San Mateo - San Mateo Park
“San Mateo Park is the most exclusive neighborhood in San Mateo”
If Baywood and Aragon are San Mateo’s most popular neighborhoods, San Mateo Park its most exclusive. It was always meant to be the city’s premier neighborhood, from the moment its streets were platted, a few years before the turn of the 20th century. San Mateo Park is San Mateo’s answer to Hillsborough, an elegant, wooded neighborhood created in the style of the “City Beautiful” movement, which sought to provide an antidote to the crowded urban conditions of the late 20th century. Home buyers love the serene feel of the neighborhood and enjoy the abundant space that the oversized lots offer.
Instead of a gridded street pattern, San Mateo Park has 69 landscaped traffic circles. Rather than four way intersections, it is one of the few places with islands that were originally developed to easily route horse-drawn carriages around corners without fear of collision, and these islands have become a favorite park of San Mateo Park’s fabled allure. Homes are set back from the street on generous sized lots ranging from 6,000 to easily over 10,000 square feet, often hidden by the dense greenery of native oak and redwood trees, elms, maples and poplars, palms, cedars and olive trees planted under the supervision of famed landscape architect John McLaren, designer of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, before the first San Mateo Park home broke ground. San Mateo Park is quiet, graceful and luxurious. Many home buyers actually prefer it to its more well-known neighbor, Hillsborough.
Convenience is an added perk for San Mateo Park residents. Shopping and dining on Burlingame Avenue is less than one mile away, making it within general walking distance. El Camino Real, the eastern border of San Mateo Park, offers easy access to freeways and surface commute routes. Burlingame’s Caltrain station can be reached by foot in 20 minutes.
San Mateo Park real estate is comparable to anything found in the Peninsula’s high-end neighborhoods, sprawling two-story residences built in the1910s, 1920s and 1930s (with a few post-war houses and new construction mixed in among an inventory of Tudors, Colonials, Craftsmans and Mediterraneans) of impressive size and stature. San Mateo Park homes can have up to 4,000 square feet of living space, five bedrooms, quarter-acre lots (the neighborhood does not share Hillsborough’s half-acre minimum lot size requirement), swimming pools and lavishly landscaped yards. Since so many are closing in on 100 years of age, six-figure remodels are not uncommon. There’s quite a mix of classic architectural styles including Tudor, Craftsman, Colonial, and Spanish, many of which were built in the 1920s and 1930s.
San Mateo Park homes for sale frequently sell for over $2 million and up. Smaller properties – those around 2,000 square feet – can sometimes be had for as “little” as $1.5 million. A few recent sales have nudged up towards $3 million, leaving them all but indistinguishable from real estate in neighboring Hillsborough.
To view a detailed google map of the San Mateo Park neighborhood, click here. The MLS area is 439.
- The most prestigious neighborhood in San Mateo, along with Baywood
- Has a rich and historic feel, with elegant, wooded traffic roundabouts originally create for horses
- Diverse styles of homes with a mix of classical architectural styles, including Tudor, Craftsman, Colonial and Spanish
- For the price, offers excellent value -- 10-20% more square footage and lot size than Burlingame for the same price
- Slightly older homes, closing in on 100 years of age. However, many homes have been remodeled
- The elementary school is not as top rated for the price as nearby Burlingame or Baywood in San Mateo, so many buyers at these prices may elect to send their children to private school
Schools in the Neighborhood
San Mateo Park is home to Park Elementary School, located on Clark Drive.
The public middle school for San Mateo Park is Borel Middle School, located in Homestead Husing neighborhood on Barneson Avenue. It’s about a 10 minute drive.
The public high school for San Mateo Park is San Mateo High School, located in Bowie Estate neighborhood on North Delaware Street. It’s about an 8 minute drive from San Mateo Park. To view a map of the boundaries for San Mateo High School, or to search a high school by a specific address, click here.
To view an extensive list of preschools serving the San Mateo community, click here.
Originally part of the Howard Estate, San Mateo Park’s 400 acres were employed for dairy farming and cattle by Tobin Clark when slated for subdivision, in 1896. Streets were platted in 1903 by McLaren, George Howard and Davenport Bromfield, who later built one of the first homes in the neighborhood, on Occidental Avenue, at a cost of $18,000. Soon wealthy San Franciscans were riding the new Interurban Railroad to San Mateo, purchasing land in a series of auctions held after the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire. Intermittent building followed, picking up in the years following World War I.
A century later, San Mateo Park is long-established as San Mateo’s most exclusive neighborhood, an alternative to Hillsborough and still a comfortable landing spot for the city’s wealthiest residents.