El Camino Real

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El Camino is a suburban highway with generally three lanes in both directions. During commute times more than 70% of the traffic either originates or is destined for locations outside Menlo Park. With the exception of Atherton this artery is lined with a hodgepodge of building and uses and is neither pedestrian nor bike-friendly. In general El Camino lacks any “village charm” in any Peninsula community. In Menlo Park the structures  include single-story retail buildings, two small shopping malls, one small movie theater, muli-story office buildings, a half dozen hotels/motels, two residential developments, a shrinking number of gas stations and a single large supermarket (Safeway). Along its entire length the two sides of El Camino are quite different with most office buildings sited to the east.

 Vacant Buildings

  • 145 ECR (formerly Pendletons – vacant since X)
  • 500 ECR (formerly car dealerships – 6 parcels – vacant since X)
  • 1460 ECR (new building in 2014)
  • 761 ECR (formerly Arby’s and owned by Cook’s Seafood – vacant since 2007)
  • 1029 ECR (formerly Menlo Hub – vacant since X )
  • 1039 ECR (formerly Su Hong – vacant since)

Vacant Lots

  • 1275 ECR (formerly a movie theater – closed in X)
  • 1300 ECR (formerly XXX – 3 parcels – vacant since X)
  • 1388 ECR (formerly a Union 76 gas station – closed in X)

Current/Recent Changes

  • Several small office buildings have been built on the east side
  • The former British Bankers Club (BBC) is being converted to a new restaurant
  • The Mermaid and Menlo Park Inns (motels) are being renovated
  • Two restuarants have closed their doors (BBC, The Menlo Hub)

East Side of El Camino Real


  • Most new construction on El Camino has occurred here
  • There are several either three or four-story office buildings
  • Ten lots and two buildings remain vacant
  • The older buildings house small retail businesses and are mostly single-story.
  • There are two large hotels (Stanford Park and Residence Inn) and one small inn (Red Cottage)
  • There is only one residential property (Atherton Park Forest Condominiums)

West Side of El Camino Real


  • There has been little new building construction during the past 10 years.
  • The sole new residential development was completed in 2014 (Artisan)
  • There is one large remodeled Safeway with several adjacent retail stores
  • Two motels are currently being renovated (Mermaid Inn and Menlo Park Inn)
  • There is one vacant lot (formerly the Park Theater) and three vacant buildings