Developer Breaks Ground On $120 Million, 394-Unit Project Near Facebook HQ



Developer St. Anton Partners has secured a $96 million construction loan and started construction on a 394-unit apartment complex near the Facebook campus in Menlo Park, the biggest multi-family project in the city in decades.

St. Anton closed on the construction loan with U.S. Bank last week and started work on the $120 million Anton Menlo community near Marsh Road and Highway 101, said Ardie Zahedani, vice president of development for the company. Sacramento-based St. Anton has developed close to 7,000 multi-family units in California over the past 19 years.

Given its size, Anton Menlo will help reduce upward pressure on rent prices while providing a blueprint for the type of housing that professionals in this region are seeking,” said Lisa Gutierrez, vice president for U.S. Bank Commercial Real Estate, in a prepared statement.

The developer worked closely with Facebook to develop amenities and features for the community, including a convenience store, café, pet care and a bike repair shop. Facebook is financially involved in the development, underwriting the cost of about 15 of the 37 affordable units in the complex, but the specific terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

Anton Menlo is the biggest apartment development in Menlo Park in more than 20 years, and could open the door to more new housing in a market that has seen rents increasing by double-digit percentages each year. When the project is completed, expected in 2016, it will include 35 studio apartments, 243 one-bedroom units, 139 two-bedrooms and 12 three-bedrooms.

“U.S. Bank is a tremendous partner and their confidence in the Silicon Valley helps us create diverse housing options close to major employers,” said Peter Geremia, co-founder of St. Anton Partners, in a statement. Geremia knows the region in part because he attended Santa Clara University.

The 10-acre site in the Belle Haven area was rezoned from industrial uses following the 2012 settlement of a lawsuit against the city by nonprofits that contended Menlo Park had failed to plan for housing growth as required in state law. The city agreed to plan for nearly 2,000 new units, with more than half of them meeting some affordability target.

The city and St. Anton also worked extensively with neighbors and community groups to incorporate amenities and features to make the development bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly.

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