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City on property buying spree?

Original post made on May 24, 2010

The city might purchase property at four different downtown locations, including the historic building on Castro Street which houses the Monte Carlo night club.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, May 24, 2010, 11:00 AM

Comments (20)

Posted by Relocated resident, a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on May 24, 2010 at 2:28 pm

If you happen to be a resident of any dwelling that the city of Mountain View buys and you are slated for relocation: BEWARE

Posted by Kelly, a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 24, 2010 at 2:47 pm

Are the "downtown revitalization authority funds" used for maintenance on Castro St? If so, when the "downtown tax district" expires next year, how will that maintenance get funded? Parking meters can provide a constant source of income as described in Donald Shoup's The High Cost of Free Parking. The 902 Villa St property should be purchased by the City since I believe it has a historical building restriction so it can't be torn down, it just sits there and rots. Who would put the money into it to renovate it since it appears that all the wood is rotted.

Posted by sorry, a resident of Castro City
on May 24, 2010 at 3:05 pm

Random question... Why is it that for a while now, I see San Mateo County Sheriff Officers patrolling in Mountain View?

Posted by Joker, a resident of another community
on May 24, 2010 at 3:19 pm

Didn't you hear that San Mateo County annexed Mountain View?

Posted by Daniel DeBolt, Mountain View Voice Staff Writer
on May 24, 2010 at 4:16 pm

Daniel DeBolt is a registered user.

Hey folks, please try to keep your comments on topic here. If you want to discuss San Mateo County Sheriffs patrolling Mountain View you can start another thread.

Posted by NeHi, a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 24, 2010 at 4:49 pm

Mountain View is the oldest city, town, whatever between Redwood City and Santa Clara but you would be hard put to recognize the fact. Remember that "Old Mountain View" is where El Camino Real crosses Steven's creek; we have a sign and a BMW dealership to show what was an active community in the 1850s.

The latest threat is the High-Speed Rail. Should we not be looking at how we can keep some of our history with this looming??

Posted by Nick, a resident of Shoreline West
on May 24, 2010 at 5:37 pm

As far as I've heard the only part of 902 Villa which is really falling apart is the porch (currently propped up with wood bracing) which was actually a later addition to the original building. Plans to renovate the old house and build new housing all around it on the same lot were approved by the City - but then the recession killed the project, like so many projects.

It'd be very interesting to see what the City does with 228 Castro (the old Mountain View Theatre) if its purchased. Regardless of what happens to the rest of the building, it would really give Downtown an awesome focal point if the front facade was restored. It really used to be a beautiful building -one the whole town was proud of with a big marquee that said "Mountain View" and later "Mt. View". If you want to see what it used to look like (both originally in 1926 and with its mid-century-mod 1960s style) check out:

Web Link

Posted by manny ramirez, a resident of Monta Loma
on May 24, 2010 at 6:07 pm

I hope they buy up as much as they can before the state raids our budget to fix the state budget.

Posted by Gilberte Grangier, a resident of Rex Manor
on May 24, 2010 at 6:20 pm

It would be fabulous if the city buys the Monte Carlo building and make it a movie theater!

Posted by Steve Nelson, a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 24, 2010 at 8:23 pm

Daniel - remember all this 'money' is tax diversion dollars. Diverted from the general funds of the city, the two school districts (el. and HS), and the county. If this money wasn't spent but allowed to pay off old bonds, all these districts (including city police, parks, and libraries) would start to get their General Fund monies several years sooner. This is a great example of how the redevelopment districts (Shoreline is 10X larger) distort community funding from the 1% general property tax. 95% of general property taxes from the 16 block Castro St. district is now diverted. Bad public policy.

Posted by DCS, a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 24, 2010 at 10:20 pm

Any guesses about what they would do with the Villa property?

Posted by USA, a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 24, 2010 at 10:49 pm

USA is a registered user.

"I hope they buy up as much as they can before the state raids our budget to fix the state budget."

Wow. I don't even know where to begin with that one.

Posted by homegirl, a resident of another community
on May 24, 2010 at 11:28 pm

The San Mateo S.O. is seen in Mtn. View because they are contracted with CalTrain for enforcement and other associated duties relating to 'the tracks'.

Posted by USA, a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 25, 2010 at 10:13 am

USA is a registered user.

So, the politicians had a secret meeting to discuss spending millions to buy something that they don't know what to do with while at the same time raising taxes and cutting jobs because they have run out of money.

Posted by MTV, a resident of Shoreline West
on May 25, 2010 at 11:01 am

It will be awesome if they convert it back to a movie theater. Both PA and Menlo have one in their downtown.

Posted by ann, a resident of another community
on May 26, 2010 at 6:36 am

oh USA you are so so right....government should NOT be in the commercial or residential real estate business....schools, parks, roads, police.....yes..thats it....want a good local example...look at downtown los altos....the old kfc building at main and foothill....well over 10 years ago the city government bought it....and have wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars studying it and there it sits.....time and money mean nothing to government....they spend 10 times more in time and money to get a job done then private enterprise....

Posted by Rex, a resident of North Whisman
on May 26, 2010 at 2:55 pm

So the city is trying to deal with a $4 million dollar defict and there is $4 million in this fund to purchase property? Anyone else see a problem with this?

How about fix your defict by moving the funds around and keep your employees happy. If not they will go elsewhere and it will the city twice as much to find quality employees (which is harder to do now-a-days.)

Posted by Steve Nelson, a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 27, 2010 at 8:58 am

Rex, I wish it were so easy. Because the funds are in a redevelopment district 'fund' they are not immediately transferable. But the 'fund' could be used to pay off bond obligations for the 'district'. That means -in a very few years (but not tomorrow) the 1% general property taxes from the Castro St. area will be flowing to the General Fund of the city (and schools).
Yeh - the city spends this like its free money - and not coming out of other uses. The state mandates that Castro be closed after 40 years, but it is sure hard to shut it down!!! Ann and USA are right, this is a great example of poor resource allocation.

Posted by Mr Advice, a resident of Blossom Valley
on May 27, 2010 at 8:25 pm

A live music Blues night club would be perfect for the old theater bldg.

Posted by Andrew, a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 30, 2010 at 11:44 am

Live Blues or Jazz would be awesome.

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