Frequently Asked Questions

For a PDF version of these FAQs, click here.

Project Details

Has this Project been approved by the City of Menlo Park?
Where will this Project be located?
Is this Project subject to Stanford’s General Use Permit?
What components make up the Project?
How many residential units are being proposed?
Who will live there?
What will be the architecture style of the residential portion of the Project?
What kind of amenities will be available for the residents?
How much office space will be constructed?
Who can use the plaza?
How big will the plaza be?
Does the Project include the Middle Avenue Pedestrian and Bicycle Rail Crossing Project?
Will a bike and pedestrian path along El Camino Real or within the project site be constructed as part of the Middle Plaza Project?

Schedule and Work Hours

When will construction be completed?
What are the construction hours for this Project?

Construction Impacts and Mitigations

How will construction activities impact traffic?
How will construction activities impact parking?
How will construction dust and noise be managed?


Project Details

Has this Project been approved by the City of Menlo Park?
Yes, this Project was fully approved by the Menlo Park City Council in the fall of 2017.

Where will this Project be located?
This Project is located in Menlo Park along the east side of El Camino Real roughly between Middle Avenue to the north and Cambridge Avenue to the south.

Is this Project subject to Stanford’s General Use Permit?
No, the Stanford University General Use Permit only applies to Stanford lands within unincorporated Santa Clara County.

What components make up the Project?
The Project will consist of:

  • 215 one and two-bedroom rental units, with preference given to Stanford faculty, employees and affiliates
  • approximately 145,000 sqft of commercial office space
  • approximately 10,000 sqft of retail space
  • A publicly accessible plaza at Middle Avenue

How many residential units are being proposed?
The residential portion of the Middle Plaza Project consists of 215 rental apartment units. The units will be one and two-bedroom units.

Who will live there?
Eligibility for residency at Middle Plaza will be based on a priority ranking system with preference given to Stanford faculty, employees and affiliates.

What will be the architecture style of the residential portion of the Project?
The residential architecture is inspired by a traditional California craftsman design. The architectural design, structured by refined detail finishes and community amenities will provide a new style of apartment living in Menlo Park. The residences are a contemporary interpretation of a design that reflects handcrafted details, possesses a distinct individuality, is constructed of high quality materials, and created with a careful attention to detail. The richness of materials, colors, and details are critical to the successful execution of this architectural style. From the front porches and overlooking verandas, to the graceful terracing of the building, to the public plazas and gardens, the residences are designed to be a welcoming and unique place for both its residents and the Menlo Park community.

What kind of amenities will be available for the residents?
The amenity spaces within the residential portion of the Project will include:

  • A state-of-the art fitness center, swimming pool and spa
  • A library/business center with high speed “Wi-Fi” and remote conference technology, which will allow residents to work remotely or take advantage of flexible work hours
  • The residential area will be designed as part of the Project’s overall Transportation Demand Management (TDM) program to reduce single-occupancy drivers during peak morning and evening commute times
  • Do-it-yourself bicycle repair stands offer an air pump and basic tools for bicycle commuters and residents
  • A community workshop area to allow residents space to work on hobbies and Projects
  • Outdoor cooking and dining facilities
  • Outdoor work spaces

How much office space will be constructed?
There will be three office buildings constructed totaling 148,000 sqft of office space.

Who can use the plaza?
The plaza is designed to be a publicly accessible space. However, Stanford University will continue to own and maintain the underlying property and will oversee the use of the plaza.

The plaza, as originally outlined in the “Menlo Park El Camino Real Downtown Specific Plan,” will provide opportunities for passive and community-centered outdoor activities.

  • Passive activities may include, but are not limited to, public seating, an interactive fountain, game areas, and retail carts and sales areas authorized by Stanford.
  • Community-centered activities may include, but are not limited to, art, music, dance, drama, comedy, pet, and bike safety events and shows; seasonal festivities/holiday celebrations; community workshops; and fitness activities.

How big will the plaza be?
The plaza is approximately one-half acre in size and will provide open space with seating, drought tolerant landscaping and a vital connection from the El Camino Real & Middle Avenue intersection to the City’s planned grade-separated crossing at the Caltrain railroad tracks. The plaza at Middle Avenue provides additional open space amenity to both the community and the private development.

Does the Project include the Middle Avenue Pedestrian and Bicycle Rail Crossing Project?
The Middle Avenue Pedestrian and Bicycle Rail Crossing project is under the jurisdiction of the City of Menlo Park. While the future crossing will be located immediately adjacent to the Middle Plaza project, the crossing is not located on Stanford property. Any questions regarding the Middle Avenue Pedestrian and Bicycle Rail Crossing project should be directed to the City of Menlo Park since they are responsible for that project.

While not a part of the Middle Plaza project, Stanford is providing access to the future crossing across its property through the community plaza at Middle Avenue. Stanford will also be funding 50% of the cost, up to $5 million, towards the development of the bike/pedestrian crossing but the project is being led by the City. The City is in the process of determining specific plans for that crossing.

Additional details about the City’s project can be found here: https://www.menlopark.org/1194/Middle-Avenue-Pedestrian-and-Bicycle-Rai

Will a bike and pedestrian path along El Camino Real or within the project site be constructed as part of the Middle Plaza Project?
The Middle Plaza project complies with the El Camino Real/Downtown Specific Plan which does not require a bike path within the project site. The City of Menlo Park staff, Planning Commission and City Council have examined a potential bike path within this project several times over the years and have determined that a public path on the Middle Project site would not connect to any other existing public bike routes.

While there will not be a bike path within the property itself, the adjacent sidewalks will be widened significantly as part of the Middle Plaza project. The City of Menlo Park can decide to add a bike lane on El Camino Real which is under their jurisdiction.

While not a part of the Middle Plaza project, Stanford will be contributing significant funding towards the development of the bike/pedestrian crossing but the project is being led by the City. The City is in the process of determining specific plans for that crossing.

Additional details about the City’s project can be found here: https://www.menlopark.org/1194/Middle-Avenue-Pedestrian-and-Bicycle-Rai

Schedule and Work Hours

When will construction be completed?

  • Building Demolition: July 2018 – September 2018
  • Major Grading & Utilities Work: September 2018 – August 2019
  • Project Construction: August 2019 – Winter 2021
  • Offices Occupation: Summer 2021
  • Residents Occupation: Winter 2021

Please note that all construction dates are approximate and subject to change due to weather and unforeseen conditions.

What are the construction hours for this Project?
Per the City of Menlo Park’s Construction Policy, the construction hours for this Project will be restricted to 8:00 am – 6:00 pm, Monday – Friday.

Please note that there may be instances where project construction activities take place during the evening and/or weekends when deemed necessary to reduce construction impacts on traffic along El Camino Real. This will be done with the required necessary approval from the City of Menlo Park.

 

Construction Impacts and Mitigations

How will construction activities impact traffic?
The vast majority of construction will be restricted to our Project site. However, there may be the need for periodic lane restrictions on El Camino Real as underground utilities are relocated and upgraded. It is our intention to keep lane closures to a minimum. In some instances, night and/or weekend work may be necessary to keep El Camino Real open during peak periods of traffic. Any night and/or weekend work will require prior approval by the City of Menlo Park and potentially other agencies like Caltrans.

How will construction activities impact parking?
During construction of the Project, parking on the east side of El Camino Real along our Project frontage will be fenced off and not available. This is to permit utility improvements located under the road as well as to allow for the construction of new curbs, gutters and sidewalks along the Project’s frontage.

How will construction dust and noise be managed?
All Project construction must comply with state and local regulations, including measures to avoid construction dust. During construction of the Project, the construction contractors are required to implement dust control measures required as part of Bay Area Air Quality Management District’s (BAAQMD) basic dust control procedures required for construction sites. These measures are outlined in the Project’s Environmental Impact Report and are on file with the City of Menlo Park.

We recognize that noise can be a particular challenge. Stanford is working with a noise specialist to evaluate construction activities and prepare a construction noise control plan. This plan will be on file with the City of Menlo Park and available for review by the public prior to the start of demolition of the existing buildings.