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No winning bidder as Menlo Park USGS campus auction closes

Original post made on Sep 2, 2022

Bidding has closed on the former United States Geological Survey (USGS) campus in Menlo Park, but federal officials have yet to disclose the auction winner.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, September 2, 2022, 10:42 AM

Comments (4)

Posted by Samuel Y
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Sep 2, 2022 at 2:18 pm

Samuel Y is a registered user.

MPCSD and City of Menlo Park should buy it and build a 2nd middle school here. The majority of middle school students live east of El Camino Real and the Caltrain tracks. A 2nd school site here would create a shorter and safer commute to school.

Posted by new guy
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 4, 2022 at 9:22 am

new guy is a registered user.

Wish it was so simple, but someone (taxpayers) would need to pay for it, MPCSD nor our City does not have $120M sitting around. This is why the our elected council spoke about rezoning part of the parcel for a school, and not purchasing it through an auction. This is most likely the reason why it did not sell as purchaser would have limits placed on them by the council, such as land grabs for school(s), housing, subsidized housing (sorry, I mean below market rate), etc.

Posted by Stuart Soffer
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Sep 13, 2022 at 2:15 pm

Stuart Soffer is a registered user.

@ Samuel Y and New guy:

An anticipated problem with the USGS site is soil contamination. It would be up to USGS to do this remediation before the buyers buy. And I would expect potential buyers to ask for a geologists report (ironic, no?)

Posted by Not-Jeff
a resident of Hillview Middle School
on Sep 22, 2022 at 11:47 am

Not-Jeff is a registered user.

"Wish it was so simple, but someone (taxpayers) would need to pay for it, MPCSD nor our City does not have $120M sitting around."

I agree that neither has the funding necessary to pull off purchasing that land. I'll also add:

1: 'our City' (presumably Menlo Park) is in no way affiliated with MPCSD; they are completely separate government agencies; MP's borders include 3 government agencies that are elementary school districts: Las Lomitas, MPCSD and Ravenswood (might actually be 4: there may be a small sliver of Redwood City SD for the apartments near the Porsche dealership). Menlo Park has no incentive or reason to purchase land for a separate government agency. It would be like Palo Alto buying land for Menlo Park to use, which is unlikely to ever happen.

2: The federal government is legally required to sell the land at market value, so there's no way to get any kind of discount. Even if MPCSD tried Eminent Domain, MPCSD would need to pay market rate for the land.

3: Taxpayers are still paying for GO bonds on MPCSD schools right now. Buying that land would undoubtedly put a larger tax burden on taxpayers.

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