Last remnant of racetrack erased 

The two-story-high sign alongside U.S. Highway 101 in San Mateo marking the exit to Bay Meadows Racetrack is coming down this week.

Crews on Wednesday began work on removing the sign that has adorned the side of the freeway for decades. It will take a week to remove.

San Mateo Senior Planner Darcy Forsell said the developer will work from the backside of the sign and remove the marquee before taking down the pedestal it sits on.

“It’s in a difficult spot,” she said. “It’s between houses and it’s electrical, though it’s been black for years.”
Work will not affect traffic on Highway 101, Forsell said.

The sign is the last visible marker indicating the site of the former horse racetrack, which was where Seabiscuit made himself famous and the first photo finish was taken.

The 74-year-old racetrack was demolished in 2008 to make way for an 83.5-acre development. The project includes 1,171 residential units, 715,000 square feet of office space and 93,000 square feet of retail space.

Developers expect to break ground on the first homes in 2011.

Site development, grading and installation of roadway and utilities are expected to begin this month.

Final approval and building permits of 12 acres of in the northeast corner have not been given, according to Forsell.

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