Keeping The Conversation Lively

Foster City Planning Commission – Traffic Study from Foster City Television on Vimeo.

Isn’t it interesting that for every action, there truly is an equal and opposite reaction? It would appear that along with the proposed new developments in Foster City is also coming opposition to that growth. There’s a website called Save Foster City that’s expressing opposition to, it appears, the new developments coming to this town. These projects being an expanded Gilead Sciences and Chess Drive ProjectThe Mirabella/Parkview Plaza Project , and the Pilgrim-Triton Project   It’s kind of unclear to me whether they want these projects scaled back, want just some projects scaled back…or don’t want any of them at all. I’ve been on record here as being excited about the possibilites that these projects, in my opinion, will bring to Foster City. I can’t imagine bringing this many jobs to Foster City having a negative impact on anything. Having a heavyweight like Gilead Sciences, for example, make this kind of an investment in FC is a terrific thing.

The problems that have been articulated fall this way: Too many buildings, too much height, big traffic problems, too expensive for citizens, public land used for private residences, and reduced property values. I know that this is just one guy’s opinion but here goes: The 15 acre site has been vacant forever. Unfortunately, there’s never going to be a public High School built there. What better use could there be for that site than a senior/town center type of development? It will certainly pay for itself. Why is the 14 story building a problem? Because it’ll effect the views from a small handful of condos on Foster City Blvd at the Admiralty? Aren’t they currently impacted by the JCC, City Hall and the Fire Station? Wouldn’t they have been impacted just as much if a public High School was built on that site? I guess you could say that the views from condos at the Islands have been effected by the Metro Center or Parkview Towers…but it sure didn’t impact their values.

The traffic issue is certainly a very valid concern. Above, you’ll find a 34 minute video of a presentation given to the planning commission by Fehr & Peers transportation consultants that pretty much covers this whole issue…including Pilgrim-Triton. If you’re of a mind too, I would encourage you to watch it. Even though it plays at times like, well…a traffic video, it’s very informative. Their recommendations, if enacted, sure look like they would have the desired impact insuring that “gridlock” will be avoided. I realize we have the issue of who’ll pay for it…I’m sure there will be plenty of discussion about that going forward too.

There’s a lot of things that I’m not sure of in these details, but here’s one thing that I am sure of. These projects will not negatively impact property values. I’ve said this before, the biggest single objection I get as a real estate agent about Foster City is “there’s no there there.” Mirabella/Parkview Plaza and Pilgrim-Triton will offer possible destinations for people to go to. If they’re done right I guarantee you that one day homes will be sold on Goldhunter or Pilgrim or Comet and condos will be sold at the Admiralty or City Homes and the listings will say “great location close to shopping and dining” or “walk to downtown” or something in that vein. There’s plenty of other Peninsula communities that have similar projects near residential and they’re thriving. I don’t know, I don’t think this is “paving paradise and putting up a parking lot”. Assuming that these projects are done right they’ll be a good thing for Foster City for years to come. Below is a link to the hard copy on thr traffic study, just in case you would like to read it.



Pilgrim-Triton Project

This is the second large scale development under way in Foster City that will bring about even more change to this town in the coming years. The project will allow mixed commercial, industrial and residential uses on almost 21 acres. The proposal includes replacing approximately 289,000 square feet of commercial space in existing 1 and 2 story buildings with up to 296,000 square feet of commercial, industrial and office space in mid-rise buildings, an approximately one acre park and up to 730 units of housing. The business park environment is becoming obsolete in that area and this bold plan will breathe new life into it. I’m game for more restaurants!The project is in the master plan phase and an Environmental Impact Report is due soon. There has been some opposition to this project from some residents who worry that the height and density of the development will overwhelm the surrounding residential area. I’ll keep saying it (only because it’s true!). Foster City is really poised to become a destination spot. In 10 years it will be as strong a location as any in Northern California. Here’s a link to more about this project:PilgrimTriton