Tanforan Preliminary Project Application - Site Massing



Project Description

The Planning Division received a preliminary project application for redevelopment of the 44-acre site, currently home to The Shops at Tanforan Shopping Center.


The application proposes to replace the existing mall with a transit- oriented mixed-use village. The project seeks to retain and upgrade Target and keep and modernize the Century at Tanforan movie theater to accommodate the modern movie-going experience. The future uses for the site are proposed to include a 2 million square foot innovative life science campus, 1,000 housing units as well as new modernized retail space. It includes a significant residential portion of the project that will help our City meet its significant State mandated Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) housing obligations.  

The fabric that unites these uses is a community-serving series of spaces that connect the development to the BART station and integrates it with the neighborhood around the project site.

Land Use/Zoning

General Plan: Regional Commercial
Zoning: Planned Development (PD)

Requested Planning Approvals

The requested planning approvals will be determined during the preliminary review. The project will also require CEQA environmental review.


1122, 1150 and 1178 El Camino Real 

Type of Land Uses Proposed

Mixed Use - Approximately 1,000 Housing units, a Life Science Campus, and Retail Space, including Target and the Century movie theatre.


The Planning Division received a preliminary project application on October 5, 2022. 

On October 25, 2022, at the City Council meeting, staff provided a presentation of an update on the Tanforan preliminary project application submittal and the City's community engagement process.

That meeting was the kickoff to a robust community engagement effort led by the City. Between November 2022 and February 2023, a total of 13 in-person events to solicit community feedback were held, including four drop-in open houses and various drop-in office hours.

The outcome of the first phase of the community engagement efforts is the Community Priorities Progress Report.

The formal planning entitlement process for the project will include a robust review and analysis. This includes a comprehensive City staff review for conformance of the project to the City’s General Plan and Zoning Code, development regulations, and the analysis required by the State California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). 


The process will include multiple public meetings with the City’s Planning Commission and City Council, as well as other review bodies, before being considered for final action

City Contact

General comments and questions should be emailed to Tanforan@sanbruno.ca.gov 

Darcy Smith, Assistant City Manager, (650) 616-7002 or dsmith@sanbruno.ca.gov 


Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. 

Preliminary Project Application

On October 5, 2022, the Planning Division received a preliminary planning project application for a mixed-use development comprised of approximately 1,000 housing units, a life science campus, and retail space, including Target and the Century at Tanforan movie theatre.  


City Public Engagement and Dedicated Project Website

The City has launched a public engagement process “Tanforan for San Bruno,” with a dedicated website to facilitate public engagement. The website, hosted at TanforanForSanBruno.com, will serve as a central point of information for the community input process. The engagement process will solicit input on what’s most important to the community. In advance of site-specific conversations, the City is looking to establish community priorities on how the site can best serve the City for the upcoming generations. 

“Tanforan FOR San Bruno” is dedicated to keeping our community informed and soliciting community input – in-person and virtually – throughout the City’s planning process. Elements include this website, for communication and information and virtual participation; a storefront for in-person participation, and a Listening Report to share findings: The website includes a list of frequently asked questions here and the Community Priorities Progress Report.  This community process will help inform the City as it reviews the preliminary application and will serve as a supplement to the City’s technical analysis, studies and the CEQA review of the project.

Reimagining Tanforan Land Use Fact Sheet – July 2021

In 2021, faced with the knowledge that portions of the site may be up for sale, the City released the Reimagining Tanforan Land Use Fact Sheet outlining the challenges and opportunities before the community at the Tanforan site. The San Bruno City Council adopted a Reimagining Tanforan Land Use Fact Sheet on July 27, 2021. The Fact Sheet aimed to encourage real estate investors that were considering purchasing one or more of the three privately held parcels on the site to examine the potential for a modern, mixed-use development across the entire 44-acre site. The Fact Sheet articulates a vision for redevelopment that includes office, hotel, retail, entertainment, and a minimum of 1,000 housing units. 

The Fact Sheet outlines a process for a new Master Plan that will serve as a catalyst for revitalizing the shopping center and, through private investment, redevelop the site as a global center for life sciences and technology innovation combined with retail, open space amenities, and housing that will invite the public in and provide long-term benefits to the San Bruno community.

The 29-page Reimagining Tanforan Land Use Fact Sheet consists of five focus areas including:

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Property Overview
  3. Strategic Vision
  4. Planning & Design
  5. Current Zoning & Discretionary Review

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