The Sobrato Organization has submitted an application to construct a new 249,500 square-foot, four-story office building and a new four-level parking structure with approximately 1,276 spaces at 162-164 Jefferson Drive. The site contains two existing four-story office buildings, each approximately 130,000 square feet in size, to remain on the project site. The total existing and proposed office development on the parcel would be approximately 510,000 square feet.
As part of the ConnectMenlo General Plan and Zoning Ordinance update, the site was rezoned to O-B (Office, Bonus). The proposed project utilizes the bonus levels for density and height in exchange for community benefits, as defined through the ConnectMenlo process. The proposed project is commonly referred to as Commonwealth Corporate Center Building 3.
City staff is evaluating the revised project proposal to refine the review process, tentative project schedule, required land use entitlements, and the appropriate level of environmental review. It is anticipated that the following land use entitlements would be applicable to the proposed project:
Conditional Development Permit (CDP) revision
Below Market Rate (BMR) housing agreement
On June 3, 2019, an EIR scoping session and study session were held by the Planning Commission to gather public comments and Commissioner feedback on the proposed EIR scope and updated project plans. A notice of preparation and initial study are available in the Related Documents column of this webpage. Comments are being accepted through June 28, 2019, and can be emailed to Tom Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or sent by letter to Tom Smith, Senior Planner, Community Development Department, 701 Laurel Street, Menlo Park, CA 94025.
On August 27, 2018, the proposal was reviewed at a Planning Commission study session. The Commission's feedback on the proposal included a request to explore a parking ratio on the site below three spaces per 1,000 square feet of gross floor area. The August study session was held in response to feedback received from the Planning Commission at a March 26, 2018, study session.
At the March 2018 study session, the Planning Commission reviewed an initial version of the proposed project. The original proposal included a new six-story office building, approximately 320,000 square feet in size, and a new five-story parking structure with all levels above ground and approximately 1,560 spaces. The total existing and proposed office development on the parcel was nearly 580,000 square feet. The Commission’s feedback on the original proposal included the following points:
Consider removing one to two stories and lowering the overall height of the proposed office building
Consider reducing the parking ratio on the proposed site to less than three spaces per 1,000 square feet of GFA
Modify the architecture of the proposed office building to meet the 55-foot base height design standard for bonus level development in the O zoning district, instead of requesting a modification to this requirement through the use permit(The base height is the maximum height of a building before its upper stories are required to step back horizontally from the building’s base footprint)
Modify the architecture of the proposed parking structure to reduce its size and massing, provide better screening of the parking areas, and improve its relationship with the other buildings on the site
Provide better activation of areas on the site indicated as publicly accessible open spaces, especially with regard to the triangular area behind the proposed parking structure
An initial study has been prepared for the project. Based on the initial study findings, a focused environmental impact report (EIR) will be prepared for topics that require further analysis. The notice of preparation and initial study are available for review online, and comments are being accepted through June 28, 2019.