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After Inactivity, Treetops Upgrade Coming

The complex has sat vacant for years because of financing problems and design changes—much to the dismay of residents from the surrounding neighborhood, who say the project has contributed to blight.

Since the Treetops apartment complex was vacated in 2005, it’s been nothing but an eyesore for the surrounding neighborhood.

The developer has had plans to fix up the property for years, but financing and design changes have delayed the process.

It doesn’t help that the 308-unit complex sits, fenced off, on the corner of Skyline Boulevard and Sharp Park Road as a reminder of the site’s years of inactivity.

The city issued a permit for the first phase of construction last week. The complex is set to begin construction in June, nearly a year after the developer asked for an extension to decide whether to tear down the current structure and build a larger complex or upgrade the existing one. The developer, AIMCO, has decided to move forward with renovating the 308 existing apartments and is now working with HUD on the final stages of its application for financing.

Still, residents from the Pacific Heights neighborhood—having had to live with the blight for years—are wary of the promises.

Aaron Aknin, the city’s community development director, said the city shares the residents’ concerns and looks forward to when the construction finally gets off the ground.

In the meantime, Aknin said, the city has required the developer to keep the site fenced off and maintained. Last month, he said, the city ordered the developer to do a significant amount of landscaping work along the Sharp Park side of the property to improve its appearance.

A spokeswoman from AIMCO said she would provide a response from the developer Tuesday about the current status of the project.

Location: 4300 Susan Dr.

Owner: AIMCO

Who to contact: Aaron Aknin, San Bruno Community Development Department director, 650-616-7039

Martin Ricard (Editor) May 10, 2011 at 06:03 PM
The developer, AIMCO, recently sent this message to a reader about the Treetops project. Just wanted to share: "A total tear down of the project was approved in 2008, and required replacement with 510 units. This plan became financially infeasible due to the recession and inability to finance new construction. Therefore, we returned to the drawing board to see what we could do. We presented new renovation plans to the City which were approved in 2010. We are not able to dismantle the property until construction begins. In the interim we have contracted for a 24 hour response on graffiti and a 72 hour response on debris clean-up. We also have 24-hour security. We have perimeter landscape maintenance once or twice a month, too."
Renee C. May 10, 2011 at 06:23 PM
When is the City going to do something about the vacant building (the old theater) at the corner of El Camino and San Mateo Avenue? Talk about blight . . . this is in the heart of downtown. It's shameful.
Martin Ricard (Editor) May 10, 2011 at 06:48 PM
Renee, that project is still up in the air, unfortunately. There was a plan submitted to turn the property into a mixed-used project with housing and businesses, but it hasn't moved forward in awhile. http://patch.com/A-457
jeff September 19, 2011 at 07:48 PM
why was the Treetops complex vacated?

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