Chamber leadership expressed its support for the conceptual design of the project located at 999 Third Street in Downtown. The collaboration of the project between BioMarin and Whistlestop has been well thought out and provides the Downtown with significant benefits that could help reshape the future of our city.
Since relocating to San Rafael in 2012, BioMarin has played an integral role in stimulating our Downtown area with an infusion of new clientele for many of our local businesses. Every weekday, you can find BioMarin employees shopping at our stores, eating in our cafés and restaurants, and bringing positive energy and pedestrian traffic to 4th St. and beyond. The company has contributed thousands of charitable dollars back into our community and established themselves as a vital contributor to well-paying jobs. San Rafael has an opportunity to retain and grow the largest private employer in Marin, cultivate local talent and create new tax revenue for the city. In addition, BioMarin has provided an additional public amenity by partnering with Whistlestop for some severely needed senior housing.
In anticipation of SMART, Whistlestop approached the Chamber back in September of 2014 and notified us that they had no other viable option other than utilizing their own land on Tamalpais Avenue to construct an active aging senior center with senior housing units above. The Chamber leadership endorsed this project at that time and has continued to follow their struggle to build much-needed housing in San Rafael. We are delighted that since that time, BioMarin, Whistlestop and Eden Housing have collaborated to present a forward-thinking way of utilizing the site at 999 Third Street to design both projects.
After initial review of the conceptual designs, the Chamber provided feedback relative to addressing any traffic flow and/or safety issues with Brook Street as well as our interest in allowing public access to the outdoor spaces on the BioMarin campus. The Chamber may have additional comments after hearing the Planning commissioner’s remarks as well, but overall we support the preliminary designs of the buildings and urge the city and its staff to expedite the process in moving this project forward in an effort to create a vibrant Downtown, create new jobs and provide much needed senior housing.
Full Support Letter