Building a parking structure in Menlo Park could cost from $4.6 million for a two-level garage to $9.3 million for a four-level garage, said commercial real estate consultants Alyce Rados and John Robbins during a City Council study session June 7.
The session was held to explore options, including a parking garage, to revitalize Menlo Park's downtown area.
About two-thirds of Menlo Park residents who responded to a city survey said they would support an above-ground parking structure, according to Godbe Research.
The consultants used Danville, an affluent town near Walnut Creek in the East Bay, as a point of comparison and case study for Menlo Park. Like Menlo Park, Danville has a quaint downtown with not much bustle. Since Danville added more parking not only for employees of local stores, but shoppers and restaurant-goers the town has seen a resurgence in activity, they said.
Consultants and council members agreed the consultants should meet with developers to see what could be feasible to build under a public-private partnership, rather than funding it all with taxpayer money.
Council members weighed in on what they'd like to see in a Menlo Park parking structure.
Councilwoman Catherine Carlton said that a structure should have electric vehicle charging spots and bike parking. Councilwoman Kirsten Keith said she is not interested in selling public land for the structure, but could be amenable to a long-term lease.
Councilman Ray Mueller said he wanted to see an entertainment venue of some kind connected to the structure. It would not necessarily be a movie theater, and would be at a lower scale than Redwood City's cinema complex.
Councilman Peter Ohtaki said that in order to maintain the downtown "village character," a parking structure should not be taller than the retail shops on Santa Cruz Avenue.