5050 El Camino Real

Need | Solution | Schedule | Contact

Midpen closed escrow on a larger office building Feburary 1, 2019 to meet its long-term office space needs. The newly purchased building requires reconfiguration to allow Midpen to serve the public and continue fulfilling its mission.

Need for More Office Space

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.

Fiscally Responsible Long-term Solution 

As a forward-thinking and fiscally prudent public agency, Midpen planned for its long-term office space needs by setting aside general reserve funds. 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 and environmentally sound long-term solution.

Compared to tearing down the current office to construct a more suitable multi-story facility, purchasing the nearby building is more cost-effective when 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 Midpen's service area is also more advantageous than leasing or purchasing satellite offices with rapidly increasing rent and transportation time, costs and impacts to the environment considered.


On February 1, 2019 Midpen closed escrow on 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. Measure AA bond funds are restricted for land preservation, restoration and public access projects and were not used to purchase the building.

Project Fact Sheet

Reconfiguring and Repurposing

The newly purchased building requires reconfiguration to meet Midpen’s needs. The building is currently divided into multiple private office suites, and lacks public meeting space and accessibility. Designs for the reconfiguration have gone through several iterations, with the Midpen board providing feedback at publicly-noticed meetings on specifics. The cost estimate for the current draft design is approximately $27 million. Once repurposed, the building is expected to serve Midpen and the public for the long term.

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
Feb. 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
May 2019 Board of Directors consider approval of final schematic design 
Spring 2019 Design development
Sept 11, 2019 Board of Directors to review current design plans
Oct 9, 2019 Board of Directors to review and consider approving design development and a cost estimate for repurposing the newly purchased building. Agenda and report.
Fall 2019 Construction document development, enviromental review and permitting
Oct 28, 2020 Board of Directors to consider entering into contract for sale of current administrative office. Agenda and report.
Spring 2021 Construction
Spring 2022 Completion and move in

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