It didn't last long. Following the last-minute deal announced July 1 between developer Merlone Geier and Milk Pail Market owner Steve Rasmussen to save the Milk Pail, Merlone Geier rescinded the offer two days later, putting the future of the popular European-style market in jeopardy.
The deal was revoked following the decision at the July 1 City Council meeting, where the council voted 6-0 in favor of delaying the second phase of Merlone Geier's Village at San Antonio Center development, with John Inks recused. In a revocation notice to Rasmussen by Michael Grehl of Merlone Geier, it said one of the conditions of the agreement was that phase two be approved on July 1.
In an email to the City Council, Rasmussen said there was a "false illusion" in the community that the Milk Pail has an amended parking license that would allow it to stay in business beyond 2016.
Rasmussen said the confusion may be because everything was decided so quickly leading up to the July 1 meeting.
"It was all last-minute stuff," Rasmussen said. "A lot of stuff happened in the meeting."
While the July 1 deal is now history, Rasmussen said he and Merlone Geier made pretty good progress, and there's a possibility of a long-term solution. He said he expects there will be a follow-up with the developer for a deal in the near future.
Lenny Siegel of the Campaign for a Balanced Mountain View said the deal with the Milk Pail was political posturing by Merlone Geier to try and get phase two development of the San Antonio shopping center passed by the City Council that night. He said Merlone Geier thought attaching the Milk Pail deal would garner enough council member votes to pass.
"To me, this letter was a political faux pas," Siegel said.
When reached by phone, Merlone Geier spokesman Ron Heckman declined to comment, and no one else representing the developer was immediately available to answer questions.
Phase two of the controversial development project includes two office buildings that would add as many as 2,500 office workers to the city. The plan also includes 167-room hotel, a large public square, 109,000 square feet of retail space, a 50,000-square-foot movie theater and a six-level parking garage with just over 1,300 parking spaces, and an office garage with 1,174 spaces.
Siegel said when the City Council does finally approve phase two, the pressure will be on Merlone Geier to make a deal work with the Milk Pail.
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