LOCUS developer project will turn strip mall into transit-oriented development

It’s an all too common sight throughout the U.S.: a big-box retailer surrounded by a sea of parking lots, with a gas station near the entrance, the whole area spotted with a handful of token trees.

LOCUS Steering Committee member Ed Lipkin and his firm EBL & S Development had other ideas for a generic lot just like this in San Mateo, Calif.

His project, Station Park Green, is a transit-oriented, mixed-use development that will be located on a site once home to a Kmart, Michaels and a gas station. The 12-acre project will include 599 residential units, 10,000 square feet of office facilities, over 60,000 square feet of retail.

Located adjacent to Hayward Park Station, one of the most underused stations in Caltrain system — a commuter rail that runs from San Jose to San Francisco — Station Park Green has the opportunity to transform a pedestrian unfriendly neighborhood into a walkable, mixed-use hub that could inspire further investment in the area.

This model transit-oriented village has a large park in its center that is fronted by housing and retail.

“The idea is to eliminate as many of the car-based necessity trips as possible,” Lipkin told Reuters about the project and his interest in smart growth development, specifically transit-oriented development. “[Station Park Green] was the opportunity to participate in what we felt was an emerging trend. We just feel it’s the future of development in the United States.”

Earlier this year, the San Mateo city council unanimously approved the development project. Council member John Lee said that he is “absolutely in favor of this project. It’s a dynamite project, 599-units right next to the train station. It’s outstanding. We need the housing, and it ties right in with the jobs [real estate firm] Hines is going to create right next door. We feel the housing market is going to make a comeback and people will want to live in a place that is next to transit, shopping and jobs.”

The development has already received a Gold rating for LEED for Neighborhood Development, the U.S. Green Building Council’s system that evaluates neighborhood design on principles of smart growth, green buildings and new urbanism.

Are you a developer working on smart growth development projects like Station Park Green? Join Ed Lipkin and the LOCUS coalition of responsible real estate developers: become a member of LOCUS today.

Images: City of San Mateo