Monday: Menlo Park commission weighs major renovation at Sharon Green apartments

During renovations, residents won't be able to live there

The Sharon Green apartments, located at 350 Sharon Park Drive in Menlo Park, which sold in December 2015 for what could be a Peninsula record – $245 million, or $828,000 per unit – may soon be undergoing major renovations.

The new owner, Maximus Real Estate, plans to remodel the exteriors of the 18 apartment buildings and three accessory buildings, renovate the interiors of the 296 apartments, and change the landscaping at the 15.6-acre site.

The proposal will go before the Menlo Park Planning Commission on Monday, Sept. 12, for architectural review.

Residents displaced, higher rents

Pending approval, the project could begin as soon as spring 2017 and will be completed in five phases over two years, said Dave Ruth, director of capital projects at Maximus.

While renovations are underway, residents won't be able to live there. There may be other units in the Sharon Green apartments available, or people may move off of the property, Mr. Ruth said.

Current tenants will be given first priority to move back, though rent increases are expected.

"Since rents reflect the market, it is not possible to know what the market rates will be in the future," he said.

Currently, rents range from $3,200 a month for an 810-square-foot, one-bedroom apartment to $5,550 for a 1,466-square-foot, three-bedroom apartment, according to the Sharon Green apartments website.

Transforming apartments

The apartments were completed in 1970, and, according to Mr. Ruth, the plans reflect the new owner's intentions to "(transform) this nearly 50-year-old property into a modern, 21st-century garden community," he said.

Plans show the building exteriors would have the facades redone. On the inside of the apartments, the owner plans to repaint walls and swap out appliances and fixtures for more energy-efficient and low-flow models.

Apartments would get washers and dryers, according to a staff report. The three laundry buildings would be converted into areas with kitchens and seating areas for residents to use, according to Kaitlin Meador, Menlo Park associate planner.

Designs to shake up the site's landscaping include cutting down 39 heritage trees and building an "adventure playground" for kids, a new courtyard with barbecues and furniture near the pool, and an open turf area and bocce ball court, according to Ms. Meador.

The pool, spa and tennis courts would be revamped, with one court slated to be converted into a basketball court, she said. The on-site clubhouse would also undergo renovations, and would include an expanded fitness area and social area, including a natural-gas fireplace, according to Mr. Ruth.

Commission meeting

The Menlo Park Planning Commission will meet Monday, Sept. 12, starting at 7 p.m., in the council chambers at 701 Laurel St. in the Civic Center. Read the agenda here or watch the meeting online.

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Like this comment
Posted by MPer
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 9, 2016 at 10:01 am

sounds good. these people deserve to have nicer digs for those rents!

Like this comment
Posted by higher rents ahead
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 9, 2016 at 10:27 am

Expensive improvements but no new units means higher rents. Just what the housing shortage needs.

This site is near shopping and a park, and not far from businesses. Live, Work, Play.
So why not more housing??? This is a lost opportunity.

1 person likes this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Sep 9, 2016 at 12:34 pm

MPer: Sadly, once the digs are nicer, the rents will go up. We just received a rent increase notice for the coming year, before any improvements have been done.

Like this comment
Posted by Apple
a resident of Atherton: other
on Sep 9, 2016 at 4:25 pm

@higher rents ahead

Would the Sharon Heights area be welcoming of more density? If not, maybe what happened to the Maybell development scared Maximum away from expanding.

It's tough to build high density housing in rich parts of town. The rich have money, lawyers, and political clout to fight back.

Like this comment
Posted by What
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Sep 10, 2016 at 11:40 am

This place is already charging insane rents for units that haven't been renovated is ages. $3200 for a 1 bedroom? What will it be after? $5000 for a 1 bedroom, 10,000 for 2?

Like this comment
Posted by Local
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Sep 10, 2016 at 11:42 am

Town: please require some affordable below market rents in exchange for turning yet another place into luxury housing only.

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Atherton: West of Alameda

on Sep 25, 2017 at 6:27 am

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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