Almanac

Viewpoint - February 10, 2010

Guest opinion: Tyco sees benefits from Gateway project

by Spence Leslie

As anyone who works in Silicon Valley knows, businesses that compete globally for customers and talent need to work in world-class, state-of-the-art environments.

And for those with high brand visibility — like many technology firms — having facilities in a convenient, attractive location with leading-edge amenities is absolutely essential to staying competitive. For these exact reasons, we at Tyco Thermal Controls recently upgraded our building in order to compete in the global economy.

In this same vein, however, an extensive revitalization of our surrounding area would have a large, positive impact on all of the businesses here. Consequently, as neighbors of the proposed Menlo Gateway project, we would be delighted to participate in the benefits and amenities that such a project would deliver.

Attractive, modern business properties are a rare commodity in Menlo Park. Menlo Gateway would significantly upgrade the M-2 area's appearance, thereby attracting new businesses, such as biotech and other technology firms. This influx would energize the area by making it more desirable for employers and employees. We welcome any and every advantage as we compete in today's global market.

Not only would the Menlo Gateway project inspire a rejuvenation of the whole M-2 area, but it would provide great convenience for the hundreds of visitors a year we host from all over the world. That is, instead of having to stay in Redwood City, San Carlos, or San Mateo, our guests could save time and money by easily walking or shuttling to our offices. Menlo Gateway restaurants would also be convenient for employees and guests by reducing the need for people to leave the area during the day. Finally, with easy access from existing major traffic arteries, I believe that the proposed site would have far less impact than a project would have if proposed for any other area of Menlo Park.

I know from talking with other neighboring M-2 businesses that my sentiments are widely shared. I encourage the city to continue working constructively with the Bohannon organization to approve the Menlo Gateway project so that we could all reap the benefits as soon as possible.

Spence Leslie is director of international trade compliance at Tyco Thermal Controls.

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