From airfield to horse racetrack to transit station, Bay Meadows has brought variety and history to Northern California. And now with the groundbreaking of two large townhome projects developed by Wilson Meany, the famous plot of land in San Mateo is helping spur resurgence in the housing market.
“These 156 townhomes along with two parks will be a fantastic start to the community,” says Kim Havens, Wilson Meany project director. “They will provide much needed inventory to a market with very little new housing supply.
The projects, which broke ground this month, are Landsdowne, a 93-unit enclave by Shea Homes, and Amelia, a 63-home neighborhood by TRI Pointe Homes.
“The enthusiastic commitment of these two national homebuilders is a sign of recovery in the housing market,” adds Wilson Meany Partner Janice Thacher.
Designed by KTGY Architecture + Planning of Oakland, the neighborhoods are scheduled for completion in mid-2013 and will feature a style and mood to reflect their surroundings.
“The architecture at the Amelia and Landsdowne communities was inspired by the context in the surrounding San Mateo neighborhoods as well as the greater context found in the traditional Bay Area vernacular,” says Alan Scales, project architect and studio director at KTGY.
He says the historic precedent of an “Early American Arts and Crafts movement” influenced the design, which will be seen in the design’s mix of lap siding and exterior plaster along with broad eaves articulated with wood detailing.
Covering four acres, Landsdowne will feature eight floor plans with a mix of two-, three- and four-bedroom homes from 1,150 up to 2,200 sq-ft. The residences are oriented to highlight the greenery of Bay Meadows’ new 12-acre park.
TRI Pointe’s Amelia sits on three acres and will consist of two- and three-bedroom townhomes replete with porches and balconies in an updated expression of traditional Bay Area architecture. Bay Meadows' active pedestrian vibe will merge with Amelia’s secluded green courts via community pathways, while its porches and balconies animate the streetscape, according to the team.
“Here, mobility and aspiration have a long history,” says Christopher Meany, partner at Wilson Meany. “In its earliest days, Bay Meadows was the site of an airfield. The land then became home to Bay Meadows Racetrack, a place passionate about the pursuit of glory and achievement. Now, the evolution of mobility culminates in this new urban village at the rail station.”
Set adjacent to a Caltrain commuter rail station, the comprehensively sustainable Bay Meadows will also feature five LEED-certified office buildings, a traditional town square and main-street retail. Other green features include recycling of concrete and asphalt, replanting trees, employing advanced storm-water systems and using sustainable materials.
“We are committed to designing a sustainable community, which includes thoughtful planning, distinct architecture and building practices that ensure all buildings are constructed using LEED or Green Point Rated criteria,” says Meany. “Thinking holistically about Bay Meadows and sustainability will create a unique community for people to live and work.”
Enhancing the overall green environment of Bay Meadows are three public parks totaling 15 acres, a community garden, and various open spaces throughout the property. The completed TOD will include housing, employment opportunities, Main Street retail and recreation.
The final development will include 1,171 residential units, up to 1.5 million rentable sq-ft of office space and approximately 90,000 sq-ft of retail space. Additional onsite amenities will include healthcare, childcare, financial services, and dry cleaning.

Image Courtesy of Shea Homes
Landsdowne is a 93-unit development by Shea Homes at Bay Meadows.