Welcome home: First homeowners move into new Bay Meadows development
All this month, we welcome our first homeowners to Bay Meadows! Read more about our first owners, Leo and Diana, as they open their doors for the San Mateo Daily Journal’s Bill Silverfarb. Leo and Diana are homeowners at Amelia by TRI Pointe homes. Read more below!
By Bill Silverfarb, San Mateo Daily Journal
Leo Tanjuaquio and Diana Poon have been waiting eagerly for months to move into their new home at the Amelia as they have watched it being built from the ground up. It is the first development to welcome new owners at the Bay Meadows Phase II project in San Mateo. On paper, the couple have already made money on their investment as prices have risen nearly $100,000 for similar two-bedroom units that are still for sale.
Prices for homes at the Amelia started in the range of $715,000 to $915,000 depending on the floor plan. Starting prices are now in the low $800,000s and about half of the 63 new townhomes have already been sold, said Carolyn Bird, a sales counselor with Tri Pointe Homes, the Amelia’s builder.
The couple, both software engineers who work in Foster City, got to customize their home before moving in Saturday and especially love the location as it is close to work and the Caltrain station. The city has been planning for the new community for years as it developed a plan to transform the transit corridor.
“I am thrilled to welcome San Mateo’s newest homeowners to Bay Meadows,” San Mateo Mayor David Lim wrote the Daily Journal in an email. “This development is the result of the hard work of the entire community and the addition of this new housing stocks keeps the city of San Mateo as one of the most desirable places to live in the country.” The City Council approved the Rail Corridor Transit-Oriented Development Plan in 2005 after it was developed over a four-year period. The couple looked at other townhomes in San Mateo and Redwood City but liked the fact they will be part of a brand-new community at the state’s newest and biggest transit-oriented development. They know too they are moving into the middle of a massive construction zone as hundreds of more townhomes, apartments, office buildings and a school will be built on the 83-acre site in the coming years.
But in their townhome, the construction noise is muted and they say they barely even hear the Caltrain go by. They look forward to walking out their front door in a couple of weeks and hopping on the train to go see the San Francisco Giants play. They already shop at the nearby Whole Foods and the Marina Plaza across Hillsdale Boulevard, which is walking distance from their new home.
It will also be the perfect place to live when they decide to start a family as the development will feature a 15-acre park and other family-friendly amenities, they said. Tanjuaquio and Poon bought their home before the Amelia opened up its model homes a few months ago. “We just looked at the floor plan and made a leap of faith,” Poon told the Daily Journal. They also researched Tri-Pointe Homes before signing on with the builder and even keep a spreadsheet to track the number of homes that have sold and what they sold for.The first three sales releases at Amelia and Landsdowne by Shea Homes sold out immediately, according to Stockbridge and Wilson Meany, the master developer of the Bay Meadows project.
The 93-unit Landsdowne project is also currently under construction and will have two-, three- and four-bedroom townhomes. Its three model residences are set to open this weekend. The first phase of the Bay Meadows project was officially completed in 2011 with the construction of the new Kaiser Medical Center and includes housing, office and retail space.
In the second phase, there will be five buildings of Class A office space for rent, ranging from 95,000 square feet to 185,000 square feet and the private Nueva School. The development sits between the Hillsdale and Hayward Park Caltrain stations. When complete, 1,170 housing units will ultimately be constructed on the sprawling piece of land that once was home to a horse race track.
Although Deputy Mayor Robert Ross misses the old horse race track, he said the new Bay Meadows project is a “spectacular addition” to the city. “It offers a transit-oriented option with the highest quality of living anywhere in the United States and probably the world,” Ross wrote the Daily Journal in an email.