News

New lots to alleviate parking woes in Woodlands area

Equity Residential adds 90 new spaces with East Palo Alto lots

Two new parking lots at East Palo Alto's Woodland Park Apartments have opened, offering 90 new spaces that will hopefully combat a problem that has plagued residents across two city borders.

Equity Residential, the Chicago-based firm that owns more than 1,800 residential units on East Palo Alto's west side between U.S. Highway 101 and Woodland Avenue, announced the parking lot completions on Wednesday. The company constructed a 42-space lot at Scofield Ave. and 48 spaces on Euclid Avenue.

Equity purchased the massive quantity of units in 2011 and began reducing the vacancy rates from 70 percent occupancy to mid-90 percent, according to a company spokesman. That increased the number of vehicles, since many households own more than one car. Woodland Park comprises 101 individual buildings with 1,812 apartment units ranging from studios up to four-bedrooms. The various buildings making up the property were built between 1912 and 1969, covering approximately 49 acres.

Residents of Palo Alto's Crescent Park neighborhood began feeling the brunt of the parking shortage when Woodland residents sought parking refuge on Palo Alto streets along Newell Road and adjacent streets. They petitioned the City of Palo Alto for, and won, an overnight parking ban and residential parking-permit program.

Palo Alto's City Council approved the ban and program in August 2013, leaving East Palo Alto residents to park several blocks away from their homes. That prompted then-mayor and current East Palo Alto Councilman Ruben Abrica to demand accounting of parking spaces in the area in order to better inform a solution to the situation.

Equity said in a Sept. 5 email the company had 1,960 parking spaces available at Woodland Park when it purchased the apartments, and that at the time the number remained the same.

"Woodland Park was developed at a time when car use and parking needs were significantly lower than they are today. When we acquired the property in 2011, allocating funds and identifying locations in both the northern and southern sections of the community that could accommodate additional tenant parking was one of the first priorities of our capital improvement plans. We are very pleased to deliver the completed structures today," John Hyjer, first vice president of Investments for Equity Residential, said in yesterday's announcement.

"Not only are we delivering the much needed convenience and safety these lots provide our residents, but we are also helping alleviate a long standing neighborhood issue," he added.

The parking lots cost nearly $600,000 to construct and feature energy-efficient lighting. At least half of the spaces in each lot are covered carport spaces, Hyjer said.

Equity spokesman John Halloran said there will be a fee for the spaces, but the amount has not yet been decided. But "sign up for the 90 new spaces is on a first come, first served basis, for which there is a waiting list already," he said.

Comments

Posted by Crescent Park Dad, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 13, 2014 at 6:55 am

This works only if the landlord doesn't charge for parking...


Posted by What a joke!, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 13, 2014 at 8:46 am

Oh, right, 90 spaces is a big help! What is needed are more like 1200, considering how many residents have 2-3 cars ( many keep a spare for when the other two break down at the same time, or for a working teenage child). The owners have a strange idea of what their tenants really need, and what their tenants' reality is.


Posted by Memories, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 13, 2014 at 12:23 pm

Yes, Crescent Park Dad, the residents are being charged. Or, at least the Mercury News article indicates such.


Posted by palo alto parent, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 13, 2014 at 1:10 pm

I would assume with 1800 units, some of which are 4 bedrooms, Woodland Park would need at minimum 3600 parking spaces. Adding a mere 90 spots is almost comical.


Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 13, 2014 at 1:54 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

Yes, we ARE laughing, palo alto parent. I feel bad for people who 8still* need parking. And the parking problem WAS created by EQR.


Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 13, 2014 at 8:49 pm

What A Joke ....
> Oh, right, 90 spaces is a big help! What is needed are more like 1200, considering how many residents have 2-3 cars ( many keep a spare for when the other two break down at the same time, or for a working teenage child). The owners have a strange idea of what their tenants really need, and what their tenants' reality is.


Well, I do agree it's a joke, but this is way way over on the other side of University, so it will not alleviate parking problems near the Newell Bridge area for those folks. What about them?

But people who think the answer to reliable transportation is to have 3 broken cars are people who cannot afford to live here and are pushing off the cost of their incompetence onto the cities and blaming their landlords ... if that is what is really happening. Can you back that up?

I know housing for low incomes is non-existent, and parking is worse than housing, unless you just park in a public space. The idea of taking the space needed for 1200 cars and donating it to people who have 3 cars is very funny, at least until it actually would get done ... then laughter should turn to tears. That is a huge cost - to someone.

How do you suggest they create parking? Is it the landlord's responsibility? The city's?

These buildings were not build by their current owners or in current circumstances. They used to function for people, but now the density of living has gone up, and the density of cars. There are cars all over most areas of EPA, and Palo Alto too.


Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 13, 2014 at 9:19 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

Yes, of course the current landlord created this problem. We didn't have this problem until EQR took over. [Portion removed.]


Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 13, 2014 at 9:25 pm

[Post removed.]


Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 13, 2014 at 11:05 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


Posted by Number 6, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 19, 2014 at 9:33 pm

Some missing information in the PA Weekly/Online article:

Before this article was published, The City of Palo Alto recently replaced the previously installed no overnight parking signs with "No Parking Anytime" signs at its borders with East Palo Alto: On Newell near Woodland and the week before the article was published, on West Bayshore. This has contributed even more to the extremely difficult parking situation that has been occurring in the last few years on Woodland Avenue in East Palo Alto west of Highway 101.

The additional lots constructed by Equity have had little effect on Woodland Avenue south of Newell Avenue parking, mainly because they charge for parking. Woodland, south of Newell, is now a haven for trucks with commercial license plates, large SUVs and other non-resident vehicles who use Woodland Ave as their parking lot, when they don't live on this street.






Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 19, 2014 at 11:10 pm

Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 13, 2014 at 9:19 pm
Hmmm is a registered user.
>> instead opine, as usual, with few known facts.

HEY EDITOR, I've only Reported Objectionable Content about 13 times now on this particular personal attack and insult and nothing has been done, although you have removed my post complaining about it. How about doing something?


Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 20, 2014 at 3:02 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

Well, CPA, you know it's true - you're not in possession of real facts in the matter.


Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 20, 2014 at 3:27 pm

Hmmm, why can't you seem to keep from making negative personal comments about me or most of those you disagree strongly with. If we could look back and some of your deleted posts you regularly lose it on people, and not just me.

Whatever the substance of my opinions are, when you imply that I "always" don't know the facts, when the real facts are that nearly half of your comments end up being deleted or edited. Maybe you should look at your part of whatever brings about that outcome. You seem to have that kind "entitlement mentality" where you think your opinions are superior so you can get self-righteous to others and be insulting and dismissive of others.

Others are supposed to take on faith that you know and can speak for all of East Palo Alto, and blame most of Palo Alto. I asked you a question about the real facts of the matter you said your knew and you taunted me about, but did not answer, and you your posts and my post deleted in the process. No, I didn't appreciate it.


Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 20, 2014 at 4:00 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

Too bad for you, CPA. That you can't figure out how little you know, but you post based on your factless opinions, and then get irked when I point it out, if your problem. Many posters, incl me, who don't understand or know the facts about an issue ask relevant questions and try to get answers. You should perhaps compare your posts with, say, Crescent Park Dad's so that you see what I mean.

Further, you pretend to understand issues on the westside based on having lived her 30 years ago. The fact that you didn't even know the Equity Residential is largely responsible for the current parking problem is an example of you not knowing what's currently going on, but you post comments as if you do. I'm not gonna hold your hand when you're wrong, I'll point out that you're wrong or missing important issue.

I actually do represent a good portion of people in my town on some issue. I am entitled in that my opinions on issues that I call you on are because my opinion is based on facts. While we're all entitled to our opinions, we're not entitled to pretend we know facts that we don't. You do that, re the westside, but I don't. So if you want to call what I post entitled, you're entitled to do so. But be clear that I do so because I have the facts when you don't.

There is plenty I blame Palo Alto for, and I am right about that, too. I know the history of how each city has impacted the other quite well. Do you?

I'm certainly dismissive of people whose opinions aren't based on fact. That's pretty common everywhere. It's kind of weird that you take it so personally, instead of learning from my critiques of your posts. For example, Crescent Park Dad and I have argued a lot about Equity Residential. But we still see rationally eye to eye on many issues, and/or we ask similar questions about a topic. He has kids in Palo Alto schools, I don't. I've learned a lot from him on details I'm unfamiliar with. I make the distinction between being educated in Palo Alto and currently having kids in school there. You, otoh, can't be bothered to try to know what's going on, really, here on the westside, or overall in E. Palo Alto, nor do you admit when someone else knows more about something than you do. You pretend that all opinions are equal, when they're not. You've also, of course, ignored the many times I've agreed with you, which is also strange. Have a nice summer solstice!


Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 20, 2014 at 5:18 pm

> The fact that you didn't even know the Equity Residential is largely responsible for the current parking problem

That is your unsubstantiated claim based on your apparent feeling that any apartment complex has a bottomless well of money to solve problems however you think they should be solved.

> I'm not gonna hold your hand when you're wrong

Yeah, well you making another irrelevant comment, stop losing your temper, cound to ten or whatever it is you need to do and quit the personal attacks, you just counter one with another three.


Posted by Memories, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 21, 2014 at 11:21 pm

It' is too bad that Hmmm is more current on the issues facing the Westside, and such a better writer than Crescent Park Anon. If they were better matched it might be more fun to read their exchanges. As it stands, Crescent Park Anon isn't learning how to better grasp the facts, so is always lacking in information and so is unable to postulate a decent argument. In Hmmm's latest post there was no personal attack, just an honest response.

Crescent Park Anon is wrong about Equity Residential, because they really do have endless funds, and there is no excuse for them being such terrible landlords who always break the law. This information is very easy to get, but Crescent Park Anon seems to think that they should be spoonfed facts. It's no wonder Hmmm won't enable Crescent Park Anon.


Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 21, 2014 at 11:32 pm

> Crescent Park Anon is wrong about Equity Residential

Hey Memories ... refresh my memory ... what did I say about this issue ... nothing maybe!

Please find me a cut and paste if you will, because you won't and can't and are just sucking up to Hmmm.

It is Hmmm that has made all kinds of statement about Equity Residential that have no basis or backup. I asked twice now for something, and all you both can do is bring in another loose PAO cannon to attack me. If asking for an answer to a question about a serious accusation is spoon-fed ... I guess so.


Posted by Memories, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 22, 2014 at 12:39 am

It's laughable, really, because Equity Residential's terrible record is so easy to find. I found it, so you go find it, Crescent Park Anon.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 22, 2014 at 2:29 am

People on the other side (Woodlands Ave) of the Newell Bridge place ads on craigslist looking for someone to sell them a parking sticker or space for parking on the Palo Alto side.


Posted by HUTCH 7.62, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 22, 2014 at 9:38 am

Parking has always sucked in west EPA. When I lived in woodland back in 2006-2007 The problem was that at that time and it it probably still rings true today, Most of woodland's apartments were often occupied by 3 or more families living in one apartment with the kids living in the living room.

[Portion removed.]


Posted by Follower of hutch, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 22, 2014 at 12:37 pm

Funny, I though, hutch, that you have lived in old Palo Alto for a long time, based on your old postings


Posted by HUTCH 7.62, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 22, 2014 at 10:37 pm

^ My family has lived in old PA for many years. I moved away after high school (1999) went to college in the Jefferson State and came back for overpaid work reasons.


Posted by HUTCH 7.62, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 22, 2014 at 10:42 pm

Make that 23 years to be exact


Posted by Nosey Neighbor, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 23, 2014 at 12:38 pm

[Post removed.]


Posted by Follower of hutch, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 23, 2014 at 12:49 pm

[Post removed.]


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