Developer seeks height waiver for Palo Alto condo complex

Building would rise 55 feet with 75 units

800 San Antonio Rd, Palo Alto
800 San Antonio Rd (City of Palo Alto, Getty)

The city of Palo Alto will consider giving a local developer more air to squeeze a five-story condominium complex into a neighborhood zoned for three stories.

The Silicon Valley city was slated to prescreen plans by Saratoga-based TimeSpace Group, which seeks a height limit waiver to construct 75 condos at 800 San Antonio Road, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

The project would require razing three commercial buildings containing a day spa, learning center and a youth club.

Plans call for a 55-foot tall, 169,000-square-foot building with two levels of underground parking for 141 cars. It would include one-, two- and three-bedroom condos, with a co-working space, gym, a parking room for 83 bikes, and an inner courtyard.

The main issue is height. For Palo Alto to create more housing, it has Plan Home Zoning – which offers developers to waive development standards such as height, density and parking in exchange for 20 percent affordable housing.

Compared to the existing zoning, TimeSpace Group asks the City Council allow it to exceed the 50-foot height limit by10 feet and boost density to 75 units, where 26 units would be allowed normally.

It also seeks a waiver to allow 68 percent lot coverage, where 50 percent is allowed and provide two less parking spots than are required by city rules.

The staff report also notes that the developer does not expect to replace existing retail and retail-like uses.

What the newspaper didn’t mention was any request by TimeSpace to add affordable housing in exchange for the height or other project waivers. SFYimby reported in May that all the proposed homes would be sold at market rate.

The complex near the 101 Freeway, designed by Lowney Architecture, would include three floors clad in white blocks and glass-railing balconies with floor-to-ceiling windows.

The property was sold in late 2021 for $5.7 million. It is located between Charleston Road and Leghorn Street, 10 minutes away from the San Antonio train station with a VTA bus.

Dana Bartholomew

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From left: Mayor of Palo Alto Pat Burt, and Dan Kostenbauder, vice president for tax policy at the Silicon Valley Leadership Group (Getty Images, City of Palo Alto, SVLG)
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