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Sobrato pitches townhome project at former site of Fry's Electronics

Original post made on Nov 27, 2020

The Sobrato Organization's new proposal for 85 townhouses in a place long considered as a prime opportunity zone may constrain dreams for new housing, parkland and community amenities.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, November 27, 2020, 7:46 AM

Comments (54)

29 people like this
Posted by Chris
a resident of University South
on Nov 27, 2020 at 10:18 am

Chris is a registered user.

While the city has been tilting with windmills in dealing with future RHNA requirements, they are failing to dealing with real-life immediate opportunities. Rather than a small number of townhomes, a larger apartment complex with affordable housing should be built here. Make Sobrato an offer they can’t refuse, rather than letting Sobrato make the city an offer it can’t refuse.


48 people like this
Posted by Judith Wasserman
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Nov 27, 2020 at 10:29 am

Judith Wasserman is a registered user.

Dear City of Palo Alto -

Buy the site and build what you want.
Sincerely,
Judith Wasserman


15 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 27, 2020 at 10:54 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

I am happy that they are going to build housing. That is a plus. Better than the alternatives. Be happy - they came through with a solid plan.


17 people like this
Posted by mutti
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 27, 2020 at 10:55 am

mutti is a registered user.

This is a perfect site for a high-rise, very dense multi unit apartment building. Not all low-income, but maybe 25%+. YIMBY!! Tell


21 people like this
Posted by commonsense
a resident of Professorville
on Nov 27, 2020 at 11:38 am

commonsense is a registered user.

Agree with Chris - make Sobrato an offer it can't refuse. MUCH greater density, more units, more affordable units. Everybody wins. Alternatively, spend millions on a losing battle against Sobrato and California.


23 people like this
Posted by Lucy Berman
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 27, 2020 at 11:52 am

Lucy Berman is a registered user.

We have a huge need for larger single-story condos for people wanting to downsize from large homes. Sobrato should be encouraged to make some of these units one level. This location is very walkable to Cal Ave. and would be highly desirable for our aging population who want to free up their homes for younger families but have nowhere to go now. It's a win for the city and school coffers as well, as the property tax base increases when the larger homes are sold.


4 people like this
Posted by Patricia Dentinger
a resident of another community
on Nov 27, 2020 at 12:01 pm

Patricia Dentinger is a registered user.

Cupertino.
Previously worked in Palo Alto Library


13 people like this
Posted by rsmithjr
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 27, 2020 at 1:14 pm

rsmithjr is a registered user.

Please remember that what a landowner can do is governed by laws not by what we or our city council want.

It appears to me that this landowner will be on solid legal ground with its plan. It is also not such a bad idea for the community although that is a matter of personal opinion probably.


10 people like this
Posted by rsmithjr
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 27, 2020 at 1:19 pm

rsmithjr is a registered user.

@commonser,

What exactly do you mean by an "offer it can't refuse". Do you mean a really excellent and fair offer, or a reference to the Godfather?

We should not be trying to force property owners to do things that they do not want to do or are not doing freely.


28 people like this
Posted by 330 rounds of friendly backfire
a resident of South of Midtown
on Nov 27, 2020 at 1:26 pm

330 rounds of friendly backfire is a registered user.

The state giveaway to developers backfires - Sobrato gets to build what the market seeks - much less than City and State aspirations - and less of the parkland which is so needed in this area. Ugh.


16 people like this
Posted by hkatrs
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Nov 27, 2020 at 1:37 pm

hkatrs is a registered user.

Why Not Allow more height to buildings, for additional residents and increase open area space.

Revise entire plan for more biking, walking, fewer personal vehicles; and better access to public transportation. Create an environmentally sustainable site for clean air, clean ground and community building with free internet for low income residents educational purposes for children, youth. young adults and over 70 generations.

Think about New way of living to improve quality of life for Everyone, for Environment and Longevity.


11 people like this
Posted by hkatrs
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Nov 27, 2020 at 1:39 pm

hkatrs is a registered user.

Why Not Allow more height to buildings, for additional residents and increase open area space.

Revise entire plan for more biking, walking, fewer personal vehicles; and better access to public transportation. Create an environmentally sustainable site for clean air, clean ground and community building with free internet for low income residents educational purposes for children, youth. young adults and over 70 generations.

Think about New way of living to improve quality of life for Everyone, for Environment and Longevity.

Also add Solar Panels to the roofs, ground and raised sidewalk and street lighting.


13 people like this
Posted by hkatrs
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Nov 27, 2020 at 1:51 pm

hkatrs is a registered user.

PA City,
Please work with Sobrato; do not be antagonistic. The City does not have the expertise to plan or develop the city on a whole, on it’s own which clearer has been an issue for too many decades. With too many uneducated cook’s about how to take into account all of the elements of developing a community that works, with a viable general plan, Palo Alto needs to work with professionals who have the expertise in every area.
Web Link


16 people like this
Posted by jc
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 27, 2020 at 3:16 pm

jc is a registered user.

@hkatrs

Isn't what you describe exactly what the city's Ventura Area Coordinated Plan working group and the hired consultants have been working on for more than a year? Or do you have some other suggestion as to how to achieve these goals?


10 people like this
Posted by Marie
a resident of South of Midtown
on Nov 27, 2020 at 3:34 pm

Marie is a registered user.

It's not a great plan but it is all housing and doesn't include office space. So if I was on the council, I would hold my nose and vote for it. What wasn't clear is whether they were condos or rentals. Units for moderate income families should be rentals. I don't think the below-market ownership program has been a success.

While I would be ok with taller buildings and more open space at that location, the problem is that once buildings exceed 3 stories, they need elevators and much more complicated/expensive construction. My impression is that 3 story townhomes are the cheapest construction vs. price and thus most popular with developers. This was true for the Crossings in Mt. View and the developments at the old Luckies and the one at the Elks Club. I would like to see flats all on one level, but I don't think there is as much profit. One thing that should be required are streets wide enough for our garbage trucks and sufficient parking, at least on spt per bedroom and additional visitor parking. Well I can dream, can't I?


13 people like this
Posted by jc
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 27, 2020 at 3:54 pm

jc is a registered user.

As long as Sobrato's proposal conforms to the current zoning, city codes, and state law, I don't believe it has to go through the council for approval. However, if Sobrato's proposed plans don't conform and the city is asked to make special exceptions outside of current zoning, city codes, and state law, my understanding is then it would have to go to the PT&C and then the council for approval.


17 people like this
Posted by Time to sue the Sacramento government
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 27, 2020 at 6:41 pm

Time to sue the Sacramento government is a registered user.

Here we go again. Bills passed by an out of touch state government that are being used to cram a development down our throats. It is time for all California cities to get together and sue for the right to determine their own density. If the state wants to balance jobs and houses, pass a simple law that if you build more office space/jobs you must also (at the same time) build housing!

Further, is this land even zoned for housing? If Frys was there, isn't it commercial or something?

Further, Further - the city is over 100 acres short of park space that per the comprehensive plan is suppose to have been set aside for residents. This would be a great place for a large park and community space. Perhaps now is the time to invest in that? We are taking away every possible place to put large parks (or even any open areas) in the never ending quest to house the over-populated and earth destroying masses.


8 people like this
Posted by chris
a resident of University South
on Nov 27, 2020 at 7:06 pm

chris is a registered user.

Time,

The site was reasoned for housing many years ago. The current uses were given a limited time exemption which was then made permanent. The current zoning for the full site, of which the area in question is a portion, is for 249 units.

The city and the developed could agree on ahigher number.


12 people like this
Posted by Liz Gardner
a resident of Mayfield
on Nov 27, 2020 at 9:05 pm

Liz Gardner is a registered user.

Re: Housing Crisis Act and market rate Sabrato Plan. No. No. No.  Equity and inclusivity of all residents and non, regardless of income, race, gender of marital status or family size IS a Palo Alto for all. I am urging that the housing element be revised to a substantial increase for more affordable family homes, with enough units and enough floor plan space that accommodate all income levels, growing families, comfortably and efficiently. Please seriously consider this plan submission. Firstly. Just a year ago Sabrato had stated they had no interest or intention of building homes on the Fry's site. Has the Pandemic forced their hand?

Also. Please reconsider the inclusionary zoning red lining which forces low wage, working families in to housing in dangerous, noisy, high automobile traffic areas. Do not miss this extraordinary rare opportunity at 200 Portage Way. It will not come again. The Fry's site is once in a Century chance for Palo Alto to ‘catch’ up to its housing deficit. A few more ADU's may alleviate housing guilt but will not fill the housing hole. And there is no limit to the rents that can be asked for an ADU and these these do not accommodate for families. As well, I ask that the city form a housing and labor commission to help usher in an ample supply of equitable and sustainable housing to meet the need of yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Last week an apartment complex was approved by the CC with a scant 16 low-income set aside for lucky, lottery winner renters. Though the other on site apartments are slated to become renter owned in the future, the chance any for its 16 set-aside renters to purchase a “condo” at a BMR down the road not in the plan.  

This week Sobrato submits to City Planner, J. Laith a plan for 85 luxury town-homes at the former Fry’s site. With only 13, 120% AMI set-asides ! The PA CC has for four years shirked getting it right for working class homes. Yet has approved over and again high wage luxury and micro units at the VTA park and ride, former Olive Garden on ECR, former sports store on ECR, and on Page Mill at Oregon where three very moderate houses once stood .  And a low cost commerce Target is slated to go in. So poor people can shop but cannot live on site. Hmmmm.

The City of Palo Alto has over and again, neglected its housing responsibility or quota for half a Century -- far too long. Cubberely site is a no-go for teacher housing. In the last four years with three Council members touting the rising crisis and promise to take action on the outrageous rents here, a major issue yet, it’s approved only one project, yes that's 1 ! An affordable, 58unit complex, Wilton Court. I am sure the wait list will be 50 years long too. This, with their 501(c)3 partner PAHC. It really does appear that though Palo Alto relies heavily on a low-to moderate wage work force to keep the rich, rich and the high Tech Giants' economy booming, they do not wish to have these kinds of wage workers live here, in this zip code.  

As a low-income, Head of Household myself with two growing school-age children, we live in tiny rental space on El Camino Real. It’s lacking room to safely work, learn, grow or be comfortably active in such things like practicing a instrument or space enough to have a buddy for a sleep-over. Unless they sleep on the kitchen floor. The current space lacks the room to celebrate birthdays/ host family gatherings / honor holidays / or practice any traditions. Forget extra storage for equipment, or holiday decorations. Sadly, I often feel like a temporary resident, a throw-away charity case to those of my neighbors who own homes, have flexibility of space toA park more than a 1/2 , grow vegetables, flowers, have a pet or just be able to support space wise, a variety of personal or professional interests.

Too. I was born and raised in the Bay Area, I contribute to taxes, volunteer for my community and give to PIE. It is scant to none that I will ever be a homeowner. I am worn down by seeing and hearing residents repeat, "If its too much money to live here, then move". Yet even moving somewhere else is a luxury.

The reality is that 45% of Palo Altans are now renters. At this 21st Century emergency moment unemployment numbers and local small biz are tanking. Even during a Pandemic, home prices still rise -- in sales and rents. A substandard 55-year-old, 800 square small 2Bdrm, 1bath outdated rental apartment on Alma is $3000 per month. $15 an hour is not enough to this pay rent. A head of household would need to earn $50 an hour to make this above market rent, with little margin for food, clothing, transportation. And still the Pandemic rages on. Working from home or moving for many now unemployed is another entitled PA luxury. Many renters are stacked 3 people deep squeezed into tiny apartments.  

Some renters are forced to sublet their living room floor space, couches, garages, driveways to gig or hourly day workers. All to make up for massive rents. This is out of whack. Period. And we wonder why crime is on the rise. A substandard family dwelling who advertise new kitchen linoleum or having a ceiling fan as a bonus is a justification for a higher rent. How is this an equitable?   Many long-time residents have luckily inherited wealth and property from family. These Baby Boomers cry foul over affordable housing construction. Is seeing a highly visible BLM sign in a yard just more hypocritical sloganeering? In reality, as a low-income, working mom, I am worn down hearing, “if you can’t afford it, move!” The city must hold land owners accountable for the outrageous rent increases with little that lack basic amenities and often include HOA’s fees and legally bound leases, with the freedom to raise rents hundreds of dollars, anytime. Finally, high rents here exclude federally backed rental assistance payments for substandard 60 years old multi-family dwellings.  It’s also an imperative for the city to address the lack of housing based on the climate crisis, not just plan for sea level rise. Start now to improve infrastructure like upgrading the waste water treatment plant, re-open closed schools, like Cubberley. Provide a better live/work imbalance. Unrealized, the state will step in and mandate a production number of their assessment and choosing.  The Post War economy enticed families to come here, purchase homes with renewed investments in Stanford, a growing technological innovations and accompanying economies. That Mid-Century economy and wages no longer exists. With 1979’s Prop 13 Palo Alto’s affordable housing production all but evaporated and thus fair market living standards. Commercial builds have quadrupled, many remain empty now because of COVID. The human population too has quadrupled since the mid to late 20th Century.  Please create a housing and labor commission. Please start working on the real needs of your residents by taking responsibility for the lack of a true and livable resident / job quotient. 


44 people like this
Posted by Lee Forrest
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 28, 2020 at 7:50 am

Lee Forrest is a registered user.

Curious...at what price range will the Sobrato complex units be selling and/or renting for?

Is this proposal merely an ongoing effort to house more highly-paid high-tech workers employed within the area & is a substantial effort being made to provide additional low-cost housing for those subsisting below PA median income levels?

Will Section 8 vouchers be accepted by the property management or is this development another extension of 'pay to play' PA residency requirements?

The site itself appears suitable for additional housing...an industrial/commercial section of town with lots of available square footage.

The Ventura neighborhood residents should be allowed to have their full say in this matter as it is their home turf that will eventually be impacted by additional residents & traffic.

The rest of us (including myself) are merely offering side commentaries from 'the peanut gallery' as the proposed Sobrato development will not directly impact or affect PA neighborhoods outside of the immediate Park Boulevard area.


7 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 28, 2020 at 9:01 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Yes - there is a peanut gallery. However the city is playing peanut gallery against peanut gallery. The city at the top level has a requirement to meet a state required level - however that requirement was concocted. It is being used as a hatchet to all neighborhoods. The Fry's site should have housing for teachers, city workers, people who directly support the city - firemen, police. That specific area supports the Stanford Research Park. Go across ECR at Hansen and there you are - directly in SRP. So a mix for the technical companies.

Meanwhile the Cubberley site is in the cross-hairs of a segment of the PACC which has been playing monopoly with city resources. A short term solution - if you add housing then you add people/children that need to go to school. A lot of short term thinking to line someone's pocket and leave the city worse for wear. The more housing you add then the monopoly game says you need more schools sites.

The city at the top level needs to make sure that added housing in an area has the schools available for the children and the teachers. We need all of the city life lines operating successfully. We need everyone's attention on the board game here - your neighborhood may be next. A new person could come in to your neighborhood and decide to build a residential complex like the one that sits at Embarcadero with continual arguments concerning the market there. A side ways creep.


10 people like this
Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 28, 2020 at 9:37 am

Me 2 is a registered user.

BMR = bad public policy.

It's a band aid on top of other bad policies.

You're just squeezing out the middle class with BMRs. That's what happened in San Francisco, and you want to apply this failed approach to Palo Alto?

Rich can buy. Lower income get their few housing units.

Middle class still gets moved to Manteca.

It's the unholy alliance of Residentialists and Housing Activists that have continue to quash building what we really need, which is more market rate housing.


9 people like this
Posted by rsmithjr
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 28, 2020 at 11:06 am

rsmithjr is a registered user.

It is very seldom that someone offers to build new housing in Palo Alto (other than a non-profit). Of course, this is not the housing people wanted and not as much as people wanted, but it is something.

We need to appreciate that private-sector builders and landlords will have their own ideas.

Let's start working with them.


18 people like this
Posted by Lee Forrest
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 28, 2020 at 12:06 pm

Lee Forrest is a registered user.

>"We need to appreciate that private-sector builders and landlords will have their own ideas."

^ Ideas or ulterior motives?


9 people like this
Posted by Liz Gardner
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 28, 2020 at 12:22 pm

Liz Gardner is a registered user.

And the arguments and red lining ensue right on this comment thread. "If you can't afford it here, move." There is a former public elementary school just across the creek from the Fry's site. Why did that campus close? It's now a nursery school. I guess no one read my thread above. Sorry for all the typos. It's not only a heinous lack of housing here for ALL income levels, it's a very emotional subject as well ! Ironically, the two sites that are ripe, perfect for multi mix of housing exist right where two former public school sites are. Yet. I will repeat. Palo Alto is not providing enough housing for those already living here. (I am certain the 2020 Census will reveal this number. If they counted all those living on the streets and in RV's their auto's, in driveways, and in make shift ADU's) It's not just about "If you build it, they will come". It makes my heart sick hearing the discriminate nature of commenters here talking smack about poor people. Where is the PA Online moderator? So exhausted hearing, "yes. I support housing the working poor. just not here where I have to look at "them" . I don't want to reminded why I moved to Palo Alto. to be away from the fray of America's other 98% of the population."


11 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 28, 2020 at 12:31 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Liz - you started this blog with a residence of "Mayfield". Now you are a resident of "Old Palo Alto". Are you playing us here? Hummm!


27 people like this
Posted by Lee Forrest
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 28, 2020 at 1:50 pm

Lee Forrest is a registered user.

>"It makes my heart sick hearing the discriminate nature of commenters here talking smack about poor people."

^ No one here is talking 'smack' about poor people...just addressing basic affordability considerations & the negative impact of encouragong further population & developments in a city with inherent limitations.

The issue is not a matter of rich VS poor, whether it involves erecting more cheesey-looking Legoland apartment complexes in South PA or the continual emergence of hideous & costly multi-story homes with minimal outdoor yardage.

Less is more.


6 people like this
Posted by Liz Gardner
a resident of Mayfield
on Nov 28, 2020 at 2:09 pm

Liz Gardner is a registered user.

Apologies. Yes. I am Mayfield. "default" yet another virtual algorythm of reality. LOL.


4 people like this
Posted by Whenever
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 28, 2020 at 2:19 pm

Whenever is a registered user.

At Resident-1 Adobe Meadows. How 'bout you reveal yourself by name? Or maybe it's a "bot" posting. Or. It's just another nameless "bloody Sunday" in Palo Alto.


6 people like this
Posted by Mark Weiss
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 28, 2020 at 2:25 pm

Mark Weiss is a registered user.

Do Palo Alto citizens believe they have the right to influence what shall be built by Sobrato at or near the former Fry’s ?


8 people like this
Posted by Liz Gardner
a resident of Mayfield
on Nov 28, 2020 at 2:33 pm

Liz Gardner is a registered user.

At Mark Weiss -- please explain what you mean by "right"? It's all a virtual opinion on this thread. Or do you know something "we" don't?


8 people like this
Posted by Liz Gardner
a resident of Mayfield
on Nov 28, 2020 at 3:07 pm

Liz Gardner is a registered user.

To Lee Forrest. You just admitted to discrimination by,"just addressing basic affordability considerations & the negative impact of encouraging further population & developments in a city with inherent limitations." Isn't this the whole Universe of human dilemma. Get real. Please. This is the rub everywhere. Just because its argued against here does not give PA a pass on it's housing column / responsibilities. Attitudes like these remind that not all have walked the talk and given back to our World and society in inches or miles.


9 people like this
Posted by Liz Gardner
a resident of Mayfield
on Nov 28, 2020 at 3:27 pm

Liz Gardner is a registered user.

BTW. The word "cheesy" is just another word for NYMBY. If its beautiful its okay to produce. I take it the Paris Pompadu is not to your liking either Lee Forrest. Unfortunately, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I'd much rather have great interior wall to live within and an ugly exterior. Up and coming architectures bid on the cheap using beautiful, organically grown carrots but once you go inside with the design it's all "donated tiny boxes of Rice-a-Roni" . Obviously I support form and function in side and out.


13 people like this
Posted by Liz Gardner
a resident of Mayfield
on Nov 28, 2020 at 3:47 pm

Liz Gardner is a registered user.

The City and her home owner Citizens Have Said No to:
Inclusionary Zoning
Cluster Cottages
Senior Housing
Cubberely Teacher Housing
Multi housing Heights over 52 ft.
50 - 60 % AMI
Below Market Rate Housing (BMR's)
Rent Control
SB50
Pro 15
ABAG's State Mandated Housing numbers

What's upon us: Climate change, a massive housing shortage, work / live imbalance to those who live here right this very minute.

A Housing and Labor Commission is desperately needed to usher in fair and equitable live work standards. Finally. Hello: The State IS coming because PA has refused to say YES.



19 people like this
Posted by Lee Forrest
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 28, 2020 at 4:43 pm

Lee Forrest is a registered user.

>"You just admitted to discrimination by, "just addressing basic affordability considerations..."

^ I'll remember to apply your indictment the next time I am considering a vehicle that is beyond my means...I'll simply tell the auto salesman that the dealership is discriminating against me because I cannot afford to make the payments.


9 people like this
Posted by Liz Gardner
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 28, 2020 at 5:44 pm

Liz Gardner is a registered user.

At Mr. Forrest. I sort of agree. I'd argue tho that auto dealerships do discriminate by not offering good loan rates to poor people or people of color who have good jobs, have great credit by having no credit at all. The dealership claims they can't extend a loan because the prospective buyer has no equity collateral. It's a cyclical, unfair system of inequality. So the working poor have to rely on other means to get to thier jobs if they are lucky enough to live near good transit sources. Personally, I would not seek a loan on a new car. There are plenty of used ones to go around and the mass transit around these parts is pretty darn good. If only housing followed. Can you possibly use a different example?


5 people like this
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 28, 2020 at 6:13 pm

Anonymous is a registered user.

NO on SB50!


7 people like this
Posted by Much ADU about Nothing
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 28, 2020 at 8:21 pm

Much ADU about Nothing is a registered user.

@time to sue the Sacramento Government. Hello? Since when does a law suit change anything? And who's paying the attorney fees? Better not say the tax payer. Isn't Trump suing into Tim Buck Two? And it's getting him a zero sum gain. Also, PA may be 100 acres short on playground / open space yet it's a Century behind in it's housing allocation. It'll take as many years to catch up. And I guess the Bay Lands do not count as open space? BTW the Cubberly plan for it's "community" center (something like 7 Pickle Ball courts!) is so built out, I did not see a tree in sight. Yet no teacher housing there. Oh no can't serve those who service the children in our community. Gosh be darn !!


6 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 29, 2020 at 8:50 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Hey - we appear to have a group that wants to WOKE us. In this narrow piece of land that is dominated by SU -which does it's own thing - we have a very limited job market - it is high tech. That is what we do here. We are not a landing pad for a large assortment of people who could get jobs in a location that has a wider economy - SF or SJ. You start with what you as an individual bring to the table as an EMPLOYEE. And what part of the job market you fit into. Part of being WOKE is being self aware. Railing about housing is not a JOB. Unless you are in the housing market.

Sobrato - thank you for working the housing issue. Much appreciated - you get stars for that. How about a small "Urgent Care" center in the Target mix. Maybe a small restaurant that serves breakfast through dinner for all of the apartment people in that area, including the Park apartments - the next group of economic partners. A place for schmoozing and cruising in that Ventura neighborhood. Of course tastefully done with nice lighting at night. A place they can walk to.


4 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 29, 2020 at 9:16 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Like to add the major employment centers - the airports - San Jose, Oakland, San Francisco. Within the walls of those buildings are shops, food services, baggage handling, movement of people around the facilities, parking areas with adult assistance.

A cousin worked at SFO and that is a major employment center for all types of skill sets. And even the techies have niche jobs there - flight listings via computer, BART trains, auto rental, hotel coordination. Those are major job centers. The housing needs to be at those obvious job centers. Within this state we know where people are working and what types of unions support those jobs.

OKAY! A person has to go where the JOBS are. The housing needs to be where the JOBS are. You cannot take a lower category of assumptions and move it to the top of the list. Not going to work. WOKE is current theme but use it wisely. JOBS is at the top of the list.


10 people like this
Posted by Here SInce 1979
a resident of Green Acres
on Nov 29, 2020 at 9:52 am

Here SInce 1979 is a registered user.

Again, I ask where is the water going to come from?

I understand the "need" for housing, but where is the water coming from? We are already in the beginning of another drought and now you want an additional drain on the system from additional people?

Water is finite. Relying on water contracts with other states/parts of California is no guarantee. They will keep their water if they are impacted as well (as in the past).

This is not a NIMBY issue, it's about survival. Developers can make their money some other way. We don't need water rationing or the problems that come with it.


Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Downtown North

on Nov 30, 2020 at 10:03 am

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Downtown North

on Nov 30, 2020 at 10:04 am

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


57 people like this
Posted by It's Just Ugly
a resident of Palo Verde School
on Nov 30, 2020 at 1:25 pm

It's Just Ugly is a registered user.

Setting all the zoning and other technical stuff asside. My first impression of the proposed development is it looks cheap and ugly.

Can Sobrato get a real design architect involved? This thing has no relation to the site, neighborhood, or the City.

It is god awful.


50 people like this
Posted by Lee Forrest
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 30, 2020 at 2:37 pm

Lee Forrest is a registered user.

>"My first impression of the proposed development is it looks cheap and ugly."

^ Concurring...reminiscent of government subsidized 'projects'.

>"Can Sobrato get a real design architect involved? "

^ Apparently not...then again, maybe its mundane appearance represents a new school of design that pays homage to the emerging & futuristic 'new look' of Palo Alto.


30 people like this
Posted by eileen
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 30, 2020 at 11:17 pm

eileen is a registered user.

I totally agree with Lee. The design is very mundane and boring! Super cheap and not creative in any way. I can't believe this is the best Sobrato can do, especially since these homes will be sold at the market rate!


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Posted by chris
a resident of University South
on Dec 1, 2020 at 11:48 am

chris is a registered user.

If the city allows more density, it can get better design.


33 people like this
Posted by It's Just Ugly
a resident of Palo Verde School
on Dec 1, 2020 at 12:05 pm

It's Just Ugly is a registered user.

@ Chris:

"If the city allows more density, it can get better design."

This assumption would get you flunked out of every reputable School of Archtitecture.


25 people like this
Posted by Lee Forrest
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 1, 2020 at 12:15 pm

Lee Forrest is a registered user.

>"If the city allows more density, it can get better design."

^ Frank Lloyd Wright & Philip Johnson are turning in their graves.


18 people like this
Posted by Palo Alto Resident
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Dec 3, 2020 at 12:05 pm

Palo Alto Resident is a registered user.

I wonder if anyone has considered what kind of housing families want -- not just single tech workers using a apartment during the week and fleeing to SF for the weekend. What kind of housing do teachers want?

Our current mayor, who is a big proponent of any kind of development, wants one type of housing for 'those' people, and another for himself i.e., a single family home in a fairly exclusive neighborhood. If I were a family, I would much prefer a townhouse in a moderately dense development than a micro apartment where I am not supposed to be able to own a car.

I will believe that people are truly YIMBYs when they approve large developments in their own neighborhoods, e.g., Crescent Park, Professorville, not to mention Woodside and Atherton, Portola Valley, etc. Until then, I consider them to be YIYBY . . . Yes in YOUR backyard -- and for other people.

Providing housing is complex and we have so far applied sledge hammers to it which does not gather enough community support to move the ball very far at all. More working with residents and developers might produce more common ground and actually get something done.


3 people like this
Posted by chris
a resident of University South
on Dec 3, 2020 at 5:38 pm

chris is a registered user.

PA Resident,

Working on solutions locally will result in a better solution.

Kicking and screaming all the way will end up with the state imposing a outcome on you that you will be less happy with.


6 people like this
Posted by Chris K
a resident of Southgate
on Dec 13, 2020 at 11:46 am

Chris K is a registered user.

For the folks saying that Palo Alto should "make Sobrato an offer it can't refuse" ... how much extra property tax are you willing to pay every year to fund that offer? That money has to come from somewhere.


1 person likes this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Dec 16, 2020 at 9:12 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Since we are discussing the economy here three major companies have moved to Texas and one to Colorado. Given the projections I have seen many are moving out of the city of San Francisco to Oakland and Sacramento. And many in this location are going to move due to the increasing tax base and housing prices to other states.

You are not going to fix any problem here by building ticky-tacky little houses on top of each other. The situation has already started.

And look at Google - they are not planning on bringing in in their workers until mid-2021. Amazon is going to build a processing center in a large part of San Francisco near Caltrain which was tagged for housing. Amazon beat out housing.

Any argument today on housing is going to meet a dead end.


16 people like this
Posted by Lee Forrest
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 17, 2020 at 4:10 pm

Lee Forrest is a registered user.

>"I will believe that people are truly YIMBYs when they approve large developments in their own neighborhoods, e.g., Crescent Park, Professorville, not to mention Woodside and Atherton, Portola Valley, etc. "

^ A majority of the above tracts/neighborhoods were established long before the current housing crunch.

Most people do not enjoy or appreciate living like rats in a cage although disgruntled millennials who cannot afford the going local RE rates & immigrants accustomed to residing in highly compressed dwellings don't seem to mind.

Many 'not in my back yard' mindsets are also ANTI 'yes in your back yard' as local overdevelopment (whether office complexes or mixed-use high-rise dwellings) only contribute to a crappy-looking, mundane environment.

It's bad enough having to witness these 'architectural' eyesores while driving down the road...the thought of having to live in one should be an immediate incentive to consider residing somewhere else far more affordable & less cluttered in overall appearance.

Newbies whether millennials or recent arrivals from overseas should welcome an opportunity to explore their mobility options.


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