Tonight: Menlo Park looks at Greenheart mixed-use project on El Camino Real

Amount of office space vs. retail depends on market

The scope of an environmental impact report for Greenheart's proposed 420,000-square-foot mixed-use development at 1300 El Camino Real will be outlined by the Menlo Park Planning Commission tonight (Aug. 4).

Greenheart's project includes two three-story office buildings with 210,000 square feet of commercial space, and up to 220 apartments on its nearly 7-acre site.

The commercial space would include at least 188,000 square feet of offices and 22,000 square feet set aside for other commercial use.

The residential building would include 7,000 square feet of retail. Ninety-five percent of the on-site parking would be provided by an underground garage with entrances off El Camino Real and Garwood Way.

The amount of retail vs. office space in the non-residential portion of the complex could change depending on market demands, said Greenheart representative Bob Burke, who explained that the company has earmarked 22,000 square feet within the two commercial buildings as "flex space."

The EIR will study the possible impacts from this space being retail or office, Mr. Burke said. "We are and will continue to market this ground floor space for retail uses but we have the ability for it to become office if retail use does not prove to be viable."

The downtown/El Camino Real specific plan noted that the site is not a strong retail location, according to Mr. Burke. "We want to increase the pedestrian activity along El Camino so we are going to try our best to make retail work. However, no one wants blacked out storefronts if the retail space does not prove viable."

The 7,000-square-feet of ground floor space in the residential portion of the project, along Oak Grove Avenue, is not flex space and will be reserved for retail, he said.

The company will provide public benefits for allowing a higher floor area ratio and taller buildings. The two office buildings would reach 48 feet, with the top stories set back, a height comparable to other structures in the neighborhood, according to Greenheart.

The proposal also includes renovating Garwood Way and creating a bicycle/pedestrian path to connect with the Caltrain station on Merrill Street.

Click here to review the complete agenda.

Tonight's meeting starts at 7 p.m. in council chambers at the Civic Center at 701 Laurel St. The meeting will be broadcast online via the city's website.


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Posted by Beth
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 4, 2014 at 12:32 pm

Apartments - "up to" 220? Like 1 to 220? Can our local officials be more demanding to know what's being planned, in some detail? Like the bike path - silly idea benefiting those working there.
Sorry, I'm against all this planning. What we'll need on the peninsula in the future is space to relax. Not on El Camino? Then, where? There must be a provision somewhere that a city can override or buy out a developer for the purpose of providing needs for its community members. Pretty soon MP and the entire area will not be able to do this.

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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 4, 2014 at 1:59 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

" There must be a provision somewhere that a city can override or buy out a developer for the purpose of providing needs for its community members."

Absolutely - but you would have to pay market price for the land that you acquire and will the citizens accept a parcel tax to fund such a land acquisition? I doubt it?

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Posted by whatever
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 4, 2014 at 5:05 pm

So how many stories? Three or four? You say three floors then you say 48 ft high and community incentives to make the buildings taller. So waht the heck is it?

Traffic from all those offices and 220 aprtments. How many trips a day on Glenwood next to the train tracks? What happens to Garwood when electrification, grade separation and HSR come along? Sounds like an awful traffic mess.

Conducive to retail on ECR. Then make sure that ground floor is set back a minimum of 15 feet from the curb.

Will underground parking cover all tenants, customers, visitors and residents? We're already giving the Residence Inn dedicated public street parking spots on Garwood.

I'm sorry but it seems everything is poorly planned in this city by high paid staff who have no stake in what happens to the city other than making sure there's enough ongoing development fees covering their pay checks, pensions and healthcare. And then there's the rubber stamp Planning Commission members waiting for their turn on the City Council. And last but not least a City Council who can't decide what's right for the residents of this city.

"When any principle, law, tenet, probability, happening, circumstance, or result can in no way be directly, indirectly, empirically, or circuitously proven, derived, implied, inferred, induced, deducted, estimated, or scientifically guessed, it will always for the purpose of convenience, expediency, political advantage, material gain, or personal comfort, or any combination of the above, or none of the above, be unilaterally and unequivocally assumed, proclaimed, and adhered to as absolute truth to be undeniably, universally, immutably, and infinitely so, until such time as it becomes advantageous to assume otherwise, maybe."

Like this comment
Posted by interesting
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 4, 2014 at 7:23 pm

Get off your butt, stop whining and go to an actual live meeting. Speak your mind. Listen. Contribute. Drive the conversation. Get specific. Stop pointing and generiically blaming.

Or just ingore it all and sign any petition put in front of you because opposing anything is such a spiritual Menlo Park thing.

I was a part of six years of planning for this Specific Plan. People like whatever are the problem.

Then weak former council members act like they did not vote for the plan and start playing weasel politics.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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