Update: Demolition work starts at Menlo Gateway site


Expanded version of story posted earlier.

At a City Council meeting Jan. 25, the developers also announced that Bay Club, a California-based country club network, plans to run a 41,000-square-foot fitness facility that will be adjacent to the 250-room, 11-story hotel.

The fitness facility will be open to Bay Club members only, Bay Club CEO Matthew Stevens told the Menlo Park Planning Commission on Jan. 25.

An on-site restaurant called Cafe Vida, also operated by Bay Club, will be open to the public. It will have indoor and outdoor seating and feature a "Cal/Mex"-inspired menu, Mr. Stevens said.

Bohannon Development Co. had almost run through a five-year period when it was to submit building permit applications for the Menlo Gateway project under a development agreement with the city. On Nov. 30, City Manager Alex McIntyre extended the deadline to June 7.

If the applications are not received by that date, the developer would face a $300,000 payment to the city, according to a city staff report. The developer has met with the Planning Commission each year for the last five years to report on compliance with the development agreement signed in December 2010.

The Planning Commission voted unanimously Jan. 25 that Bohannon Development Co. had made a good-faith effort to abide by the development agreement laid out in 2010.

Bohannon Development received demolition permits for the Independence Drive site on Jan. 13, and work has begun there. "The project is finally under way and we are delighted," CEO David Bohannon said.

According to Jack Highwart, an architect with the Cuningham Group, the hotel's open spaces will be highly "naturalistic" with indoor and outdoor meeting spaces for small and large groups, a large ballroom with natural light, a pool, a cabana area, fire pits, an area for bocce ball, and a two-sided bar facing the pool and a lawn space for events. A space on the second floor would offer a "club environment" for concierge dining, he said.

In addition to the 197,000-square-foot hotel, the Independence Drive part of the complex will have an office building and a parking garage. Current plans are to move forward with building the parking garage in March, followed by completion of the permit application materials by May, in advance of the June 7 deadline, Mr. Bohannon said.

The entire Independence Drive part of the project – including the hotel, office space, and fitness center – is expected to be completed by the end of 2017, he said.

The Constitution Drive part of the project, where an additional 494,000 square feet of ofice space is planned, will be built later, Bohannon Development said. Mr. Bohannon said he plans to market that site to potential tenants first.

The only public comment on the project at the Planning Commission meeting came from Sarah Staley Shenk, who as a resident of the Suburban Park neighborhood, asked that the developers be careful about noise and light pollution that would affect residents on the west side of U.S. 101 near Independence Drive.

In an action related to the Menlo Gateway project, the City Council decided Jan. 26 not to allow parking along areas of Independence, Constitution and Chrysler drives in order to install bike lanes there in the future.

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Like this comment
Posted by Dan Tucker
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Jan 27, 2016 at 3:52 pm

I can't believe how chi-chi and built up the Bay Area has become since I first moved here in 1971. All these squares need to go back where they came from. No, I don't want SF to look like Manhattan. No, I don't want the green county lane that was once 280 to become a second 101. No, I don't want Caltrain, period! (What is this, Europe?)

Like this comment
Posted by Samia
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jan 29, 2016 at 12:24 pm

I agree with Dan and I've only lived here for 5 years! Enough is enough.

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

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