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Merlone Geier Submits Alternative Concept SB330 Preliminary Application for Northgate Town Square

Posted on March 19, 2024


For immediate release:

Merlone Geier, the owner of the Northgate Mall in Terra Linda, recently submitted a preliminary application under SB 330 proposing an alternative concept for the Northgate project. SB 330, also known as the Housing Crisis Act of 2019, allows developers to streamline the approval of housing development project applications. SB 330 constrains the City’s discretion to a certain extent by mandating that the City use objective development standards, rather than subjective standards as a basis to deny a housing development project.

Learn more information about SB 330.

Housing developers use SB 330 to make the housing development approval process streamlined and more predictable. Many times, a developer will begin with the local jurisdiction’s project approval process, but the amount of time it takes to gain support for the project may cause it to be financially unviable.   

Currently, Merlone Geier has two City applications for the Northgate site. The developer will be conducting financial analyses on their two project concepts and will choose the one that best fits their needs. Once Merlone Geier submits a formal development application for the alternative concept project, the City will begin processing that application. As of the date of this press release, the City has not yet received a formal development application for the alternative concept. The next step would be to complete an environmental review. Following that, one of the two projects, would continue to proceed down the path of the entitlement process. 

The City continues to work collaboratively with Merlone Geier to ensure a project that addresses the feedback received from the community thus far and brings significant benefits to the community for years to come. 

The main differences between the two applications are listed below: 

Project Goals  Original Planned Development  SB 330 Pre-Application 
Housing Units 
  • Product mix of ownership townhomes and multi-story residential flats 
  • 1,422 total units 
  • Increased number of ownership townhomes 
  • 1,865 total units  
Affordable Housing 
  • Stand-alone affordable housing development on Parcel 1 
  • 96 affordable units in Phase 1 with deeper affordability 
  • 147 total affordable units across all phases 
  • Affordable units dispersed throughout Phase 1 & 2 
  • 72 affordable units to be included in Phase 1  
  • 168 total affordable units across all phases 
Retail Space 
  • Phase 1 (2025)- total of 501,941 sqft of retail space 
  • Phase 2 (2040) -total of 217, 520 sqft of retail space 
  • Phase 1 (2025)- total of 432,961 sqft of retail space 
  • Phase 2 (2040)-total of 116,740 sqft of retail space 

 

Per the developer statement on the SB 330 preliminary application the commercial portions of the mixed-use project could include a relocation of the movie theater, a specialty grocery store, clothing and boutique retail stores along with restaurants.  Consistent with commercial developments, the type of commercial businesses and the specific commercial tenants would not be identified until the project is approved, constructed, and leased.       

For more information on the alternative project concept and to see the SB330 preliminary application submittal, please see link(s) below: 

https://www.cityofsanrafael.org/northgate-sb330-alternate-application 

Project Contact:

April Talley, Project Director
(415) 485-3050
AprilT@cityofsanrafael.org

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