"To prosperity, new beginnings, and managed growth," Menlo Park Mayor Rich Cline toasted to a small crowd gathered around shiny shovels at 1400 El Camino Real, the site where ground was broken Wednesday for a 61-room, four-story boutique hotel.
Fran Dehn, president and CEO of the Menlo Park Chamber of Commerce, told the group the hotel fits the city's needs as laid out in the El Camino Real/downtown specific plan and the regional Grand Boulevard Initiative.
"We're a unique city and you're bringing us exactly what we need," she said.
In addition to guest rooms, the hotel will have an event room, restaurant and bar and 75 underground parking spots.
It is also expected to generate about $604,000 a year in revenue for the city via its transient occupancy tax. Portola Valley-based developer Pollock Financial Group, which is building the hotel, said hotel employees and guests will get free Caltrain passes and employees will get additional transit subsidies. The hotel could also host live entertainment.
A Shell gasoline station used to be on the half-acre site.
City Councilwoman Catherine Carlton said the hotel would be "something beautiful, instead of blight and fencing."