5050 El Camino Real

Overview | Planning | Schedule | Contact

Midpen closed escrow on a larger office building on Feburary 1, 2019 to meet its long-term office space needs. 

Informational Meeting

Wednesday, March 13, 2019 - 6p.m.
Midpen Administrative Office
330 Distel Circle, Los Altos, CA.

The public is invited to learn more about the preliminary office plans at an informational meeting and board study session.


Midpen’s success in growing the regional greenbelt has created an office space issue for the open space district. Since voters created the district in 1972, Midpen's focus has grown from primarily acquiring land for preservation to a more balanced delivery of its mission that also includes restoration and stewardship of natural resources, opening land for public enjoyment and education, and supporting sustainable agriculture on the San Mateo County coast. Midpen has been leasing additional office space since 2013 to house the staff necessary to accommodate this growth.

As a forward-thinking and fiscally prudent public agency, Midpen has been planning for long-term office space needs by setting aside general reserve funds. Measure AA bond funds are restricted for land preservation, restoration and public access projects and were not used to purchase the building.

Planning Process

After exploring alternatives, including renovating or rebuilding the current office, the Midpen Board of Directors determined purchasing a larger building and selling the current one to be the most cost-efficient, environmentally sound, long-term solution.

In July 2017, the opportunity arose to purchase a 39,000-square-foot two-story building across the street from Midpen’s current office. The purchase price of $31.5 million will be partially offset by the sale of the existing building, no longer needing to lease additional office space and rental income from space in the new building not needed in the near term. Until escrow closed on February 1, 2019, Midpen was under a seller-required confidentiality clause, with an exception for public agendas, written reports and discussions.

Compared to tearing down the current office to construct a more suitable multi-story facility, purchasing the nearby building is more cost-effective with rising construction costs, increased leasing costs and lost productivity during construction, and the negative environmental impact of demolition are considered. A single office building located centrally in the District is also more advantageous than leasing or purchasing satellite offices with rapidly increasing rent and transportation time, costs and impacts to the environment considered.

The newly purchased building will require reconfiguration to meet Midpen’s needs, including adequate public meeting space and proper accessibility accommodations. With those improvements, the building is expected to serve Midpen for the long term.

Project Fact Sheet

Tentative Project Schedule

July 2017 Board of Directors authorizes purchase of 5050 El Camino Real
August 2018 Board of Directors awards a contract to complete an assessment and prepare schematic designs
February 1, 2019 Escrow closes - 5050 El Camino Real
March 13, 2019 Board of Directors review of preliminary schematic design
April 2019 Board of Directors consider approval of preliminary schematic design
Spring 2019 Design development
Fall 2019 Construction document development, enviromental review and permitting
Spring 2021 Construction
Spring 2022 Completion and move in

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