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For Burlingame businesses and employees, the General Plan contains actions that the City will take to help support local business, expand, and diversify the local economy, and create new well-paying jobs. Economic development is designed to increase individual wealth, create employment opportunities, and generate revenues for the City. The General Plan provides a foundation for Burlingame’s economic prosperity.

Increasingly, businesses and employers are seeking to locate or expand in communities that have quality housing, amenities, and recreational opportunities that attract a skilled workforce and strong consumer base. They also want to be close to strong educational institutions that are creating a well-trained work force for a variety of jobs at all skill levels. The General Plan has outlined an economic development strategy to address business retention, evolving retail markets, and changing employment trends.

The goals and policies of the Economic Development Element aim to improve Burlingame’s economy and business climate for all companies located in the city. The goals include policies and programs to maintain a diversified economic base, and to cultivate a balanced business environment that supports long-established enterprises as well as attracting new and emerging businesses.

The Economic Development Element includes policies and programs to promote collaboration and coordination with business associations and districts for marketing, branding, and promotion activities. This includes coordination with the Burlingame/SFO Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Business Improvement District (DBID), Broadway Business Improvement District (BID), and the San Mateo County/Silicon Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau. The policies do not aid specific businesses, but instead promote Burlingame and its commercial districts in their entirety. Other policies in the Economic Development Element include promoting efforts to market and fill spaces in commercial and industrial buildings, and promoting growth of neighborhood-serving retail uses.

The General Plan views Downtown Burlingame as a community asset, and the Economic Development and Community Character Element includes policies that support it as a vibrant local and regional destination. The policies that are within Community Character Goal CC-8 ensure that Downtown maintains its character and functions as a vibrant, pedestrian-scaled, mixed use district that supports and encourages a range of commercial businesses, treasured civic uses, activated office space, and housing for all income levels and people of all ages.

Broadway is known for its distinct, small-town main street character. The General Plan views the Broadway commercial district as a destination for locally owned and operated businesses and restaurants. Recognizing that the surrounding residential neighborhoods support Broadway businesses, the Community Character Element further promotes residential development on upper floors along Broadway frontage to bring additional people and vitality to the district. Policies supporting Goal CC-7 are intended to ensure that Broadway maintains its character as a vibrant mixed-use district that supports and encourages local businesses and local investment, and that it serves as a gathering place for Burlingame residents and visitors.

Burlingame Plaza is located within the North Burlingame planning area of the General Plan. The vision for North Burlingame is to become a complete neighborhood capitalizing on the proximity of regional and local transit, with new streetscape enhancements, new housing, and complementary commercial uses. The intent is for new development to connect with surrounding commercial and institutional uses with improved pedestrian accommodations, thereby expanding the market for businesses in Burlingame Plaza and the surrounding area.

The General Plan supports the eclectic range of businesses that have been established along California Drive over the years. In particular, the General Plan includes an approach and policies to accommodate the existing mix of land uses and support new, complementary uses. The vision for California Drive as put forth in Goal CC-9 is to be a medium-density mixed use corridor that transitions seamlessly to the abutting residential districts, with a mix of uses reflective of long-established use patterns.

Rollins Road between Broadway and the Millbrae city limit continues to be a successful industrial area, benefiting from proximity to San Francisco International Airport and Bay Area markets. Goal CC-12 describes Rollins Road as two distinct but complementary districts, with the southern two-thirds of the corridor supporting industrial and creative business enterprises and the northern one-third of the corridor reimagined as a live/work complete neighborhood benefiting from proximity to the Millbrae multimodal transit station.

The southern portion of the corridor will continue to have an industrial emphasis, with provisions to encourage emerging and innovative industries. Traditional light industrial uses and auto service businesses will continue, providing vital services and jobs within the community, but will be complemented with creative and design industry activities. The intent is to create synergies and a regional destination for wholesalers and consumers.

The northern portion of the corridor is envisioned as a new neighborhood of medium- and high-density creative live/work and residential units and support uses. Over time the area is anticipated to become a complete neighborhood, where residents and creative businesses have ready access to transit, supportive commercial businesses, and public and private open space amenities. The intent is for new uses to coexist with existing uses in a mixed, eclectic setting. The vision for the northern portion will be established through a new specific plan that will provide further details on uses, zoning standards, streetscapes, and parks and open spaces.

Burlingame is located within a competitive and dynamic environment for businesses, entrepreneurs, and worker talent. Goals and policies in the Economic Development Element are intended to be responsive to the larger economic trends in the Bay Area and the changing nature nationally of how people work and shop. Policies supporting Goal ED-2 are intended to cultivate a business environment that supports long-established enterprises, attracts new and emerging businesses, and provides support for synergistic business relationships and partnerships.