Call it the Cardinal Colonnade: Stanford agrees to lease entire Los Altos apartment complex

Rendering Courtesy of Sares-Regis Group
Stanford University leased the Colonnade apartment complex in Los Altos to provide housing for students, faculty and staff.

People interested in renting in Los Altos can scratch the yet-to-be-completed Colonnade apartment complex off their lists.

Stanford University last week reached an agreement with the Sares-Regis Group of Northern California to lease the entire 167-unit complex at 4750 El Camino Real. Stanford officials noted that the long-term agreement was in response to the tight local housing market.

“Throughout its history, Stanford has developed and provided housing to meet the needs of its faculty, staff and students – ideally near the Stanford community,” said Jean Snider, Stanford University managing director of real estate, in a prepared statement. “This lease is one of a host of ways we can address what has become a real concern, particularly as we compete to recruit the best faculty from other parts of the country, where they experience very different real estate markets.”

An email to Sares-Regis was not returned by the Town Crier’s press deadline.

The apartment complex is slated to be ready for occupancy this spring. It features 100 one-bedroom and 67 two-bedroom units in addition to approximately 12,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space.

Stanford officials cited the complex’s close proximity to the campus and nearby public transit routes as additional benefits to employees.

The move is one of several steps the university is taking to secure housing for faculty, staff and students in the area. Stanford officials noted that the university is developing 180 housing units on California Avenue in Palo Alto to house faculty. In addition, dormitory construction projects are underway on campus that will house approximately 400 students.

School officials reported that Stanford will lease individual Colonnade units directly to employees. The initial mix of residents for the complex may include renters not affiliated with the school, they added.

“It is a very desirable and high-quality residential project that we anticipate will become long-term housing for Stanford affiliates – faculty, staff and possibly academic researchers,” said Jan Thomson, director of faculty staff housing. “Los Altos is already home to many Stanford professors and staff members, who enjoy what they consider a very desirable place to live.”

Chris Isaacson, president of the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors, told the Town Crier that Stanford’s agreement “doesn’t seem too surprising.”

“It’s clear that employers are really focusing on close housing – things that make it easier to get to work,” said Isaacson, whose organization includes realtors from Atherton to Los Gatos. “These kind of things are newsworthy because we haven’t seen as much of it in the past. But if you’ve seen what’s been going on around here lately, it’s the new normal.”

Isaacson noted that some of the area’s largest employers aim to attract talent by offering housing options within close proximity to the workplace and public transit. Stanford’s agreement also indicates to developers a desire for more “urban village” housing in the future, he added.

“I think a move like this will actually encourage more projects like this because it gives developers a signal of what the market is looking for,” he said.

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