May 24, 2024
  • Menlo Park – Gateway Rising has the name and the looks of one of those high-end apartment complexes for young professionals. Hacker Way (home to Meta) is just a few blocks away, the Googleplex a few exits down Highway 101.

    The block-long development along Willow Road east of Highway 101 features 140 units along with a fitness center, bike parking, a communal room with a kitchen, picnic tables and much more. Buildings are connected with airy enclosed walkways with floor-to-ceiling glass; exteriors lean toward clean lines and warm colors.

    Gateway outdoor play area
    Outdoor play areas are among Gateway Rising's amenities.

    It’s also affordable housing, 2024-style.

    Officials, along with Gateway residents, came together today to cut a red ribbon at San Mateo County’s newest affordable development. Located in the Belle Haven neighborhood, Gateway Rising has emerged as a showpiece for what’s possible with foresight and public-private partnerships that work.

    “These homes are a testament to the sustained efforts to prevent displacement in one of the most expensive regions in the country,” said Iliana Rodriguez, The County of San Mateo’s assistant county executive. “Gateway Rising also represents the County’s vision that, here in San Mateo County and Silicon Valley, surrounded by employment centers and amenities, housing affordable to residents with a wide range of incomes will still be available.”

    The opening fulfills a decade-long vision.

    Gateway Rising replaces a 1960s apartment complex built at a time when redlining and discriminatory housing policies directed Black individuals and families and later Latinos to live east of Highway 101. Now that area is coveted by market-rate developers due to proximity of jobs and stellar weather.

    A resident's kitchen.

    To protect the area and local residents from gentrification, public agencies teamed with nonprofit housing developer MidPen Housing. Together, they developed a plan to replace the garden-style apartments with a showpiece of a development that would remain affordable.

    “The comprehensive Gateway revitalization is a true win/win for the community, allowing us to rebuild some of the most obsolete housing stock while adding new homes,” said Matthew O. Franklin, president and CEO of MidPen Housing. “We applaud San Mateo County and the City of Menlo Park for their vision and leadership in committing early and deep support to the redevelopment, and we’re proud to be a partner in bringing safe, high-quality, affordable homes to the Belle Haven neighborhood.”  

    Of Gateway Rising’s 140 apartment homes, 81 are filled by returning residents, seven are set-aside for households experiencing homelessness with the remaining 51 are for  households earning up to 80 percent of the Area Median Income.

    The County’s contributions include a $5.1 million loan from the County’s Affordable Housing Fund, financed largely by the local Measure K half-cent sales tax, which provides local funds for local needs. Assistance also includes a $250,000 loan from the Housing Authority’s reserve funds and 81 project-based housing vouchers, which allows tenants to pay rent based on their income.

    Peter Adams, a Gateway Rising resident and cancer survivor, spoke at today's ribbon cutting. He highlighted the amenities -- the kitchen ("I'm a cook"), the play areas for children, the elevators, the landscaping. "This is my home," he told a crowd of more than 50 people gathered in celebration. "I'm happy with it."

    The waiting list for Gateway Rising is currently closed. For Gateway Rising property information, contact the leasing office at

    A resident's bedroom. 
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