231 Grant Teacher Housing | Palo Alto, CA

Enabling Educators to Cultivate Community Connections


Recognizing the difficulty of Santa Clara County communities to retain and recruit talented teachers, the County Board of Supervisors identified 231 Grant Avenue in Palo Alto as the future home for over 100 educators.

The proposed design concept for 231 Grant centers around the preservation of four existing mature trees. At street level, a series of three public living rooms are carefully crafted around trees along Grant Avenue. Those three public living rooms, combined with public access community spaces, and stoops for ground-level apartments, create an active streetscape for residents and other community members alike. Up above, a stand of mature redwoods plus three stories of apartments encircle three protected courtyards for residents to garden, gather and unwind.

This new community employs simple forms, warm materials, and public art to create a comfortable, lively, new neighborhood block just steps away from Palo Alto’s California Avenue business district. All electric building systems and solar photovoltaic panels will help support clean energy and climate positive goals. 231 Grant seeks to continue the Palo Alto tradition of honoring existing natural elements, respecting neighborhood context, and providing for the greater good.

Design Features

  • Three street-level public plazas at three major trees
  • Publicly accessible community room
  • Bike Cafe Retail space along Park Bike Boulevard
  • Three resident courtyards
  • Modular construction delivery

Project Information

  • Client: Santa Clara County, CA
  • Developer Team: Mercy Housing & Abode Communities
  • Site Area: 1.5 acres
  • Total Units: 110 apartments

Van Meter Williams Pollack LLP