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Essex Property Trust (NYSE:ESS) purchased 1.2 acres of land on 5th Street in downtown San Mateo from the Sand Hill Property Co. in a step to develop the property. The space is currently a parking lot situated between Central Park Plaza and the Central Park tennis courts and baseball stadium. Essex plans on building a 117-unit mixed use building which promises to be the largest development in downtown in quite a while. According to several sources, residents and business owners have voiced concerns especially considering the already-tight parking situation in downtown. This article was posted back in January of this year detailing the development and the concerns: “San Mateo Mulls Biggest Downtown Development Since 2003”.
Apparently Essex felt confident enough in their ability to overcome these concerns, since they purchased the land for $10,800,000 or approximately $206/per sq foot on the dirt. San Mateo has certainly upgraded their image in the past decade with the introduction of “Theatre Way” in the heart of downtown and now the halfway-completed Bay Meadows project just south on the Caltrain track.