Stanford University is proposing to construct a two-story, 39,510-square-foot office building at 2131 Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park, across from the Sharon Heights Shopping Center.
According to the proposal, the structure would have two stories of underground parking and include a 500-square-foot exercise room.
The property is in unincorporated San Mateo County, but would be incorporated into the city of Menlo Park as part of a parcel that is also home to the office leased by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and a second parcel with a single-family home on it.
Between the two parcels, the amount of land to be annexed into Menlo Park would be about 14 acres.
In May 2016, the City Council approved a $97,000 contract to conduct an environmental review of what the impacts would be if the city of Menlo Park annexed the two Stanford parcels, according to a staff report.
Stanford still has to finish that study, work out an agreement with the city over how the area will be zoned, and get the annexation cleared by the San Mateo County Local Agency Formation Commission, which has jurisdiction over the boundaries of cities and special districts.
On Feb. 1, the city's Housing Commission approved staff recommendations to require Stanford to build two below-market-rate housing units as part of its mandated contribution to the city's below-market-rate housing supply. When new commercial structures are built in the city, developers must either pay a per-square-foot fee or agree to build housing units off-site. If Stanford does not build the housing units, it would have to pay $615,170 in below-market-rate housing fees.
Since the Sand Hill Road property to be annexed won't be zoned to allow more housing, the two below-market-rate units could be built at Stanford's proposed mixed-use development at 500 El Camino Real in Meno Park, if that complex is approved by the city. Stanford has proposed to build 215 apartments there.
According to Jim Cogan, Menlo Park's housing and economic development manager, the Housing Commission requested a check-in with Stanford in two years. If, at that point, the commission decides it will take too long for the housing units to be built, it might ask that the fees be paid instead.
The amount of the fee could increase in the interim. The City Council had a discussion about doing just that in July 2016. Right now, the city charges a below-market-rate housing fee of $15.57 per square foot of new office space, but that could rise to $25 to $50 per square foot.