Urban Planning
San Bruno Proposed Caltrain Station Architectural Model
San Bruno Proposed Caltrain Station Development Model
San Bruno Proposed Downtown Gateaway Architectural Model
San Bruno Proposed Downtown Gateway Development Model
San Bruno Strategy Diagram
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San Bruno Transit Corridors & Downtown Specific Plan
Urban Planning / Design
The City of San Bruno is planning a new Caltrain station located near its downtown main street and El Camino Real. This plan leverages the new Caltrain Station and San Bruno's ideal location near San Francisco, Silicon Valley, the airport, and major highways to revitalize its downtown core. After many outreach sessions with City staff and the community, a vision for the future of the area and development standards were established, increasing density and building heights throughout the area to accommodate transit oriented growth.

As part of the plan, three catalytic sites were chosen based on their location, ownership, and current underutilized or vacant state. These sites were then designed at a conceptual level to test out the proposed development standards, possible programs and uses, and financial feasibility for developers. Below are Catalytic Sites 1 and 3, which I was responsible for designing.


The new Caltrain Station plaza will be home to a new Class A office development. As a gateway to San Bruno the design of the building should be iconic, and as the largest building in the area its bulk should be reduced to respect adjacent residential neighborhoods. Building articulation, setbacks, stepbacks, and facade transparency are strategies to minimize impact on adjacent development. A series of both public and semi-private open spaces is provided, allowing for natural sunlight through the development and vistas into San Bruno as one arrives from Caltrain. Retail is encouraged to line the ground floor to serve office employees, but not over-saturated as to compete with downtown the next block over. Parking for Caltrain is located underground, and separated from the below-grade parking provided for office employees. Parking requirements are reduced to encourage Caltrain usage. Loading areas are hidden in the center of the building, and capped to form a rooftop open space for office users.

The development plan for Catalytic Site 1 includes:

- New 4,500 sqft. Caltrain station plaza
-385,000 sqft. Class A office space over 60,000 sqft. ground floor retail
- 7-story buildings
- Large public open space / park
- 745 below-grade parking spaces, separated for Caltrain and office uses


The gateway to Downtown San Bruno is the intersection of San Mateo Avenue and El Camino Real. A performing arts center has been proposed by the property's€™s owner as a possible option. The performing arts center should be designed as gateway to downtown, with a multi-level lobby that can be seen along El Camino Real. The stage is oriented away from El Camino Real to reduce noise and to allow backstage activities to spill out into the park. Ground floor retail should face San Mateo Avenue. Additional housing over retail is proposed. It is designed with large landscaped setbacks and grade separations to provide residents privacy from the busy El Camino Real. Loading for retailers is located behind the building and access off El Camino to minimize traffic on San Mateo Avenue.

The development plan for Catalytic Site 3 includes:

- New 49,500 sqft. performing arts center with a 400-600 seat auditorium
- 57 residential units (studios, 1-3 bedrooms)
- 11,500 sqft. ground floor retail along San Mateo Avenue
- 3 to 4-story buildings
- Large public open space / park
- 100 below-grade parking spaces, separated for Performing Arts Center and residential use
- Intersection realignment to improve circulation and visual access to downtown