BART developer donates to community center fire fund

Article Source: San Mateo Daily Journal

July 27, 2016, 05:00 AM

The developer wishing to build a large mixed-use development near the Millbrae rail station donated $30,000 to support programs displaced by the recent arson fire which destroyed the Millbrae Community Center.

Officials from the Republic Family of Companies, based in San Jose, said they hope the money will allow a variety of community programs to continue functioning while a recovery plan for the facility lost last week is being developed, according to a press release.

“Republic hopes this community donation will slightly ease the pain of the temporary loss of the center and its programs while building hope and resolve that the center will be rebuilt with the help of the business community and the citizens of Millbrae,” said CEO Michael Van Every.

A four-alarm blaze destroyed the Millbrae Community Center last week, and two unidentified teenaged boys were arrested on suspicion of starting the fire which began in a courtyard outside the facility. Law enforcement officials have said they believe the suspects did not intend to burn down the building formerly located at 477 Lincoln Circle.

Republic Family of Companies is hoping to break ground early next year to build more than 300 units of housing, roughly 47,000 square feet of retail space, more than 160,000 square feet of office space, potentially a hotel as well as a development with 55 affordable units for military veterans on property owned by Bay Area Rapid Transit, in the area near the intersection of El Camino Real and Millbrae Avenue, adjacent to the city’s rail station.