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Stanford Report, August 9, 2000

First units at Sand Hill Road housing complex to open this fall


The first 60 apartments and townhouses in the Stanford West housing complex for staff and faculty will be ready for occupancy this fall. Prospective tenants better get in line quickly.

Senior property manager Heather Wallace says she expects the housing to be rented as soon as it goes on the market.

"The Stanford community will absorb it," Wallace says about occupancy of the 628-unit complex off Sand Hill Road near the shopping center. "I've got an interest list 400 people deep. And that's without a stick of marketing. There's not even a project sign outside [the site]. I've never seen that kind of interest before."

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Details about the complex, which is being overseen by the Faculty/Staff Housing office, can be found online at It will be managed by Wallace's employer, Trammell Crow Residential Services, a nationwide property management company. Wallace will head a rental office that will open in the complex's community building in late August.

Faculty/Staff Housing Director Carolyn Sargent says the opening of Stanford West marks the first time that the university has built housing on campus for staff at all levels of seniority. "We're just delighted to have this much-needed housing available to staff," she says. "It's still a treacherous [housing] market, but we hope the favorable [rental] rates will make it easier for staff. It will cut down on traffic in Palo Alto and commuting."

After the first apartments and townhouses become available between Oct. 1 and Nov. 1, additional blocks of housing will be ready every six to eight weeks. The complex is expected to be completely open in about a year. This fall, a community building with a conference room and fitness center will be available for tenants. Other services, such as a child care facility and senior housing, are part of an overall development plan for Sand Hill.

First priority in occupancy at Stanford West goes to people employed by the university or SLAC. These include faculty, university public safety officers and staff, in that order, including postdoctoral fellows, who work at least 30 hours a week. Second-level priority applicants include hospital and clinic employees, medical residents and interns, visiting scholars who are employed by but not paid by the university, and people who work on Stanford lands, such as the shopping center and research park. Any units not filled by these two categories will be rented to the general community.

Rental rates vary according to how applicants are classified. Rents for all eligible applicants, except those who work on Stanford lands, will range from $1,470 to $1,930 for a one-bedroom apartment and $2,890 to $3,180 for a three-bedroom unit. Employees who work at the shopping center, research park or on Welch Road will pay higher rates.

Furthermore, during the first year, 63 of the apartments will be rented as BMR (Below Market Rent) units, ranging from $794 for a one-bedroom to $1,345 for a three-bedroom apartment. Eligibility for these will be based on the median income for Santa Clara County, according to Sargent. For example, a one-person household would have to earn $48,700 or less annually and the income of a four-person household would be capped at $69,600. These units will become available in stages as the overall complex opens. "I'm anticipating a lot of demand for these," says Sargent. "We will have to hold a lottery." SR