New Affordable Housing Community Breaks Ground

City of San Mateo and MidPen Housing Partner on Redevelopment of Public Land
March 17, 2022

Leaders from the City, County and nonprofit sector gathered this week for a groundbreaking ceremony at the site of new, entirely affordable housing community being built in downtown San Mateo near the Caltrain station.

The City of San Mateo and nonprofit developer MidPen Housing are partnering to create Kiku Crossing, a 7-story apartment building that will offer 225 homes for those earning low incomes, and a new publicly-accessible parking garage.

Kiku Crossing represents a rare opportunity for City-owned land to be redeveloped into much needed affordable housing along the transit corridor.

• 100% affordable, 7-story apartment building with 225 units at 480 E. Fourth Ave.

• 5-story parking garage with 688 spaces, including 524 publicly-accessible spaces at 400 E. Fourth Ave.

• City is contributing land under long-term ground lease and $12.5 million towards construction.

• Funding for the anticipated $170 million development also includes: a $5.2 million loan from the County of San Mateo, a $3.8 million loan from HEART of San Mateo County, loans from the California Housing Finance Agency, financing from Bank of America, federal tax credits, and tax exempt bonds.

MidPen is developing this innovative apartment community that was one of the first in California to use Assembly Bill 1763, which allows for increased density and height on transit-oriented properties when all of the homes are offered at below market rates. The homes will be offered at rates affordable to those earning between 30% and 80% of the Area Median Income. About 25% of the apartments will have a preference for public employees layered with a live/work preference for the City of San Mateo, and also includes units available for those who’ve experienced homelessness and people with disabilities.

“I want to thank City of San Mateo for their visionary leadership in identifying this tremendous site as an affordable housing opportunity,” said MidPen Housing President & CEO Matthew O. Franklin. “Mayor Bonilla, the Council and City staff have been wonderfully creative and committed partners to MidPen in making this community a reality.”

The land, currently used as two surface parking lots, was purchased in the late 1990s with former redevelopment agency funds. After the 2012 dissolution of all redevelopment agencies in California, the City negotiated with the state to retain these properties for public benefit.

“Breaking ground on this important new affordable housing opportunity has been decades in the making. I am grateful to MidPen Housing, the County, HEART of San Mateo County, and countless others for recognizing how vital it is to provide people with quality, affordable housing opportunities. Located just blocks away from the Caltrain station, this is a premier example of smart growth” said San Mateo Mayor Rick Bonilla.

Kiku Crossing will also bring new art to downtown by artist Harumo Sato who designed three large murals that will adorn the new parking garage. The parking garage is expected to open in Spring 2023, while the new 7-story affordable housing building will open in 2024.

“Kiku Crossing helps advance the efforts to address the need for affordable housing in the region by delivering hundreds of units for households of a variety of income levels,” said San Mateo County Supervisor Carole Groom. “This is a best-practice for smart, transit-oriented growth.”