, swing sets and sleek lofts. The story is similar in downtown San Mateo, where condominium projects are shooting up as fast as people can move into them. The condos of 1700 De Anza and the Park Bayshore townhomes are both in the pre-sale stages, like so many developments gone before them. Developers are working on city approval for two multistory buildings on the northeast and southeast corners of El Camino and East Third. The mixed-use buildings would likely include retail, office and residential space. Perhaps one of the most unique developments on the horizon is Station Park Green, a mixed-use neighborhood with eco-friendly ambitions.

The project has not yet been approved by the city, but if it is, it will replace a Kmart and sprawling parking lots with 599 residential units, 60,000 square feet of retail space, 10,000 square feet of office space and two acres of parks. And it would all be green. The project is one of just 60 worldwide that serves as a case study for the Green Building Council’s new LEED for Neighborhood Development certification. As of November 2007, the project was awaiting the go-ahead from the city planning commission. Today, whether you want high above the city or low to the ground, next door to a coffee shop or on top of an old racetrack, you can find it in this up-and-coming community.