Millbrae salvages downtown development plan

Millbrae’s $250 million downtown development plan near the BART/Caltrain station, endangered by California’s proposed high-speed rail project, appears to have been saved.

The 10-year-old development, dubbed Site One by officials, is projected to bring in hundreds of condos right by the Peninsula’s transit hub, along with a movie theater and retail stores.

The Pacheco Pass, one of the proposed routes for the high-speed rail line, was set to stop at the Millbrae station to connect with BART and Caltrain. City officials originally believed the train would require two extra tracks, a parking structure and security fencing.

Under that alignment, the city would have to rethink its redevelopment plans or scrap them altogether, Community Development Director Ralph Petty said at the time.

The city has worked with the San Mateo County Transit District since late October, however, and has worked out a situation in which the high-speed rail, which would zip riders between San Francisco and Los Angeles in just more than 2½ hours, will use existing Caltrain right-of-way tracks as it passes through Millbrae, City Manager Ralph Jaeck said.

As a result, the city’s redevelopment plans should not have to change pending an investigation by a city-hired engineer, he said.

The solution is particularly important as the High Speed Rail Authority decides today on a route for the $40 billion train: the aforementioned Pacheco Pass or the Altamont Pass, which cuts from the Central Valley to the East Bay.

But the city’s plans are not completely saved yet. Developers need to acquire two-thirds of the land around the station by buying out surrounding businesses before construction can begin. Developers, who have already been given multiple deadline extensions, are expected to purchase the property before they meet with the City Council in January, Jaeck said.

If the land is not acquired by the deadline, the city would change its plans, find other developers, or give another extension, Jaeck said.

Developer Dan Rogers declined to comment on the status of the property acquisition after he said in October that he had 40 percent of the land purchased.

By the numbers

» Eight acres of land; development on five acres

» 231 condominiums

» 105,000 square feet of retail

» 131-room hotel

» Six-screen art-house cinema

» 40,000 square feet of office space

» 900-space, two-story underground parking garage

» Station square community area

– Source: City of Millbrae

mrosenberg@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

The Medical Examiner's Office van on Tuesday, April 23, 2019. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
San Francisco’s 2020 overdose deaths soar 59 percent to 699

Fatal drug overdoses surged by nearly 59 percent in San Francisco last… Continue reading

Police Commissioner John Hamasaki questions Chief Bill Scott at City Hall on Wednesday, May 15, 2019. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFPD should probe whether officers joined Capitol raid, commissioners say

Chief unaware of any members participating in insurrection

Homeless people's tents can be seen on Golden Gate Avenue in the Tenderloin on Wednesday afternoon, Dec. 16, 2020. (Photo by Ekevara Kitpowsong/S.F. Examiner)
Statewide business tax could bring new funds to combat homelessness

San Francisco could get more than $100 million a year for housing, rental assistance, shelter beds

The Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco (a mural by artist Jamie Treacy is pictued) has a lineup of free online programming including activities for youngsters scheduled for Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 18. (Courtesy Demetri Broxton/Museum of the African Diaspora)
Stanford, Museum of the African Diaspora host MLK Day activities

Online offerings include films, music, discussion

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi presides the US House of Representatives vote on the impeachment of US President Donald Trump at the US Capitol, January 13, 2021, in Washington, DC. - The Democrat-controlled US House of Representatives on January 13 opened debate on a historic second impeachment of President Donald Trump over his supporters' attack of the Capitol that left five dead. (SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images/TNS)
House votes 232-197 to impeach Trump a second time

Focus shifts to Senate, where McConnell has signaled he may not stand by president

Most Read