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Hilligoss out of the Park Theatre picture; Duncan plan likely to move forward

Original post made on Oct 18, 2007

Menlo Park real estate broker Tom Hilligoss has announced that he no longer is pursuing the possibility of buying and restoring the Park Theatre on El Camino Real -- a development almost certain to renew the controversial plan by the city to use public funds to buy the theater and lease it out to be used by a private enterprise.

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Comments (7)

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Posted by Tamera Booth
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Oct 18, 2007 at 9:20 pm

Based on the information presented in this story, the City of Menlo Park has gone from a potential $500K outlay of cash, which subsidizes a private business venture to purchasing the building. This should not be done with public money.

If it were a viable business oportunity, two mutually agreeable parties would strike a deal under mutually acceptable terms and conditions. The City of Menlo Park should not be spending tax payer money to purchase private property, for renovation and lease to a private party.

City of Menlo Park should move forward with this action. It is not in the best effort of our city.

Like this comment
Posted by Joseph E. Davis
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Oct 19, 2007 at 10:49 am

I am having trouble understanding the rationale behind city government involvement in this property. Why on Earth would Menlo Park taxpayers want to buy this building?

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Posted by Joanna
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 19, 2007 at 12:25 pm

Mr. Davis,

You are not alone.

Mayor Fergusson
Councilman Cline
Councilman Robinson

will be held accountable for misuse of public funds if this deal goes through.

You are right, it just doesn't make sense!

Like this comment
Posted by hang in there Tom
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Oct 19, 2007 at 3:58 pm

I'll bet that the theater property owner has a better deal with the scenario of the city of Menlo Park buying the property for the dance studio. If that falls through, which I hope occurs if the Council comes to its senses, maybe he'd be more receptive to Mr. Hilligoss.

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Posted by take the high road
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 19, 2007 at 7:25 pm

It's all about Crittenden, and this latest development does seem to underscore the theory that it's not about dance or theater or anything else other than unloading his white elephant onto the highest bidder. Hilligoss, being a savvy real estate expert, was no doubt insisting on tougher terms than Aunt Kelly required.

Let's hope the council has had a long enough cooling off period that the members can save face (the Hilligoss offer gives them a perfect excuse because it proves that the private sector is interested at this property, albeit with appropriate rather than with Sugar Mommy terms) and firmly say "no giveaways."

Like this comment
Posted by Nina Wouk
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Oct 23, 2007 at 4:19 pm

Where do I sign up for the recall effort?

Like this comment
Posted by Stupified
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 24, 2007 at 10:05 am

Of course Crittenden is going to go with the guy that is getting a $2.2M subsidy and has the inside track with the Mayor! Duncan will be able to pay more since it is not his money and he is getting free rent for 50 YEARS!

Hilligoss never stood a chance while the sweetheart deal was waiting in the wings.

Also Crittenden knows the project plans will be approved by council unlike his earlier proposal to restore the facade and build offices that was shot down when kelly came to power.

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