San Mateo - Harbortown & Mariner’s Isle
“Harbortown & Mariner’s Isle is one of the largest and the most “uncommon” neighborhoods in San Mateo”
Mariner’s Island in an uncommon San Mateo neighborhood. Its layout, the age of its real estate, its waterfront location and its many commercial properties are characteristics more like those found in neighboring Foster City than in most San Mateo districts.
But Mariner’s Island is no afterthought. With a total area of almost a full square mile, it’s one of San Mateo’s largest neighborhoods, ranging all the way from Seal Slough to San Francisco Bay, though a good part of the area is non-residential and includes the Bridgepointe Shopping Center, Tidelands Park, the entrance to Mariners Point Golf Center, hotels, office parks and approximately 3,000 residents.
Like its southern neighbor, Edgewater Isle (which, on some maps, is actually considered part of Mariner’s Island), Mariner’s Island offers waterfront living in homes of a recent vintage. Mariner’s Island real estate is more diverse than Edgewater’s, offering both single-family, condo and townhouse options. Single-family homes with views along Fathom Drive are large (with more than 2,000 square feet of living space and three or four bedrooms) can be purchased as high as $1 million. They rarely come on the market, and typically sell fast, due to their unique feel as “beachfront” property. These houses, built in the 1960s and 70s, are of the same vintage as water view condos on Port Drive, at the district’s eastern edge.
Newer properties line the water side of Shoal Drive, townhouses and single-family homes of similar size to those found on Fathom Drive. Condominiums and apartments line four-lane Mariner’s Island Boulevard, sharing space with gleaming low- and mid-rise office buildings, many of whose glass sheet walls reflect the prevailing design trends of the 1970s, 80s and 90s.
Mariner’s Island also includes Harbortown, a large townhome development built in 1979 around a man-made lake. Many people like its woodsy feel, and the complex features Craftsman style wood siding, and each structure is no more than three stories tall. Most have attached or detached private garages, which is a huge plus, giving Harbortown more of a residential home feel. Harbortown homes for sale range in size from one to three bedrooms and in price from the mid $400s to $700,000.
To view a detailed google map of the Harbortown neighborhood, click here. The MLS area is 412.
To view a detailed google map of the Mariner’s Isle neighborhood, click here. The MLS area is 410.
Left undeveloped for many decades, residential and commercial building began in Mariner’s Island during the 1960s, concurrent with building in adjacent Foster City. The Marina Lagoon sub-neighborhood was originally called “Seal Slough” after the nearby canal, but developers worried the name would not attract homebuyers. “Marina Lagoon,” the winning entry in a public contest, was submitted by a Mr. and Mrs. Charles of San Mateo.
In 1981, The Hahn Company, a San Diego-based developer, built San Mateo Fashion Island, a mall designed to challenge the dominance of the Hillsdale Shopping Center. The quirky mall, which featured a giant nine-pointed tent and an ice skating rink, lasted only 15 years. The Bridgepointe Center sits on its former site, giving this very suburban neighborhood a continuing retail and dining presence.