605 apartments proposed in East Palo Alto

The area in yellow shows where Woodland Park Communities plans to tear down existing buildings and replace them with a 605-apartment complex.

By the Daily Post staff

East Palo Alto’s largest landlord, Woodland Park Communities, announced plans today (Dec. 19) to tear down 160 rent-controlled apartments and replace them with 605 apartments in buildings between four and eight stories tall.

Significantly, all of the current tenants will be relocated to similar buildings in the same neighborhood during construction and then be allowed to return to apartments in the new buildings, also at their same rent-stabilized rents, the company promised.

“We are unequivocally committed to no displacement,” said Mike Kramer, chief investment officer of Woodland Park.

Along with increasing the number of apartments, the proposal will also increase parking to approximately 620 spaces.

Project Proposal

The new development will be located north of the University Circle-Four Seasons Hotel and west of Highway 101. The development will have 160 rent-controlled apartments and 445 that will rent at market rates.

The buildings that currently make up Woodland Park are all between 50 and over 100 years old which puts them at “the end of their useful life,” the company said in a statement. “They were built before the city of East Palo Alto was founded, to now-outdated building codes, and were not well maintained by the previous ownership.

Woodland Park is owned by Sand Hill Property Co., headed by Peter Pau. The company’s chief housing officer is Candice Gonzalez, who headed the nonprofit Palo Alto Housing Corp. when it attempted to build a senior housing development on Maybell Road that was stopped by a referendum in 2015.

“Constructing new rent-controlled homes is relatively unprecedented in the industry, but it is vital that we protect current tenants and preserve affordability,” said Gonzalez in a statement. “The core principles that inform our plans are no displacement, having a community informed plan, creating better parking and mobility, and constructing safer, healthier buildings.”

Sand Hill’s projects include several office buildings in and around Stanford Research Park and the redeveloped Edgewood Plaza. The company has now pivoted to focus more on housing and one of its first acquisitions was Woodland Park, with 1,800 apartments in East Palo Alto.

The project needs to be approved by the city of East Palo Alto. Woodland Park is promising “ongoing community engagement,” which means regular meetings with the Euclid Avenue Improvement Area tenants group, community updates and meetings and establishment of an advisory committee.

A proposed schedule Woodland Park released yesterday anticipates the project would be completed by 2023. The project would be submitted to the city for approval in 2020 with construction beginning in 2021.

The proposed development includes the following addresses:
2012 Euclid Ave.
2021 Euclid Ave.
2025 Euclid Ave.
2031 Euclid Ave.
2032 Euclid Ave.
2036 Euclid Ave.
2040 Euclid Ave.
2041 Euclid Ave.
2042 Euclid Ave.
2043 Euclid Ave.
2044 Euclid Ave.
2054 Euclid Ave.
501 O’Connor St.
2001 Manhattan Ave.
2033 Manhattan Ave.

2 Comments

  1. Nice swipe at Candice Gonzalez, formerly of Palo Alto Housing…WHY? What happened with Maybell has absolutely ZERO to do with this project or this developer, so why even include in this story?

  2. The Post was kind to Candice. They could have brought up how she jumped the line of needy people seeking housing and gave herself a house on the Maybell Avenue. The Palo Alto Housing Corp’s waiting lists are years long, and yet she manages to get the best house in their inventory.

    Her board excused it all by saying the house wasn’t being considered as something they would give to people on the waiting list because it was on property the Housing Corp was going to use for senior housing. But the voters rejected the senior housing development, saying it would create too much traffic. So Candice and her family moved right in. And the board looked the other way. Great legacy for the director of an agency that is supposed to be finding housing for needy people.

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