Plans unveiled for TOD on Samtrans land at San Carlos Caltrain
- Published Tuesday, January 22, 2008, by the San Mateo Daily Journal
Transit village plan unveiled
By Michelle Durand
Questions about the future of the land around the historic San Carlos
train station could be answered with a mixed-use development proposal
officials say will emphasize transit-oriented housing and spur other
improvements along El Camino Real.
"It could be an exclamation point of sorts for the city," said Al
Savay, community development director for San Carlos.
The train depot is both a gateway to downtown San Carlos and a highly
visible site along the Peninsula's major thoroughfare. A "high-
quality project" like the proposed San Carlos Transit Village could
serve as a catalyst for other work in the surrounding area, Savay
The village plan is not officially part of the ongoing renovation of
El Camino Real known as the Grand Boulevard Project but shares the
same goal of revitalization.
"If this is done right it will have a significant benefit to the
community," Savay said.
Plans for the village project are still in early stages, with city
officials just recently signing off on a $100,000 contract for an
environmental impact review and traffic study.
The public, too, has been clamoring to get a look at what could be at
the 8.7-acre site neighboring Oak Street and Old County Road. The
community gets that chance with a series of public forums, including
one scheduled Wednesday night, to show off preliminary renderings and
models of the plan.
As it is designed now, the village plan includes 281 residential
units, 34,600 square feet of retail development, a pedestrian plaza,
a public gathering space in front of the depot and a drop-off point
just south of the current station. In total, the project involves
eight buildings in addition to the existing train depot.
The San Mateo Transit District owns the property, which is primarily
undeveloped. SamTrans approached the city of San Carlos about not
only doing something with the land but tailoring the project to
something it knows quite a bit about -- transportation.
"The project fits with our mission to promote public transit and
since this is a property that we have direct control over it was
idea," said SamTrans spokesman Jonah Weinberg.
The transit village is the only real estate project SamTrans has
currently, Weinberg said.
SamTrans hired Foster City-based Legacy Partners to make the plan a
reality. Legacy representatives could not be reached for comment but
are expected at Wednesday night's community forum.
While the San Carlos Transit Village would likely pour revenue into
the city's coffers, rough estimates have yet to be made about the
potential financial gain, Savay said.
City officials also emphasize that the design is in the beginning
stages and open to change based on feedback. Since the original plan,
the number of residential units has been scaled back while the amount
of retail significantly increased.
The Planning Commission is scheduled to hear an update on the project
at its Feb. 19 meeting followed by a similar presentation to the City
Council Feb. 25.
The San Carlos Transit Village Open House is 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 23 in the San Carlos Library, Second Floor,
Conference Rooms A & B, 610 Elm St., San Carlos.
Refreshments will be provided and attendees will visit three separate
stations manned with representatives from the city, SamTrans and
Michelle Durand can be reached by e-mail: michelle@...
or by phone: (650) 344-5200 ext. 102.
[BATN: See also:
SamTrans TOD at San Carlos Caltrain includes 280 units
San Carlos touts mixed-use TOD on SamTrans land at Caltrain
Mountain View may replace auto shops near Caltrain with TODs
SamTrans unveils 350-condo TOD at San Carlos Caltrain station
San Carlos NIMBYs worried by SamTrans' TOD plans
TOD developer favors condos over rentals at San Carlos Caltrain
San Carlos man aims to replace his house near Caltrain with TOD
SamTrans approves negotiations for San Carlos TOD project
Samtrans weighing San Carlos Caltrain TOD proposals
SamTrans proposes TOD right at San Carlos Caltrain