This story originally appeared in the Daily Post on Wednesday. To get all the local news first, pick up the Morning Post at 1,000 Mid-Peninsula locations.
BY EMILY MIBACH
Daily Post Writer
SRI International wants to redevelop its 63-acre campus at Menlo Park in an area that would have at least 400 apartments as well as some of the research institute’s offices.
The project will condense SRI’s 38 buildings on the 333 Ravenswood Ave campus. into nine office buildings, some of which could be leased to other companies, according to Mark Murray, director of Lane Partners, the developer working for SRI.
The project was named Parkline.
Murray stressed that no additional office space will be added to the area, retaining the roughly 1.3 million square feet of research and development space that currently sits between downtown Menlo Park and the Menlo-Atherton High School.
In addition to the nine office buildings, SRI is proposing to construct five apartment buildings along Laurel Street. A sixth building can also be added along Laurel Street, a “potential civic / community building” is proposed across from Town Hall and Burgess Park. What this community facility will look like will be a “talking point” as Lane Partners and SRI outreach to residents and the city.
Lane Partners has not set a maximum number of apartments for the project, according to Murray. However, Murray said his team would work closely with the city and residents to determine if additional housing is actually desired for the site.
“We are balancing the need to provide housing solutions while respecting the campus location close to existing single family homes,” Murray said.
The council urged Facebook to add housing to its Willow Village Project. Facebook has gone from 1,500 homes initially offered to 1,729 in the five years since the social media company first unveiled the project.
Besides housing, another novelty of the SRI campus will be that almost all of its grounds will be open to the public. Murray told the Post that only a small portion of the land will be closed for research purposes, but that will not impact the atmosphere of the park for which development is planned.
A small amount of retail is planned at the corner of Middlefield Road and Ravenswood, across from Menlo-Atherton High School. There are no firm plans as to what will happen in this space, but the development website suggests a juice bar or bicycle repair station.
“We are delighted to embark on this once in a generation journey,” Murray said in a statement. “This plan will convert the current research campus in the heart of Menlo Park into a new neighborhood. “
Menlo Park City Councilor Jen Wolosin, whose District 3 includes the SRI campus, said she looks forward to the review process, where the project will be reviewed on its own merits and in relation to the update. of the city’s housing plan, which is only just beginning.
The IRS proposal will go through the state’s environmental impact review process, which includes studying issues such as traffic, noise, light, and air pollution and whether the project will increase the need for more housing.
Lane Partners and SRI will be holding a series of meetings starting in July to hear feedback on the project and keep residents informed.
“SRI has been an integral part of this community since before Silicon Valley became a household name – we are proud to have deep roots in Menlo Park,” SRI CEO William Jeffrey said in a statement. “With this redevelopment, we are delighted to continue to build on our long history of discoveries that make people safer, healthier and more productive.
SRI opened in 1946 with funding from Stanford and has long been a technology leader, with the hands to invent Siri, LCD screens, the computer mouse, and the Internet itself. The research campus separated from Stanford in the 1970s.
SRI is not the only property in the area that could be redeveloped. Our eyes have long been on the nearby USGS campus at 345 Middlefield Road. The federal agency will be vacating its campus by next year and the federal government was planning to sell the property. Both Congressmen Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, and Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo, said they wanted housing at the site.
Previously, Menlo Park city councilor Ray Mueller had pitched the idea of letting people living in motorhomes park at the site before the sale ended. Mueller worked with Eshoo’s office, federal officials, and San Mateo County Supervisor Warren Slocum, but ultimately found out that letting RVs park at the site would take an act of Congress.
Currently, the site is zoned for public faculties, so unless another government entity purchases the property and wants to build an office there, the property will need to be rezoned if it is to be used for other purposes. No proposal has been made regarding the USGS campus.