Town Square

Post a New Topic

Chamber of Commerce to move to 'Lytton Gateway'

Original post made on Feb 19, 2014

The Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce will soon be moving into one of downtown's newest and most conspicuous developments -- the four-story "Lytton Gateway" building at the corner of Lytton Avenue and Alma Street.

This story contains 255 words.

If you are a paid subscriber, check to make sure you have logged in. Otherwise our system cannot recognize you as having full free access to our site.

If you are a paid print subscriber and haven't yet set up an online account, click here to get your online account activated.

Comments (6)

Like this comment
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 19, 2014 at 9:38 pm

Is the chamber relevant any more? How many members do they have left? What percentage of Palo Alto businesses belong to the chamber? Imagine all of the hard working nonprofits that could have used that subsidized office space?

Like this comment
Posted by curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 20, 2014 at 9:09 am

The CoC moves so often that its people have sleeping bags instead of desks.

Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 20, 2014 at 7:44 pm

In the interest of balance to Mr. MacKenzie's comments I offer the following view. The "101 Lytton" project may yet succeed in providing a pedestrian friendly, inviting environment at ground level, a "gateway", when the final touches are in place, but what we see going up is a montrous, out of scale building, severe and overpowering in its visual impact, completely out of touch with its location in Downtown Palo Alto and the surrounding neighborhood and commercial area. With its 70 foot tower it is a monument to itself. The "101" fits - it belongs in an office park off Bayshore Freeway.

Like this comment
Posted by Anonymous 2
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 20, 2014 at 10:33 pm

"The building at 101 Lytton Ave. is the last downtown development to win the city's approval under the "planned community" zone process, which allows developers to exceed zoning regulations in exchange for negotiated public benefits. One of the benefits that the council asked to include in the project included space for a nonprofit group, with rent subsidized by the developer."

I think it bears remembering that there was to be senior affordable housing on the top floor, and when they realized the seniors would get those great views, they took it all off. It's interesting that the Council allowed this ugly PC zoned building without any public benefit of affordable housing at all, when it had even been planned to have it, and no one in the public had protested against the affordable housing there (pretty darned good location for it).

Like this comment
Posted by Does not pass smell test
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 20, 2014 at 11:47 pm

The developers Boyd Smith and his son Lund Smith got a lot of help from Jim Baer, who represented them at the City Council where the bizarre definition of BMR office space for the Chamber was authorized. I believe it was Greg Sharff who thought this was a good idea.

The Smiths have been able to use their immense wealth to have themselves characterized as philanthropists. Avenidas, just a couple of blocks away from this development, gave the Smiths a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012 WHILE the project was in process of getting approval.

Also they somehow convinced some of the people in Downtown North to accept the UNDERPARKING by 22 spaces in return for money for a parking study.
The whole process does not pass the smell test.
Web Link

Like this comment
Posted by the 101
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 20, 2014 at 11:54 pm


"The "101" fits - it belongs in an office park off Bayshore Freeway. "

LOL the '101" building.

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Paris Baguette coming to Mountain View
By Elena Kadvany | 14 comments | 4,514 views

Sing and celebrate
By Sally Torbey | 7 comments | 1,060 views

Surviving Family Holidays
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 334 views


Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund

For the last 23 years, the Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund has given away more than $4 million to local nonprofits serving children and families. When you make a donation, every dollar is automatically doubled, and 100% of the funds go directly to local programs. It’s a great way to ensure your charitable donations are working at home.