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Wednesday: commission to look at plans for San Antonio center

Original post made on May 16, 2012

Planning Commissioners are expected to look at plans tonight for a 150-room hotel and 741,000 square feet of office space proposed for San Antonio Shopping Center near the corner of California Street and San Antonio Road.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, May 16, 2012, 1:57 PM

Comments (26)

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Posted by lindaloo
a resident of The Crossings
on May 16, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Whatever it takes, I sincerely hope that the powers that be listen to the community and KEEP MILKPAIL MARKET!


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Posted by WHO NEEDS IT
a resident of Waverly Park
on May 16, 2012 at 2:23 pm

Who wants a hotel and office space? I want the shopping area to stay ... Jo-Ann's and The Milk Pail.

AND I WANT TO BE ABLE TO USE THE SAN ANTONIO PARKING LOT TO GET TO MY FAVORITE PLACES!


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Posted by WHAT
a resident of North Whisman
on May 16, 2012 at 2:30 pm

From the "SAN ANTONIO PRECISE PLAN"
"Vision & Goals for San Antonio Center"

To ensure coordinated access and circulation, reciprocal parking and access agreements will be required for all properties provided, however, residential uses shall provide private resident parking.

Did the developer forget to read this part?


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Posted by Sabrina
a resident of The Crossings
on May 16, 2012 at 2:33 pm

"Geertsen denied pressuring owners to sell, saying his firm is simply protecting its property rights with the fence. "

Wow, this is a man has no soul. Why do we have someone like this making the decisions for a community that he won't even have to live in? Why do none of Mountain View's community members, WHO WILL HAVE TO LIVE WITH THE CONSEQUENCES, have a say in what happens to this land?

This is completely outrageous.


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Posted by Sabrina
a resident of The Crossings
on May 16, 2012 at 2:34 pm

*who has no soul


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Posted by Steve
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 16, 2012 at 2:42 pm

I live downtown and work near the Walmart. That whole area is an eyesore. This is a gateway to Mountain View! Get rid of all those stores and insert apartments, nice business buildings and a hotel. The stores can move elsewhere or go away -- we don't need another BevMo or fabric store.


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Posted by Disappointed
a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 16, 2012 at 3:08 pm

A Hotel??? Oh, that is so disappointing!
City revenues,yes, but otherwise it's such a CENTRAL location, and a hotel would provide NO value to MV citizens. I'd had high hopes that when MV tore down the Sears etc., MV would develop an appealing retail center.
Castro street still does not offer a "destination" shopping area...except for food. Mtn Vw needs a retail area like downtown Los Altos, University Ave (Palo Alto), etc. that has a retail, destination mix. Give us a central area with a Gap/Old Navy, Apple Store, Crate & Barrel, Jamba Juice, Book Store, etc. where community members can meet, shop, stroll, & spend.


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Posted by Hardin
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 16, 2012 at 3:18 pm

Regardless of differing opinions on how San Antonio Center should be redeveloped, what bothers me most so far is the behavior of the developer, Merlone Geier, regarding the neighboring properties that have not sold to them.

Web Link

Their disregard for their neighbors, and for City oversight thus far, is worrisome and indicates problems ahead if/when construction starts.

This project, and especially the actions of this developer, need to be scrutinized and publicized to ensure it serves Mountain View's best interests.


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Posted by Nick
a resident of another community
on May 16, 2012 at 3:27 pm

If I'm reading the site-plan right, they are proposing to line San Antonio Road with a multi-story parking garage with a thin landscape buffer and California Street with parking lots too. Not good. It will create a fortress-like layout that will discourage walking or biking to the center.

Give us buildings with ground-floor retail and an inviting architectural design directly facing San Antonio Road and California Street. This is a gateway to Mountain View and should look as nice from outside the project area as it does from within.

Looks like this proposal needs lots of work before it's ready to be approved.


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Posted by Andria
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 16, 2012 at 4:11 pm

No JoAnn's Fabrics. I've been going there since I was a little kid to pick out the fabrics for my costumes and now I go there to get them for my kids. Why are we destroying old business for crap.


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Posted by Veggie Lovers
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 16, 2012 at 4:22 pm

Don't kill Milk Pail! It's been part of the community for 30 years. Many people depend on it for fresh veggies and great cheeses. Safeway can't compete -- on price or selection.


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Posted by Jim Smith
a resident of Castro City
on May 16, 2012 at 5:06 pm

Let me put in a good word for Jo-Ann Fabrics. I make tents, backpacks and other outdoor gear that is superior to what I can buy commercially, at any price. The only place left for the materials and sewing supplies is Jo-Ann Fabrics.
It is OK to move the fabrics store to a nearby location, but I have relied on it for years. Keep it local.


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Posted by OMV Resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 16, 2012 at 5:09 pm

I think the proposed hotel, office space and ground-floor retail would be a great addition to Phase 1 of the project, and to the overall San Antonio Center.

Those who wish that Jo-Ann's or BevMo will stay in place are denying economic reality... Stand-alone stores in strip retail places like the old San Antonio Center or along El Camino are struggling, while places that provide real centers of activity, with housing, workplaces and shopping in a walking-friendly environment are winning out. San Antonio Center will need to evolve to survive, and Merlone Geier is just helping out that process.

Not to mention that putting office space here helps provide an alternative to a bunch more office space on the other side of 101 by Shoreline... At least here at San Antonio there is Caltrain, buses, stores and restaurants nearby so people have some options not to drive for everything. Blocking office space here and putting it all out by the Bay only guarantees more gridlock.


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Posted by former mv resident
a resident of another community
on May 16, 2012 at 6:57 pm

I agree with Nick!! But I'm highly concerned about the MV 'decision makers' getting it right!! I honestly thought this project was going to be a scaled down/'friendlier' prototype of Santana Row. (By 'friendlier' I mean more affordable!) I may not be a MV resident anymore, but all the shops that are currently at this location are the reason I still shop in Mtn. View!!!! (MILK PAIL MARKET, Trader Joe's, JoAnn Fabric & Crafts, Wal-Mart, Safeway, Bev-Mo, Kohl's)

MV City Council - DON'T SCREW THIS UP!!!!!!!!!


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Posted by Ellen
a resident of Whisman Station
on May 16, 2012 at 8:11 pm

This Merlone Geier sounds despicable. MV City Council better not screw this up!!!!!


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Posted by Nick
a resident of The Crossings
on May 16, 2012 at 11:24 pm

I worked with businesses across the country and have found very few that have the success story of Milk Pail. Not only am I excited every time I leave there because fo their great selection, but I love that it is a family owned business where the owner is making sure he taking good care of his employees.

The person who interested me to the Milk Pail bikes four miles out of his way to buy groceries from the Milk Pail every other day. The reasons he shops there are the same as mine. Thousands of others are just as loyal to the Milk Pail. No matter what goes up in that space, I seriously doubt that they will have as much devotion as the Milk Pail Market. It would be a shame if the one who wins this battle is the result of who has the largest bank account.

Trying to speak as fairly as possible, I think Mountain View is going to have to decide whether they are going to want to support big business and be willing to help out the local businesses that have developed relationships and loyalties in the community.


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Posted by Cyndi
a resident of The Crossings
on May 17, 2012 at 7:39 am

I'm very disappointed in the direction this is going. For some reason, I thought, like many others, that we were getting a retail center. My husband and I were looking forward to new restaurants and a mixture of independent and name-brand shops to complement what is already at San Antonio. I shop at the Milk Pail and BevMo all the time. Whoever said that BevMo is failing at that location is wrong. It is always busy and has the most competitive prices on wine in the local area. I love that we live close enough to a shopping area that satisfies all of my grocery needs; what I was hoping for was more retail to add to that. Now we're looking at 5-9 story buildings with almost no retail? It's called Mountain View for a reason. Why are we deliberately destroying that landscape with taller buildings?


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Posted by Observer
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 17, 2012 at 7:55 am

I agree. These plans are really going to scar the landscape and block views of the mountains. And how much of a shadow will that lay down on the private homes nearby

A 9 story hotel would just prove how this city council couldn't give a damn about preserving what little uniqueness Mountain View has left.

Put a 9 story hotel next to the pink palace. That way all the developers and corporate lobbyists won't clog our streets while they are lining up for favors down at City Hall.


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Posted by OMV Resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 17, 2012 at 9:59 am

To counter some of the statements about height and views made above...

The hotel is proposed to be 6 stories, not 9. The office buildings, which are set back much farther from the outside streets, are the taller buildings. These buildings will are very unlikely to cast shadows on private homes, which are at the closest more than 250 feet away. The environmental report will look at this too and likely confirm this.

And regarding views, it only takes a two or three-story building to block the mountain views for which our city was named. I live in Old Mountain View which generally has a mix of one, two, and three-story buildings, and the only place I can get a view of the mountains is looking down a street. What is important in preserving views is not the height of buildings, but preserving view corridors, the spaces between buildings. Looking at SA Center, we should push the developer to preserve view corridors... I think they are on the right track by proposing several tall, slender buildings rather than say a super-block of 3 to 5 story buildings.


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Posted by Dull Knife
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 17, 2012 at 12:10 pm

OMV Resident;
Just curious, you seem to be an apologist for the developers?

There was a real chance for this tired part of Mountain View to be nicely renovated. Rebuild the BevMo/Ross building by putting on a second story for offices, maybe some underground parking to augment the nicely treed above parking that is there now. Better integrate Barron Park and other buildings by turning the entrances around into the back parking area. The Milk Pail did this a few years ago by working with their neighbor to integrate parking into an adjacent lot.
Instead the Phase II offers 900,000 sq ft of space, using the Hotel as the carrot for the City. And, has anyone ever seen a village 12 stories high ?


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Posted by Max Hauser
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 17, 2012 at 12:17 pm

Max Hauser is a registered user.

Agree with others here about importance of The Milk Pail. Even then, I wonder how many current fans realize just how unique an institution it is.

Over 30 years ago I was one of many people coming from up and down the peninsula to shop at the Milk Pail, _already_ well established. In a town lately getting known for restaurants around Castro St., the Milk Pail was a leading and unusual gastronomic institution long ago, comparable in its way to Chez Panisse in my native Berkeley (a restaurant I saw open and grow popular, in a town whose nearest counterpart of the Milk Pail -- Monterey Market -- is a historic, influential family business too).

This doesn't mean the Milk Pail can't (in principle anyway) move to other quarters. But its unique role makes it a reference point. Meaning that the way people deal with it (residents, City Council, or the nearby property developer) reflects something informative about THEM.


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Posted by Barron Park Supply
a resident of The Crossings
on May 17, 2012 at 12:53 pm

We have been serving Mountain View and the surrounding communities for nearly 50 years. It would help us greatly to have the City's support as well as the concerned residents of Mountain View, in our efforts to work with the developer to aid us in relocating our business instead of continuing with the tactics they've been using to intimidate and force out the small business owners. Please "Like" us on Facebook and stay informed Web Link


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Posted by Hardin
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 17, 2012 at 12:56 pm

"OMV Resident;

Just curious, you seem to be an apologist for the developers?

There was a real chance for this tired part of Mountain View to be nicely renovated. Rebuild the BevMo/Ross building by putting on a second story for offices, maybe some underground parking to augment the nicely treed above parking that is there now. Better integrate Barron Park and other buildings by turning the entrances around into the back parking area. The Milk Pail did this a few years ago by working with their neighbor to integrate parking into an adjacent lot."

----------------------

Reading OMV Resident's comments, I don't see anything there defending the developer specifically, but alot that defends the need to maintain view corridors between buildings. Maintaining view corridors and line of sight is actually good, fundamental design, whether for buildings or for your living room.

With regards to redeveloping, it appears you need to sharpen your pencil, if not your knife:

Redeveloping any property takes money and risk. In order for anyone to be willing to embark on such an en-devour, the pay-off has to be there at the end. I love underground parking, but it is very expensive to build. In order to have it, the stuff above ground has to be valuable enough, or generate enough income to make the extra expenditure for underground parking worthwhile.

This is probably why it was able to be done at Santana Row: the high-end boutique shops, and stratospheric rents there allowed the developer to go underground for parking.

If all you want is a Bev-Mo/Ross up top, and a fabric store, you'd better be willing to chip in some dough along with your suggestion for underground parking.

I'm not overly pleased with the initial design offered by Merlone Greir, and I'm even less excited by their conduct to the neighboring businesses and to the City thus far. But what is needed here is a well-informed public and City council that will ensure all issues are mitigated to the benefit of all parties, and not accusations or blind statements.


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Posted by Hardin
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 17, 2012 at 1:00 pm

"We have been serving Mountain View and the surrounding communities for nearly 50 years. It would help us greatly to have the City's support as well as the concerned residents of Mountain View, in our efforts to work with the developer to aid us in relocating our business instead of continuing with the tactics they've been using to intimidate and force out the small business owners. Please "Like" us on Facebook and stay informed Web Link"

---------------

+1 on this. Barron Park is my go-to place for plumbing supplies hands down. Their staff is not only knowledgeable, but friendly and I always get my questions answered there. Plus, they never fail to have the part I need.

I can't think of another place in the area I would go to if they weren't around.


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Posted by preserve local businesses
a resident of another community
on May 21, 2012 at 8:28 am

Where will residents shop if neighborhood serving businesses are displaced by office buildings?
I come from another community because similar businesses no longer exist there after being wrecked by "progress". There will not be more suitable affordable locations for community-based businesses like these gems (Milk Pail, Barron Park Plumbing, in particular).
Everyone should be up in arms - environmentalists because we'll all have to travel farther to find similar goods and services (think greenhouse gases and traffic congestion); residents because we'll be forced to use remote Big Box stores without the knowledgeable service of local businesses; city officials because offices don't pay sales tax and retail businesses do.
Every project that has EIR impacts also has to demonstrate that it provides value for decision-makers to determine there are "over-riding considerations" to approve. I hope the decision makers take into account the huge negative impacts of losing these wonderful small (and larger) businesses that are so convenient to both nearby and other peninsula residents.


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Posted by Political Insider
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 21, 2012 at 9:03 pm

"Vision & Goals for San Antonio Center"

To ensure coordinated access and circulation, reciprocal parking and access agreements will be required for all properties provided, however, residential uses shall provide private resident parking.

Did the developer forget to read this part?

No, it doesnt apply.

Council wanted a hotel and office space. They made it clear they didnt want housing. Thats why MG came back with a new proposal.


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