Top Foster City officials to tour developments 

Development plans for Foster City’s last vacant lot look great on paper and in artists’ renderings, but before a final developer is selected, local leaders want to see the real thing.

Beginning Tuesday and ending June 14, Foster City staff and council members will tour retail sights and housing complexes built around the Bay Area by three developers. The developers are vying for a chance to turn the empty lot adjacent to the Civic Center into a complex of senior housing, shops and community activities.

"I just want to look at different sites that each of these developers has played a part in, to make sure we have a good balance of retail and residential that is going to accommodate what we’re looking for and enhance the rest of Foster City," Councilwoman Linda Koelling said.

The tours will give each developer a chance to show their work around the Bay in similar venues. The longest trip will be to Davis, for the Sares Regis Group’s University Retirement Community. The 398-unit complex provides roughly the same number and type of resident units that the Foster City development will contain.

"They’ll be able to get an idea how exactly how all that works together and how it provides the residents with a concept of having their care provided through all stage of health," Senior Vice President John Igoe said.

The tours will also give Bridge Housing a chance to show the Cinema West Theaters in Livermore, an example — Executive Vice President Lydia Tan said — of a movie theater that does not overload the surrounding area with commotion and traffic, as is feared if one is built in Foster City.

"We need to see that it is something that will actually serve as a drawto the area," Koelling said. She said a smaller theater with foreign and independent films would better serve the seniors on site and the surrounding Foster City community.

Koelling said until all the tours are complete, there is no set date for a final decision on the developers, although the council was originally slated to make a decision on May 21.

jgoldman@examiner.com

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