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Stanford plans to add housing, reduce offices in Menlo Park complex

Original post made on Jun 19, 2015

In addition to revamping the design for a public plaza at Middle Avenue, Stanford University is looking at adding housing units and reducing the amount of office space in the approximately 430,000-square-foot mixed-use complex it plans to build at 500 El Camino Real in Menlo Park in partnership with developer John Arrillaga.


Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, June 18, 2015, 12:35 PM

Comments (15)

Posted by Bob McGrew
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jun 19, 2015 at 7:40 am

This is welcome news! Menlo Park is one of the most expensive cities in America to live in (Palo Alto is literally #1) and rents and home prices have risen by 40% over just the last four years.

Replacing office space with homes will help.

I hope they can recruit a restaurant like Borrone to make that plaza a great place to be.


Posted by Great News
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 21, 2015 at 4:55 pm

Fantastic to see Stanford being so responsive to community concerns.


Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 21, 2015 at 4:57 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

I guess the DSP process is working. Hmmmm. Who knew?


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 21, 2015 at 5:25 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Sadly, there are folks who will oppose anything that Stanford proposes for this site - and if they get their way then Stanford can just build a totally conforming property tax exempt facility with no sales tax and no public amenities and no contribution to a pedestrian tunnel.

Hopefully, wiser heads will support and embrace the new Stanford design when it is presented to the city.


Posted by really?
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 21, 2015 at 6:28 pm

really? is a registered user.

But we still need to demand more! Why is it that Stanford builds world-class architecture by top class architects on their own campus, but in their development projects, they just propose junk? We want the same standards as they enjoy themselves.


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 21, 2015 at 6:49 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"But we still need to demand more! "

Don't you just love it?

Really has not even seen the forthcoming Stanford design but insists that " we still need to demand more! "


Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 21, 2015 at 6:50 pm

"Why is it that Stanford builds world-class architecture by top class architects on their own campus, but in their development projects, they just propose junk?"

Because they don't have zoning and the ridiculous demands of people that are unreasonable to deal with. That's why.


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 21, 2015 at 8:37 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Everyone needs to understand that if Stanford submits a development plan that conforms with the Specific Plan and that does not ask for any public benefit bonuses then the City cannot turn down that proposal without great legal risk.

And the Specific Plan only calls for a building break at Middle - nothing else:
"E.3.4.1.06 In the ECR-SE zoning district, and consistent with
Table E4 the building breaks shall:
Be a minimum of 120 feet in width at Middle Avenue;"

So Stanford could simply leave that 120 ft out of its proposal and allow that 120 ft space to remain vacant.

So feel free to "demand more".


Posted by really?
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 22, 2015 at 9:10 am

really? is a registered user.

"Really has not even seen the forthcoming Stanford design but insists that " we still need to demand more! "

Really? has seen them Peter. My comments we not about the functional and land-planning compromises made by Stanford and John A, all of which are positive and now put the plan in what I would consider an 'acceptable ' light. My comments were architectural. And on such a significant site, why isn't the bar raised to world class, innovative, and award-winning. Why is the normal dross considered positive? This is an opportunity to let Menlo Park become notable and ground breaking- not just another Walnut Creek or Riverside.


Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 22, 2015 at 9:27 am

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

really?

One man's "world class" is another man's "dross." It's all very subjective. For example, for quite awhile everyone thought Mediterranean architecture was great and we built a ton of houses in that style, then it was the shingle sided northeast style that was hot. Now it's contemporary that's in style. No one can stand Mediterranean any more. People's tastes change, so does architecture.


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 22, 2015 at 9:58 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Really has not even seen the forthcoming Stanford design but insists that " we still need to demand more! "

Really then clearly states "Really? has seen them Peter."

But the facts are "The revisions are still in process, Stanford spokeswoman Jean McCown said, and the tweaked proposal may be submitted to the city of Menlo Park by the end of summer"

So Really is simply not being truthful - as is required by this Forum. Why????


Posted by Remember when
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 22, 2015 at 1:30 pm

Remember last year when the City Council asked Stanford to redo their project? I think it was in October. Great to see Stanford respond and take the request to heart with a project that is much better for the community.


Posted by dana hendrickson
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 22, 2015 at 1:46 pm

Stanford has NOT submitted a new architectural design for its 800 ECR properties, is sensitive to what Menlo Park wants, has sought and received ideas as it realizes the development will be a highly visible gateway to our city that will reflect on Stanford as well as Menlo Park, and as far as I know, has NOT yet published any new design.

The misleading information that INTENTIONALLY gets spread on this forum is unfortunate. Please stop it. You know who you are.


Posted by Samantha
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Jun 22, 2015 at 5:44 pm

Housing does not belong on El Camino. We need more retail, like a Target store or a car dealership (tax revenue). Pretty soon retail will disappear from El Camino - - not a good thing.


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 22, 2015 at 6:24 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Samantha - Perhaps you missed the development and adoption of the Downtown Specific Plan which states:

"The ECR SE District is located on the east side of El
Camino Real, south of Ravenswood Avenue and is
characterized by a mix of larger offi ce developments, hotel
and retail and personal service uses. The area is bordered
by the railroad tracks to the east beyond which are the Civic
Center complex and residential neighborhoods.
The District is located in two distinct land use designations,
El Camino Real Mixed Use and El Camino Real Mixed
Use – Residential designations. Both designations support
a variety of retail uses, personal services, business and
professional offi ces and residential uses"

"Maximum FAR for all uses, inclusive of Offices 1.25
Maximum FAR for Offices, inclusive of Medical and Dental Offices One half of the Base
Base Density: 40 dwelling units per acre"


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