City shopping for real estate

The city of San Carlos has got its eye on several properties it might buy, including the Carl's Jr. location at 1800 El Camino Real. Google photo.

This story was first published in the May 20 print edition of the Daily Post. Pick up the Post every morning to stay current local news.

By Emily Mibach
Daily Post Staff Writer

With the real estate prices taking a dip, now is a good time for buyers to make their move.

That might be what’s motivating San Carlos city leaders, who are looking at seven properties they might scoop up including Carl’s Jr. on El Camino Real.

The city might turn the commercial properties into much-needed housing.

Like all cities, the state is looking at San Carlos to increase its housing supply. Under state quotas, the city has to produce 2,735 units by 2030. Other cities are anticipating that developers will build the housing to meet their quotas, but San Carlos is looking at buying the land itself.

The seven parcels recently went on the market.

City Council met May 22 in a closed session to talk about whether the city ought to make offers for the properties, according to City Attorney Greg Rubens.

The properties are all on the same two blocks and are listed on the council’s agenda for Monday. They are:

• 1131-1133 Eaton Ave. — Lanna Thai Massage

• 1201 St. Francis Way — former dentist’s office

• 1724 Laurel St. — insurance office

• 1748 Laurel St. — hair salon

• 1752 Laurel St. — Noshery food hall

• 1776 Laurel St. — vacant building

• 1800 El Camino Real — Carl’s Jr.

County records show that most of the parcels are owned by the Peck Trust or Trinity Investment, which county records connect back to the Peck Trust, which is controlled by James Peck, who died in 2021 and Ann Gaskell. The Post tried to reach Gaskell by phone yesterday but reached either disconnected phone numbers or full voicemail boxes. Brett Weber, vice president at commercial real estate company Kidder Mathews, said he couldn’t comment.

Rubens was clear to say that the city is very early in the process, and the council can only discuss the price and terms of a transaction in private. Everything else will have to be discussed in open session.

If the council ultimately decides to purchase these properties, this would not be the first time it did so. The city previously worked with nonprofit Charities Housing to build 24 apartments at 817 Walnut St. That project was approved in 2019.