Client: San Mateo County Community College District
College Vista is an award-winning 44-unit rental housing development for faculty and staff of the College of San Mateo, which offers a first-class living environment with rents at half the market average. The San Mateo County Community College District retained Education Housing Partners, LLC as the design/build developer for this 44-unit community. Located on the hillside of the College of San Mateo campus, College Vista provides its residents with sweeping views of San Francisco Bay and the surrounding hills. The development features craftsman-style buildings accented with green roofs and dark brown stucco and lap siding designed to blend into the natural landscape surrounding this highly visible site. The two residential buildings are comprised of one, two and three bedroom floor plans, all with attached balconies or patios. Each apartment offers a laundry room, large kitchen with upgraded cabinetry, a walk-in closet in the master bedroom and nine-foot ceilings. Private attached garages are provided for 39 apartments (over half of the apartments have direct parking access).
Situated on a former overflow parking lot behind the District’s Administrative Building, College Vista’s site planning and architecture required particular sensitivity to its immediate surroundings – deeded open space and an established luxury single-family home subdivision. Due to the vocal opposition of several neighborhood groups to development at this location on the CSM campus, the principals of Education Housing Partners initiated an extensive outreach campaign to engage the community and understand its issues. The neighbors’ primary concerns related to the introduction of affordable housing in their “backyards,” and the visual and economic impact caused by College Vista. Once these issues were identified, they were addressed to the neighbors’ satisfaction through a series of meetings that focused on design modifications and creation of operating guidelines to ensure the long-term maintenance and upkeep of the property. Largely due to the community support of College Vista, it was quickly approved by the City of San Mateo. Once built, one neighbor commented, “College Vista improved the quality of housing in our neighborhood.”
College Vista just received the “Gold Nugget” award for 2006 from PCBC – The Premier Building Show and BUILDER Magazine for Best Affordable Attached Project. Finalist for the 2008 ULI Jack Kemp Workforce Housing Models of Excellence Award.