New tech tenant for Bay Meadows development

by / Wednesday, 31 January 2018 / Published in Uncategorized

San Mateo Daily Journal – January 12, 2018

Another Bay Area software company is jumping aboard the growing Bay Meadows transit-oriented development by opting to move its corporate headquarters to San Mateo’s newest community along the Caltrain tracks.

Guidewire Software signed a direct lease for 189,000 square feet of brand-new office space at 2850 S. Delaware St., according to the real estate research firm Colliers International.

The company will take over Station 2, one of five Class A office buildings slated to line the tracks at the redevelopment of the former horse race track. The building is currently under construction and scheduled to be ready for occupancy in December. The agreement marks another example of how Bay Meadows is attracting a flurry of tech tenants to its mixed-use housing, retail and commercial development.

Guidewire is currently located at 1001 E. Hillsdale Blvd. in Foster City, and has various office locales across the United States, according to its website. The publicly-traded software company specializes in technology platforms for insurance companies and reported $322.7 million in gross profit in fiscal year 2017, according to its website.

A company spokesperson did not return a request for comment and Bay Meadows representatives declined to speak as well.

Guidewire will become the second largest commercial tenant to sign on to Phase 2, which is slated to offer 780,000 square feet of office space across five buildings. SurveyMonkey was the first to join and signed a lease in 2015 for the 200,000-square-foot Station 4, which it now occupies with TenX and Zuora. OpenText, another tech company, leased two floors of the neighboring Station 3, according to Bay Meadows.

Master developer Wilson Meany and Stockbridge Capital are spurring the 83-acre Phase 2 that includes the Town Square “social hub” that’s attracted retail tenants such as Blue Bottle Coffee, Tin Pot Creamery and Fieldwork Brewing Company’s outdoor beer garden.

“With top companies and coveted retailers locating here and Bay Meadows’ for-sale homes and rentals filling up, it’s clear our urban village is satisfying a great need in the region: a vibrant place to live, work and enjoy life,” Wilson Meany Partner Janice Thacher said in a press release announcing the May 2017 groundbreaking of Station 2.

The developer markets the site as a walkable, transit-oriented community with a variety of amenities for residents and employees.

When complete, Phase 2 will include about 1,100 housing units, 93,000 square feet of retail space, 18 acres of parks and open space and a private high school. The first phase of the transformation of total 160-acre former horse racing track site included the city’s new police station, Franklin Templeton Investments’ headquarters, the Kaiser Permanente Medical Offices and a Whole Foods Market.

While construction is underway at Bay Meadows, Caltrain is also in the midst of a massive project to raise the tracks above grade at 25th, 28th and 31st avenues, as well as relocate the Hillsdale Caltrain station a few blocks to the north.

The long-planned transit-oriented development is centrally located in Silicon Valley and sandwiched between Highway 101 and the Caltrain tracks. The site is considered about 65 percent complete and was entitled as part of the master planning process.

However, Wilson Meany recently submitted a proposal to increase the amount of office space at stations 1 and 5. Those two smaller office buildings were slated for about 95,000 square feet of new development each. But the developer now seeks to nearly double the square footage and reduce previously approved ground-floor retail space, according to plans submitted with the city.

Wilson Meany representatives said their proposal would still be under the 1.25 million square feet of office space originally entitled at Bay Meadows.

But a number of residents in surrounding neighborhoods have already begun to raise concerns about the proposal. Some expressed frustration as they feel squeezed by an influx of development that’s affecting parking, traffic and other quality of life issues.

A community meeting was held in November and the proposal is still being reviewed by city staff before a formal public hearing is scheduled. With only a portion of the planned office space complete and occupied, it’s unclear how the proposal to expand the development will fare with the community and city officials.