Decision looms for unused Foster City plot

The 15 acres of dirt next to City Hall is more than just undeveloped land to local leaders.

It’s a potential gathering spot for residents, much-needed housing for Foster City seniors and the source of revenue the city knows it will need in five years. And although the City Council could choose a developer for the site tonight, the decision will likely be delayed while questions are answered and input is gathered.

“We’re not in any major hurry,” Councilwoman Linda Koelling said. “We want to make sure that the decision we make is for the betterment of the community. I’m sure we still have a lot of questions, so I don’t think a decision could be made on Monday.”

While the site, considered to be Foster City’s final plot of undeveloped land, has always been important for development, it took on greater urgency at the May 14 budget meeting.

As declining development and extensive improvement projects drain the city’s Capital Improvement Project budget, Administrative Services Director Steve Toler said the revenue generated by housing and retail sales at the site are key to keeping Foster City financially above water.

“Our funds are dropping as we spend money to fund the synthetic turf at Catamaran and Sea Cloud parks, so we have to put things in place now to be able to generate revenues and maintain the existing service levels,” he said.

At an April 30 meeting — at which the three possible developers presented their ideas — a number of residents asked the council to take its time in selecting a contractor.

Although the three projects varied in scope and amenities, each developer aims to turn the land into 11 acres of multistory retail and commercial space with affordable senior housing options and open space for community events. Four acres of the site are earmarked to house the planned Foster City charter high school.

Each of the potential developers is a partnership between construction and nonprofit organizations. The first team is comprised of Pacific Retirement Services Inc., the Jewish Home of San Francisco and Sares-Regis Group of Northern California. The second is Bridge Housing, Pacific Union Development Co. and Retail West, and the final group is a partnership between A.F. Evans Co. and Crosspoint RealtyServices.

“It needs a lot of working through, I think there’s a lot to be done,” Foster City resident Rochelle Goldman said. “I don’t think that they can approve any one of those plans right off the bat.”

The City Council meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. today in council chambers, 620 Foster City Blvd.

jgoldman@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocalPeninsula

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Ali Jamalian, whose life was disrupted in the wake of being charged with possession decades ago, now heads up Sunset Connect, a cannabis manufacturing company. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Green Rush: Cannabis equity program elevates unexpected entrepreneurs

‘It’s a form of reparations for those of us who were ruined by cannabis arrest’

The Giants and Dodgers face each other again following a May series the Dodgers swept; Dodgers shortstop Gavin Lux caught stealing by Giants second baseman Donovan Solano at Oracle Park on May 23 is pictured. 
Chris Victorio/
Special to The Examiner
Giants vs. Dodgers: What you need to know before this week’s huge series

By Chris Haft Special to The Examiner That grinding noise you’ll hear… Continue reading

San Francisco supervisors approved zoning changes that will allow a chain grocery store to occupy the bottom floor of the 555 Fulton St. condo building. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Trader Joe’s approved for Hayes Valley, bringing long-awaited grocery store

New Seasons Market canceled plans at 555 Fulton St. citing construction delays

Shek-Woon Ng, 107, who retired at 99 from his acupuncture practice in San Francisco’s Chinatown, got a COVID-19 vaccination in June. <ins>(Courtesy Sky Link TV)</ins>
Lesson from a 107-year-old man who is now fully vaccinated

One in four seniors in S.F.’s Chinatown have not been inoculated

Most Read