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Historic Post Office Temporarily Moved for New Mixed-Use Complex in Downtown Burlingame, Calif.

Historic Downtown Burlingame post office building temporarily relocated and restored as part of new downtown mixed-use development

Historic Post Office Temporarily Moved for New Mixed-Use Complex in Downtown Burlingame, Calif.
Photograph © Spencer Brown

In Burlingame, Calif., a construction crew is now lifting and temporarily moving a historic 1940s Burlingame post office building—weighing 1,010 tons—approximately 120 feet from its current location. This muscular nudge will help accommodates the construction of a new underground parking garage directly beneath the post office as part of the much-anticipated 220 Park Road office and retail development.

Historic Post Office Temporarily Moved for New Mixed-Use Complex in Downtown Burlingame, Calif.

Work began last week to lift and temporarily move the historic 1940s Burlingame post office building—weighing 1,010 tonsapproximately 120 feet from its current location. The temporary relocation accommodates the construction of a new underground parking garage directly beneath the building’s current location as part of the new 220 Park Road office and retail development. While relocated, restoration will proceed on the historic structure before the building is moved back on site and integrated with the 220 Park building as an iconic, active restaurant space at the base of the office building.

The task of safely relocating the historic structure is being undertaken by San Josebased Garden City Construction, a company with over 30 years of experience in rejuvenating and rehabilitating historic properties.The building is being relocated in order to ensure its safety during construction of the new 220 Park Road development project led by a joint venture of Sares Regis Group of Northern California (SRGNC) and Dostart Development Company (DDC). The project broke ground in September and will deliver 185,000 square feet of new office and retail space at the long-vacant, 1.3-acre lot in the center of downtown Burlingame.

The engineering and construction techniques being used to preserve this community asset are a wonder to watch,” says Councilmember Donna Colson. “The City of Burlingame is fortunate to have the Sares Regis Group of Northern California and Dostart Development as partners leading this complex restoration, which will culminate in a dynamic new downtown plaza, more evening and weekend parking options, and a beautiful interpretation of a historic post office that will once again serve as a gathering space and center of commerce.”

In the Summer of 2023, the post office building will be moved back to its original location and integrated into the new office and retail building, designed by KSH Architects, as an anchor for the ground-floor retail space.

This post office, built in the 1940s, is part of the historic fabric of the city of Burlingame and we are honored to help ensure the preservation and adaptation of this public treasure,” says architect Ruth Todd, FAIA, principal of Page and Turnbull, and the project’s preservation leader. “On behalf of the City and our firm, we applaud Dostart Development and Sares Regis’s bold investment in a major preservation commitment, which will create a rich and beautiful place for work and play that connects Burlingame’s past with its future.

Once finished, the repurposed post office will open onto the new adjacent Burlingame Town Square, which is scheduled to begin construction immediately following the completion of the office/retail building. City leaders envision the future Town Square to be a gathering place for outdoor dining and socializing, with flexibility to host live concerts, performances, and other cultural events. The 220 Park building will front this new active downtown space.

Historic Post Office Temporarily Moved for New Mixed-Use Complex in Downtown Burlingame, Calif.
Photograph © Spencer Brown

Building right in the vibrant heart of downtown Burlingame comes with its challenges, but this is a unique opportunity to deliver a high quality office space with all of the perks of downtown conveniences and amenities,” says Mollie Ricker, Partner at DDC. “In addition to offering indoor/outdoor work opportunities and interaction with the adjacent public open space, the completed office building will have generous private terraces on each level that will deliver grand views of San Francisco to the North, Hillsborough to the West, and the San Francisco Bay to the East. Future office tenants will be able to grab lunch, meet for a happy hour drink, or take a stroll downtown without having having to get in their car

Moving the post office is a huge milestone in a one-of-a-kind project,” says David N.P. Hopkins, Chief Operating Officer of Development at SRGNC. “It’s exciting for us and the City of Burlingame to watch as we progress toward this vision of a new workspace that is grounded in its downtown surroundings.

The developers plan to photographically document the process of moving the post office and hope to release time-lapse footage to share with the public soon after the move is complete.

Construction of the office building is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2023, with the exterior and site improvements to be completed in early 2024.

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