Is there anything special about San Mateo, CA?

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Cimpler Real Estate, Inc. CA BRE# 01330941

There are many “nice” things about San Mateo, CA.  It has a mild climate, a lot of beautiful homes (as the one below), interesting (but not necessarily exciting) history, etc. But is there anything special or unusual about San Mateo? 

San Mateo House

 
Here are 10 things I came with: 

  1. You Tube was a San Mateo startup (http://youtube.com/ ). They are in San Bruno, CA now. Here is their Last Day in San Mateo
  2. Movie studio around 1923-5 - I read about in the Daily Journal, but cannot find the link!). San Mateo had a shot at becoming Hollywood, but I guess the weather in the South is better! Can you help to find the link???
  3. Bay Meadows Race Track – it still exist, but it might be its last year. Seabiscuit ran here! (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bay_Meadows )
  4. Lure Restaurant – if you look for a special (San Francisco like, expensive place with great food and décor, make sure you come here. It is in walking distance to San Mateo movie theaters (see #7)  http://www.lurerestaurant.com
  5. The San Mateo Performing Arts Center located on San Mateo High School, is one of the largest theatres on the peninsula outside of San Francisco (per Wikipedia)
  6. Pier 1 Imports – was founded 1962, in San Mateo (per Wikipedia)
  7. B Street cinema district - cinema brought the evening traffic to the City and local restaurants. A great place!
  8. The local economy successfully withstood the dotcom industry crash – the credit goes to the San Mateo City Council! As a matter of fact, they continue doing a great job. Click Here to visit a very informative city website.
  9. Coyote Point Museum (one of the best natural history museums and wildlife centers in California, according to Wikipedia entry )
  10. Yul Kwon, winner of Survivor: Cook Islands.

To read more about San Mateo and its history, please go to the following website:

http://www.cityofsanmateo.org/visitors/history.html

I am sure that I missed many special or unusual things about San Mateo. Can you provide your input on unusual things that happened in San Mateo or about San Mateo?

San Mateo Bridge

I am closing with a picture of the San Mateo Bridge across SF Bay (it is over 7 miles long).  Per Wikipedia - the original bridge was built in 1929 and upon completion it was the longest bridge in the world. As a matter of fact, San Mateo Bridge connects Foster City (and not San Mateo) and Hayward and

CSM

a picture of San Mateo College – a great place to take undergraduate courses and than transfer them to one of UCs.

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Anonymous
Karen - San Mateo CA lifetime resident

Hey there - at least I can answer (in part) your second question:

"Movie studio around 1923-5 - I read about in the Daily Journal, but cannot find the link!). San Mateo had a shot at becoming Hollywood, but I guess the weather in the South is better! Can you help to find the link???"

The building which housed the afore-mentioned film studio is located on Peninsula Ave (right at the border of San Mateo and Burlingame) on the corner of Woodside Way.  The building now houses a sushi restaurant.  The name of the studio was "Peninsula Studios".  The book "San Mateo: A Centennial History" has some info about the studio which only made a few silent films before folding.  (Incidentally this was around the same time as the existence of the amusement park "Pacific City" which was located on the bay shore north of Coyote Point, approximately where the Peninsula Humane Society and old B-game Drivein are now located).

http://www.halfmoonbaymemories.com/category/let-women-alone/

Check out the above link. 

Another interesting fact about San Mateo is that it was the home of A.P. Giannini, founder of the Bank of America.  His house "Seven Oaks" the largest single family house existing in the city, is on El Cerrito Ave a half-block from El Camino (can't remember the exact address).  Seven Oaks is where Mr. Gianinni hid the bank's money following the Great Earthquake in 1906, saving it from fire and looters.  The money that was saved by Giannini helped to rebuild the city following the catastrophe. 

If you are interested in more history about San Mateo I would recommend the afore-mentioned book as well as several books printed by Arcadia Publishing, in particular "San Francisco's Interurban to San Mateo" by Walter Vielbaum et al which has great photos of the Peninsula from way back when. 

Sep 28, 2007 06:52 AM #1
Rainer
42,460
Artur Urbanski
Cimpler Real Estate, Inc. - Burlingame, CA
Helping property owners to maximize property value

Karen,

That's impressive.  Thank you very much.  I really appreciate it!

Sep 28, 2007 05:30 PM #2
Anonymous
Natallia

Is that house 20 El Cerrito? I see that house every day from my apartment! I was always wondering about it, house looks really old, has some sort of barn in the yard (that's almost downtown SM!) and is just different.. huge house. Sometimes they pull out a wagon in the yard and other old stuff from the barn...they're renovating the house and fortunately keeping the same design (tudor-like exterior).

As far as Bay Meadows, you also right here: it will be torn down and I think approval was issued to build big track of single families there. A lot of RE agiotage in that area btw. I love BM. Used to go there almost every week when they have live racing

It was great to read these interesting facts about San Mateo. Didn't know about movie studio. Thank you!

Apr 10, 2008 08:17 AM #3
Anonymous
Natallia

Is that house 20 El Cerrito? I see that house every day from my apartment! I was always wondering about it, house looks really old, has some sort of barn in the yard (that's almost downtown SM!) and is just different.. huge house. Sometimes they pull out a wagon in the yard and other old stuff from the barn...they're renovating the house and fortunately keeping the same design (tudor-like exterior).

As far as Bay Meadows, you also right here: it will be torn down and I think approval was issued to build big track of single families there. A lot of RE agiotage in that area btw. I love BM. Used to go there almost every week when they have live racing

It was great to read these interesting facts about San Mateo. Didn't know about movie studio. Thank you!

Apr 10, 2008 08:17 AM #4
Rainer
42,460
Artur Urbanski
Cimpler Real Estate, Inc. - Burlingame, CA
Helping property owners to maximize property value

Hi Natallia,

No it is not.  It is the house on the corner of Virginia Ave and Georgetown.  You can see it in Street View on Google Maps.  Here is the link:

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=San+Mateo,+CA&ie=UTF8&ll=37.558629,-122.329524&spn=0.008658,0.017338&z=16&layer=c&cbll=37.556991,-122.329494&cbp=1,176.09179614980746,,1,-4.541614799167299

It is a gorgeous house.

Thank you for your comments. I have to add some more neat things about San Mateo.  By the way, have you tried Lure Restaurant?  It really is great!

 

Apr 10, 2008 10:45 AM #5
Anonymous
Rita http//:www.bloggrrl.com

Artur,

San Mateo sounds and looks beautiful.  As an East-Coaster, I was fascinated by the facts you provided.  Is San Mateo purely residential, or is it a good tourist area as well?  With both of my children leaving home next year (the litte one is off to college), my husband and I are looking to different areas where we might like to live, with a warmer climate. 

What is the aveage 2 or 3 bedroom home selling for?  Also, if we just wanted to be "tourists" to the area, how could I find out if there are, in fact, "touristy" things in the vicinity?  Any ideas on hotels that are nice, but reasonable?  You make the area look and sound like paradise!
Thanks,
Rita

Oct 21, 2008 06:16 AM #8
Rainer
42,460
Artur Urbanski
Cimpler Real Estate, Inc. - Burlingame, CA
Helping property owners to maximize property value

Rita,

Thank you very much. San Mateo is a business and residential center (Pop ocver $100k). There are two very distinct residential parts of San Mateo, East of El Camino Real and West Of El Camino Real.  Prices on the west side did not change much and for a 3 bedroom house are anywhere from $700k to $1.5 M plus. East side prices dropped dramatically.  You couldn't buy a 2 bedroom place for less that $650k 2 years ago. Now you can buy it even well below $500k. There is an excellent website I recommend you use it to review different neighborhoods in San Mateo and their current listing prices.  It is Trulia (www.trulia.com) for search just anywhere in the country. It is not as completed as Realtor.com, but the quality of information is far beyond of any competitor.  Please click on http://www.trulia.com/real_estate/San_Mateo-California/ for San Mateo stats and trends.  But please do not be mislead by low prices of sold houses. Difficulties in obtaining jumbo loans (above $729,500) are causing that only houses in the lower price range including foreclosed properties and so called "short sales" do sell.

Regarding the information about San Mateo the website of the City of San Mateo has a lot of good information (San Mateo is a very well managed City.  As a result, it didn't suffer as a result of dot com crash). Go to http://www.cityofsanmateo.org/ and enjoy exploring.  An if you come to the explore the City with your husband, please do not forget to visit The Lure restaurant.  It is absolutely fabulous!

Additionally, San Mateo's location in the center of the Peninsula, is its another extremely important asset. It is situated less than 20 miles from San Francisco to the North and 15 from Palo Alto to the South. Pacific Coast is a few miles in direction West.  Let me know if there is anything else I can help you with.

Oct 21, 2008 08:49 PM #9
Anonymous
Brenda

Hi Artur-

I am not sure if you received my last comment.

I love your picture of the San Mateo bridge and wanted to use it on the website for my dental practice.  May I have permission?  If so, do I need some sort of license?  Please let me know.

Thanks!

-Brenda

Jan 28, 2009 07:37 AM #10
Anonymous
el cholo loco

hey foo real estate ni goud itf bkad o

Jul 07, 2009 11:48 AM #11
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