A group of children and adults cutting a ribbon

Children who are members of the Wings of Sound Youth Choir joined adults (left to right) Pam Brandin, Mayor Greg Scharff, Tiffany Griego and Bill Witte for the ribbon cutting. (Image credit: Nikki Ritcher Photography)

University and civic leaders joined an enthusiastic crowd of residents and others in attendance on Thursday to celebrate the completion of Mayfield Place. The mixed-use development adds affordable housing for Palo Alto residents in a very challenging housing market.

Located in the Stanford Research Park near the corner of El Camino Real and South California Avenue, Mayfield Place offers 70 apartment homes to qualified low- and moderate-income residents with ground floor services and retail available to the broader community.

“Mayfield Place embodies Stanford’s long-term vision for the Stanford Research Park to continue to modernize and evolve as a vital job center and a very special place,” said Tiffany Griego, managing director of asset management for the Stanford Research Park.

Talitha de la Cruz, one of the initial residents of Mayfield Place, said she had almost given up on the local housing market and was considering moving out of state when she received an email with a link to join the Mayfield Place mailing list.

“I feel extremely blessed to have all of the many benefits of living in this community within a wonderful school district and within a 10-minute commute to work,” de la Cruz told the gathering. “Thank you for making this housing opportunity happen for me and my family.”

Mayfield Place is one result of the 2005 Mayfield Agreement between the City of Palo Alto and Stanford University, with the goal of adding more housing and playing fields for the community to enjoy while preserving the ability for the Stanford Research Park to evolve and expand. The Stanford/Palo Alto Community playing fields have been in operation since 2006. In addition to the recent completion of Mayfield Place, Stanford is currently building University Terrace, a community of 180 homes for university faculty on South California Avenue. Delivery of the first faculty homes will begin later this year.

“I am thrilled and honored to be here today,” said Palo Alto Mayor Greg Scharff. “Bringing people into the community that live or work here and providing them a place to live that is secure, where rents are not going to drive them out of the community, really touches people’s lives in a way that is hard to quantify. To be able to touch people’s lives in that way is something we can all be proud of. This is a great day and a great accomplishment.”

In addition to affordable housing for individuals and families, ground-floor spaces at Mayfield Place have been leased to Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired and to Fambrini’s Café, allowing them to continue serving the neighborhood and daytime work population.

Mayfield Place was built by the real estate firm Related California, which will also manage the new development.

“This is really a dream come true for Vista Center. We are so fortunate to be able to stay here at a time when rents are skyrocketing and nonprofits are really challenged to stay on the peninsula at all and be viable,” said Pam Brandin, executive director of Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired. “Vista Center is so grateful to Stanford and Related California for making this location available to us for the long term so we can continue to provide vision-loss rehabilitation services to an ever-increasing number of people. We are especially happy that clients can easily use public transportation to come to Vista Center.”

With close proximity to Caltrain, local VTA transit, and jobs and services along California Avenue and El Camino Real, Mayfield Place provides residents with options to minimize reliance on automobile use. All Mayfield Place residents receive free VTA Eco Passes, allowing unlimited travel on Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority buses and light rail, to further encourage use of public transit.

“We are delighted to be here today and are greatly appreciative to Stanford, the mayor and the council for all their support,” said Bill Witte, chairman and chief executive officer of Related California. “Stanford had a vision, and they wanted to make sure the vision was realized. The project had to fit in the community and represent the community, so that 10 to 20 years from now people would think they did a really good thing.”

Providing housing options for individuals and families alike, Mayfield Place contains a combination of 24 one-bedroom, 24 two-bedroom and 22 three-bedroom apartment homes. Amenities for residents include covered parking, a fitness facility, community room, laundry room, bike storage rooms on every floor, community kitchen, on-call maintenance and more. All units at Mayfield Place are currently occupied. Further information is available by calling (866) 402-9110 or visiting the Mayfield Place website.