When we take a good look at Stanford's proposal on El Camino Real, Menlo Park, residents have to remember that the university's land has been owned since Leland and Jane summered in their cottage near the Menlo train station. Secondly, the project will be funded thanks to the generosity of John Arrillaga.
Add the incompetence of the 2008 council which put a Stanford fox in the henhouse by selecting a consultant with ties to Stanford to oversee the creation of the specific plan That consultant was also working on a 5 million sf Stanford campus in Redwood City at the same time. Does anyone think the consultant didn't think about Stanford's development design every day during the entire specific plan process?
Throw in a million dollar environmental review and traffic study paid for by the city that now appear to favor Stanford's dump of 6,400 new cars on El Camino real and the bottom line seems to be Menlo Park sold the ranch for a dime.
What did Menlo Park get? No hotel and no hotel tax. No senior housing which the community needs and which produces less traffic than office. No bike tunnel. No real plaza for people to gather. No real public benefit.
Free land, free development costs, free top notch consultant working behind the scenes for Stanford's interests, free EIR and traffic study for approximately $1.7M and not one public benefit for Menlo Park.
The university brags that its endowment is not at $17Billion. The city council and staff were played for fools. Stanford Management Company is made up of very clever employees. They must be in stitches. Dumb little town gets tricked by a big university. Why don't we just call it the Stanford Plan, our gift to Stanford.