Burlingame explores town square designs | Local News
A new town plaza planned for downtown Burlingame with a grove of trees placed next to a gathering space where community members can socialize, be active and enjoy shows received high praise from officials from the city.
In a joint session attended by members of Burlingame City Council and the Planning Commission on Saturday, April 24, officials weighed proposals for two different designs for the planned town square on an above ground parking lot behind Burlingame Avenue.
Although no decision was made during the meeting, officials had the first opportunity to review designs for future community amenities located on the lot bounded by Lorton Avenue and Park Road, adjacent to ‘a new development at the old post office.
One proposed design featured a dense grove of trees lining Lorton Avenue that could be both an active space for children and a relaxing setting for adults to enjoy the natural tranquility. The designers described the space as iconic and civic but also fun and flexible, which could easily be transformed to host festivals or markets.
Most officials during the meeting preferred the proposed design to an alternative featuring a curved line of trees guiding visitors through the open space.
“I really like the simplicity of the grove,” said Urban Planning Commissioner Sandy Comaroto, synthesizing the perspective of many who appreciated the practical design that naturally integrated into the city center grid structure.
The proposal also includes a water fountain and a small stage for shows, as well as an area with wooden furniture for those who dine outside and a play area for children with cornhole games and games. ‘other activites.
Those who favored the design said the grove of trees will also provide equipment to decorate during the holidays.
Supporters of the grove also claimed that they felt the design featuring a curved line of trees was too complex for an open space.
“He’s trying to be something that I don’t think we really need,” Planning Commissioner Will Loftis said.
Also, he suggested that the curved proposal would work well in an area with spatial constraints or uniqueness. But in a geometric parking lot, he said the curved design made no sense and instead appeared as a solution in search of a problem that didn’t exist.
The curve of the trees is designed to cut through part of the space with seating below and a water feature near Lorton Avenue. Designers saw it as a more modern approach than the classic grove look.
While most officials and residents said they were in favor of the grove’s design, which also hinted at Burlingame’s affinity for trees, Deputy Mayor Ricardo Ortiz said he preferred the curved proposal. because he felt that it better connected Lorton Avenue and Park Road.
Additionally, he said officials had to be careful going forward with designs that featured a water cooler due to the drought conditions. Board member Emily Beach acknowledged those fears, but said she promotes functionality as long as the water is recycled and conserved.
Following the discussion, the designers said they would consider comments in preparation for the next plaza meeting in May.
Officials and community members have been tweaking designs for the town square since last year, and consultants hired to facilitate the process said they received 200 responses from those who contributed to the plan.
The Town Square is proposed on the land adjoining the old Burlingame Post Office at 220 Park Road, which is expected to be rebuilt into a vast office complex which is expected to be the tallest building in town.
The building is proposed to be six floors, with five floors of offices built on a ground floor of shops and restaurants overlooking the town square. The office building will also include two floors of underground parking, which should be made available to the community on evenings and weekends to replace some of the space lost during the reconstruction of the existing land. Construction of a new 368-space, five-story parking garage in the city center is also nearing completion.
Sares Regis, who will build the commercial project with Dostart Development Company, has also offered $ 2 million for the construction of the community plaza.
Councilor Michael Brownrigg admired both proposals and said he believes the design that is ultimately selected will be a massive upgrade for Burlingame.
“I think it’s a huge investment throughout our downtown,” he said.
The city council will discuss the town square design proposal at its meeting on Monday, May 3 at 7 p.m. To access the meeting by computer: Go to www.zoom.us/join Meeting ID: 863 7831 0407 Access Code: 950443 To access the meeting by phone: Dial 1-669-900-6833 Meeting ID: meeting: 863 7831 0407 Access code: 950443