Housing planned for old school site

An architect's rendering of the proposal for the former Flood School site in Menlo Park.

Daily Post Staff Writer

A developer has applied to build apartments at the former Flood School site in Menlo Park on a property that spurred a ballot measure that would’ve made most of the city harder to develop.

Alliant Strategic Development wants to build 88 apartments at 321 Sheridan Drive, between Flood Park and Highway 101.

The Ravenswood School District would be a financial partner on the project, and teachers would get first dibs on apartments. 

Any units that teachers don’t want would be rented below the market rate to low-income residents, plans show.

The three-story complex would have a community room, a playground and a dog park.

The Menlo Park Planning Commission will review the application, because the developer is trying to exceed limits on height, density and paving area.

A main entrance would go on Sheridan Drive, and a second driveway would lead to Van Buren Road, plans show.

The threat of apartments at the former school site led neighbors who were concerned about traffic and safety to put Measure V on the November 2022 ballot.

The measure would’ve required council to ask voters for permission to approve the project, and others like it in residential neighborhoods.

Proponents of Measure V did not trust that the school district would guarantee teacher housing and thought the maximum of 90 apartments the district was floating was too many.

Nicole Chessari of Suburban Park led the effort.

Measure V was defeated 62% to 38%.

The idea of splitting the lot and having two driveways was proposed as a compromise with Measure V supporters. 

Under the agreement with Alliant, the Ravenswood School District will get an initial payment of $5 million to cover the first 15 years of the 90-year ground lease on the property. 

After that, the district will get about 19.5% of the gross collected rents. If the development is sold, the district would get 25% of the profits.

The board approved the agreement on Feb. 23, 2023.

The former Flood School site is one of two properties the school district is looking to redevelop in order to generate revenue, along with the district headquarters in East Palo Alto at 2120 Euclid Ave.