Townhouses reinstate racehorses during San Mateo redevelopment site

November 10, 2015 - garden totes

Don’t worry rooting around online in hunt of wagering details, lane blueprint or a stakes calendar for Bay Meadows.

You won’t find any of it.

Instead, you’ll find info about pop-up yoga sessions and an eventuality called “Explore a World of Kale.” You’ll find cinema of people with sleeve tattoos, cinema of people ascent fixed-gear bicycles and boarding commuter trains, cinema of people lugging around straw receptacle bags superfluous with uninformed furnish and grinning like they usually won Powerball. You’ll find leasing announcements. You’ll find cupcakes. You’ll find artisanal coffee. You’ll find community.

Welcome to a new Bay Meadows.

In 2008, Bay Meadows Racetrack, a storied and unequivocally many old-school racer equine racing trickery usually south of San Francisco, was shuttered after scarcely 75 years in operation. The iconic racetrack was subsequently demolished, grandstands and all, to make approach for 1,066 new housing units for a fast flourishing city of San Mateo.

Bay Meadows RacetrackBay Meadows Racetrack in 2006, dual years before a closure. The mythological trickery non-stop in 1934. (Photo: Erick Muñiz/flickr)

The predestine of Bay Meadows Racetrack, once home to a mythological Seabiscuit, isn’t unique. The racing attention is in decline and it has been for some time. Prestige comforts such as Pimlico, Belmont, Saratoga and Churchill Downs sojourn mostly defence to changeable open opinion on equine racing, attention infighting and a arise of casino-based gambling. However, long-standing racing venues like Bay Meadows haven’t been so lucky. And in equine racing, we need all a aptness we can get.

One by one, these once clearly certain sports facilities, incompetent to container a stands utterly like they used to, have been razed and, in a process, liberated adult vast parcels of underutilized land in primo locations in a process.

And so, an increasingly common — and fascinating — breed of infill project has emerged in new years: a aged equine racing track.

Across a country, you’ll find cookie-cutter housing developments, informal sell centers and mixed-use communities rising where depressed racetracks once stood. Last year, work commenced on Hollywood Park, a sprawling, 388-acre expansion on a site of what was once Los Angeles’ mythological racer racetrack. Beulah Park, outward of Columbus, Ohio, Garden State Park Racetrack in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and New York’s Parr Meadows are now — or will eventually be — home to mixed-used developments with an importance on high-density housing.

And afterwards there’s Bay Meadows.

Aerial shot, Bay Meadows, San MateoA perspective of things to come: An over painting of a 83-acre Bay Meadows development. (Rendering: Bay Meadows)

Trains, bike bondage and not-too-many automobiles

Now roughly 35 percent finish after violation belligerent in 2012, Bay Meadows strives to be conflicting from other racetrack infill projects.

Flush with open immature space and compelling car-free-ish living, sustainability is placed front and core during this 83-acre “mid-urban” infill development. Targeting family-forming millennials who crave a preference and coherence of civic vital yet are also severely looking to put down roots, Bay Meadows, if anything, is positively a usually racetrack-replacing mixed-use expansion to show new homeowners with a bicycle as a acquire gift.

It goes yet observant that walking, cycling and holding full advantage of a adjacent Caltrain commuter rail hire is a approach of life during this transit-oriented devise (one of a largest in California) grown by Wilson Meany in and with financial partner Stockbridge Capital.

A new consult conducted among stream Bay Meadows residents showed that 85 percent cite to bike or travel when selling or dining in a area. The expansion itself offers a network of dedicated bike and walking paths while San Mateo, as a whole, is regarded as an unusually cyclist-friendly city.

Bay Meadows residents and their code new PUBLIC bike.New home, new set of wheels: Homeowners in a Brightside area accept a Dutch city bike from PUBLIC. (Photo: Bay Meadows)

Twenty-eight percent of Bay Meadows residents surveyed explain to invert around Caltrain on a unchanging basement while 50 percent float it monthly. Replacing a shuttered Bay Meadows station, Hillsdale is one of 3 Caltrain stations in a city of San Mateo. Positioned roughly equidistance between San Francisco and a tech hubs of Silicon Valley, northbound internal trains from Hillsdale hire to San Francisco run about roughly 45 minutes. Southbound trains cancel in a southernmost territory of a Santa Clara Valley in Gilmore.

Just conflicting a marks — and El Camino Real highway — from Hillsdale hire is Hillsdale Shopping Center, a largest informal selling mall in San Mateo County.

Brennan Brockbank and his husband, Josh, are a excellent instance of dual Bay Meadows residents who welcome San Mateo’s half-way-ish locality on a Caltrain corridor. Toting a folding bike, Brennan takes a sight south to his pursuit as a scholarship preparation personality in Mountain View (eight stations away) while Josh creates a daily invert north to his San Francisco bureau (nine stations away). It’s a friendly small “dual-commute” set-up if there ever was one.

Brennan BrockbankSmart expansion value smiling about: Resident Brennan Brockbank frequently ditches his automobile for a bicycle and commuter rail. (Photo: Bay Meadows)

And yes, a integrate — they changed to their Bay Meadows townhome in mid-2014 — still possess a automobile … they usually frequency use it. Says Brennan: “My father and we have always been vast on roving a bikes, yet — now that we’re located so tighten to cafes and shops and right on a Caltrain line, there will infrequently be a week that goes by and we don’t have to get in my car. That’s a genuine joy!”

It’s transparent where Bay Meadows homeowners like Brennan and Josh are going to for work yet where are they entrance from to live?

As it turns out, it’s separate flattering evenly: 30 percent surveyed are San Francisco refugees; 30 percent accost from a South Bay (Santa Clara, San Jose, Cupertino and other Silicon Valley communities); and 30 percent, including Brennan and Josh, changed to a expansion from within San Mateo County. The remaining 10 percent of new homeowners have relocated from offer afield.

And on a subject of surveys, a quintet of LEED-certified bureau buildings charity a sum of 780,000 block feet of blurb space along with 41,000 block feet of sell will be finished during Bay Meadows over a entrance years. One building, a built-on-spec Station 4, is now underneath construction and has already been entirely leased to Palo Alto-based digital polling powerhouse SurveyMonkey with a Jun 2016 occupancy date.

Station 4 and a Town Square during Bay Meadows, San MateoLocated adjacent to a Hillsdale Caltrain station, construction on a initial of Bay Meadows’ 5 blurb bureau buildings is underway. (Rendering: Bay Meadows)

Green digs for amicable butterflies

Designed by St. Louis-based mega-firm HOK Architects, a 210,000-square-foot Station 4 is strategically located conflicting from a Hillsdale Caltrain hire within a beginning-to-gain-a-pulse blurb heart of Bay Meadows, a Town Square.

Described as an “energetic and energetic civic core” and a “destination for everybody to applaud life in motion,” a European plaza-influenced Town Square will, when completed, underline a sharp-witted brew of sell and dining (“Boisterous path cafes!” Local workman mercantiles!” A farmers market!) along with other amenities. And, as mentioned, Hillsdale Shopping Center is radically right conflicting a travel … and what some-more do young, upwardly mobile Bay Area residents need than a Trader Joe’s, Nordstrom and an Apple Store? Not much.

Of course, each bourgeoning encampment also needs a categorical drag in that to see and be seen, right? At Bay Meadows, Delaware Street will offer this purpose and afterwards some. To be eventually flanked by a biergarten, pop-up sell kiosks and outside aptness stations (residents and visitors can drink, emporium and practice yet not indispensably in that order), Delaware Street will be a amicable heart of Bay Meadows.

Delaware Street, Bay Meadows, San MateoPing-pong parks and bocce courts: Welcome to Delaware Street, Bay Meadows’ super-social categorical drag. (Rendering: Bay Meadows)

Referring to Delaware Street as a “a long-term halt judgment that uses a collection of activity and park spaces rather than business to emanate a neighborhood’s categorical travel of amicable activity,” CMG Landscape Architecture goes on to detail a programming that Bay residents can pattern in a not-so-distant future:

In a approach utterly identical to bustling blurb streets, locals competence find themselves drawn to Delaware Street many times in a given week for a accumulation of destinations and reasons, infrequently even usually to travel and suffer a amicable context. Anchored by a Town Square on one end, a length of a travel is automatic during a edges by a drink garden, eventuality lawn, pitch garden, ice cream stand, aptness lot, ping-pong park grove, bocce courts, tetherball park, volleyball, and grill court. Trees supplement varicoloured shade, walking scale, ornament, and tone to a path experience

On a residential side, 4 townhouse communities on a north finish of Bay Meadows have already been finished (and fast sole out) as has a entirely leased, 108-unit oppulance let formidable named Field House.

The Field House, Bay Meadows, San Mateo Located on Pony Lane, a Build it Green-rated Field House is Bay Meadows’ initial unit community. (Photo: Garry Belinsky)

Selected as a immature proof devise by a San Mateo Planning Commission, Field House — located during 282 Pony Lane, by a approach — scored an considerable 115 points in California’s Build it Green rating system. Most California jurisdictions cruise 75 points to be roughly LEED Silver equivalent. Obviously, a bike ‘n’ rail-centric inlet of Bay Meadows helped Field House absolutely fire past LEED Silver equivalency as did an array of customary immature building bells and whistles: high-efficiency lighting, Energy Star appliances, beyond-code insulation, water-saving fixtures and a list goes on. What’s more, 86 percent of construction rubbish generated in a building of Field House was recycled.

Two mixed-use unit communities, Rendezvous and The Russell, both of that disremember a bustling Town Square area and are spitting stretch from Hillsdale station, are also underneath construction with work on an additional townhome area to embark subsequent year.

When completed, 15 percent of all accessible residential units during Bay Meadows will be sole below-market rate.

Townhouses during Bay Meadows, San MateoPark life: Developed by Shea Homes, a Landsdowne townhome encampment is located conflicting Bay Meadows Park. (Photo: Bay Meadows)

Goodbye golf course, hello succulent encampment garden

While many of Bay Meadows, quite a mixed-use elements, is still in progress, one aspect of Bay Meadows that’s already entirely wrapped adult is parkland.

Comprising an considerable 20 percent (18 acres) of a development, there are a sum of 4 graphic parks. Bay Meadows Park, a 12-acre multipurpose space with round fields and cruise areas is a shoo-in for families as is a playground-heavy Paddock Park. The linear, park bench-lined Landing Green facilities a bocce justice and “elegant pathways” and is described as Bay Meadows’ many “formal and contemplative space.”

Last yet not slightest is Persimmon Park, a open art-studded encampment garden with 99 lifted planting beds for proprietor use, orchards and an al fresco dining area that’s centered around a vast encampment dining table. Standing in for a open space centerpiece of standard residential developments, a golf course, Persimmon Park is a “gathering mark that cultivates friendships along with bushels of organic and tolerable fruits and veggies.”

Communal outside dinning during Persimmon Park, Bay Meadows, San MateoCommunity garden-to-table: Persimmon Park’s encampment list is a renouned entertainment mark for neighbors, greenthumbed or not. (Photo: Bay Meadows)

Described by Brockbank as a “place where neighbors locate adult while they’re given to their plot,” Persimmon Park also hosts monthly classes run by Homestead Design Collective. “Our master gardener Mike teaches all from how to perturbation things to formulating cocktails with your garden harvest,” says Brockbank. “I adore it that a classes are open to a ubiquitous open and they’re free.”

While it wouldn’t be totally accurate to specify Bay Meadows as a correct agri-hood given it lacks a operative farm, this fast blossoming civic encampment does come close.

In further to Persimmon Park, a park where residents like Brockbank can “swing by [on my bike] to collect some uninformed basil for dinner,” Bay Meadows Park, a community’s largest, serves a purpose over outside distraction and encampment gatherings: stormwater diagnosis and management.

Community garden during Bay Meadows, San Mateo.The centerpiece of Persimmon Park is a encampment garden with scarcely 100 lifted planter beds. (Photo: Bay Meadows)

Nestled between a park and a development’s categorical highway is a vast wetland area and stormwater pool that doubles as a wildlife medium and a means of preventing localized flooding. All of Bay Meadows’ stormwater flows into a pool where it acts, in a difference of CMG Landscape Architecture, as a “final filter” for runoff.

CMG elaborates:

The wetland and stormwater complement also serves a broader city benefit, interesting here a flooding that happened formerly in low fibbing lands of San Mateo dual miles away. In a eventuality of a vital (5-year) charge event, a apprehension pool and encampment park binds additional stormwater, and afterwards releases it solemnly to equivocate flooding downstream

The neighborhood’s streets are also lined with biofiltration planters that filter rainwater and runoff before it creates a approach to a apprehension pool for re-filtering. Janice Thacher, a partner with Wilson Meany, describes a wetland pool as “as both an ecosystem for profitable plans, birds and wildlife.”

Located conflicting Bay Meadows Park, stands a new 2.75-acre campus for a Upper School multiplication of a Nueva School. The Leddy Maytum-designed building, non-stop to students during a start of a 2014 educational year, is also surfaced with a rooftop organic garden.

Long shot of Bay Meadows, San MateoBaseball diamonds and stormwater detention: a 12-acre Bay Meadows Park is a loyal multitasker. (Photo: Bay Meadows)

And they’re (finally) off!

Needless to say, such a smartly planned, solemnly designed devise didn’t arise in a place of a aged Bay Meadows Racetrack over night.

The desert process, routinely a difficult and drawn-out routine to start with, stretched out over 7 years. The Silicon Valley Business Journal described a endeavour to get Bay Meadows off a belligerent as “epic.” The retrogression of 2008-2009 didn’t assistance chaperon things along any quicker.

Naturally, alongside certain support came some internal resistance. Nostalgic-types, some pulling for preservation, bemoaned a deficiency of a aged racetrack while NIMBY-ists fretted over intensity issues (traffic, firmness concerns) that come along with 1,000-plus new residents relocating into such a fast flourishing area. Aesthetics was also an emanate in a slot of San Mateo where a existent housing batch consists mostly of medium midcentury abodes.

Thacher, who is also heading Wilson Meany’s redevelopment of a aged Hollywood Park racetrack nearby Los Angeles International Airport, elaborates on a initial concerns:

“The devise due benefitted from poignant encampment submit and incorporated plain feedback that we perceived by that process,” she explains. “Nonetheless, it represented a conflicting character of housing than what had historically been built around it. Some groups were endangered about changing a fabric of San Mateo while others were endangered about a ramifications of tallness and blocked views or a intensity impacts on traffic.”

Nueva School, Bay MeadowsLocated conflicting Bay Meadows Park, a Bay Meadows campus of a Nueva School is surfaced with an organic garden. (Photo: Bay Meadows)

Thacher goes on to note that a City of San Mateo Planning Commission and other internal organizations threw their support behind a prophesy for a new Bay Meadows. As Thacher notes, “by pattern and plcae it embodies intelligent expansion along a transit-corridor and there’s no doubt that we need expansion to be means to accommodate housing for destiny generations.”

She adds: “Through a open process, we were means to know those concerns and cgange a initial devise to respond to those concerns and we truly trust a devise is improved for it.”

And one does consternation if a act of transforming California’s longest ceaselessly handling racer racetrack (an airfield before that) into a vacant line-up fit for redevelopment presented Wilson Meany with a horde of singular infill challenges, during slightest from an environmental standpoint.

Turns out, not really.

“As distant as projects of this distance go, we were advantageous that a site wasn’t industrial or some-more built-out as a largest plea was a dispersion of a structure and H2O slackening measures as we are sincerely tighten to a Bay,” says Thacher. “Aside from a in-fields, there was a poignant volume of petrify on-site that we finished adult harsh and recycling for reuse in a existent sidewalks and streets during Bay Meadows.”

Housing during Bay Meadows, San Mateo The ‘sophisticated Edwardian architecture” of a Canterbury area is a “contemporary interpretation of normal Bay Area styles.” (Photo: Garry Belinsky)

That being said, Bay Meadows, as many longtime San Mateo residents knew it, has totally dead from a landscape.

However, nods to a parcel’s horseracing past are peppered via a development, mostly yet travel and place names like Pony Lane, Paddock Park and Derby Avenue. A slew of a townhome-lined streets respect famous jockeys (Baze, Bisono, Olivares, Landeros, et al.) while one of a development’s categorical arteries, E. Kyne Street, is named after Bay Meadow’s founder, Bill Kyne. Racing outfit is on arrangement during Field House, giving a unit building’s open areas a kind of high-end equestrian bar vibe.

While Bay Meadows has a ways to go before channel a self-evident finish line, a expansion has already been deemed a winner. Sales during Bay Meadows, a indication of intelligent expansion in a bursting-out-of-its-seams segment that’s struggling to accommodate housing demand, are sprightly to contend a least. And while not accurately a fan of some of a development’s architecture, John King, civic pattern censor for a San Francisco Chronicle, recently remarkable that during Bay Meadows, “density does not move dystopia.”

This desirous redevelopment’s homestretch phase, with a city square, amicable travel and glossy new bureau buildings, should be a disturb to watch.


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