Labor union challenges Prometheus apartment project in Sunnyvale

Appeal calls environmental review insufficient, cites health concerns from formaldehyde

Union Challenges Prometheus Apartment Project in Sunnyvale
Prometheus Real Estate Group's Jackie Safier and LIUNA's Brent Booker with rendering of 1150-1170 Kifer Road (Prometheus Real Estate Group, LIUNA, Getty)

A labor union has appealed an approved project by Prometheus Real Estate Group to build 225 apartments in Sunnyvale.

Laborers’ International Union of North America has appealed development permits handed to the San Mateo-based developer for its eight-story complex at 1150-1170 Kifer Road, citing health concerns and a need for more environmental review, the Silicon Valley Business Journal reported. The project would replace a parking lot.

The City Council was slated to rule on the appeal on Tuesday, Dec. 5.

The city’s Planning Commission had approved the 5.8-acre project near the Lawrence Caltrain Station last month. It was expected to be built in phases between 2027 and 2028.

The gray and white complex, co-designed by Jones Architecture and BDE Architecture, will include 30 studios, 125 one-bedroom, 62 two-bedroom and eight three-bedroom apartments, according to SFYimby.

In a letter appealing the decision, the union expressed concerns about workers and local residents it said could be exposed to cancer-causing formaldehyde emissions higher than health guidelines. 

A consultant for the union wrote that the potential exposure was nearly 12 times set by the state’s Air Resources Control Board. The source of the formaldehyde was not disclosed.

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

Labor International contends Sunnyvale’s environmental review of the project was insufficient. 

Sunnyvale staff have urged the City Council to deny the labor union’s appeal. 

Ascent Environmental, which prepared the initial review of Prometheus’ project, also rejected the claims outlined in the appeal, calling some of the assumptions made “not true or realistic.”

While courts have ruled that projects must evaluate impacts when conditions are “exacerbated,” Ascent wrote in a memo to the city that because the project does not exceed local health regulations, that would not apply.

In 2021, the City of Sunnyvale allowed more than 3,600 new homes to be built around the city’s two Caltrain stations to help it meet a state-mandated plan for 12,000 homes by 2031.

— Dana Bartholomew

Read more

REIT Ready With Builder’s Remedy for Sunnyvale Site
San Francisco
REIT cites builder’s remedy for 315-unit project in Sunnyvale
Lawrence Caltrain Station (right) (Getty)
San Francisco
Sunnyvale moves closer to allowing 3,600 additional new homes around Caltrain
SKS and A&F Get OK on Office-Apartment Complex in Sunnyvale
San Francisco
SKS and A&F move ahead on office and apartment complex in Sunnyvale
Recommended For You