After 75 years of research and innovation, SRI International seeks to create change in its hometown.
The research institute is launching plans to redevelop its 63-acre research campus and Menlo Park headquarters by adding housing and opening areas to the public.
Lane Partners, based in Menlo Park, plans to launch a community-led process by hosting a series of community listening sessions in July before submitting formal plans to the Menlo Park development department, said Mark Murray, director of Lane Partners, in an interview.
“SRI has been an integral part of this community since before Silicon Valley became a household name – we are proud to have deep roots in Menlo Park,” said William Jeffrey, Managing Director of SRI, in a statement.
“We are excited for the opportunity to work with Lane Partners to modernize our facilities and transform our campus into a new neighborhood that will be truly connected to the Menlo Park community. With this redevelopment, we are delighted to continue to build on our long term. a story of discoveries making people safer, healthier and more productive, ”he added.
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Murray said, noting that he is a resident of Menlo Park himself.
The first development plans, which will be called Parkline, dedicate 10 acres of the property to residential development. By adding up to 40 housing units per acre, the site could accommodate at least 400 new housing units, Murray said. Among the units, there would be a mix of units at market rates and those meant to be affordable for low-income households, he added.
Early sitemap designs highlight the possibility of significantly increased public access to the property, which is currently fenced to the public, Murray said.
Approximately 29 acres of the property would be open spaces accessible to the public, and the drawings show cycle paths crossing the property and along Ravenswood Avenue that could connect cyclists more securely to Menlo-Atherton High School and at Ringwood Avenue.
The property currently has around 38 buildings all of which are surrounded by a security fence, Murray said.
“It’s basically a void in the city,” he said.
The redeveloped site would reduce the number of buildings to eight or nine and make the buildings “more beautiful and more sustainable,” Murray said. No additional square feet of office and research and development space would be built on the site.
Two or three of the current buildings would be kept for laboratory and research and development purposes. The height of some buildings would be increased to five stories from the current three and four stories, Murray said.
The proposed development would create new office space for other tenants to occupy, he said.
The new buildings would also be further from Ravenswood Avenue, and the parking lot would be consolidated into parking structures out of sight, leaving room for more open space instead of the current “sea of asphalt,” a- he added.
According to spokesperson Adam Alberti, there should also be a “modest amount” of retail space serving the community along the open spaces.
Since the SRI property is located outside of the specific Downtown / El Camino Real plan, the property’s zoning should be updated to accommodate mixed-use developments, including housing, Alberti noted.
If the project is approved, construction could take two to three years and would likely be completed in one phase, Murray said.
“It’s a big deal,” he said. “It’s a new neighborhood in Menlo Park.”