Town Square

Post a New Topic

Proposed 2020 Bay Road development would be East Palo Alto's largest office compound

Original post made on Jul 5, 2019

East Palo Alto's proposed commercial mega-development at 2020 Bay Road could fund hundreds of new affordable-housing units, transportation and storm-drain improvements, according to a recent analysis by the city.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, July 3, 2019, 8:05 PM

Comments (13)

Posted by Mark Dinan
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 5, 2019 at 1:21 am

I'm all for development in EPA, but for 2020 Bay Road I can't get beyond there being only one entrance & exit, and around 10,000 employees. Any way you slice it, this results in unacceptable levels of traffic on Pulgas Avenue and Bay Road. The city undoubtedly needs the money this project would generate, but should only approve this project if strict traffic management strategies are required. There is no way to get 10000 employees in and out of one entrance using cars.

Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jul 5, 2019 at 2:36 am

^ Looked like article says "An estimated 5,000 workers would be employed at the site."
I suppose it'll be 10,000 after inflation, or did I miss something else?

Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 5, 2019 at 12:28 pm

Better there than here. I hope they can get that traffic problem solved. I think they can, and will, with the help of good expert advice from consultants working on it. Of course that will be an added cost...for the consultants as well as the infrastructure changes required. Whether the developer or the taxpaying residents, or a combination of both will foot the bill for the solution is yet to be determined. EPA is the right place for a project that size. Downtown PA isn't, and wasn't even for the now limited office space development that crept up and overwhelmed us over the years due to lack of good planning and clear heads on CC. The damage has been done and now we struggle to deal with the impacts and try to work our way out of it. I think we have a CC in place now that can get it done. It might even get better after the next CC election.

Posted by jean
a resident of Egan Middle School (Los Altos)
on Jul 5, 2019 at 12:38 pm

And what about sealevel rise? It also affects ground water rising. Huge buildings will change winds around there. And University ave approach to the Dumbarton bridge will gat a lot of new traffic. any plan for new access to this project??? This is an area adjacent to the bay and the wildlife refuge...a huge tall bunch of buildings seem out of place.
It is nice for EPA to get revenue for other services, but at what cost to the environment?

Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 5, 2019 at 3:27 pm

Sounds like an excellent project for increasing CA-84 gridlock and reducing the amount of commute traffic that can enter/leave Palo Alto over the Dumbarton Bridge at rush hour. I'm looking forward to speedy project completion.

(At some point, somebody may want to cough up the money to get commuter rail working from the East Bay to "over here".)

Posted by clear headed thinking
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jul 5, 2019 at 4:45 pm

clear headed thinking is a registered user.

"office space development that crept up and overwhelmed us over the years due to lack of good planning and clear heads on CC."

As a long time council meeting watcher, excess commercial development in Palo Alto is the result of clear headed thinking by those council members (past and present) with either a personal professional interest in commercial real estate or dependant on the relatively large campaign donations from those who benefit either directly or indirectly from commercial development, or both.

Posted by Douglas Moran
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 6, 2019 at 4:11 pm

(3500K sqft project - 3.5K retail - ? garage space) / 5K workers
comes out to roughly 250 sqft per worker which is higher than current usage (based on other local projects).

Notice that the garages have 4.5K spaces for those _expected_ 5K workers, that is 10% less for carpooling, transit users, and locals who walk or cycle to work and no increase in density of workers.

Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 7, 2019 at 12:21 pm

Posted by Douglas Moran, a resident of Barron Park

>> comes out to roughly 250 sqft per worker which is higher than current usage (based on other local projects).

Overall density can go much higher if the top MBA so desires. Check out these guidelines:

"Popular sizes are roughly 9’x12′ for middle managers or engineers with multiple computer systems; 8’x10′ for engineers or senior staff; 8’x8′ for general staff; and 8’x6′ or 6’x6′ for administrative or telephone support personnel."

Web Link

Posted by EPAMom
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 13, 2019 at 10:41 pm

There are many problems with this project, not only the traffic and the environmental issues, which are significant. EPA residents are not, according to my informal survey, in favor of the project, and the revenue projected, a minute fraction of the rent revenue to be generated, will not even cover the additional expenses for services and infrastructure. The council feels obligated to approve the project because the developer contributed to the additional water allocation EPA got recently, which will also benefit the developer. The size of the project will consume most of the development parameters outlined in the General Plan. The open space recently made available to EPA residents will mostly be cut off by this closed campus project which will also cast shade on a large residential area. No requirements or even requests are being made to the developer to include efforts for local hiring as was done for the East Bayshore project. Next to no retail space will be included so even low income jobs won't be generated. I can't figure out how they plan to remediate the Romic superfund site contamination up to 20 feet underground and then build a two story underground parking garage 100 feet from the water which will rise 20-30 feet before 2050 according projections. It's insane and greedy and the worst thing for EPA.

Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jul 14, 2019 at 9:12 am

^ "will also cast shade on a large residential area." Not geometrically likely.

Posted by Resident 2
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 14, 2019 at 4:30 pm

I feel so much better about being shamed ( and charged) into curtailing our water usage in the past, only to sell part of our allotment to E.P.A. In order to make this project possible.

Thanks for letting us drink your Kool-Aid.

Posted by GoodNeighbors
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Aug 6, 2019 at 1:08 am

I am in favor of this project. It will give EPA the money, care and visibility that it needs

Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 8, 2019 at 8:01 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

From what the state is now up to if more new business is introduced into the EPA city then the algorithm the state uses will then require more housing to be built in that city. That means more high rise apartments in that city. What gets confusing in how the state approaches housing is that the other surrounding cities will then be affected to be required to add more housing on the "regional" approach. I hope that the new buildings will be paying taxes and did not get a break on that issue.
We unfortunately have people in Sacramento who live in SF City that keep trying to introduce legislation to screw up the whole place.

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


Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed.

Get the day's top headlines from Palo Alto Online sent to your inbox in the Express newsletter.

Arya Steakhouse, a standby for steaks and Persian cuisine, moves to downtown Palo Alto
By The Peninsula Foodist | 0 comments | 2,928 views

“To get the full value of joy . . .
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,179 views

We need an audit of city spending
By Diana Diamond | 0 comments | 975 views


Register today to support local nonprofits

The 38th annual Moonlight Run and Walk is Friday evening, September 9. Proceeds go to the Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund, benefiting local nonprofits that serve families and children in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. Join us under the light of the full Harvest Moon on a 5K walk, 5K run, 10K run or half marathon. Complete your race in person or virtually to support local nonprofits.

Register Now!