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Huge apartment complexes nearing finish By Kate Bradshaw Almanac Staff Writer


he 3600 block of Haven Avenue in eastern Menlo Park may look like a daunting mass of building frames, but it will soon become home for many. Two adjacent apartment developments under construction — Elan Menlo Park and Anton Menlo — are set to add a combined 540 housing units to Menlo Park. The developments have begun or will soon begin to lease apartments.

Elan Menlo Park

Elan Menlo Park, located on about 5 acres at 3645 Haven Ave., has started to lease its first 53 apartments, with occupancy set to begin in March. Fifty-three more apartments will be leased in April and another 40 will become available in May, according to staff at Greystar, the project’s developer. In all, the development will have 146 apartments: 74 one-bedroom units, 66 two-bedroom units and six three-bedroom units. None of the apartments will be part of the city’s “below market rate” program. Rent is expected to range from $3,365 to $3550 for a onebedroom apartment, $3,730 to $4,015 for a two-bedroom, and $4,600 to $4,675 for a threebedroom, according to the Elan Menlo Park website. The apartment complex will

Anton Development Company, LLC

A rendering of the 394-unit apartment complex under construction at 3639 Haven Ave. in Menlo Park.

have a fitness center, a resident lounge and interior courtyards with Wi-Fi, bike storage and maintenance, and a saltwater pool and spa, the website says. It will also have an outdoor area with fire pits, barbecue grills and TVs, and a pet area that measures roughly 50 feet by 10 feet, Greystar staff said. The development could be for families or employees that work at nearby tech companies, they said. It is located in the Redwood City School District.

The company declined to comment when asked if it had partnered or consulted with Facebook on the project’s development. Anton Menlo

Adjacent to Elan Menlo Park, at 3639 Haven Ave., a much larger apartment complex under construction called Anton Menlo, is expected to complete the first 59 of its 394 apartments in March and will be available for lease then, according to Tony Patillo, director of construction.

The project covers about 10 acres and is expected to contain 35 studio apartments, 208 onebedroom apartments, 139 twobedroom apartments and 12 three-bedroom apartments that range in size from 563 to 1,549 square feet, according to the city website. Thirty-seven of the apartments will be part of the city’s “below market rate” housing program, with 22 for very-lowincome renters and 15 for lowincome renters.

The project website reports it will have a sports lounge, cafe, pool, spas for pets and people, a bocce ball court, gym, rooftop terrace and chef demonstration kitchen. Not all of those amenities will necessarily be available when leasing begins, Mr. Patillo said. The project is expected to be fully completed in the fall, and more housing will become available in phases before then. The development was planned in partnership with Facebook. A

Menlo Park officials examine options to stem displacement By Kate Bradshaw Almanac Staff Writer


he Menlo Park City Council began the new year with a long-awaited discussion about residents being displaced by high housing costs. The council planned to meet with the city’s Housing Commission on Jan. 10 for a joint study session on the problem. Check for updates. The meeting was held after the Almanac went to press. In November, the council adopted an ordinance requiring many apartment landlords to give renters the option to sign a 12-month lease. That ordinance goes into effect March 6. Other policies are under

consideration, including mandatory mediation. Under such a policy, if a renter has a complaint about a rent increase or eviction notice, the landlord would have to meet with the tenant and a third-party mediator — such as a city employee, a contractor paid with city funds, or a volunteer — in an attempt to reconcile the differences. This is not binding arbitration. Any agreement the parties reached would be done so voluntarily. Such policies exist in Palo Alto, Mountain View and Campbell but have variations in how they’re administered. All three have clauses that ban retaliation by landlords against tenants who use the mediation program.

In a previous council discussion, it was pointed out that the policy could give renters false hopes. Rent increases in Menlo

One policy under consideration: mandatory mediation of tenant disputes. Park are unrestricted, and landlords don’t need a reason to evict tenants on a month-to-month lease. Under state law, landlords must give such tenants 60-days notice if the tenant has lived in the rental unit a year or more. Otherwise, the required notice is 30 days.

Other measures under consideration: Q Reduce the amount of parking required for affordable housing projects, which could cut development costs. Q Promote home-sharing programs, which could increase the number of residents living in the city’s existing housing. Q Change the city’s belowmarket-rate (BMR) housing guidelines so that homeowners of BMR houses can sublet rooms to renters at “affordable” rates. Q Change the city’s guidelines to allow residents who have been displaced to stay on the wait list for BMR housing for up to three years, which might allow community members forced elsewhere to move back.

Q Buy and maintain housing units that are less costly in the existing market and keep them available to renters at a belowmarket rate. Q Require landlords in some cases to give eligible renters they evict resources to help with moving costs. This would apply only to housing complexes of four units or more. Q Establish a displacement fund to help residents being displaced because of new development. Developers could be required to pay these fees if a study were to find that their development will increase nearby housing costs and displace renters. Q Pass an ordinance limiting See DISPLACEMENT, page 6

January 11, 2017QAlmanacNews.comQThe AlmanacQ5

The Almanac January 11, 2017  
The Almanac January 11, 2017