Stanford Project (500 ECR)

February 2017 – Stanford submits new redesign for Middle Plaza (500 ECR) to the City of Menlo Park. Updated EIR expected soon.

Housing: 215 apartments    Office space: 144, 000 sq ft        Retail: 10,000 sq ft         Public Plaza:  Large

View vicinity and site plans, elevations for residential, retail and office buildings, public plaza layout, conceptual landscape plans, and renderings at the Menlo Park City website


Stanford University is proposing to redevelop the six properties currently addressed 300-550 El Camino Real, which is an 8.43-acre site in the southern area of El Camino Real/Downtown Specific Plan. The project parcels are part of the Specific Plan’s “ECR SE” zoning district and “El Camino Real Mixed Use” land use designation. The existing buildings (current and former auto dealerships) and site features would be replaced with a new mixed-use development consisting of offices, housing, and retail.

The proposal would adhere to the Specific Plan’s “Base” level standards, which were established to achieve inherent public benefits, such as the redevelopment of underutilized properties, the creation of more vitality and activity, and the promotion of healthy living and sustainability. The proposal is required to comply with the Specific Plan’s detailed standards and guidelines, which include requirements to limit building mass (in particular on upper floors), encourage articulation and architectural interest, require wider sidewalks, and mandate LEED Silver compliance. This project would also be required to provide a 120-foot-wide, publicly accessible frontage break at Middle Avenue. This “Burgess Park Linkage/Open Space Plaza” would lead to a future grade-separated pedestrian/bicycle crossing of the Caltrain tracks.

More Information

Current Status

  • In October 2014 the city council decided Stanford needed to submit a new design that generated less neighborhood “cut thru” traffic.
  • Stanford has submitted a new design that reduces the amount of office space and increased the number of residential units.
  • Stanford will be required to submit a project-specific environmental impact report.

Traffic Analysis

The City has completed a three-phase traffic study of the potential impact of Stanford’s current design for a multi-use development at 500 ElCamino Real.

  • Phase 1 studied the volume of traffic that would likely be generated by the 500 ECR given its total square footage and the mix of office, residential and retail use. The study indicted the site traffic was well within the limits defined in the Specific Plan.
  • Phase 2 studied the likely sufficiency of the traffic access points planned between the site and El Camino Real. The study indicated that with appropriate mitigtion measures, the access capacity was sufficient.
  • Phase 3 studied the likely potential cut-thru neighborhood traffic that could be generated by the site. This “worst-case analysis” assumed only 1% of site users would take advantage of public transit, bikes, walking, etc. The study indicated the site would generate too much cut-thru traffic in 2035.

See Traffic Impact Studies

Next Steps

  • Stanford must update the EIR for the new design submitted in February 2017.
  • City must approve redesign and revised EIR