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Community Meetings Set for San Carlos Transit Village.

Transit Village

Unveiling Updated Plans.

Legacy Partners Residential, developer of the San Carlos Transit Village project, will be unveiling its new plans for the proposed transit-oriented development at two community meetings to be held on Thursday, May 30, 2013 and Wednesday, June 12, 2013 in the San Carlos Library Conference Room A (second floor) from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.  Cake and coffee will be served.

The proposed project has been the subject of many public meetings before the Planning Commission and City Council over the past two years.  The Planning Commission and City Council have approved the Final Environmental Impact Report for the project in setting the stage for consideration of an application for development and design review.  The new plans will be the subject of hearings before the Commission and City Council starting this summer.

“We encourage the residents in San Carlos to attend these two community meetings as we want to listen to what people have to say in going forward with the formal public process,” said Jeff Byrd, partner with Legacy.  “While we have been fully engaged in a mediation process with representatives of the Greater East San Carlos (GESC) organization and will be making a presentation to their Association on May 22, 2013, we want to make sure that folks throughout the community have an opportunity to view the architectural elevations and site plan now under consideration by the City’s Planning Department.”  Ten mediation sessions were facilitated by a professional mediator retained by the City and involved representatives from Legacy, GESC, Samtrans and the City starting in September 2012.

The site of the proposed Transit Village project would include 280 apartments as well as office and retail uses surrounding the historic train depot.   “There has been a vision for the railroad corridor for many years which crystallized in 2004 when SamTrans in concert with the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board and County Transportation Authority issued a Request for Statement of Qualifications to develop a high quality, mixed use, multi-family development on this undeveloped land north and south of the train station.”  Legacy Partners was ultimately selected through this competitive process and first submitted plans to the City in May of 2007.  “We have spent the last eight years in trying to create the best project possible for this site, one that will fit within the fabric of the community.”  “We are proud to have this opportunity to become part of San Carlos which is truly the City of Good Living.”
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Legacy Partners Updates San Carlos on Transit Village Plans.

Informational Meeting.

Last week, in a meeting hosted by the San Carlos Chamber of Commerce, representatives from Legacy Partners presented an update to their vision of the San Carlos Transit Village.   For those of you not familiar with the Transit Village, it’s a concept being considered by the City of San Carlos to significantly modify the land on both sides of the historic train depot in San Carlos by adding retail space, high-end residential rental units, and additional parking.  Legacy Partners was chosen by the City of San Carlos as the lead developer for this concept.

For more information, visit the City of San Carlos page for this:   San Carlos Transit Village.

Updated Presentation.

In last week’s meeting, which was attended by about 30-40 people (including 4 of the 5 City Council members, the City Manager and the Asst. City Manager), Legacy Partners gave a fairly detailed presentation on their vision of the Transit Village, as well as any changes from previous specifications.  For example, the number of luxury rental units in the concept dropped to 280 units.    There was consternation expressed by representatives of the Greater East Side San Carlos group for lack of any mention of the impact to the residents in Clearfield Park in their presentation.

Timing for this project (if it even moves forward) is still pretty far out on the horizon.  The Environmental Impact Report (EIR) still needs to be completed, discussed, and approved before much else can happen.   Consequently, it’s going to be a few years before the first shovel of dirt is turned….if it happens at all.

Legacy Partners was nice enough to provide me with a copy of their presentation to post on the site.   Click here to download it:  Legacy Partners; San Carlos Transit Village 3-16
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The Greater East San Carlos (GESC) Residents Group: Getting Involved…

Train station

Community Groups

I love to see when concerned citizens get organized to constructively improve some facet of life in San Carlos. The White Oaks Neighborhood Organization is great example of a neighborhood that has banded together to help the police fight crime and vandalism. But there’s another well-organized and influential citizen’s group that has been in existence for quite some time, and they’re intimately involved in some of the bigger projects that are being planned for San Carlos in the near future…

The Greater East San Carlos (GESC) Residents Group.

The GESC initially formed a few years back as the Laureola Association, and their focus is to work constructively with the City of San Carlos and their development partners on such key project as the San Carlos Transit Village, High-Speed Rail, and the Holly Street Widening Project to provide critical citizen feedback on these projects. >>> Click Here to Read the Full Post
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The San Carlos Transit Village — It’s Coming…

Transit Village

What is the San Carlos Transit Village?

If the term “Transit Village” doesn’t ring a bell with you, that’s totally understandable.  With recent events such as the ongoing budget crisis and the passage of Measure B stealing all of the headlines, it would be easy to overlook it.  But make no mistake, the San Carlos Transit Village will be one of the most significant developments in San Carlos history, right alongside the 1001 Laurel Street Condos and the Wheeler Plaza Development.

In a nutshell, the San Carlos Transit Village is an ambitious plan to integrate the existing historic San Carlos train station into a bustling, residential/retail complex that will extend to the north and south of the existing train station (on the west side of the tracks.)   SamTrans currently owns this property, and they’ve been working with Legacy Development Partners to come up with the initial rendition and specifications of the plan.  The picture above is an artist’s rendition of the development, and the description below of the project was taken verbatim from the City website:

  1. 4-story residential buildings over parking garages, including four buildings north of Holly Street, and two buildings just south of Holly Street. There are a total of 281 residential housing units, including 105 1-bedroom units, 101 2-bedroom units, and 75 3-bedroom units. 15% of the 281 units will be required to be Below Market Rate (BMR) units.
  2. 34,600 square feet of retail/commercial space housed in three buildings: two are immediately north and south of the San Carlos Train Depot, and the third is in the south wing of a residential building. 15,600 square feet is on the ground floor and 19,000 square feet is on the second floor. Parking spaces are provided for retail users.
  3. 457 total residential garage parking spaces, at a parking ratio of 1.63 spaces/dwelling unit. These garages will be partially underground. In addition, 45 retail spaces and 226 CalTrain parking spaces are provided.
  4. On top of the 8 new buildings, a multi-modal transit station and drop-off point is proposed just south of the historic train depot, in the parking lot. A pedestrian plaza and public gathering space in front of the historic depot are also proposed.

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There’s Much More Info…

Al Savay, the Community Development Director in San Carlos, has done an outstanding job organizing the various aspects of the project and posting them on the City of San Carlos Website.   For more information, simply click on the links below:

San Carlos Transit Village Project Description

Retail Analysis

Project Updates

Fiscal Analysis

Project Management

Also, I have created a separate category on the site that’s just for the San Carlos Transit Village.  Just click this link and you’ll see all of the article that I’ve written about it (and there will be more!)

Your Thoughts?

What do you think of this project?  Let’s hear what you have to say –  just click the comment link below and let everyone know whether you think this is a winner…or not.

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High-Speed Rail through San Carlos? Count on it.

high-speed-rail

California High Speed Rail Initiative

With all of the news about the various fiscal challenges facing San Carlos (Measure B, City Budget Cuts), one critical intiative that will greatly impact all neighborhoods in San Carlos and surrounding communities on the Peninsula seems to almost be flying below the radar:  The proposed California High-Speed Rail System.

With the passage of Proposition 1A on last year’s ballot, the path has been cleared for the development of a high speed rail network that will connect the major cities within California.  This initiative is being aggressively pushed by policitians in California and Washington alike, and seems to moving forward at the speed of….well, a bullet train.   (When was the last time our state government moved that fast on anything?)

Impact on San Carlos

Since the plan is to utilize the existing Caltrain right-of-way, this new rail system will run right through the heart of San Carlos and other Peninsula communities as the map below demonstrates:

rail-map

San Carlos residents get involved…

The residents of San Carlos who face the greatest impact of the high speed rail system are those on the east side just adjacent to the existing tracks.    The Greater East Side San Carlos coalition, which seems to be very busy lately tackling other issues like the San Carlos Transit Village, has joined forces with other communities up and down the Peninsula to form a unified voice that hopes to influence key design considerations with the new rail system.

Just this past week, San Carlos hosted a meeting with Palo Alto’s brethren group, known as The California Advocates for Responsible Rail Design, which is also actively soliciting the participation of other Peninsula communities.    The hope is that with an increasingly larger voice, they will have input on the look and feel of the rail system that they will ultimately inherit.

Your thoughts?

What do you think about a high-speed rail system running through San Carlos?  Should it even be running up the Peninsula at all?    Weigh in by posting a comment below…

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The San Carlos Transit Village?

Did you know that the City of San Carlos is seriously considering the construction of “The San Carlos Transit Village” that will essentially surround the existing historic Caltrain Depot? If you didn’t know about it, don’t worry — neither did I until yesterday. I must live in a cave or something. The picture above is actually the engineer’s rendition of what the San Carlos Transit Village will look like when it’s done. You can clearly see the old Depot if you looks closely.

According to the city website, this proposed development will incorporate 281 residential units and over 34,000 square feet of retail space on the 8.7 acres that adjoin the train tracks. This is no small project!

Because this will significantly change the look of El Camino and the existing train station, the City is hosting an Open House to present the project and answer any questions you might have. Here’s the details of the Open House:

  • Wednesday, January 23 — 7:00-9:00PM, San Carlos Library. Go to the second floor conference rooms A & B.

For more info on the project and the Open House, click here —> San Carlos Transit Village

I need to get out more often….


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Are you ready to step up to the most comprehensive data available about the San Carlos Real Estate market? Then subscribe to the White Oaks Blog for free by clicking here. Be sure to follow the White Oaks Blog on Facebook at https://Facebook.com/WhiteOaksBlog , and on Twitter @WhiteOaksBlog.
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