News

Cupertino developer buys Fry's site in Palo Alto

Site could see major land-use changes as part of Comprehensive Plan update

Cupertino-based developer Sobrato Organization has purchased a 15-acre property in Palo Alto that includes Fry's Electronics -- a site that city officials eye as a potential location for major land-use changes.

The property on Portage Avenue, close to the intersection of El Camino Real and Page Mill Road, is currently the subject of a "concept plan" Palo Alto officials are putting together as they consider new land-use designations for the area. Fry's Electronics, the site's most prominent tenant, has a lease extending to 2014, with a five-year option after that.

Planning director Curtis Williams confirmed the sale but said it should have little effect on planning and zoning at the site. He said Sobrato informed the city several months ago about its plans to buy the site. Williams said Sobrato officials indicated they have "no immediate plans for the site," given Fry's existing lease and its option to extend the lease.

"Sobrato is generally a high-density residential developer, so we expect that's what they have in mind down the line," Williams said.

The "Fry's site," which also includes a scattering of smaller high-tech companies, has emerged in recent years as one of Palo Alto's major land-use wildcards, with city officials and consultants considering alternative uses for the prominent location near the center of the city.

With Palo Alto facing a regional mandate to plan for thousands of units of new housing, the site is one of several that city officials say could support new housing because of its proximity to the transit-oriented district on California Avenue.

The site is currently zoned for residential use, though it also accommodates commercial use. The intent of the new concept plan, according to a December report by Senior Planner Elena Lee, is to "evaluate development intensities, potential for more housing, retention and enhancement of retail/service opportunities, and improved pedestrian and bicycle connections."

"Specific focus was given to preferred uses of the Fry's Electronics site and the character of the California Avenue business district," Lee wrote.

Palo Alto officials have also repeatedly stressed the importance of maintaining Fry's Electronics, either at its present site or elsewhere in the city.

The site's previous owner, the Robert Wheatley Group, had also proposed greater intensification of development at the site, specifically for multi-family housing. In October, Robert Wheatley sent a letter to the city, proposing a new land-use map for the site that would allow multi-family zoning allowing up to 50 units per acre with "four stories of apartment over podium as a potential prototype." Wheatley's proposed zoning would also allow up to three stories of office use.

According to the a report from Lee, Wheatley also expressed concern about the site's viability for commercial use, "given its lack of visibility along El Camino Real and the future use of the site should Fry's Electronics leave after their lease expires in 2014."

The Sobrato company could not be immediately reached for comment.

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by no!no!no!
a resident of South of Midtown
on May 2, 2011 at 10:22 am

no more new housing.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by local geek
a resident of Greendell/Walnut Grove
on May 2, 2011 at 10:36 am

Must keep Fry's at all costs. It is a cherished resource for residents.

Must Keep Fry's.... Must...


 +   Like this comment
Posted by pa resident
a resident of Downtown North
on May 2, 2011 at 10:45 am

Build the million $ homes & townhouses if you must, but can we please keep USEFUL stores like Fry's rather than ANOTHER coffee house or ridiculously priced restaurant?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by HUTCH 7.62
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 2, 2011 at 10:45 am

No more new housing!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Palo Alto native
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on May 2, 2011 at 10:52 am

No more housing please! It's unfortunate that Recording for the Blind was demolished and replaced by housing.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by no!no!no!
a resident of South of Midtown
on May 2, 2011 at 10:55 am

Can not the city see there is a ongoing housing bubble right here? When this bursts then everyone will suffer.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Frank
a resident of Ventura
on May 2, 2011 at 10:57 am

I say - yes, new housing and lots of lower cost houses (lower cost in Palo Alto being $500k or so).

Where are our children going to live after they grow up? Home with Mom and Dad? Kansas, Montana or Stockton?

But I do agree about keeping Frys and not needing another over priced coffee house or restaurant.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Elizabeth
a resident of Midtown
on May 2, 2011 at 10:59 am

Right. From what "regional mandate" comes the directive for more housing? Why must every really nice community be pushed to grow until it is an unpleasant over-populated "stack 'em on top of each other" city? It's death by overwhelm!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by coooper
a resident of another community
on May 2, 2011 at 11:04 am

Have these regional mandates been reviewed or updated in recent years?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Adobe
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on May 2, 2011 at 11:17 am

I can only imagine the number of world-changing technology innovations that have come from our talented local residents shopping at that Fry's store. They better not close it down!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mike Cobb, former Mayor
a resident of Greendell/Walnut Grove
on May 2, 2011 at 11:19 am

Consider the potential consequences of this development that could be very damaging to the community. While developers stand to make big money from the future development of the Fry's site for high density housing, the rest of the community will pay a steep price. The loss of Fry's together with the addition of significant new housing means fewer sales tax dollars to support a major population-driven increase in demand for services. An increase in resident families means more pressure on the schools, which could lead to the loss of Cubberley as a community center as the District seeks additional facilities for a larger school population — and with no alternatives for providing the services resident there. The bottom line for the developers will be large, but it will very negative for Palo Alto residents. This could also play into the hand of those supporting the recently reported ABAG 'requirement' for 12,000 new housing units in Palo Alto. Taken together, these developments could lead to a very different Palo Alto where, among other changes, our cherished services will be diminished and very likely rationed. I urge every resident who cares to contact the members of the City Council and demand that they start taking actions now to prevent these negative changes to our community. Or, be prepared to live with the consequences.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 2, 2011 at 11:24 am

Don't think or want Frys to go.

But, how about a large, full service Safeway. After all, that's how Frys started.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by collegeneighborhoodassociation
a resident of Professorville
on May 2, 2011 at 11:26 am

What is our NIMBY's opinion?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by jerryl
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on May 2, 2011 at 11:35 am

I get irritated every time I hear about these 'Regional Mandates'.
Times obviously were different back when we joined ABAG and whatever other groupings and when these 'mandates" were written. If there is no easy way to update them to reflect current facts on the ground then we should consider unilateral withdrawal from ABAG.

The main reason these mandates are killing us is the legislation that prohibits consideration of funding for schools in the approval process for these projects. If our legislators would only "carry the water" on getting that particular law modified then packing more and more affordable housing in to our town would be more tolerable.

Jerryl


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Watch the zoning
a resident of Midtown
on May 2, 2011 at 11:38 am

Sobrato built Central Park at 100 N.Whisman in Mountain View * 354 units.
You can Google Sobrato Organization to see what they do.
We need to be sure the California Area Plan does NOT zone for housing on this site. It will be a disaster for our city.
Time for our city fathers to pay attention to us, not to the developers (i.e.ABAG).


 +   Like this comment
Posted by no!no!no!
a resident of South of Midtown
on May 2, 2011 at 11:41 am

Considring the trafic congestions everyday around those areas,can the city still add more residents there?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by BH
a resident of Barron Park
on May 2, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Why housing? Because it makes lots of money. Money, money, money. Denser, denser, denser goes the urban area. Cram them in. Hey it's not like the developers live here or have anything vested in the character of Palo Alto, what do they care? And there will always be people from even denser areas who think it still seems perfectly reasonable and even semi-rural by comparison to other (ugly, dense) places. ugh.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Concerned Retiree
a resident of Midtown
on May 2, 2011 at 12:12 pm

Palo Alto does not need nor want any more housing. Our infrastructure is straining to handle what is already built or in process. Retail businesses like Fry's bring in sales tax. The property tax on even new homes does not cover the cost of the schools, let alone that of the infrastructure and service needs.

ABAG is mandating housing which is unaffordable to our infrastructure. Enough is enough.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by araj turos
a resident of Barron Park
on May 2, 2011 at 12:13 pm

We need Fry's!! Our budget needs Fry's. For housing - wake up City Council - the mobile home park along El Camino (near Los Robles) would be a great place for high density housing - allow the existing folks to move back into a decent, rent subsidized apartments there afterwards, and the rest of the apartments would provide housing to new families. Plus - it's along a transit corridor, has shops and a gas station in front ! Wake up City Council!!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Klaus Brandt
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on May 2, 2011 at 12:14 pm

I don't understand why the Fry's location doesn't have historical landmark status. The building was a tomato cannery during World-War II and Fry's has faithfully maintained the structure in its original form.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by grumpy old-timer
a resident of another community
on May 2, 2011 at 12:16 pm

Bring back Maximart!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by bikes2work
a resident of Mountain View
on May 2, 2011 at 12:27 pm

The Fry's site is already zoned for housing (RM-30). Fry's was permitted as a nonconforming use. The main reason that it hasn't already been developed as housing is because of the huge toxic plume under the site.

Here is a link to the zoning map: Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by concerned resident
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on May 2, 2011 at 12:31 pm

NO MORE HOMES!!! Palo Alto is changing for the worse. I loved the old Palo Alto - now the traffic, overcrowded schools, and every single plot of land is being covered with new housing developments. Stop this development. Fry's is a valuable asset to us.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jo Ann
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 2, 2011 at 12:42 pm

And how much is this going to city in lost tax revenues????

Time to raise our water, gas, sewer, electricity, garbage rates AGAIN.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jo Ann
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 2, 2011 at 12:46 pm

I should have said:

And how much is this going to city in lost SALES tax revenues????

I'll be Fry's was one our biggest sales tax revenue generators. Anyone know?

That way we can start to figure out how much more this will cost us!

How about appealing the dense housing mandate??


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Affordable Palo Alto Housing For Everyone!
a resident of Downtown North
on May 2, 2011 at 12:50 pm

This is an excellent location for high density residential in combination with a mix of other commercial/retail uses.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bill
a resident of Barron Park
on May 2, 2011 at 12:52 pm

Mike Cobb's blog statements would be much more effective (and read) if he put each idea into separate paragraphs. His arguments are germane but very hard to follow.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by PA Resident
a resident of Midtown
on May 2, 2011 at 12:57 pm

I doubt Fry's will renew their lease in 2014...especially with all the competition from the Mountain View and E.P.A. Bet Buy stores. Why would anyone want to drive all the way over to Fry's when Best Buy has such great freeway access?

I predict that the City will try to find a way to focus the entire city's housing allocation into this site...At least it has good access to transit (Cal Ave Caltrain Station and VTA Bus Rapid Transit on El Camino Real) as well as access to the Park Boulevard Bicylce Boulevard. Also the railroad track provide a convenent barrier between the primarily SFR to the east and other uses to the west. If no higher density housing here then where?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Palo Parent
a resident of Greenmeadow
on May 2, 2011 at 12:57 pm

If Fry's were to close, where would all of the shoplifters go?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mark
a resident of Professorville
on May 2, 2011 at 1:28 pm

The City knew about this for months and they pushed to narrow lanes on California Ave. Are they creating another University
Ave? First, chop down the large trees, narrow the lanes and next must be high rent leases. I guess the homeless and crime will follow. Does this community see what is going on? Please we need to unite and keep our charming neighborhoods. To Frank, low cost housing will not be available to your kids - think about it. We are slowly creating sections of low income housing developments, think "projects". That's what our children has to look forward to. They will not live in Palo Alto in the low income housing areas. I have one question for the Palo Alto, how long has the City been working on this with the developers? The departments heads are getting something for laying down the foundation, i.e. update California Ave - for them! Shame on the City. Shame on the developers, who could care less what the people of PA think.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by no!no!no!
a resident of South of Midtown
on May 2, 2011 at 1:36 pm

Our school will be like bees nest.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by CC
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 2, 2011 at 1:52 pm

Yes Keep Fry's No to Housing


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Charlie
a resident of Barron Park
on May 2, 2011 at 2:15 pm

Mark, the developer is the buyer! Why blame on them? Now we know why some entities keep pushing for a third high school. Mystery Solved!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by no!no!no!
a resident of South of Midtown
on May 2, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Money,money,money, to everyone ,only money matters.neighborhood is disposable.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by no!no!no!
a resident of South of Midtown
on May 2, 2011 at 2:47 pm

@mark

can you explain why the city did that, i am not very familiar with this?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hulkamania
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 2, 2011 at 3:07 pm

Sobrato?!?! Isn't he the guy who sued the City of Santa Clara to force them not to allow other developers to hook up to the sewer system? Get ready Palo Alto.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stephanie Byrne
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 2, 2011 at 3:07 pm

This "New Housing" craze is getting out of hand. And there is no such thing as affordable housing in Palo Alto! The only people who are going to benefit from this development is Sobrato. I say let's put a moratorium on any more new housing development in Palo Alto, and let's think about the consequences - which are traffic, the strain in providing services such as schools, and all the great community services that residences of Palo Alto enjoy, police, fire, ect.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Buzz
a resident of University South
on May 2, 2011 at 4:04 pm

The City Council and the developers have a belief system desribed in texting: IBG,YBG. When the housing is built and sold and the money is all sucked out of Palo Alto, "I'll Be Gone,You'll Be Gone." It's a simple as that.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by palo alto mom
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 2, 2011 at 4:10 pm

What are the consequences if we choose not to comply with the ABAG housing requirements?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by pat
a resident of Midtown
on May 2, 2011 at 4:18 pm

For all of you saying "no more housing," I agree, BUT it's the state that's demanding it. As Mike Cobb wrote, ABAG only allocates housing in its area. The demand for growth comes from the state, which wants more jobs, thus more people, thus more need housing.
The state will withhold funds from the city if it does not comply with housing quotas. If you don't like this, start lobbying your state representatives!

@Affordable Palo Alto Housing For Everyone! Why? Who's going to subsidize it?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on May 2, 2011 at 4:19 pm

Last time I asked, I heard ABAG has authority to sieze all our properties by eminent domain, after suing every resident. Of course those aren't the first steps, but that's the bottom line when push comes to shove.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by pat
a resident of Midtown
on May 2, 2011 at 4:34 pm

Senior Planner Elena Lee, says the intent of the new concept plan is to "evaluate development intensities, potential for more housing, retention and enhancement of retail/service opportunities, and improved pedestrian and bicycle connections."

What the heck are "development intensities"?

Notice—as always—pedestrians and bicycles are singled out for special concern. No one gives a rap about drivers.

As Mark points out, "The City knew about this for months and they pushed to narrow lanes on California Ave."

Maybe they pushed to get the traffic study done before the Sobrato deal was announced, because the City's planning regulations only allow for CURRENT DATA on traffic flow to be taken into account.

Keeping these potential major developments quiet made it easier to sell the idea of narrowing CA Avenue to two lanes—which is required in order to get the $1.2M VTA grant.

From Web Link
"Julie Caporgno, chief planning and transportation official, said staff doesn't anticipate that any future development would have a significant impact on traffic. Any residences that go in there would be transit-oriented," she said."

Who are they kidding?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by no!no!no!
a resident of South of Midtown
on May 2, 2011 at 4:43 pm

Thanks for the explaination.@pat


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Grumpy
a resident of Green Acres
on May 2, 2011 at 4:47 pm

High density residential development over huge toxic plume. I don't think so.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by no!no!no!
a resident of South of Midtown
on May 2, 2011 at 4:48 pm

So we are the victims.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of Downtown North
on May 2, 2011 at 5:42 pm

Great - Robert Wheatley, a *MAJOR* donor to discriminitory and anti-gay causes has more money in his pockets. :( Hopefully he can continue to focus on other real estate projects instead of funneling the money towards more hate campaigns


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hulkamania
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 2, 2011 at 5:45 pm

"What are the consequences if we choose not to comply with the ABAG housing requirements?"

"I heard ABAG has authority to sieze all our properties by eminent domain, after suing every resident. Of course those aren't the first steps, but that's the bottom line when push comes to shove."

It's time to elect Texas Gov. Rick "Good Hair" Perry mayor. He'll get Palo Alto to secede from the union and save us from ABAG.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Douglas Moran
a resident of Barron Park
on May 2, 2011 at 6:39 pm

Douglas Moran is a registered user.

When City officials claim that they want to retain Fry's, ask them (1) What has been done to identify an alternate site? To my knowledge, nothing (and I track this). and (2) What has been done to try to preserve sites large enough for a Fry's-style retail store? Again, nothing that I know of. To the contrary, the City has been enthusiastic about converting those sites to housing (Jewish Community Center, Hyatt Rickey's, ...).


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Douglas Moran
a resident of Barron Park
on May 2, 2011 at 6:54 pm

Douglas Moran is a registered user.

On traffic/transit usage:
The Fry's site is at the distant edge of what most people walk to transit. Based on similar sites, the estimate is that 3% of the _households_ will have someone who uses Caltrain to commute (assuming that Caltrain isn't further degraded). Housing _immediately_ next to a station may have up to 10% of the households containing transit users.

Problem: most stats are in terms of households rather than workers, so there could be 2 transit users in some households or there may be only one worker in a household.

However, commutes are less than one-third of the trips generated by a housing unit.

When the Council approved the Pedestrian/Transit Oriented Zoning for that area, staff had been unable to produce a traffic plan of how the vehicle trips would be accommodated from the site--the various ideas fell far, far short--they all would have led to "failing" intersections. However, that Council didn't seem to be concerned that a gridlocked intersection at El Camino and Page Mill would hurt Palo Alto's economic vitality.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by daniel
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 3, 2011 at 7:18 am

Palo Alto is already overcrowded as it is and our schools and infrastructure can't keep up with our overpopulation. here's no need for us to become another Hmong Kong in which every square inch is jammed with people.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by no!no!no!
a resident of South of Midtown
on May 3, 2011 at 7:44 am

Where are the voice of professorville's residents?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on May 3, 2011 at 7:57 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Why not reclassify everything South of Page Mill as either Commercial or Very High Density Housing? All the way to San Antonio. Reopen Park Street all the way.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by PipeIn
a resident of Midtown
on May 3, 2011 at 8:13 am

Housing? I agree that housing would be the worst choice for this spot due to the contamination from nearby Superfund sites. Forget NIMBY, how about no backyards at all near there to protect families from living on toxic land. This article mentions the toxic plume under Fry's:

Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by no!no!no!
a resident of South of Midtown
on May 3, 2011 at 8:24 am

Toxic houses vs. good schools, which one is better.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by laura
a resident of Midtown
on May 3, 2011 at 8:31 am

Palo Alto is no longer the quiet, tranquil town we moved to in the 70's. Now it is noisy, overcrowded and unpleasant. Housing at the Fry's site will just increase this type of mayhem. Residents, prepare now to fight this.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by pat
a resident of Midtown
on May 3, 2011 at 9:30 am

Thanks, Doug Moran, for your always reliable and relevant comments.

I went back to a previous article in the Weekly for these quotes from Curtis Williams:

Web Link
"Curtis Williams, the city's planning director, said in a recent interview that the city doesn't assume that everyone in the new transit-oriented developments will use transit, but it assumes that some will….

"Palo Alto has not performed any studies on whether transit-oriented development really reduces congestion because the city's supply of such developments is too small, Williams said. But evidence from elsewhere in the U.S. suggests cars will continue to be the preferred mode of transportation in these developments, though to a much smaller extent than in other parts of the city."

Perhaps the city wants to build more "transit-oriented" housing so that it will have a big-enough supply of developments to actually do a study.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by no!no!no!
a resident of South of Midtown
on May 3, 2011 at 9:37 am

So the city is assuming that people in those new housing will use the caltrain, look at caltrain, it loses money every year.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by RT
a resident of Barron Park
on May 3, 2011 at 10:16 am

No more housing!
Our schools can't take any more!
And we end up losing sales tax revenue!
Is the city council listening to the voters?!?!?
My future votes for city council will be based solely on the candidates position that the site be maintained for commercial/light industrial uses.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Old Timer Too
a resident of Midtown
on May 3, 2011 at 11:18 am

@ Grumpy Old Timer:

Yes, bring back Maximart and while they are at it, the Menu Tree too!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on May 3, 2011 at 12:39 pm

Better get over to City Hall fast, everybody. The Fry's site currently has an underlying zoning for high-density housing, which means that's what happens if Frys moves out. Our city government is ostensibly concerned about this turnover, but it has done little more than fret publicly about it and offer Frys token incentives to stick around, like a bigger sign allowance at El Camino and Porter. Sobrato only needs to hike the rent through the sky, and it's bye-bye Frys, hello condos.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by no!no!no!
a resident of South of Midtown
on May 3, 2011 at 12:49 pm

First south palo alto this time midtown next north palo alto, all of palo alto will be filled up with condos.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by WilliamR
a resident of Fairmeadow
on May 3, 2011 at 5:33 pm

If Fry;s moved from their current site, where else in the city might they go? It's hard to think of a vacant or underutilized commercial site with good traffic access, large enough for a major store, probably larger than their current size.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Pipein
a resident of Midtown
on May 3, 2011 at 5:48 pm

Frys should go to the new center being renovated at San Antonio Center in Mountain View. Sears is leaving and there'd be lots of space for a store plus parking.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bob
a resident of Community Center
on May 3, 2011 at 9:49 pm

Fry's brings a lot of sales tax revenue to Palo Alto, and the citizens, the Council, and city staff should stop Fry's from moving to Mountain View or any place outside of Palo Alto. The San Antonio Center is in Mountain View.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Outside Observer
a resident of another community
on May 3, 2011 at 10:47 pm

Of all the Fry's in the Bayarrhea, Palo Alto is the smallest, the ugliest and the least stocked.

Quite sure they will be gone and will relocate to MV or EPA. Either would be a much better option than anything in PA.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Crossings Resident
a resident of Mountain View
on May 3, 2011 at 11:14 pm

Yes, by all means move Fry's to San Antonio Shopping Center! That would be one more great store that I can walk to. Since Palo Alto isn't willing to upzone any R-1 to a meager R-15 such as 525 San Antonio, I don't see how they can justify removing the long standing R-30 zoning from the Fry's site. "It doesn't match the comprehensive plan".

Sobrato will probably do exactly what curmudgeon said. Raise the rent sky high in 2014 so the site can be cleared out for the new condos in 3 years.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bob
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 4, 2011 at 5:21 pm

Forget the housing.
Instead a family oriented place with ...
bowling alley
ice rink
roller rink
bumper cars
pool hall
park with picnic area
small amphitheater venue
Octoberfest style beer hall

what we don't want....
housing
Starbucks
food trucks
fast food - whether it be American or ethnic
politicians


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Be
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on May 5, 2011 at 4:01 pm

More housing really? They just put in a huge lot full of homes right off el camino do we really need more? Putting housing on this lot where frys is will cause way more traffic over there. Not only will current residents be frustrated, but you will be taking the costs from our pockets. I DO NOT agree that tax payers (OUR) money should be spent on something so ridiculous.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Chuck Karish
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 13, 2014 at 3:26 pm

Palo Alto has been adding many more jobs than housing units for the past 50 years. The result is excessive long-distance commuting both locally and regionally. I think the Portage Avenue site is a great location for high-density housing. It's in short walking distance from the California Avenue business district and from public transit. There's direct access by car to El Camino and to Oregon Expressway without interfering with now-sheltered bike-to-school routes.

I have two concerns about what might be built here. First, the developers must build enough parking for the way people actually use their cars rather than for the way the city wishes they would use them. Second, I'm not sure that this proposal is dense enough.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 13, 2014 at 5:04 pm

>I think the Portage Avenue site is a great location for high-density housing.

I think Embarcadero Oaks/Leland (EOL)is a great site, too. All it takes is an Eminent domain takeover of a few properties there, at assessed market values, based on Prop 13 rates, to clear the way. EOL is a brisk walk away from the train station, shorter by bicycle, and a quick commuter bus away.

Can we finally get the elite neighborhoods involved in high density and welfare housing? What do say, Chuck? Want to pitch in?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Yessirreeee
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Mar 13, 2014 at 6:31 pm

I agree with Craig. It is a nice,,out-of-the way place, and if is is ugly, very few people will have to look at it due to the location.

Let 'em build here rather than some high traffic area. Tucked away as it is, few people will notice it or be offended by it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 13, 2014 at 7:06 pm

>Let 'em build here rather than some high traffic area. Tucked away as it is, few people will notice it or be offended by it.

I agree. Embarcadero Oaks/Leland is low traffic, quiet, tucked away and elite. A perfect location for high density and welfare housing. Let's let that neighborhood vote on it.

Do you agree?

Does Larry Klein, agree, since that is his neighborhood?

But let's not continue to dump welfare housing and density on non-elite neighborhoods in Palo Alto. If the elites want it, then it is up to them to build in their own neighborhoods.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mark Weiss
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 26, 2014 at 7:34 pm

See also draft white paper by Parks and Rec commission, August, 25:

"we are already 25 acres behind in our per capita goal" by the Comp Plan, so I say, and have said at Scoping, PATC (twice) and plan to tonight at PARC, let's turn Fry's into a new major park.

It's 15 acres.

What is the will of the people: 500 new condos or a new park?

Guessing from comments above: parks in a landslide.

Who's in charge here?

WE ARE.


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Posted by Resident of 55 yrs
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 27, 2014 at 3:07 am

We don't really need another park, our city staff can barely keep up with watering and maintaining all the parks as it is.
The parks are empty all week long, although a few are popular by mostly non-residents on the weekends. The homeless sleep in them if there are benches and shade.
We just don't want any more housing since people think it would add to the population and congestion.
This is a nice parcel for housing.
Sadly, most of the homes will likely be sold to foreigner investors in pre-sale.





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Posted by Stephanie Enos
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 27, 2014 at 11:21 am


The elephant in the room is just one word' WATER'
Where will that come from to supply this ever
growing population?


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Posted by Chris Zaharias
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 27, 2014 at 12:27 pm

Chris Zaharias is a registered user.

We built the technologies that led to the existence and dominance of companies like Amazon, so we have little right to complain when it leads to situations such as this, do we?


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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 27, 2014 at 2:52 pm

Have you been in Frys lately? That store is gone and it's not moving to some other location in Palo Alto.

Instead of trying to save Frys, try to find something other than high density housing to replace it. Otherwise, it is condos and town houses or worse.


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Posted by Are you serious?
a resident of Community Center
on Aug 27, 2014 at 8:29 pm

Why oh why would we want to preserve fry's??? Have you seen the greater community's review of the Palo Alto store. Please, before you respond, take a quick gander and see for yourself. Here's the link: Web Link

For every positive yelp review there are 10-20 very very negative reviews. If we're going to fight for a local retailer, lets pick one we can actually be proud of!


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Posted by PAmoderate
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 27, 2014 at 9:51 pm

PAmoderate is a registered user.

Really? What's wrong with you people. No more housing? What's that all about? You guys are a complete embarrassment to Palo Alto. I don't buy your desire to ossify this city (or area) to what it was like long ago.

This isn't Disneyland, and I certainly don't appreciate those who want to make it this way.

You guys are a piece of work. All this stuff about the schools is a complete red herring. I bet most of you complaining about it don't even have children in the PAUSD system anymore -- especially the ones pining for long-dead stores that haven't been around for decades. The gig is up.

(You are also probably the ones taking advantage of Prop 13 where the rest of us have to subsidize your property tax bill)

This space is completely underutilized and occupied by a dinosaur (Fry's). All consumer electronics companies are waiting for Fry's to die. They can barely pay for what they stock.

As for the frankly stupid suggestion about Embarcadero Oaks / Leland Manor - the difference here is that this land is already zoned for high density housing. I guess some people who live in, say, College Terrace, didn't do their due diligence in what's around where they live.


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Posted by Mr.Recycle
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 27, 2014 at 10:05 pm

They should just turn the site into parking, and shuttle workers downtown. Definitely no more housing, no matter what people like PAExtremist think. The city is a crowded mess, time to clean up after letting developers run things for too long.


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Posted by Ahem
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 27, 2014 at 10:26 pm

What about play-fields? The shortsighted 50-year deal PACC made with Stanford for the play-fields at El Camino and Page Mill, in exchange for the PERMANENT development of the giant Mayfield site, only has about 38 years left.

When Stanford bulldozes the play-fields, and turn the site into a giant hotel, where are the kids going to play?


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Posted by Resident of 55 yrs
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 27, 2014 at 11:45 pm

A new community recreation center (like a Y) would be nice, with just a few new single family homes with normal streets and sidewalks.
No high density "tight-pack" high rises.

My feeling is that things like this don't happen around here anymore.
Guess I gotta go out of state to find that (and water too)


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Posted by Peter Parkman
a resident of Ventura
on Aug 27, 2014 at 11:47 pm

"When Stanford bulldozes the play-fields, and turn the site into a giant hotel, where are the kids going to play?"

Hopefully someplace where they aren't stuffing their lungs with motor vehicle exhaust from Palo Alto's busiest intersection. The Fry's site would be ideal.

So hammer our city government to stop wasting taxpayer money on consultants for silly useless studies that fulfill staff egos but have no benefit for the taxpayers who pay for them, and make staff use those $$$$$ to buy the Fry's site for a park.


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