Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Housing dropped from TOD planned at Millbrae BART/Caltrain

Expand Messages
  • 1/23 San Mateo Journal
    Published Wednesday, January 23, 2008, by the San Mateo Daily Journal Market may kill housing by BART By Heather Murtagh What was once planned as a massive
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 23, 2008
    • 0 Attachment
      Published Wednesday, January 23, 2008, by the San Mateo Daily Journal

      Market may kill housing by BART

      By Heather Murtagh

      What was once planned as a massive model for transit-oriented
      development in Millbrae with housing near the BART station may turn
      into office-focused retail because of a recent shift in market
      interest in such projects and the credit crunch for lending.

      Plans changed from residential-focused to an office-focused retail
      development with many concerns raised by the City Council that
      developers involved need to make Millbrae a priority. The council
      unanimously approved a 90-day extension last night with warnings
      that a lack of forward movement could cause the city to rethink the
      partnership. The City Council first agreed to allow Fancher Partners,
      a development agency out of Irvine, Calif., to move forward on its
      proposal for the area around the Millbrae Bay Area Rapid Transit
      Station in 2006 -- known as Site One. The exclusive contract was
      extended a number of times since with the final, five-month extension
      granted in September including a timeline with benchmark goals. The
      goals were not met.

      Vice Mayor Robert Gottschalk was concerned to see the change when a
      few years ago only 35 percent of local office space was filled but
      was reassured by support of potential financiers present.

      "I don't think any of us wants to see more iterations on the
      extensions," he said. "If everyone come together in 90 days that's
      great. But there will be disappointment and rethinking if we find
      that not all the pieces can be brought together in 90 days."

      Market conditions completely changed the project in the past 90 days,
      Charles Fancher of Fancher Partners explained. "It changed because of
      market conditions. ... We're disappointed to say it's not done, but
      we need you to understand the obstacles we ran into."

      Fancher agreed if progress is not made in 90 days there may be flaws
      with the plans that should be addressed.

      Costs for residential development went up while the market slowed,
      he explained, making the project less than feasible.. More than 230
      condominiums were planned in the 2006 council-approved Site One
      vision.

      The proposed vision dubbed the Millbrae Station Pavilion, is a six-
      story, mixed-use development covering about eight acres of land. The
      two-building configuration would be centered around a station square.
      The area was visioned to include retail, restaurant, a seven-screen
      cinema, 32,000 square-feet of office space, 231 condos and a 131-room
      hotel area.

      The design will stay the same with office space where condominiums
      were planned, explained Fancher.

      The change from residential to office space use is a return to the
      original vision of the site, explained Community Development Director
      Ralph Petty. "We're kind of coming full circle," he said noting that
      four years ago there was no office market. Now the housing market is
      gone.

      Additionally, Petty was not sure any other development firms were
      earnestly interested in taking on the project.

      Councilman Dan Quigg was in favor of the change noting the proximity
      to BART, Caltrain and an airport. He also was hoping for a developer
      agreement to be signed in fewer than 90 days.

      Although the extension remained as 90 days, both city staff and
      Fancher agreed such a feat could be possible -- meeting the first
      of the benchmarks set in September.

      The three benchmarks were: prepare a development agreement outlining
      the city's up-front contributions; secure project financing; and
      place at least 66 percent of the project lands in a binding contract.
      Those were yet to be met.

      Creating an agreement is estimated to take an additional 90 days. A
      defining factor is the money Millbrae's Redevelopment Agency will put
      up-front to cover costs. The 66 percent of land is not confirmed,
      however, additional up-front money from the city could allow for new
      offers, according to a report written by Petty.

      San Francisco-based Lincoln Property Company and Los Angeles-based
      BlackRock wrote non-binding letters of intention to support the
      project. Representatives from both spoke favorably about moving
      forward last night.

      The effort to develop the land in Site One near the Millbrae BART
      Station began in 1996. The Site One area ends at El Camino Real on
      the west, by Victoria Avenue on the north, by an extension of
      California Drive to the east and by Millbrae Avenue to the south.


      Heather Murtagh can be reached by e-mail: heather@...
      or by phone: (650) 344-5200 ext. 105.


      [BATN: See also:

      Another delay for TOD at Millbrae BART/Caltrain; housing scrapped
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BATN/message/37057

      Millbrae BART/Caltrain TOD plans appear stalled
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BATN/message/37049

      SamTrans to keep HSR on existing two Caltrain tracks in Millbrae
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BATN/message/36846

      Millbrae fears adding HSR tracks to train station will derail TOD
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BATN/message/36538

      Millbrae claims more tracks for HSR, Caltrain threaten $250m TOD
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BATN/message/36535

      Stalled Millbrae BART TOD speeds new downtown parking garage
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BATN/message/36239

      Millbrae BART TOD stalled, blocks new downtown parking garage
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BATN/message/36076

      Land acquisition slows TOD plans at Millbrae BART/Caltrain
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BATN/message/33436

      Millbrae council moves TOD redevelopment plan ahead
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BATN/message/29662

      Millbrae eyes TOD arts & convention center near BART
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BATN/message/24916

      Mixed-use TOD going up near Millbrae BART/Caltrain
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BATN/message/21602

      Millbrae TOD project near BART cancelled
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BATN/message/13015 ]
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.