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Building eyed for busy Palo Alto intersection

Original post made on Feb 7, 2013

A vacant Palo Alto parking lot on the prominent intersection of El Camino Real and Page Mill Road would make way for a four-story commercial building under a new proposal from the company that has recently purchased the site from the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA).

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, February 6, 2013, 10:16 PM

Comments (26)

Posted by Palo Alto Parent, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 7, 2013 at 9:23 am

Building offices on the corner of Page Mill and El Camino is a no-brainer (as is the proposed project on Page Mill on the other side of the street. Although there is are some apartment/condo complexes nearby and a few small houses, this is really a commercial and office area, not residential.

I understand the concerns of the Sunrise Assisted living next door, but I suspect their primary concern is losing "their" parking lot.


Posted by architecture, a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 7, 2013 at 10:47 am

What ever they build please make it aesthetically pleasing not generic. Build something beautiful, unique, exiting... Not another box please! I will have to drive by it every day. How traffic won't be impacted.


Posted by Midtown cynic, a resident of Midtown
on Feb 7, 2013 at 10:48 am

As I read it, the plan is to bribe the city into allowing the zoning exception by "a contribution of $750,000 toward upgrading the lights on the soon-to-be-renovated commercial stretch of California Avenue."
Hah!!! Lighting five blocks away!
This seems typical of our Palo Alto zoning exception activity.


Posted by Nick, a resident of Midtown
on Feb 7, 2013 at 10:53 am

Annoying language in this piece. Please clean it up. 4 language errors and one fact error obtrude.
Here are the items:
at a time when the council is wrestling two much-larger office proposals for 27 University Ave. and 395 Page Mill Road. "wrestling --with--" ?

served as a surface parking lot VTA's bus riders. "parking lot --for-- " ?

the owner an adjacent parcel at 2701 Page Mill, "owner ---of---" ? AND that part of Page Mill is near 280. How about 2700 El Camino Real ?

residents of the Sunrise Assistant Living Facility "Assisted Living"

have "strong objections" and plan to oppose to the Pollock proposal. "oppose the" ?
English teachers might comment on a student's paper with such: "How you like this country?"


Posted by Annette, a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 7, 2013 at 10:55 am

Can someone other than Weekly Staff confirm that there's a "pedestrian tunnel under El Camino Real, near the Mayfield Soccer Complex"? Also,does anyone recall an article/report re the history of public benefits in PA? I vaguely recall a review that concluded that many are promised,few are delivered, and the City turns a blind eye to that. In this case the dedicated right hand turn sounds like a winner to me so if this is approved and that is part of the basis for the approval, I surely hope that benefit is delivered.


Posted by Spartay, a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 7, 2013 at 11:02 am

Hey Nick

"Annoying language in this piece" is an annyoing sentence.


Posted by WilliamR, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Feb 7, 2013 at 11:11 am

@ Annette,

Yes, there is a tunnel under El Camino Real near there, but it has been closed for many years. I think I heard it was a public-safery issue. with drug use or dealing there.


Posted by size matters, a resident of Midtown
on Feb 7, 2013 at 11:16 am

My issue is with the massive size, not the use, It is not ideal for housing, probably better use and tax income as retail, but office is king at $1000/sq ft. Stay in the existing, much smaller, entitlements.


Posted by I, a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 7, 2013 at 11:20 am

I don't care what they do in building a structure but instead of a dedicated right turn lane they should have two dedicated left turn lanes. It is so annoying to have people cut into the lane when only one lane is legally available. Lots of people turn left at El Camino Real. I hope the City's transportation person is reading this!


Posted by Granny Grammar, a resident of Menlo Park
on Feb 7, 2013 at 11:41 am

I agree about the grammer; I am constantly cringing at what I read and hear in the news! Please, take some time and correct the grammar before publishing the material.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 7, 2013 at 11:59 am

I agree, grammar and spelling are important. It is hard to take serious an article full of grammar and spelling errors.

The question I want answered is what will happen to the vehicles parking at this location? They will, presumably, need to park somewhere. Has that been taken into account? This parking lot appears to me to be well used as there are always many vehicles parking there. Where will they park?


Posted by MadamPresiden, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 7, 2013 at 12:04 pm

why it's always either commercial or residential? should be mixed-used for several store buildings always - ground floor retail, offices up, residential farther up


Posted by Gethin, a resident of Midtown
on Feb 7, 2013 at 12:26 pm

Ironic that Granny Grammar, while criticizing others, immediately spells grammar incorrectly!
Are you cringing at yourself? Did you take time to review what you wrote?
Are you a little more sympathetic to Gennady now? After all, you only wrote two sentences and you screwed one up!


Posted by palo Alto Parent, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 7, 2013 at 1:11 pm

@I - there already are 2 dedicated left turn lanes on Page Mill onto El Camino

Resident - a lot of the cars using parking are from Sunrise Assisted Living, including their van.


Posted by RT, a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 7, 2013 at 3:38 pm

Palo Alto Parent - yes, there are, eventually, two left turn lanes onto El Camino - but the second is FAR too short. Both lanes need to extend back to where the single lane begins. I rarely see any back up on the right turn lane onto El Camino.

(Geez, I hope my grammar is ok....)


Posted by Mr.Recycle, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 7, 2013 at 3:39 pm

@ palo Alto Parent - It is kind of an awkward two left lanes (1 lane expanding to two). Often one lane backs up, blocking access to the second, so it could be improved. I think a dedicated right turn lane would be of greater benefit, but you might be able to do both.

I hope this kind of reasonable development can be supported as a signal to developers that they will be rewarded for asking for something reasonable.


Posted by PA resident, a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Feb 7, 2013 at 3:52 pm

It's not just Gennady, it's his EDITOR (assuming he has one).

It's not just his grammar, it's the inflammatory language in his article: "targeting", "wrestling", "targets", "colossal". What happened to impartial journalism?

May I suggest "identifying" or "choosing", and "considering" or "discussing", and how about "large" or even better, give the square footage, because both colossal and large are relative terms: colossal compared to what? The Taj Mahal?


Posted by Not an issue, a resident of Community Center
on Feb 7, 2013 at 4:23 pm

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.] By now most of you must realize that the Weekly is not impartial-- it has an agenda and depends on the good will of certain residents to stay in business. Obviously the group that the weekly is catering to on this issue is against this project, ergo the use of inflammatory words.


Posted by Hm-m, a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 7, 2013 at 6:41 pm



We are supposed to avail ourselves of public transportation, but where in the world are people supposed to park their cars if that parking lot is removed?

I question whether all the new office buildings recently built or renovated have been filled i.e., Homer Ave. near Whole Foods, the building near the phone store at the corner of El Camino & Page Mill and a few other places I can't think of right now.


Posted by palo Alto Parent, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 7, 2013 at 7:39 pm

Hm-m - the new office building on the corner will have 3 levels of underground parking.


Posted by Not an issue, a resident of Community Center
on Feb 7, 2013 at 7:45 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Just wondering, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 8, 2013 at 11:52 am

Can this project even fit in this VTA Parking lot? From the drawings, it looks like the lot is not big enough to accommodate the project.


Posted by Wilson, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 9, 2013 at 3:45 pm

This is the forth reasonably large project that is being proposed near California Avenue--which we were told by the Planning Department would not see any new large building projects in the future.

It's really hard to believe anything that comes out of any City of Palo Alto employee's mouth!


Posted by JM, a resident of Evergreen Park
on Feb 10, 2013 at 6:38 pm

@ Wilson

City staff LIES

About 3 or 4 years ago I attended Planning and Traffic department's public presentation for the California Avenue lane reduction proving there would be negligible traffic impacts.


But I noticed they were only taking current traffic into account.

Mindful the Planning Department just designated the California Business District area for high density development, removing the previous neighborhood commercial zoning, I asked why the traffic projections ignored any future increase in traffic that would be generated by high density development.


The Director of Transport looked taken aback so I pressed him, at which point the DIRECTOR OF PLANNING AND TRANSPORT QUICKLY STOOD UP, AND I QUOTE, QUIETLY RESPONDED;

"WE CAN'T TAKE INTO ACCOUNT WHAT MIGHT OR MIGHT NOT HAPPEN IN THE FUTURE. WE HAVE NO CURRENT BUILDING APPLICATIONS FOR CAL AVE."

End of conversation and a quick change of subject before anyone noticed.

I was speechless.


Posted by Nally, a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 20, 2013 at 11:47 pm

The VTA should use this land to run there buses. They want to run there buses all over the place away!


Posted by Nancy, a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 20, 2013 at 11:49 pm

The VTA should use this land to run there buses. They want to run there buses all over the place away!


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