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July 11, 2015



Where is little miss sustainability on all of this? Probably not good for a supervisor wannabe to clamp down on development. Clamping down on hypocrisy is way easier.


Does anyone know if the current building will be torn down? There are a couple of nice architectural details on this building (the lion heads for one).


This plan calls for complete demo, and digging a very large, deep pit for three layers of parking. I agree, there is some beautiful, intact 1920s detailing on the large facade.

The DJ article doesn't mention that the actual building height is 65 feet., as they've taken liberties with a general clause meant to allow for somewhat more height for certain architectural-design features or necessary mechanical features (i.e. roof angles, elevator shafts) that of cut off strictly at allowable height result in a less than stellar design. However in this case, the extra 10ft. is for adding a huge roof garden with canopy structure, essentially an additional floor--this was not the intent of that "special consideration" clause.


Office parking is usually based on 4 spaces per 1000 square feet of office. That would mean to be parked adequately, this project should have 180 parking stalls for office use only. Does not include the retail space so this project is so under parked, it's not even funny. Obviously, our City Council feels we have parking spaces to spare- NOT.

Peter Garrison

What is the height above sea-level here; 4 feet?


If you are against this massive office complex, please write your planning commission at:
[email protected]


I believe, if I recall, the special consideration clause was to allow for HVAC plus a parapet to hide the HVAC on the roof. I said at the time that I was against adding an extra floor for HVAC. Rules are rules. Height limit is height limit. If you can't accommodate all that's needed in your building within the city's limitation, then guess what, guess you can't build it. Cal me a hardliner, but I believe in fairness and equality. Seems to me there are too may variances to our own rules these days.


It's a rather unimaginitive and uninspired design. The type you see pretty much everywhere which means Burlingame is turning into a city you see pretty much everywhere. And that's sad. I've seen some buildings in SF where there original structure is saved and the new building is built around it. Not perfect, I know, but at least some aspect of the past is saved. Has the city council given up on good taste?


Looks like the City using Manhattan as their design muse


Yes, like they did with the Garden center. That came out about as good as we can expect. This new one is boring and the top needs to go.

Bruce Dickinson

Fellas, Bruce Dickinson pretty much agrees with all the comments above. We have got what appears to be an old but beautiful building being replaced by something "Strait outta Millbrae" C'mon, folks, can't developers get a little creative with the looks here? What is this "ode to glass" that we seem to be so fond of? Do we really like glass with some brick, or do the developers really like the low cost of minimalist designs? The commission and city council really need to step up and require that a historical building be replaced with something just as majestic and timeless.

This is the problem with "modern" architecture. Minimalist modern designs change with the years. Most of the office building architecture from the 1960s looks horrendous today (there are a few exceptions). The 21st century modern stuff will look outdated in 3 decades. Already some of these apartments or condos on Ogden Road look dated, with their faux "large horizontal tile" that seem to have acquired some dents in them, which only serve to worsen the eyesore. Also these rust colors are completely out of date. As an artist of sorts, I know good taste when I see it, and believe me when I see the pictures above, I see nothing but architectural fecal matter.

This building as proposed looks nothing like the surrounding architecture and no, a few bricks don't "tie it all together." Also, is Bruce Dickinson's favorite sushi restaurant, Sakae, also going? That is one Burlingame Gem worth saving!


All the little boxes being put up in Burlingame these days are having the effect of mass architectural confusion. The style of architecture proposed for 225 California, while appropriate in other settings, would be another blot on the landscape of the small town of Burlingame. A few prime requirements of a really good architect and a good city planner are to be respectful of the architectural history of the community, to preserve and uplift he community atmosphere and to respect the wishes and feelings of the ordinary people who live in the community that they are working for. Am I wrong in believing that people here appreciate the historical small town feel of Burlingame and expect the architecture to reflect that rather than that of an office park? In addition, there are more problems with this plan which include parking, height, and traffic. I think we should all join forces and see how a community can make an impact on the outcome of city plans, to make a better place in which we live. We would have to live with this building, and many more like it if we don’t get involved, as will future generations.


I'm with you Jane! The first step is to get two Council members elected in November that are on the same page as us. We can't continue to allow them to push these huge, unattractive projects through that will eventually change our town forever and NOT in a good way.


I agree. That architectural design is uninspired and only profit maximizing.

As someone that works with tenants and landlords on Class A Office and Retail space everyday, perhaps you'd prefer this new building in downtown Mountain View on Castro.

401 Castro St, Mountain View:


It delivers the tall first floor retail that the best retailers demand, and also an open window line with the natural light that the best companies demand and also an elegant façade that the best neighborhoods demand.

Perhaps city council should require the developer to use that architect or at least a more elegant design like this one. And, roof decks. We need more roof decks in our beautiful climate.


And maybe show a little muscle by requiring the developers to add some public green space or parklets?
Extortion? Probably.
Burlingame is the golden goose and there seems scant resistance to extract more concessions from the developers by the council. SF does it as a matter of business.

Bruce Dickinson

To the poster above, "elegance", that building you show they cut corners by not cutting corners, ya know what I mean? The round part should be round, not a bunch of small facets to make it look round, same for the glass as well. Still done on the cheap, in Bruce Dickinson's opinion and barely better compared to the proposal of poop in Burlingame. Then again, I realize that not all are tastemakers like myself, ya know what I mean?


You have made a key point "J" worthy of further discussion. When I first arrived in Burlingame in the early 1990's I asked council then why developers were;t asked to contribute anything to the public good as a right to develop here. You are correct, other cities like SF and Palo Alto ask developers "What re you doing as a public benefit?" Are you providing open space, public art, a day care center, a police station? I fact, many cities have a percent for art program, usually 1 or 2% that gets contributed and goes into a fund that helps pay for public art. PA has a 1% and Redwood City is discussing the same. Bottom line: Developers make good money for bustling here, as is their right, but the city needs to take advantage of our attraction. Why they have never down this is beyond me and perhaps if any of our council members are reading this they will take up the mantel and get something from these projects other than another glass and stuck office or residential development.

Elliot Barstall

No offense but...There isn't any unique class to this design. Can they give us a few other examples? Here is a link to previous Projects: http://deweyland.com/projects.html

Its better than what is there though.

Do you want Burlingame turned into a ultramodern landscape?

I have walked this space many times and I am not sure you can get enough parking spaces to accomodate the cars without spilling over into our other parking lots.

Lastly; the sun will pay havoc on those tenants on the eastside of the building.


Exactly. Their rehabilitation project on Chapin I think is quite nice, but Chapin is a different animal completely. It was widened in the 1950s, has been dominated by office buildings for at least 30 years, and they are really a hodgepodge of styles. They definitely improved the original ho hum building at 1450 Chapin., but do we want these sprinkled all over the downtown? Absolutely not. That is a low-rise office building with two exposed sides. The Highland location is far more prominent, will be at least twice the height, with 4 quite visible sides. It may be that the architect can really only create the Mission Bay/ 2nd Street, SF type of architectural. The worst line of the evening, which clearly irked the audience and Chair DeMartini, was one in which they proclaimed (and I am paraphrasing) "This is 2015! This is how we build in 2015"! [Yikes...] There is a big difference between architecture that is "of its time" and architecture that is "timeless". We want the latter here in Burlingame; it's all written neat and tidy in the specifics of the Downtown Plan--they just ignored it completely, thinking slick and modern would seduce, no matter where. And as if to add insult to injury, they added an additional 10 feet beyond the allowable, to boot. One of the best analogies of the evening came from Commissioner Terrones, who said something to the effect that if he were a very tall man, the last thing he'd do would be to wear a top hat. This was all quite lost on them. Somehow I get the feeling that we won't see any big architectural changes, with the exception of perhaps the use of Hatch as their driveway. They love what they've designed far too much, even though it is clearly misplaced in that location.


No variances. It's that simple. And any variances given should result in an immediate lawsuit.

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