On Monday, January 4, the City Council unanimously approved the building of a Kaiser Medical Plaza in San Mateo at the gateway to the Bay Meadows area at Hillsdale Blvd. and Saratoga. With a reputation for quality medical service and the ability to employ over 200 more citizens, we look forward to having Kaiser in our City!
San Mateo OKs Kaiser project
January 05, 2010
By Bill Silverfarb
San Mateo Daily Journal
The San Mateo City Council unanimously approved the construction of a 64,700-square-foot medical office building last night to be built at Franklin Parkway between Hillsdale Boulevard and Saratoga Drive.
Kaiser Permanente’s medical building will put a finishing touch on what the council hopes will be a gateway into the city. The medical office will sit directly across the street from the city’s state-of-the-art police headquarters to the west and the Whole Foods Market to the north.
The three-story building will sit on a piece of property that will be the last Bay Meadows Phase I parcel to be developed.
The city had hoped to lure a major hotel to the area and came close in 2002 when W Hotel was approved to be built on the spot. But the financing fell through for that project and the City Council amended the Bay Meadows Specific Plan last night to allow for a medical use on the property.
When it was drafted in 1997, the specific plan originally called for visitor-oriented uses on the property including a hotel, restaurants and conference facilities.
“I lament we did not get a hotel,” said Deputy Mayor Jack Matthews who was on the Planning Commission when the W Hotel was approved. “[But] the Kaiser building will act well as a gateway to the city.”
The medical office building will provide additional services for Kaiser’s 40,000 San Mateo County members north of its Redwood City hospital campus.
The services at the proposed Kaiser medical office building include pediatrics, obstetrics, gynecology, optometry, radiology, a pharmacy and optical services. Kaiser also proposes a conference room center and health education library, both open to the general public.
Medical services will be provided Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. The building will be closed on the weekends and a farmers’ market is proposed to be held in the parking lot.
An arcade and three pocket parks will be constructed on the Franklin Parkway side of the property and pedestrian traffic will be centered at the intersection of Saratoga Drive and Franklin Parkway.
Kaiser’s plans, however, include the ability to expand on the property in the future.
Councilman David Lim was concerned about traffic impacts to the area and whether forecasts had considered the presence of senior citizens who would be accessing the medical building. Fellow Councilman Robert Ross echoed his concern about pedestrian safety and suggested a traffic-calming device be considered for the area.
Kaiser pledged to use local labor in the building’s construction after being asked by Councilman Brandt Grotte if that was the intent. Grotte also expressed concern about the possibility of future expansion on the property and the loss of amenities including the pocket parks and open space.
“Welcome to the city. We are glad to have you,” Mayor John Lee said after the 5-0 council vote to approve the project. “I understand there is concerns about a crosswalk. If there is a problem, let’s fix it.”
The project site consists of approximately 4.22 acres of vacant land on the southeast portion of the Bay Meadows Phase I development.
The building is designed to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards. Parking will be on the surface with 300 spaces and have capacity for 79 bicycles.