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Bohannon polls residents on office/hotel complex

Original post made on Mar 4, 2009

Developer David Bohannon has confirmed that he was responsible for the phone survey some residents received last week, saying that he is polling residents about the hotel/office complex he wants to build near the intersection of Marsh Road and U.S. 101 in eastern Menlo Park.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, March 3, 2009, 10:53 PM

Comments (22)

Posted by skeptic, a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Mar 4, 2009 at 12:31 pm

The survey was poorly designed and many of the questions were badly phrased or included misinformation. Some key elements of the proposal -- potential deal-killers -- were omitted. Any resident who was not already aware of the project was probably rather confused by the end of the survey. So I hope that Bohannon doesn't waste too much time analyzing the results, because I doubt they will be too useful as he moves forward with this project.


Posted by WhoRUpeople, a resident of another community
on Mar 4, 2009 at 2:14 pm

At least they are reaching out for input--rather than knit pick the questionaire, how about taking the opportunity to provide constructive input to make for a win-win project?


Posted by skeptic, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Mar 4, 2009 at 2:45 pm

I think Bohannon has gotten plenty of constructive input and he doesn't like it. So he is hoping to get "the people" behind him, and used the survey to test the waters. He's lived in Menlo Park long enough, he should know it doesn't work like that around here. We're not that dumb.


Posted by resident close to Marsh and 101, a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Mar 5, 2009 at 9:25 am

I don't know much about the project. He owns the land that the post office is on and the Marsh manor shopping center? I heard once that the post office was going to go away. Is that where he plans to build the office/hotel complex? I imagine that that would bring more traffic into the Marsh Road corridor which is congested at commuter hours.This hasn't got much to do with the subject but i was dismayed when the whole 101 Marsh Road exchange was redone that they did not make it more friendly to biciclists and pedestrians. The bay front park is dangerous to impossible to get to unless by car. Let keep "green" in the plan.


Posted by Not as dumb as I look, a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Mar 5, 2009 at 12:37 pm

The part I liked best about the survey? Being told that "the neighborhood" supports the project and the fancy gym would serve the neighbors, and then, a few questions later, being told that traffic isn't an issue because there are no residents in the area!


Posted by skeptic, a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Mar 5, 2009 at 1:27 pm

Well, that's sort of true. It's not a residential neighborhood, but it is in the Belle Haven area. I have a hard time imagining that they support(or will support) this project given the amount of traffic it will dump on their main streets.

Marsh&101 resident: this project would consume most of the northern chunk of land between 101 and the Bayfront, so those proposed tall buildings would directly abut Bayfront Park.

I have also heard that the office complex west of 101 will be redone, but that is a separate project.


Posted by Another skeptic, a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Mar 6, 2009 at 12:08 pm

I'd think the traffic impact would be significant, and I'm skeptical about Belle Haven residents being supportive of the project. Marsh/101 is pretty much a traffic-clogged mess already.


Posted by Ash, a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Mar 7, 2009 at 5:59 pm


The project was presented to 50+ members of the local community on Saturday, February 28th at Mt. Olive AOH Church of God, to overwhelming and nearly unanimous support. Local residents such as myself are eager for high quality development of all types -- residential, retail, and commercial -- in Menlo Park north of the 101 freeway. We are pleased by the developer's interest in seeking community input into the project, his commitment to providing economic opportunities for area residents, and his efforts to broaden the range of services, work space, and amenities available in and around Belle Haven. This project is a potential jewel that should be given the chance to shine.
Ash Vasudeva,
President, Belle Haven Neighborhood Association


Posted by dig deeper, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Mar 8, 2009 at 10:16 am

Was there any mention that the project is inconsistent with the city's general plan? That Menlo Park will be expected to come up with even more housing units than is already a real challenge, given the city's build up? What kind of businesses will be in the office buildings, and what jobs really would be available to Belle Haven residents? What about sales tax revenue from the offices?




Posted by Ronald, a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Mar 9, 2009 at 11:26 am

Offices are unlikely to bring in any sales tax.


Posted by WhoRUpeople, a resident of another community
on Mar 9, 2009 at 1:55 pm

Ash, thank you for providing insight into what THE MOST AFFECTED citizens think about this project. Unfortunately, and sadly, in MP it probably doesn't matter to THE LEAST AFFECTED (Sharon Heights/West Menlo) crowd.


Posted by dig deeper, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Mar 9, 2009 at 3:20 pm

Everyone in Menlo Park is affected when schools are overloaded, when traffic worsens, when state and regional agencies insist we have to add thousands of housing units to a built-out community. These effects are not limited to those adjacent to a new project. We're also affected when large offices do not contribute by means of sales taxes to the city's ability to provide services to the community. If this project starts a trend of similar projects, the stakes go up even more. Since you do not live here, WhoRU, I frankly don't appreciate your criticism of those of who do.


Posted by skeptic, a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Mar 9, 2009 at 3:28 pm

This strip of land has housed the businesses that have served as the economic engine of Menlo Park. It would be a huge sacrifice for the community to allow that area to be rezoned as offices. Unless Bohannon can offer a major quid pro quo, MP would be cutting off its legs to permit this project as currently configured.

I'm glad to hear that his people are being nice to the Belle Haven residents because that neighborhood could surely put the kibosh on the project. And I'm all for bringing in more jobs and better retail for the area east of 101, but at what cost? Let's not let a half dozen promises and some pretty pictures lull us into making a dumb mistake. We can do better.


Posted by Fair Oaks resident who wants to have access not just by auto, a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Mar 13, 2009 at 10:57 pm

I don't see anything wrong with his proposal as there is a big Sun Microsystems that did the same thing near the wetlands. But I would stipulate that Mr. Bahannon give back to the community in exchange by building pedestrian and biciclist access to Bayfront Park and Central Menlo Park by means of a pedestrian overpass over 101 and Bayfront expressway. We need to connect our community not just by automobile. Lets think about a "green" planet. It is our health and our beautiful peninsula we should care about too not just money! In the long run city planning works best if done with foresight. We need access to open spaces.


Posted by what do we want?, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Mar 14, 2009 at 4:16 pm

How about let's step back and figure out what we want before accepting an enormous proposal that is multiples the size of what is currently allowed on the subject properties. That is what planning is all about. It is naive and stupid to start negotiating benefits of an outsized project. The starting point should be what is allowed with existing zoning and what the city wants and needs. In this situation, the "project" is really a bunch of buildings that are not even on adjacent properties of land.


Posted by WHAT !, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 15, 2009 at 11:17 am

WHAT ! More empty Bohannon offices ?
He only averages 33% yearly.


Posted by Not On Board, a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Mar 18, 2009 at 7:53 am

"The project was presented to 50+ members of the local community"

What is the + number, I live in Belle Haven and DO NOT support this project with it Promises to residents. Seen it and been there before with Bahannon's Promises, that just does not seem to materialize. Do not forget what happen the last time he came with hat in hand and his goodie bag - ZILCH.


Posted by dig deeper, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Mar 18, 2009 at 8:50 am

Why is anyone surprised or impressed with the results of a survey paid for by the developer? My spouse was impressed by the slickness of the interviewer when called by name to participate in the survey. The survey clearly was what is called a push-poll, ostensibly seeking reactions but in reality attempting to sway public opinion in the project's favor.


Posted by afsad, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Mar 18, 2009 at 8:51 pm

i support buying the property of people living along marsh and widening the road before doing this.


Posted by Fair Oaks neighbor, a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Mar 18, 2009 at 10:05 pm

In reference to buying the properties on marsh and widening the road access - sounds good Good luck getting Atherton residents to give up their property and don't forget to give a little for Pedestrian and Bicyclist pathways. we need safe passage for byciclists and pedestrians.


Posted by skeptic, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 18, 2009 at 11:14 pm

That survey was either very poorly designed (from a methodological perspective) or extremely clever because the questions were structured to produce the results Bohannon wanted. "Does a project that creates thousands of jobs and produces millions of dollars in revenue for the city sound like a good idea?"

I trust that our council is not dumb enough to fall for this pretty obvious trick.


Posted by P. Ropaganda, a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Mar 20, 2009 at 1:40 pm

I took the survey and I wondered whether it was meant to measure public opinion or sway it.


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