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A town square in Downtown Burlingame

ParkRdRendering
The City of Burlingame has been pursuing the design and development of a town square/community open space on the City-owned Parking Lot E. Parking Lot E is located between Park Road and Lorton Avenue, adjacent to the former Post Office property. Parking Lot E will close on Tuesday September 7, 2021 to make way for the new Town Square & Mixed Use Development at the former US Post Office. The  construction fencing will be installed on September 7, 2021 for the construction (staging) of the redevelopment of the former US Post Office at 220 Park Road. Once the 220 Park Road development is completed, the new town square is planned to be developed on the site of the former parking lot.  Please visit the  Downtown Construction Page for more information about the construction status for both of these projects. 

A "signature open space" was a key element of the Downtown Specific Plan, envisioned to be in the heart of Downtown in the vicinity of the former Post Office. While creating the signature open space/town square has continued to be a goal over the years since, the opportunity to pursue the project came to the forefront with the proposal for the adaptive reuse and development of the former Post Office.

The project is in the core of Burlingame’s Downtown and presents a rare opportunity to create a focal point for the area. The square is intended to be “Burlingame’s Living Room,” providing a public gathering space in an inviting environment.  The plaza could include areas for both active and passive enjoyment, with the goal to ensure that the space is properly suited for downtown events and gatherings.

LortonAveRendering

Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, the project has provided a vigorous public participation and outreach component. A community engagement website was prepared to help assist the community in articulating the types of uses and programming envisioned for the plaza, and virtual community meetings were held in November and December 2020. The website continues to provide an opportunity to learn about the town square project, look at ideas from examples in other places, and share comments and ideas. Visit the website here:

https://burlingame.mysocialpinpoint.com/townsquare


Preferred Concept Plan
A preferred concept plan has been prepared, reflecting input from the community, City Council, and Planning Commission. The concept, referred to as "The Grove," introduces a grove of trees on the Lorton Avenue side of the square. A row of trees extends from Lorton Avenue to Park Road. There are seating and viewing terraces alongside the former Post Office building, outdoor seating along the rear of the Burlingame Avenue buildings, a green wall along the Yves Delorme building, room for events, market stands, a small stage, public art, and a "water wall" feature providing a backdrop to the grove. The grove will provide space for outdoor games such as bocce, cornhole, and ping pong. 

Below is an overhead view of the concept plan:

Grove Concept Plan

The plan has also been designed to accommodate community events, such as markets or festivals. Below is the plan, showing the addition of market/festival booths (indicated by the red rectangles):

Grove Concept Plan - Market 
Meeting History
In addition to the community engagement website, there were community meetings (held virtually) and meetings with the City Council and Planning Commission. Below is a summary of each meeting, together with background materials. 

Joint City Council/Planning Commission Meeting - April 24, 2021
The City Council and Planning Commission reviewed two conceptual design alternatives for the town square at the annual Joint Meeting. 

Presentation Slides (pdf)

Community Survey
The town square website included a survey to allow input from the community. Click here to review a pdf of the responses and comments received in the survey.

Virtual Community Meeting #2 - December 1, 2020
The City held its second virtual community meeting to review the project, highlight key topics, answer questions, and receive input.  This meeting went into a bit more detail about the options for the town square and included some engagement exercises.

Presentation Slides (pdf)

Virtual Community Meeting #1 - November 18, 2020
The City held its first virtual community meeting to review the project, highlight key topics, answer questions, and receive input. Here are the meeting materials:

Presentation Slides (pdf)



Joint City Council/Planning Commission Presentation - May 2, 2020
In the annual Joint City Council/Planning Commission Meeting on May 2nd, representatives from the Urban Field Studio team provided an overview of the initiative, suggested open space concepts to consider, and offered examples of town squares and community open spaces in other communities that may be informative or inspirational.

Click here to download the presentation slides

For More Information
Please contact Community Development Director Kevin Gardiner by email at kgardiner@burlingame.org, or by phone at 650-558-7253.