Welcome to San Bruno
A small city nestled between major metropolitan centers at the northern edge of the San Francisco Peninsula, San Bruno is known for its strong regional history and large population base. While a relatively small geographic foundation limits its outward expansion, numerous redevelopment projects have revolutionized large sections of the city to create a more efficient and modern ambiance. Modern San Bruno does a little bit of everything, from airport based services to technological headquarters, and of course, supporting a community dedicated to a core of entrenched regional values.
Lay of the Land
Located in San Mateo County, San Bruno sits just west of the San Francisco International Airport near the northern end of the peninsula. It is bordered by the city of South San Francisco to the north and Millbrae to the south. The city also sits just 12 miles south of downtown San Francisco. While San Bruno has a bustling population of 42,443 residents, they are packed into an area of just over 5.5 square miles. While the city does have some commercial and corporate centers, the vast majority of the area is residential neighborhoods and single family homes. The median household income ($81,702) and estimated home value ($619,508) are on the lower side for the region despite being well above state averages.
Like many cities on the San Francisco Peninsula, San Bruno is bracketed by U.S. Route 101 to the east and Interstate 280 to the west. This makes traditional ground travel to nearby Bay Area locations relatively simple. The city also features a large Bay Area Rapid Transit station. The local BART station is located near several major shopping and dining centers and also connects to the San Francisco International Airport. The city also features stops along several local SamTrans bus routes as well as a CalTrain commuter train station. The neighboring city of Millbrae also features one of the largest intermodal transit stations in the country.
The city of San Bruno was primarily ranching and farmland for much of its history. However, after World War II, large portions of the area were purchased by private developers who converted much of the land into residential complexes. While this has led to a thriving population base, it also means that most of the available land within the city has been developed for residential use. Commercial and corporate development has therefore focused on redevelopment of existing land.
The Shops at Tanforan are an example of one such large scale redevelopment project. Tanforan was originally a racetrack built in 1899. The track held a wide variety of events, including horse, dog, and motorcycle races. It later served as an airfield, military staging grounds, and eventual sight of a shopping center in the 1970’s. However, the original shopping structures were slowly redesigned and replaced, giving way to the sprawling commercial district that exists today.Today, The Shops at Tanforan serves as the home for over one hundred separate retail and dining locations. These include a wide range of national chain stores, kiosk snack locations, and regionally recognizable shopping destinations. The Mall also connects, via Sky Bridge, to the nearby Century Theatres. Century Theatres is a modern movie theatre featuring numerous traditional and 3D projection theatres.
Finally, San Bruno is also home to a respectable corporate district. The city’s proximity to San Francisco and the International Airport make it an ideal location for numerous tech start-ups as well as more established corporations. Most notably, San Bruno serves as the home of YouTube’s corporate headquarters. The headquarters are a sprawling open design themed complex that features a full size swimming pool as well as putting green.