The Draft Environmental Impact Report is under review that would increase the housing stock of the unincorporated community of San Quentin fivefold. Education Housing Partners and Eden Housing have proposed Oak Hill Apartments, an entirely affordable complex with 250 new apartments across two structures on the hilly 8.3-acre property. The proposal, located around 101 Sir Francis Drive Boulevard, is the largest affordable project in Marin County in roughly 50 years.
The plan calls for 250 units spread across 6.7 acres, with the remaining 1.6 acres dedicated to open space. With an average density of 37 units per acre, the project offers a rare medium-density contribution to the famously low-density county. Future residents are located across from Remillard Park and close to the Marin Country Mart. The project is in San Quentin, the unincorporated community of 40 single-family homes, ten units in an apartment complex, and the San Quentin State Prison. The correctional and rehabilitation facility is the oldest in the state, founded in 1852 and plagued with controversy and scandals. It now has a capacity for 3,082 prisoners.
SVA Architects is responsible for the design. The structure will be staggered along the elevated property. Though buildings will always be at most three to five floors above the ground, the project will span around nine stories between the lowest and highest points. The 50-foot tall structure will yield around 421,000 square feet, with 282,000 square feet for housing and 137,000 square feet for the 310-car garage. Parking will be in the two-level underground garage, and additional room will be included for the 210-bicycle parking.
Of the 250 units, 135 will be designated as low-income to moderate-income units for county educators and county employees. The remaining 115 units will be open for low-income and extremely-low income households. Unit sizes will vary, with 25 studios, 15 junior one-bedrooms, 70 one-bedrooms, 55 two-bedrooms, and 35 three-bedroom units. The project is expected to house around 595 people, six times the current population of San Quentin.
Education Housing Partners was launched in 2004 by Thompson Dorfman, a Marin-based developer founded in 1999 with a portfolio of fifty apartments and condominium projects with over 17,000 units across the state. RHAA Landscape Architects + Planners is responsible for the site design.
The Draft Environmental Impact Report is a document created for the CEQA process. For more information about how to view and provide comments, see the developer’s website here. The county will hold a public meeting on Thursday, March 16th, starting at 6 PM at the San Rafael High School and on zoom.
Construction is expected to last around 27 months from groundbreaking to completion. Work will be separate, with demolition and grading occurring across three months, while construction paving and architectural coating will span two years. In November of last year, the County of Marin voted to approve a joint venture with the Marin County Office of Education and Thompson/Dorfman for the proposal, with a target opening date of late 2025.