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Original post made
on May 15, 2012
1906 and 1706 El Camino Real projects could have been successful projects today had Morris Brown, Council Member Kelly Fergusson and Former Council Member Heyward Robinson given the developer half a chance. These three and their whiney supporters pulled every delay trick out of the bag of Nothing, Nowhere, No Time Land Use Practices. These projects had nothing to do with any demands from ABAG and everything to do with how the Menlo Park Council treats developers and residents with plans to update their properties. Mr. Brown has no standing to speak to why these properties have failed unless he wants to be honest about his participation in their demise. There's a new wind blowing and Menlo Park is going to change so get out of the way and make room for a new vision
You gotta be kidding:
YOU gotta be kidding. El Camino and Watkins slid through basically unscathed. Reduced parking requirements, ugly building, etc. That building got done in by an under-capitilized developer and the economy. The fact the developer couldn't complete the project in a timely fashiion due to a lack of capital, just pushed the final completion even further into the recession.
The property at Buckthorn and El Camino wasn't delayed by anything other than the developer demanding to get by with reduced parking requirements and the demand by neighbors to not have to look at an ugly [portion deleted] building. By the time the developer figured out they weren't going to be able to railroad that project through like they did Watkins it was too late for them. The economy collapsed and they couldn't get it built.
Neither of these projects may have been economically viable in the first place. The truly telling factor is that the Watkins property now belongs to a company that specializes in distressed properties and they aren't even trying to lease it or sell it. The other telling thing is that the old Gaylords property is advertised as coming in September, yet they haven't even broken ground. I build for a living, have for twenty years, and I can say with confidence that if they don't break ground tomorrow there is ZERO chance they will have a building ready for lease or sale in September.
So, "you gotta be kidding" go peddle your nonsense somewhere else. That dog won't hunt.
It's astonishing to me that alleged environmental groups are promoting rampant growth rather than focusing on sustainable growth for our planet. ABAG is notorious for projecting growth that doesn't occur, and it's not because of housing policies. It's because the growth projections were based on faulty assumptions about what is sustainable. The conversation ought to be about what makes sense for livability and the overall environment. That conversation might even get into taboo topics like water supply and population planning!
There are no brakes on development in the central valley, so it's a really lame argument that growth here will avoid growth there. A lot of people don't want to live in urban areas and don't want to raise families in urban areas. So why make non-urban areas into urban ones?
There is no attempt to balance housing and jobs, either. There is a big push, like Menlo Park's DT/ECR plan, to add jobs and housing but there are far more new jobs that would result than added housing, further adding to the number of commuters. Sorry, they're not all going to take "transit" as it really isn't a system that works. That, in turn puts more pressure on building more houses, overloading schools, streets, etc. There is no assurance more housing will occur because the plan allows big profitable office buildings that developers love to build.
This is a good conversation for a community to have. It might be too late for Menlo Park
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