Guest Opinion: Theater owner offers his view on projects | November 7, 2007 | Almanac | Almanac Online |


Viewpoint - November 7, 2007

Guest Opinion: Theater owner offers his view on projects

by Howard Crittenden

As the owner of the Park Theater property, I think it is important to share my thoughts about the current proposals to reuse this building.

This story contains 525 words.

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Posted by Martin Engel, a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Nov 6, 2007 at 2:56 pm

Considering its source, this is the strangest, most puzzling guest opinion I have ever read.
It's like reading about the possible artistic uses for one's own, severed arm.

Posted by RealityBites, a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Nov 6, 2007 at 4:29 pm

"If not, we should be prepared to have this vacant boarded-up building greet those coming into Menlo Park for years to come."

Sounds like a thinly-veiled threat there, Mr. Crittenden.

In response, I say: Let the Park stand (until it finally falls down) as a continuing testimony to your greed.

You kicked out a perfectly good tenant in hopes that you could make a killing by putting in its place another bland office building - but you missed the mark, time-wise, and now you're stuck with a white elephant.

The city council should focus on making the vacant property ACROSS the street from the Park the gateway to town they're looking for and let you fend for yourself in trying to find a sucker to buy your blight!

Posted by Joanna, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Nov 6, 2007 at 5:45 pm

Eminent Domain (at real valuation), baby!!!

Kick out landmark for something that ultimately died? Threatening to keep a boarded up building for years?

Eminent Domain (at real valuation), baby!!!

Posted by Jimmy, a resident of Woodside: Mountain Home Road
on Nov 6, 2007 at 7:16 pm

Is this the Kos site?

Posted by new guy, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Nov 7, 2007 at 9:06 am

Wow that was the best "guest" letter I have ever read.

All this emotion over a crappy old building, I almost cannot believe it. Mr. Crittenden, since you live in Atherton, you must have done well in life (read: good or really lucky in business) to know what the realities are when it comes to investments. You made a bad investment, and your best choice was a bail out from Menlo Park. Its really that simple.

So now you are making threats to leave a blighted building stand empty. How is that a good business decision?

So where does that leave you? Either grow up, realize you are facing a loss, maybe a total loss, or stay with your emotions and stick it to all of us. Oh, I just don't really care. I only cared when the city was going to bail you out. Now I don't. Good luck. Eminent domain does and probably will happen here now.


Posted by Elizabeth Lasensky, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Nov 7, 2007 at 11:06 am

Mr. Crittendon,

Mr. Duncan's proposal might be in his and your best interests but please don't confuse that with being in our best interests. The public benefit of his proposal will only benefit the part of our public who take dance lessons. Your threat to keep the building vacant unless the City takes on this proposal is a show of greed at its worst.

Why do you care how much Mr. Hilligoss will have to bring in a month once he buys the theater building you yourself partially destroyed? How can you complain about the lack of parking for his plan, when for years as it was running as a movie house, the Park Theater had exactly the same lack of parking? These are all red-herring arguments that the public is clearly not buying.

Are you afraid that Mr. Hilligoss's plan is a winner, that it would bring life and culture to downtown that we need?

Posted by old guy, a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Nov 7, 2007 at 12:24 pm

Crittenden bought the Park in '86 for $500k.
He bought the Guild in '98 for $650K.
He ain't hurting, even if he does nothing to either.