Palo Alto Housing

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

           We're Just a Town That Can't Say No

Palo Alto just can't say No to new residential development.
Every project that comes before its governing bodies waxes poetic about its own virtues, the city brushes a tear from its eyes, and says OK. And the numbers keep growing. But the consequences of this building spree to the city's already-overstretched infrastructure are serious.

Why does it matter?
 In 1998, following a long and involved process, the city adopted a Comprehensive Plan which is "the primary tool for guiding the future development of the city." (CompPlan pg. 1)

The Plan’s Environmental Impact Report’s (EIR) established that Palo Alto could absorb 2,400 new housing units during the period 1997-2010. If it exceeds that number, the city must adapt [before approval] to the impacts the increase would cause - to schools, parks, traffic, and to that elusive quality of life we value.

We’re In a Terrible Fix...

Recently, serious concerns have been expressed about classroom shortages, traffic congestion, crowded parks and libraries. Parents don’t like having to transport their children across town daily. Some families bought a home near a school so that their children could attend it.
Neighbors are impinged upon when permission is routinely granted to exceed the zoning height limits, reduce setbacks, and reduce required light planes (design rules that protect a home from interference with daylight.)

Many projects ask for, and receive what is ironically called a DEE - a 'Design Enhancement Exception' which is invariably applied to making a structure bigger. There’s no room for irony when big money is involved.
I compile this list of housing projects from numerous sources. For projects not yet under construction, I use their projected numbers, which sometimes change modestly during the planning process.

Just When I Oughta Say Nix!
By my count, over 4,000 new residential units have been built, or are well along in the planning stages, even though the City’s Comprehensive Plan says the city can only absorb 2,400. Nothing in the approval process is slowing down, in fact, complaints by developers about how long it takes has sped it up.

This list does not include Stanford campus housing projects, individual homes, commercial properties, or projects that have not yet applied for approval, or been revealed to the public. I appreciate receiving any corrections or omissions.

-Elaine Meyer

                    Latest version of this table is at
New Palo Alto Housing since 1997 Comp Plan                         Total units
Name/NicknameAddress# unitsDeveloper / NotesApprovedLocationPlanned

Stanford West Apartments600 Sand Hill Road628Stanford Univ.11/4/1997North
Hyatt Senior Housing600-620 Sand Hill Road454Stanford Univ.
388 + 66 = 454
Fry's340 Portage Av374Sold to Sobrato Org. April 2011 by
WSJ Properties, Boyd Smith
zoned for housingSouth
JCC-Taube-Koret Campus for
Jewish Life (CJL) and

Bridge Housing (BUILD)
899-901 San Antonio Rd

3901 Fabian Way Former SUN Microsystems site
352Jim Baer for TKCJL193 senior units
Bridge Housing Corp:103
Market rate (Altaire) +56 BMR
Total 352
(Altaire) PC
Stanford-Mayfield Development AgreementDemolish2450,2470,2500 El Camino-(70) and 1451,1501,1601 Calif Av (180)250Stanford University
Construction on Calif Av begin 2014
Hyatt Ricky’s
Arbor Real
4219 El Camino / Charleston181D.R.Horton 170 condos +11 single fam12/5/2005South
SOFA 1Homer, Bryant, Channing, Waverley, Ramona Streets111SummerHill Homes2001-2002, 2005-2006NorthPC
Alma Place843 Alma St107PA Housing Corp1997North
Sterling Park -Classic Communities3270 - 3290 W. Bayshore96J.Mozart,W.Bayshore Associates;
sued city re BMR requirement
Opportunity Center33-39 Encina Av SRO apts89Community Working Group; Housing Authority SantaClaraCnty3/3/2003NorthPC
195 Page Mill195 Page Mill,2825, 2865, 2891 & 2901 Park Blvd incl Akins Body Shop+ other82Harold Hohbach Realty Co.6/25/2012North
Sunrise Senior Housing2701 El Camino (x Sheridan)81Sunrise Senior Living5/21/04, 1/14/05NorthPC
Vantage Condominiums-Trumark940 (928-1180) East Meadow76Trumark1/24/2005South
Echelon Condominiums- Trumark1101 East Meadow (x Fabian)75Trumark-SummerHill8/6/2005South
Buena Vista Mobile Home ParkBarron Park70J. Jisser/ 187 units to replace 117in reviewSouth
800 High Street800 High St60Doug Ross3/3/2003North
Oak Court - Affordable Housing825-827 Ramona St53PA Housing Corp11/8/2001North
Alma Plaza3445 Alma St51J. McNellis, Jim Baer;
Greenbriar Homes 37+14
8/9/07, 7/20/09SouthPC
Elks property
"Redwood Gate"
4249 El Camino50SummerHill 45 +
Juniper Homes 5
2/15, 10/11, and
Alma Housing801-871 Alma St50Eden Housing11/9/2009North

2785 Park Blvd50Essex Property Trust. City will not
purchase for Police bldg; eligible for housing


3159 El Camino48John Tarlton; mixed use;
Architect Heather Young
Portage Av Portfolio LLP
Montage Apts4020 El Camino46Alfinito Brothers4/17/1997South
HP/Mayfield200 San Antonio Rd.4-5 acres in PA45Toll Brothers
plus 436 units in Mt View
Palo Alto Commons4041 El Camino Way (merge w4047)43Expand senior care facility. Stephen Reller owner Jim Baer applicant3/21/2011SouthPC
Stanford Av. Faculty housingStanford Av37Stanford land; children attend PA schools11/7/2015North
Silverwood435 Sheridan Av35condos;built by W.L.Butler11/3/1997NorthPC
Tree House488 West Charleston35PA Housing Corp3/30/2009SouthPC
Stanford UniversityStanford Av and; El Camino29Stanford land, housing for athletic staff; children attend PA schools
Palo Alto Bowl; Monroe Place4301-4329 El Camino. demolish PA Bowl &Motel 6. 4-story hotel & 26 condos26Classic Communities; John and Forrest Mozart,Hilton Homewood Suites, Barry Swenson Builder. Randy Popp Arch. for PA Bowl, with Jim Baer12/14/2009; to ARB 3/15/2012South
Classics at BP/Driscoll Pl4100-20 El Camino26Scott Ward, Classic Communities 1998SouthPC
Page Mill Court2700 Ash St24MidPeninsula Housing Coalition4/17/1997NorthPC

4146 El Camino21Ken Hayes forSuChen & ChungChiunJuanin reviewSouth
Compadres site3877 El Camino18Stuart Welte, EID Architects1/20/15 in reviewSouth
Cabana Hotel site,Glenbrook Dr.4290 El Camino14Villages at Creekside Arch.Carrasco9/8/1997SouthPC
Olive Garden site2515-2585 El Camino13Galen Ma & Victor Lo, ECRPA, LLC;
Arch. Ken Hayes
in reviewSouth
AAA Building430 Forest Av13Solnick, Arch.for Sageleaf Forest LLC
(Prabhas Kejriwal)
in reviewNorth
Tanland1072 Tanland12Park Village Assoc, addition to apt complex10/24/2006South
Edgewood Plaza2080 Channing Av
x Embarcadero Rd
10Sand Hill Properties
John Tze (was 8 units)

441 (423-451) Page Mill Road10Stoecker Northway for Norm Schwab2014 in reviewSouth
Alanna Townhomes876 San Antonio Rd9condos

350 (330-350) Forest Av9Premier Properties for Sal Giovannotto
JJ & F College Terrace Center2180 El Camino8Patrick Smailey;
Architect Tony Carrasco
Rank Tech4131 El Camino8Fred Barez; Arch.Hayes Group11/20/2000South
Birch Plaza2650 Birch block; incl. Grant and Sheridan corners8Hohbach Realty11/22/2010North

500 Los Trancos Rd8John Arrillaga; Arch.Mark Thomas1/1/2001North

575 Middlefield Rd8
M. Drab for Mon Fen Lin

3225 El Camino8Hayes Group,Arch. for De Anza
Properties,John Vidovich
in reviewSouth
Wisteria Lane579 Vista Av 6Roxy Rapp, Richard Tanaka MarkThomas Co3/5/1998, 2005South

405 Curtner6Salvador Caruso for ZhenZhen Li2013South
Curtner Court382-384 Curtner Av6Mark Migdal; condominiums6/11/2012South

901 High St6Peter Ko Arch.for
Bettencourt & Santana
in reviewNorth
West Meadow Oaks433 W Meadow Dr5Forrest Mozart, West Meadow Oaks;
sued city re BMR requirement

559 Lytton Av4LyttonPark LP (John Forrest Mozart)
Replace8 rentals w 4 townhomes

420 Cambridge Av4Stuart Welte, Clarum Homes 4/16/2009NorthPC
Hayes Group1795 and 1805 El Camino 2+2 mixed use4Jim Baer; Ken Hayes, Arch10/4/2005North

265 Lytton Av4Michael King for Jim Baer, 505 Hamilton Partners10/13/2009North

385 Sherman Av4Jim Baer for Daniel Minkoff (MF Sherman LLC)
3 story mixed use
in reviewNorth
Shady Lane site429 University Av4Hayes Group for Kipling Post LP, Jaime Wong5/4/15 sent back for redesignNorth

2609-2617 Alma St4Chris Kummerer, Arch. for
Valley One Investment LLC
in reviewSouth

102 University Av3Jos.Bellomo10/10/2006North

342 Hawthorne Av3S. Reller,
Restored Properties

515-518 Georgia Av3

1865-1869 El Camino3K.Hayes for Yeh Jen Fu, El Stanford LLC2/24/1998North

687 Cowper St (651-687)3Menlo Capital;Stephen Reller; K.Hayes Arch.2008 and 2013North

649-653 Homer Av3Amir Shahmirzaon11/10/2008North

413 - 419 Forest Av3Hayes Group on behalf of South PA
Homes; Dennis Levett

635-639 Homer Av3Farzad Ghafari&Golgoun Habibi;
Arch. Solnick

900 N. Calif.Av3Kohler,Arch. subdivide parcel build 3in reviewNorth

145 Hawthorne3Zachary Trailer; Chris Spaulding, Arch.1/16/2014 ?North

3275 El Camino3Kevin DeNardi -retail +3 aptsin reviewSouth

455 Forest Av3David Solnick Applicant/Owner9/10/2007North

260 Homer Av2Jim Baer et al12/6/2005North

797-807Matadero Emma Ct.2Mark Migdal;4 homes replace 210/5/2010South
Old Pro2825-65ElCamino2Jim Baer7/13/2006South
Oak Shadows2051 El Camino2Mehmood Taqui PC7/12/2005NorthPC

718-720 La Para2Tracy Hsu7/10/10, 8/25/11South

969 Lawrence2

116 Melville Av2R. Barnes5/19/2005North

165 Hawthorne Av2Farzad Ghafari; architect D. Solnick8/8/2008North

334 Hawthorne2David Solnick11/10/2005North

644 Forest Av2Henrik Eriksson7/27/2005North

897 Barron Av2Ha Nguyen; Alan Huntzinger Arch.2/20/2007South

739 Webster St2C & E Hay9/18/2006North

4073 El Camino2Hayes Group on behalf of Eton Capital2010South

135 Hamilton2Chop Keenan2013North
Radio Shack /Inhabiture building240 Hamilton2Sal Giovanotto; Arch.Ken HayesAppeal denied
Dec2013Project ok'd

636 Waverley2David Kleiman; Arch.Ken Hayes12/16/2013North
VTA lot2755 El Camino x Page Mill2Pollock Financial Group with Jim Baer;
Arch. Hayes
4 story mixed use;

125-127 Hawthorne Av2Heather Young, FGY Arch.
for HawthornePA LLC
in reviewNorth

103 Melville Av2Danny Raymondin reviewNorth

252 Ramona St2T.Carrasco owner-architectin reviewNorth

640 Waverley St2Ken Hayes for Linnovations LLCAppeal deniedNorth

370 Lowell Av1Stephen Reller9/15/2008North

1449 University1Bogdan Ryczkoinski

339 University (335-339)1Jim Baer for Sal Giovannotto(Vittoria Mgmt)8/10/2005North

325 Lytton Av1Tony Carrasco5/9/2006North

936 Bryant St2Nadr Essabhoy2006North

818-820 Homer Av1Dennis Levett

586 College Av1Yi-Ran Wu for Manar Zarroug10/1/2007North

524 Hamilton Av1Steve Reller 2011North

365 Lincoln1Monty Anderson for T & G Layton2011North

449 Addison Av1Lee and Margo Schmidt2011North
.995 Los Robles1Mircea Voskerician12/20/2013South

2021 Webster St1Amir & Sandra Ben-Effrim4/15/2010North

1845 El Camino1Hayes Group, for Yeh Jen Fu, El StanfordLLC4/24/2013North

2209-15 El Camino x College Av1Karen Kam for Tai Ning Trading1/22/2014North

611-619 Cowper St1Stephen Reller owner, Ken Hayes Arch.8/19/2013North

1935 Webster St1I.E.Davis. Req.bySteve Niethammer
for Dondo LLC


411-437 Lytton Av1Hayes Group for Brad Ehikian &Co.Lot mergerARB 1/15/2015North

636 Middlefield1Steve Smith9/18/2014North

203 Forest Av1203 Forest LLC, David Kleiman; Arch K.Hayesin reviewNorth

820 Los Trancos Woods Rd1PeckDesign for Yoav Shoham/Orit Atzmon
(Walnut Holdings LLC); Open Space Dist
in review

805 Los Trancos1Stuart Weite; Open Space Districtin review

2250 Columbia St1singl.fam. res. David A Gollnickin reviewNorth

2240 Columbia St1singl. fam. res.David A Gollnickin reviewNorth

525 San Antonio Rd0Nov. 2011 PA School District buys
the site for future use.
5/2/11 denied Summerhill
PC request
Lytton Gateway322-355 Alma0Boyd Smith, Lund Smith;
was Shell station; office+commercial

741-749 Webster St-3
C & E Hay; 2 units replace 5
Maybell Properties575-587 Maybell Av
PA Housing Corp.12 mkt rate +60 BMRApprov. July '13; Referendum overturned project Nov'13South

Total Units4069
Total Planned Community

Total North Projects77

Total South Projects40