Go To Search

University Circle Project Area
University CircleUniversity Circle was formed in 1998. There are a total of 22.8 acres of land in this area. This area, formerly referred to as "Whiskey Gulch," consisted primarily of two- and three-story mixed-use retail / residential buildings.

The area, while serving as the city's primary commercial hub, suffered from physically dilapidated buildings, high crime and drug activity, and the proliferation of liquor stores and bars. However, the area included 100-plus affordable residential units, 12 local-serving non-profit agencies and was home to the city's only full-service supermarket. Beginning in the fall of 1999, University Circle, Inc. (U.C.I.), a developer, began the acquisition, relocation, demolition, and construction of three office towers and a full-service hotel. More than 150 families, 40-plus businesses, and 12 non-profit agencies were relocated or acquired in order to commence the development of the new project.

Approximately 15-20% of the households relocated purchased homes elsewhere in the Bay Area. All non-profit agencies were successfully relocated throughout the city. Due to limited commercial space elsewhere, few businesses were able to secure retail space in the city.

Office buildingOffice & Retail
The University Circle development consists of three class-A office towers totaling 450,000 square feet of office space, 15,000 square feet of retail space, with underground and surface parking in a landscaped master planned development. At the end of 2012, the class A office development was home to several prestigious law firms, including: Osborn & Scarborough, LLC, Burr Pilger Mayer, DLA Piper, Ropes & Gray, and Greenberg Traurig. Other tenants include Wells Fargo Advisors, TD Ameritrade, Arbor Advisors, Artiman Ventures, California Ear Institute, Cassidy Turley, and Bank Leumi. The San Francisco Soup Company and Lulu's Petite, Inc. provide on-site food services. The site is also home to a 200-room Four Seasons Hotel that opened in January 2006. The hotel has a luxurious full service restaurant and bar named Quattro.

This development is easily accessible via Highway 101 and offers commuters an excellent work environment with access to the Dumbarton Bridge as well. The City of East Palo Alto is working collaboratively with U.C.I.'s property manager to maximize opportunities for local employment and contracting. The assessed valuation of U.C.I. was $7.3 million in 1988 when the Redevelopment Area was formed. The 2009 assessed valuation was $422 million.