News

Downtown garage makes an 'iconic' statement in Palo Alto

Four-story structure on Hamilton Avenue aims to bring pizzazz, relieve congestion

Editor's note: Happy April Fools' Day!

With its glassy facade, its arch shape and its ambiance of silent elegance, Palo Alto's iconic new garage is like no other in the city and possibly the country.

There are no oil stains here, no roaring motors, and no curt exchanges between drivers who take too long to get out of their spots and drivers who are forced to wait too long to get into theirs. Every visitor gets a complimentary cup of Blue Bottle coffee upon arriving into spotless facility, where he or she then hands the car keys to one of three valets waiting by the entrance. Also, every car here is a Tesla.

The new facility at the former parking lot on Hamilton Avenue and Waverley Street was completed last week after a years-long effort by Palo Alto staff to identify an adequate site for the garage and to allocate enough funds to make the new facility happen. In addition, City Council members were adamant that the garage should be environmentally friendly, visually stunning and serve as an "iconic landmark" to downtown's commercial core.

The $258-million facility has cost the city roughly $200 million more than the council had estimated in June 2014, when it adopted an infrastructure funding plan that designated a new downtown garage as a top city priority. To make up the balance, the city entered into two public-private partnerships, one with prominent developer Charles "Stomp" Cain and another with a local business that wished to remain anonymous. The business also provided funding for a public-art display at the garage entrance: a platinum statue of Serbian inventor Nikola Tesla driving a Tesla Roadster.

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The four-story structure includes three floors of parking and a fourth-floor penthouse occupied by Cain, who is widely referred to as downtown's "parking czar." Each of the garage's 158 vast spaces smells like lavender and honey and comes with an 80-amp charging station. A designated section on the third floor for drivers who prefer to park their own cars includes parking spaces with vanity mirrors, massage chairs and a complimentary breath mint shaped like a Model S sedan.

The facility also comes with a cramped basement that can fit up to 12 non-Tesla electric cars. Signs throughout the garage direct diesel-powered vehicles to seek parking at one of downtown's other parking facilities.

The new garage opened last week with a ceremony attended by local council members, planning commissioners, Tesla executives and downtown residents who have long clamored for an increased parking supply. Councilman Greg Scharff, a Tesla driver, cut the ribbon to the new facility and proclaimed it a "wonderful day in Palo Alto."

"In addition to being one of the most beautiful buildings in downtown, this garage is in many ways the perfect emblem of our many efforts," Scharff said. "It's clean, it's elegant, it's environmentally friendly and it welcomes all drivers, except those who drive lesser cars."

HAFD!

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Downtown garage makes an 'iconic' statement in Palo Alto

Four-story structure on Hamilton Avenue aims to bring pizzazz, relieve congestion

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Wed, Apr 1, 2015, 9:51 am

Editor's note: Happy April Fools' Day!

With its glassy facade, its arch shape and its ambiance of silent elegance, Palo Alto's iconic new garage is like no other in the city and possibly the country.

There are no oil stains here, no roaring motors, and no curt exchanges between drivers who take too long to get out of their spots and drivers who are forced to wait too long to get into theirs. Every visitor gets a complimentary cup of Blue Bottle coffee upon arriving into spotless facility, where he or she then hands the car keys to one of three valets waiting by the entrance. Also, every car here is a Tesla.

The new facility at the former parking lot on Hamilton Avenue and Waverley Street was completed last week after a years-long effort by Palo Alto staff to identify an adequate site for the garage and to allocate enough funds to make the new facility happen. In addition, City Council members were adamant that the garage should be environmentally friendly, visually stunning and serve as an "iconic landmark" to downtown's commercial core.

The $258-million facility has cost the city roughly $200 million more than the council had estimated in June 2014, when it adopted an infrastructure funding plan that designated a new downtown garage as a top city priority. To make up the balance, the city entered into two public-private partnerships, one with prominent developer Charles "Stomp" Cain and another with a local business that wished to remain anonymous. The business also provided funding for a public-art display at the garage entrance: a platinum statue of Serbian inventor Nikola Tesla driving a Tesla Roadster.

The four-story structure includes three floors of parking and a fourth-floor penthouse occupied by Cain, who is widely referred to as downtown's "parking czar." Each of the garage's 158 vast spaces smells like lavender and honey and comes with an 80-amp charging station. A designated section on the third floor for drivers who prefer to park their own cars includes parking spaces with vanity mirrors, massage chairs and a complimentary breath mint shaped like a Model S sedan.

The facility also comes with a cramped basement that can fit up to 12 non-Tesla electric cars. Signs throughout the garage direct diesel-powered vehicles to seek parking at one of downtown's other parking facilities.

The new garage opened last week with a ceremony attended by local council members, planning commissioners, Tesla executives and downtown residents who have long clamored for an increased parking supply. Councilman Greg Scharff, a Tesla driver, cut the ribbon to the new facility and proclaimed it a "wonderful day in Palo Alto."

"In addition to being one of the most beautiful buildings in downtown, this garage is in many ways the perfect emblem of our many efforts," Scharff said. "It's clean, it's elegant, it's environmentally friendly and it welcomes all drivers, except those who drive lesser cars."

HAFD!

Comments

LovemyTesla
Downtown North
on Apr 1, 2015 at 8:56 am
LovemyTesla, Downtown North
on Apr 1, 2015 at 8:56 am

[Portion removed.]

What a brilliant solution to downtown’s parking mess! My only question is, Will the garage be large enough to accommodate all the Tesla owners who want to lunch downtown?


Jim Shortz
Downtown North
on Apr 1, 2015 at 10:54 am
Jim Shortz, Downtown North
on Apr 1, 2015 at 10:54 am

They forgot to mention the public/private partnership with Stanford in which young coed students in the parking-engineering dept. will be mentored by Mr. Cain...


I got it!
Crescent Park
on Apr 1, 2015 at 10:55 am
I got it!, Crescent Park
on Apr 1, 2015 at 10:55 am

Thanks for this! So funny and so spot - on!


PolicySage
Barron Park
on Apr 1, 2015 at 10:58 am
PolicySage, Barron Park
on Apr 1, 2015 at 10:58 am

This is patently unfair to Tesla owners who wish to lunch at Baume on California Avenue. VIP Express Bus service should run every five minutes from that garage to California Avenue; a chilled glass of California sparkling white wine, brut of course, should help assuage the delay in dining.


pacsailor
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2015 at 10:58 am
pacsailor, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2015 at 10:58 am

Seems like an April Fools article. What day is today?


mauricio
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Apr 1, 2015 at 11:09 am
mauricio, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Apr 1, 2015 at 11:09 am

Don't readers realize this is an April's fools day haux?


Carol
University South
on Apr 1, 2015 at 11:21 am
Carol, University South
on Apr 1, 2015 at 11:21 am

Nice try! Brings back the two-city merge of years past!


Annette
College Terrace
on Apr 1, 2015 at 11:34 am
Annette, College Terrace
on Apr 1, 2015 at 11:34 am

Hysterical - except for the fact that in this town this COULD happen!


Local architects applaud
Downtown North
on Apr 1, 2015 at 11:39 am
Local architects applaud, Downtown North
on Apr 1, 2015 at 11:39 am

A pizza party hosted by PaloAltoBigger will celebrate the new structure.
Architect Glass Box will be the featured speaker.

"We wanted the bird-killing bridge design but didn't succeed. We tried."

Hooray for a downtown garage that meets our architectural taste!


DontLeafMeAlone
Old Palo Alto
on Apr 1, 2015 at 11:57 am
DontLeafMeAlone, Old Palo Alto
on Apr 1, 2015 at 11:57 am

As a Leaf owner, I wish to voice a complaint for my vehicle being considered a second-class EV.


Retarded
Fairmeadow

on Apr 1, 2015 at 12:24 pm
Name hidden, Fairmeadow

on Apr 1, 2015 at 12:24 pm

Due to violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are only visible to registered users who are logged in. Use the links at the top of the page to Register or Login.


CW
Crescent Park
on Apr 1, 2015 at 1:03 pm
CW, Crescent Park
on Apr 1, 2015 at 1:03 pm

Would you mind clearly marking (in the headline) which articles are fiction and which are non-fiction? Doing April Fool's Day stories is a bit juvenile, something you might find in a high school newspaper. This really hurts your credibility.


BP, no not that BP
Midtown
on Apr 1, 2015 at 1:13 pm
BP, no not that BP, Midtown
on Apr 1, 2015 at 1:13 pm

Thanks for the April Fool's Day jokes. We can all use a laugh these days. (Salon, Garage, it is a joke, right?)


Nora Charles
Stanford
on Apr 1, 2015 at 2:21 pm
Nora Charles, Stanford
on Apr 1, 2015 at 2:21 pm

Palo Alto is such easy pickins' for such stories--I thought the lab poisoning story was an AFD story!

Big thanks to all the writers who make each April's Fool Day so amusing.


Whiskers
Los Altos
on Apr 1, 2015 at 2:21 pm
Whiskers, Los Altos
on Apr 1, 2015 at 2:21 pm

Wait a minute! What happened to the complimentary helicopter ride that would take us to the destination of our choice?


Palo Alto
Downtown North
on Apr 1, 2015 at 2:52 pm
Palo Alto , Downtown North
on Apr 1, 2015 at 2:52 pm

Is there a vegan restaurant close by the garage?


Rose A
Registered user
Charleston Meadows
on Apr 1, 2015 at 3:27 pm
Rose A, Charleston Meadows
Registered user
on Apr 1, 2015 at 3:27 pm

I'm disappointed that there is no secure bicycle parking in this garage. And cyclists get a smaller cup of coffee! This is NOT fair.


Maria
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 1, 2015 at 5:24 pm
Maria, Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 1, 2015 at 5:24 pm

I love April 1!! This "news" and comments made my day!


Andrew
Midtown
on Apr 3, 2015 at 12:12 pm
Andrew, Midtown
on Apr 3, 2015 at 12:12 pm

Wow I saw this and thought "this has to be a joke." Then I came back and checked and it was posted April 1st. Thank god. I was starting to believe that the town I grew up in was turning into.... That.


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