Builder’s Remedy Increases Plans at 680 University Avenue in Downtown Palo Alto

680 University Avenue pedestrian view, rendering by KSH Architects680 University Avenue pedestrian view, rendering by KSH Architects

Increased permits have been filed for housing at 680 University Avenue in Downtown Palo Alto, Santa Clara County. The newest proposal uses the Builder’s Remedy to nearly double the potential housing capacity. Mountain View-based Smith Development is the project sponsor.

The 82-foot-tall complex will yield around 122,030 square feet, including 9,110 square feet for offices at ground level, 75,740 square feet across 110 apartments, and an unspecified area for the two-level basement garage. Unit sizes will vary, with 85 studios, 20 one-bedrooms, and five two-bedrooms. This is a roughly similar spread of unit types as compared to the previous application. The parking capacity is not specified.

The developer will set aside around 22 units as affordable housing, allowing the plans to benefit from the State Density Bonus program and a streamlined approval process. Of the 22 affordable units, five will be for Extremely low-income households, five for very low-income households, five for low-income households, and seven for modarete-income households.

680 University Avenue, elevation by KSH Architects

680 University Avenue, elevation by KSH Architects

Korth Sunseri Hagey Architects is responsible for the design. KSH’s illustrations show the team added two additional floors to their previously-approved design. The exterior will be clad with wood-texture panels, metal, horizontal lap-siding, and board-formed concrete. The exterior will be articulated to break apart the complex visually. Private balconies overlook University Avenue and Middlefield Road, while a rooftop deck creates a shared open space for all residents.

The application comes just over a month after the City of Palo Alto published the Draft Environmental Impact Report for an earlier version of 680 University. The DEIR summarizes its findings, sharing that “the EIR scoping process did not identify any areas of known controversy for the proposed project; however, comments were received during the scoping period identifying concerns with noise, parking, access, density, and biological resources.”

The estimated cost and timeline for development have yet to be established.

660-680 University Avenue and 511 Byron Street, image by Google Satellite

660 University Avenue, image by Google Satellite

The project site includes the parcels at 511 Byron Street, 660 University Avenue, and 680 University Avenue. The half-acre site is 15 minutes from the Stanford-adjacent Palo Alto Caltrain station on foot, passing many of the city’s popular restaurants and shops along the route.

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6 Comments on "Builder’s Remedy Increases Plans at 680 University Avenue in Downtown Palo Alto"

  1. Palo Alto needs to do more of what Berkeley is doing.

  2. Good. Should have been done 30 years ago, but better late than never.

    It is ridiculous that a low-density, single story, commercial eyesore was taking up so much land within walking distance of single-family homes worth $10M+. Gee, Palo Also might actually have some young people living there again, beyond those who happen to have parents with $100M+ net worth.

  3. Too many studios, again. Families are in need.

  4. Irish Scarlett | May 21, 2024 at 4:45 pm | Reply

    Did somebody mention eyesore?

  5. Carol Gilbert | May 21, 2024 at 5:02 pm | Reply

    Their previous plans for 660 University are really very close to everyone’s agreement and the threat of the Buildler’s Remedy should be unnecessary.

  6. YesInMyBackyard | May 21, 2024 at 9:49 pm | Reply

    The states new law is working. The NIMBYS with $4++ million dollar homes and entitlement can no longer stop stop low income, single persons, and couples from living in Palo Alto. The surrounding businesses will benefit from the new residents, downtown will be bustling. All things that bring life to a city.
    Palo Alto resident since ‘76

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