Phase Two at San Antonio Shopping Center moves ahead Around Town, posted by Editor, Mountain View Voice Online, on Mar 22, 2013 at 12:42 pm
The second phase of development at San Antonio Shopping Center, including a movie theater and hotel, will not be delayed by the creation of a precise plan for the area, the City Council decided Tuesday.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, March 22, 2013, 12:10 PM
Posted by Matt Raschke, a resident of the The Crossings neighborhood, on Mar 22, 2013 at 12:42 pm
I also urged the Council to consider filing a friend of the court brief on behalf of all the Mountain View LASD residents North of El Camino (NEC) to secure fair treatment for those residents when and if a Special Master of facilities is appointed by the court as requested by Bullis Charter School (BCS) in their current litigation with LASD.
The current Greater San Antonio Neighborhood association is currently comprised of the two areas of NEC that were allocated to Covington Elementary in 2007-08. NEC residents could easily walk and bike to the elementary school site located on the Egan School campus. However, that site is currently housing BCS.
Posted by mom, a resident of the Monta Loma neighborhood, on Mar 22, 2013 at 2:38 pm
It's laughable that Ronit Bryant thinks the place for new parks is in the neighborhoods, and not in the parts of the city that are under development. Sounds good in theory, but if it was possible, it would have been done already. She needs to have a plan before passing by our only opportunity for new park space, specifically: what are locations where those new parks are to be built, who is providing funding, and when they will be built ("someday" is not an answer - if developers can't wait 2 years for a precise plan, why do residents have to wait years for their park space?). I bet she wouldn't be able to come up with a single location in the surrounding area.
Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community, on Mar 22, 2013 at 3:19 pm
Poops, Mixed use is a great idea, I find this whole idea of building such a grand project exciting.
Phase 2 can be boring or something wonderful and can be a center piece of this area. Giving a sense on how, why and should follow.
Parks and plaza with walkways so people at 100 Mayfield/Monte Loma, Crossings, and all other projects will be tied into the central plaza. With parks, school, businesses, services, work and play, which all can be within a pleasure walk.
Posted by Observer, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Mar 22, 2013 at 8:14 pm
The six and seven stories claim is deceptive and not comparable in scale to a two or three story house. The ground and top floor of the building already up easily exceed the common perception of what is consider one story. What we will get are the past equivalent of eight and nine story buildings if one were to line them up next to 90% of the single family homes in Mountain View. Oh wait... those homes are nowhere near this development.
This is just another example of how developers own this town and the city council.
At least I can say that the council members I voted for voted against it. And thank you Mr. McAlister. You were the only council member to come by my house and talk to me during the campaign. You are a man or your word.
Posted by Garrett , a resident of another community, on Mar 22, 2013 at 8:43 pm
There is already a 6 story building at San Antonio Shopping Center, build in the 70's which stands on El Camino Real, another 6 story building stands at Castro and California St. Compare height in the Avalon Towers to the Office building next door. Hotel ceiling heights are lower then office ceiling heights.
Posted by Political Insider, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Mar 23, 2013 at 4:13 am
"Explaining his vote, Siegel noted the 350 signatures the council received asking for a precise plan first and said "we basically have not listened to you," adding that the density of development proposed for the area is something "the city has not seen before."
Of course this argument only works if the developers don't collect more signatures supporting a project as they have in the past. The no-growthers have no answer as to why they oppose development. We elect council members to make good and fair land use decisions, not pander to special interest groups that show up to meetings and push for their own agenda. The density here is not the highest seen in the city in terms of FAR.
Posted by truth be known, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Mar 23, 2013 at 9:01 am
the City’s response to questions raised by Mr Rasmussen’s letter in early 2011 about parking, access, and traffic flow in the SAC was this:
“ B4-1. The Precise Plan will require shared access, shared parking and coordinated parking for adjacent properties, The Residential uses included in the proposed project [Phase I} will be required for private parking."
This "shared parking concept" throughout the Center was embodied in the original Precise Plan for San Antonio Center in 1991, and reiterated several times afterwards. That provision was deleted in the June 2011 Version of the Precise plan...MV’s earlier response to Mr Rasmussen’s letter notwithstanding.
These documents can also be found in the Phase I EIR and Public Comment documents at City Hall, pages 50-51.
This taking away of parking rights for the outliers like Barron Park Supply and INternational Market, in June 2011, was the proximate cause of the famous “dead-of-night fence incident’ , when Merlone Geier installed a fence behind BPS and IM to restrict foot traffic form the larger parking lots
Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community, on Mar 23, 2013 at 9:57 am
I am not a spoke person for MG, just someone who thinks the idea of the project is worth looking and to study. I love city planning, love to see buildings go up, I don't see profit, I see people doing normal stuff. Working, Eating, Shopping with this project having fun and who knows staying the night.
If profit is such a worry, lets just close down Silicon Valley, I know most places would love to have the people, the money and the problems.
Yes some redesign could happen, some stuff could be cut, the cinema people might find a new place to see films. We could just end up with a strip mall with more stores
Posted by Dell, a resident of another community, on Mar 23, 2013 at 10:14 am
RECALL LASD BOARD OF TRUSTEES.
There should be community park spaces, and squares in this new development area. It is being rapidly congested. That doesn't mean that the Mountain View City Council or their counterparts in Los Altos, Los Altos Hills or even Palo Alto should have to solve the problems created by the Los Altos School District Board of Trustees. Yes, there is rapid development in the Mountain View. but is started back in the 90's when the Crossings were built. The plan has been in place for a long time - look it up on the ABAG site.
In the late 90's instead of planning for the growth that was certain to happen in the North of El Camino Area the Los Altos School District instead embarked on a campaign of building office space. Bond funds were spent were spent on a brand new two story administration building at Egan. Then came the rebuilding of the District Offices at Covington. To justify this large rebuilding project they claimed that needed to reopen Covington to take care of the growth. Completely ignoring the fact that the last thing that they needed was yet another school serving central Los Altos, an area that already had three neighborhood schools, with two others close by. The right thing to do would have been to construct a campus at Egan, for the PLANNED GROWTH along both sides of El Camino Real. Instead they voted for giving their kids in Los Altos a big new fancy school and their administrative staff new offices.
The current board refuses to make any decisions, in fact they are compounding the problem. They need to solve their own problems and stop asking everyone else to do it. Here is what they need to do:
1. Make a new school that serves the NEC Area and the El Camino Area at Egan. This school should be voluntary until a new campus is constructed there. This campus should share facilities with Egan - making it better option for LASD families.
2. Move BCS to Covington, BCS could share that site with the remaining Covington Students.
The new school will provide relief to crowding at Almond and Santa Rita and be a closer option for the NEC area. Then we all should work to pass a school bond to fund a campus either at Egan or at a site in the NEC, if one is needed. The rest of this nonsense needs to stop. Everyone needs to wake up and realize that it the LASD BOT that is causing the problems, not MVCC, LACC or BCS.
Posted by lane mason, a resident of another community, on Mar 23, 2013 at 11:58 am
garrett: your facetious suggestion that we just close down Silicon Valley is absurd. The citizens near San Antonio Center want good development, which takes into account schools, traffic congestion, and ‘packing density'. The MV City Council has punted on these issues with their buy-off of the MG Phase II Project go ahead without a Precise Plan in place...but the issues will not so easily go away.
Many MV citizens believe that MG is overbuilding the area, esp. in light of current traffic issues, in order to make lots of profits, and that this build-up will push all the congestion problems off on the local community. (Do the math..a few minutes increased travel time, twice day, 250 d/year, will effectively cost these .5000 nearby commuters $1M a year in travel times and costs...comparable to the Retail Tax benefits and Hotel Tax. THAT is a tax on commuters that MG’s development will create, but the locals and workers will pay )
Posted by j-burb, a resident of the The Crossings neighborhood, on Mar 23, 2013 at 3:34 pm
Ha ha ha, traffic has already been backing up to the top of the overpass for the last several years, on the southbound left turn lane at California and San Antonio. That's without the Phase 2 theater, and with MG Phase 1 not open yet. Any plans to ameliorate traffic in the area?
Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community, on Mar 23, 2013 at 4:03 pm
I was being funny when I said that remark, I wouldn't dream of shutting down Silicon Valley, the last 60 years we have grown to a major center of the world, people have come and gone. Whole companies built on ideas and then fallen because the lack of keeping up with the pace of change.
It is amazing how one building at 391 South San Antonio Road has changed the world, everything we know has changed. Traffic is a side effect of success and so is building. I want good development to, but I want to see something fill this once corner of a shopping center to be full of stores, and businesses. I want to see different businesses. I like the spirit of the plan, the buildings might need to be lowered, changed around.
In reality would like to see 2 4 story office buildings, maybe cut 1 or 2 floors of the hotel, and better open space around the buildings. The 8 cinema is a great idea. Put all parking underground.
I just don't think everyone is going to go all at the same time, commuters will have to leave in the morning, evening rush area will be hard, but then again most people go and see movies at night or on weekends.
Some of those office workers or business owners might relocate to the San Antonio to be close to home.
The shared parking concept for the area must stay, everything must be done to make sure all the businesses in the area are not affected or caused hardship during construction.
Meaning all attempts to keep the Milk Pail must be in place, I didn't like when the Meat Market moved to Los Altos
Did anyone ever thing about a Food Hall in the project, right now it is space on a plan, but you can turn into a food hall, Milk Pail will be main anchor.
We have talked about having a shuttle go around Mountain View for some odd 10 years, we aren't going to move people around with little development that attracts small numbers of people.
Posted by Bonsai, a resident of the The Crossings neighborhood, on Mar 23, 2013 at 4:56 pm
I just stopped by the open house for the new apartments in Phase 1, called Carmel the Village. It looks like it's going to be really nice interiors, beautiful amenities, and I was happy to see that pets will be allowed (with a greenbelt for walking dogs).
But whoa - the rental prices are going to be astronomical! The cheapest is a 550 sq.ft. studio for $2255. The most expensive is a 1459 sq. ft. two bedroom for $4460. At those prices I wonder who will rent them. Super wealthy San Franciscans who need a crash pad in Mountain View? Los Altos families who need a place to live in the school district until their big remodel is complete?
Posted by John, a resident of the Monta Loma neighborhood, on Mar 23, 2013 at 8:46 pm
Garrett the spokesman for merlon-greed.
Yes the rents are thru the roof, traffic is bad, schools are impacted, parks are non existent,, construction is incessant, no plans and city council does nothing but give it the stamp of approval, instead of standing up to the developer and making it adhere to the general plan. Silly movie theaters, hotels, more stores we don't need. Oh joy we are getting a starbucks! a movie theater! a vibrant community! hogwash!
Do we want to crowd into little Santanna road and park on the roof of a Safeway to buy groceries?
Posted by Old Mill, a resident of the Cuernavaca neighborhood, on Mar 23, 2013 at 9:51 pm
Those Old Mill theatres were great for awhile...right up until nobody went anymore, and the whole project flopped. Now, in the times of Netflix and downloadable movies, someone expects a theatre to be a success? Like Old Mill, there may be a novelty effect at first, but then what?
Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community, on Mar 24, 2013 at 5:55 am
I am not a spokesperson for MG, just would like to see something different then what is there now.
I am a movie lover, I seeing movies at the cinema, yes I am one of those. I like to shop, eat before or after. I like the Century 16, was there when they opened back in the 80's but still went to the Old Mill. Why the Menu Tree.
Back in early 90's, I called about leasing the Mountain View theater, playing old movies, double features, film festivals and serve more then cinema snacks.
I don't see any thing wrong building for future businesses that will hire people and bring in services. People like me will shop, see a movie and eat. We will kept money in Mountain View.
Posted by Joe, a resident of another community, on Mar 24, 2013 at 1:12 pm
Is this a case where a CEQA challenge to the EIR could be used to slow down this runaway train? It's not no-growth to just want to wait a year while planning is done, and also while the effect of the operating shopping megaplex starts to appear. Phase I hasn't even opened yet. Why not judge it before expanding?
Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community, on Mar 24, 2013 at 7:19 pm
I don't expect the present to be approved, right now they are just pretty drawings on some boards they make you believe that is what you are getting. Yes I like some aspects of the plan, hoping that a certain chain of cinemas come in and operate the cinemas
Yes have spend time in many parking garages to see films, to eat, to shop, conduct business or just because I didn't want to hassle with on street parking.
Yes I parked on top of many stores, one of them right here in Mountain View.
Anyone is free to buy property, corporate or not. Just as Google is free to buy land, they don't have to lease it out to other companies. Why would they want to rent to Microsoft or Yahoo.
Yes I want the Milk Pail to stay, the delivery idea was just to help.
Do you know how many different properties are there, one time it was like 17 owners, since 1950's this centered has been piecemeal and buildings places here and there.
Posted by John, a resident of the Monta Loma neighborhood, on Mar 24, 2013 at 10:06 pm
It's already too late, Barron plumbing is gone, Milk Pail won;t have parking. The city rubber stamped merlone greed's plans to change the character of the city and the quality of life for its residents.
Posted by Cate, a resident of the The Crossings neighborhood, on Mar 25, 2013 at 7:15 am
Wow. Do these Council members ever come over to this side of Mountain View to visit our residential neighborhoods? It doesn't sound like it. I can't believe they're not even imposing design or environmental standards to this development.
Posted by Cate, a resident of the The Crossings neighborhood, on Mar 25, 2013 at 7:42 am
Also, how is it that the Council will rubber stamp any and all development in the San Antonio area, where we have surrounding residential areas, but they hesitate to allow even a bridge in North Charleston, where there aren't any residential neighborhoods? What we need in San Antonio is an endangered owl.
Posted by mom, a resident of the Monta Loma neighborhood, on Mar 25, 2013 at 4:02 pm
The council should tell developers that they need to build a park first, then they can start on their buildings. They built these huge buildings in a matter of months, surely they could build a little park in a matter of days. And if they couldn't start building until the park was done, I bet it would get done PDQ.
Posted by tommygee54, a resident of the Rex Manor neighborhood, on Mar 25, 2013 at 8:11 pm
Perhaps if we park by Chili's, and then walk over to the new Safeway from its backside, perhaps that would be the better way to get to this new Safeway. But yes, the old Safeway on California is much easier to get to. I hope that there are not any muggings in the garage we have to now park in to shop in the New Safeway. Time to notice your surroundings even more...
Posted by Political Insider, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Mar 25, 2013 at 9:20 pm
The complaints from the no-growthers and the anti-development attacks reflect of lot of ignorance. In every large development council will study the parking, traffic, and impact of the project. Its usually a waste of money because it will never convince the anti-growth groups about the impact of development.
ON the school issue, LASD bears the entire blame. They have wasted money and sold school sites. Unfortunately, low information residents are doing their bidding by shifting blame from LASD to other officials.
ON the parks issue, ask the Monta Loma neighborhood what happened to their parks at the Mayfield/HP site? Excessive demands from the neighborhood no-growthers eventually killed the project. Unless I see others devote/risk millions of dollars in projects, I will put my money on MG getting it right.
Posted by political outsider, a resident of another community, on Mar 26, 2013 at 8:57 am
If my dear cousin, Political Insider, does not refer to me as 'uninformed, ignorant and anti development, I will not characterize him/her as "Full Speed on Development at All Costs”, or "Pro-Greed".
There are legitimate issue on both sides.
The schoo-aged demographics have changed markedly over the past decade, on top of the boom-or-bust business cycle in Silicon Valley. Ten years ago, who knew Facebook would locate in MP, and drive housing wacko? Or that Google would continue to try to expand in Silicon Valley instead of, like HP or chip companies before them, locate and expand in satellite locations like Colorado, Oregon and Austin?. Rather to hold on to an unused/underutilized school yard until that magic day when more kids might show up..or might not? Or sell it and use the money for another purpose? School districts are under pressure to optimize the budgets, too, and no one knows what is right around the corner.
The problem with letting developers call the shots, is basically, they have to have their arms twisted to provide for pubic benefits that they cannot make money on. Someone correct me if I am wrong, but MG Phase 1 was supposed to provide some low income housing, but is still balking on it. They wanted 10 stories in Phase II, but, reluctantly, scaled it down by 1/3 against an outcry of public sentiment. They have to be forced, by restricting permitting, to not stack so much development in one place, and not bear the costs of the local dislocation in terms of traffic, density, insufficient infrastructure'. Sure, it is their investment money, but their investment imposes large costs on the community, which they do not bear.
Every project has an EIR done, to show traffic, parking and congestion impacts. But if all these collective impacts over the past decade were ‘impact neutral” (as in ‘every project mitigates its own impacts”), then how come it takes twice as long to navigate from 101 to SAC as it did back then? Every stoplight made necessary by a development (see Miki’s on Alma), slows traffic and imposes a burden on everyone else who passes that point.
So it will be with MG...and Prometheus across the street. You can bet that travel times through the area will increase, and the City of MV and PA will have to pay for improvements...directly by more sales tax, indirectly by longer to drive anywhere, harder to find parking.
These are legitimate issues; the City Fathers in MV, LA and PA are legally charged with figuring out what makes the most sense for their communities, and where to allow what kinds of development. That such protests have arisen with SAC (and probably soon Prometheus) is testimony to the belief that lots of people think they are not doing their job very well..and we have not seen the impacts of Ph 1 yet.
IMHO, Mom and Joe have it right...pause it, do the planning job right, wait for real-life impacts of Ph 1 to be seen and experienced. Then move forward. Developers can build their 500K sq ft office spaces near the freeway or major travel arteries; Crossing dwellers are way more place-bound to shop and send their kids to local schools and parks.
Posted by Political Insider, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Mar 26, 2013 at 9:59 am
@political outsider, my cousin from another mother.
Some quick comments.
"The school-aged demographics have changed markedly over the past decade, on top of the boom-or-bust business cycle in Silicon Valley. Rather to hold on to an unused/underutilized school yard until that magic day when more kids might show up..or might not?"
Or lease it for something useful and wait for that magic day. Don't make excuses for incompetent officials
"The problem with letting developers call the shots, is basically, they have to have their arms twisted to provide for pubic benefits that they cannot make money on. Someone correct me if I am wrong, but MG Phase 1 was supposed to provide some low income housing, but is still balking on it."
Developers want the project approved and do let politicians and neighborhood activists twist their arms to engage in rent seeking. Who's at fault here? Is it a good idea to support ideas that are not sustainable? Why do you think its a good idea to mix low income housing with high income rental housing?
"Sure, it is their investment money, but their investment imposes large costs on the community, which they do not bear."
Generally overstated and the EIR does suggest mitigation.
"Every stoplight made necessary by a development (see Miki’s on Alma), slows traffic and imposes a burden on everyone else who passes that point."
Miki's was supported by neighborhood activists and smart growth advocates. It is closing after 6 months. Is this the time of arm twisting you want to provide public benefits that don't make money?
"These are legitimate issues; the City Fathers in MV, LA and PA are legally charged with figuring out what makes the most sense for their communities, and where to allow what kinds of development. That such protests have arisen with SAC (and probably soon Prometheus) is testimony to the belief that lots of people think they are not doing their job very well..and we have not seen the impacts of Ph 1 yet."
Most council members are clueless about how development works. Dont expect them to figure it out. Same with city planners. I was once one of them but now see the light.
"IMHO, Mom and Joe have it right...pause it, do the planning job right, wait for real-life impacts of Ph 1 to be seen and experienced. Then move forward. Developers can build their 500K sq ft office spaces near the freeway or major travel arteries; Crossing dwellers are way more place-bound to shop and send their kids to local schools and parks."
How do you know you have it right? Maybe you should invest your own money if you know where development should take place.
How long to wait? 10 years like they do in Palo Alto? I dont like the design of phase one but this was a political compromise based on feedback from smart growth advocates, bike/ped activists and neighborhood activists. MG is spending millions of dollars hoping to get it right. I hope they do and make millions of dollars. If they dont, they will lose millions of dollars.
Posted by John, a resident of the Monta Loma neighborhood, on Mar 26, 2013 at 11:08 am
ON the parks issue, ask the Monta Loma neighborhood what happened to their parks at the Mayfield/HP site? Excessive demands from the neighborhood no-growthers eventually killed the project. Unless I see others devote/risk millions of dollars in projects, I will put my money on MG getting it right.
What happened to the project is the developer could make more money by selling the property off to another developer.
The new developer is making it into a Class A office building. Any promised "parks" was pie in the sky.
Merlone greed is the same lots of promises but a really a bully, pushing residents around with its huge resources.They could care less about Mountain View, just a place to develop whatever.
Posted by Political Insider, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Mar 26, 2013 at 11:49 am
'What happened to the project is the developer could make more money by selling the property off to another developer."
Why? Toll Brothers bot the property to build housing. Eventually after excessive demands it became cheaper to go back to the commercial use. Notice the new plans do not include a new building. Same ugly old mall building.
"The new developer is making it into a Class A office building. Any promised "parks" was pie in the sky."
I agree. The new developer is just filling the empty office space. NO promises. I was referring the to TB project and the 3 acres of parks they offered. That was no pie in the sky. ML residents should ask their no growth neighbors if status quo (w/o parks ) is what they wanted?
Posted by John, a resident of the Monta Loma neighborhood, on Mar 26, 2013 at 12:18 pm
On June 27, 2006, the City Council approved a General Plan Amendment, Precise Plan* and Final EIR that would allow the redevelopment of the Mayfield Mall / Hewlett-Packard site with up to 530 housing units!!!!
530 housing units and we would get some parks!!! Oh boy such a deal!!
We won and Toll brothers went away.
Unfortunately we won't win with Merlone greed--too many resources.
Is it "no growth" to be in favor of smart growth? Taking care for the actual residents of the community?
Growth for the sake of growth is what cancer does.
Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community, on Mar 26, 2013 at 12:36 pm
Look around, check out the shopping centers, office buildings, housing tracts, condos and apartment buildings, most of what we live and work in is developer built. Yes I support the city council being tough and getting the best out of the projects. But then again don't push to hard, they will not come in and buy, build or attract new kinds of businesses.
If I was a developer, the armchair part in me, the Milk Pail, Barron Plumbing and International Market would be safe, in fact I could be a whole project based on the Milk Pail.
Movies Theaters always attract people who would like to shop and eat. I have been to many complexes where you can have a nice meal, shop and spend some hard earn cash.
Office buildings, 500,000 square feet sounds a big much, but do like the idea of a mixed use, putting out by the freeway will just mean more drivers, more cars. San Antonio Cal Train station is nearby.
I don't expect the pretty drawing to be built, I would like to see more design, more plans, what kind of stores that we are going to attract. I would like to know what kind of stuff people think should stand on this corner.
In reality how about a new Target store, with some nice clothing stores, keep BevMo.
Posted by Political Insider, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Mar 26, 2013 at 3:42 pm
"We won and Toll brothers went away. Unfortunately we won't win with Merlone greed--too many resources. Is it "no growth" to be in favor of smart growth? Taking care for the actual residents of the community? Growth for the sake of growth is what cancer does."
Classic hyperbole and nonsense. What is smart growth? For some its just a cover for no growth. What are we trying to win? Is there some type of war going on? Why is MG greedier than other groups and how do you know they have more resources?
I could offer similar hyperbole. Failing to grow means you are dying. Growth for the sake of growth is what people do or they die." Its easy spin a lot of cliche's that have little meaning.
As to supporting the small business's that might go away, politicians are not supposed to take sides in who wins or loses in business.
"I don't expect the pretty drawing to be built, I would like to see more design, more plans, what kind of stores that we are going to attract. I would like to know what kind of stuff people think should stand on this corner.In reality how about a new Target store, with some nice clothing stores, keep BevMo. "
Why? DO you really know what all people want and what will work in the marketplace. IF so, be my guest, but why should anyone listen to non experts? Even the experts have a difficult time getting it right.
Posted by Political Insider, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Mar 26, 2013 at 8:19 pm
@JOhn. More nonsense. Try to make a non-emotional argument. Voluntary exchange is win-win, so what exactly are you complaining about, other than your personal feelings. Why are you against property owners developing their property? Dont they get the same rights as you? You make a lot of vague claims but not much substance. I live downtown near more invasive development and the impact is beneficial. I have a better quality of life based on the new developments. More people, more social interaction, and better retail services. Of course the whiners are never happy. Maybe you need a new perspective on life.
Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community, on Mar 26, 2013 at 9:21 pm
While planning, studies and more planning happens with the San Antonio Shopping Center the part that mostly likely will be torn down. IMO approval is still far from being granted, retailers, food places, a hotel and cinema operator, all of which must be found.
A developer is not going to build without tenants.
Santana Row and El Paseo de Saratoga both did upgrades from older shopping centers, I know each one is different but still they had to attract tenants. I wanted to see their list of tenants, Santana Row is quite impressive. Not even 3/4 quarters of Santana Row will even look at San Antonio, but we can try.
Posted by John, a resident of the Monta Loma neighborhood, on Mar 27, 2013 at 2:11 pm
What can we say to peronal attacks from el insider? Just like the bully boy tactics developers use to get their way.
Is it in the general plan? So what!
Is it according to zoning? So what rezone!
Without doing a $200,000 study (re california ave traffic plan) see for yourself if an eight-screen theater , a 165-room, seven-story hotel, a 500,000 square feet of office (rent will be approx $5 per square foot-see downtown Palo Alto-charging the highest rents in the country) in a pair of six-story buildings , a large garage and ground-floor shops and restaurants is appropriate for the corner of Cal ave and San Antonio.
You'll have to drive, not many bikers or pedestrians in Mountain View, you take your life in your hands. And when you do drive, you'll be stuck in traffic. Now, when your sitting through the light cycles keep your emotions out of it, because it is not an emotional subject, just an innocent businessman trying to make a little money by helping the community develop.
Posted by Monta Loma Resident, a resident of the Monta Loma neighborhood, on Mar 27, 2013 at 3:13 pm
I can't believe that Mountain View wouldn't allow a Chick-fil-a because it would cause too much traffic on El Camino. It's ok to build this huge shopping center and add even more traffic on San Antonio. It's already a driving headache! Let's hope it doesn't end up like Sunnyvale Town Center!!
Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community, on Mar 28, 2013 at 3:53 pm
With all these new apartment projects and office projects that will have companies both new plus the old. I find the concept of re doing the San Antonio Center getting better. I know the Milk Pail, but it would pay for Milk Pail to be in welcome packets. Barron Park Plumbing to know every building owner and manager.
Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community, on Mar 29, 2013 at 6:31 am
Public benefits. Hard to tell but more stores equal spending. Spending in certain stores with taxable goods, corner will increase in value, property taxes. Hotel guess will stay and spend. Taxes and customers for businesses. Office space means local start ups can expand, retain Mtn View address.
Traffic, transit, getting people from one place to another is must. Remember we must find ways to get people out of their cars.
Posted by Political Insider, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Mar 29, 2013 at 1:24 pm
I listed several public benefits in earlier posts. So did Garrett. I speak for my self when I say the projects provide huge public benefits. Others should speak for themselves and not others in terms of perceived benefits. To assert "we" seems like a stretch. I don't know what others see as a public benefit. It may be just as simple as better bike paths through SA center. Its a public benefit, but perhaps only valued by those that use bikes.
Markets are a two way street. Exchange can't take place unless both parties expect to benefit. Its not a zero sum game of moving money around. For example, the new Safeway will offer more services, which it couldn't offer at the smaller site.
Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community, on Mar 29, 2013 at 2:11 pm
While most of my expenses have gone up over a period of time, I can see other expenses of others have too risen. Cost of education, gas, housing and having a family. So if we are so much for a CEO, a sports star or someone who can't act. Then we should are public workers have to plan on getting less.
Yes I heard they can shop elsewhere, I don't need it, I won't go. OK I can understand that but why should spend more money in gas. Why should we lose out on store, services, businesses, jobs and taxes.
You know what is funny, most school reunions, proms and other functions are held out of town. No Ballroom or hotel.
Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community, on Mar 29, 2013 at 3:33 pm
Safeway have been upgrading their stores for years, each new store has greatly improved and customer enhancements. This is not a public benefit, but a customer benefit. A movie theater and hotel is a shopping center benefit. Offices will add customers and a good business decision. Adding a stronger tax base, improving bike and walkways, sidewalks, park space, funds for schools, jobs, working towards that shuttle transit. These are just some of the public benefits.
Posted by John, a resident of the Monta Loma neighborhood, on Mar 29, 2013 at 7:43 pm
Another "huge public benefit",
The Milk Pail is being demolished in Phase Two of the San Antonio center. The eight screen Movie theatre will go up and the luxury hotel will be built next to the new Mall on the second floor. By then the 300 family unit will be opened. Safeway will open it's doors in the next two weeks and this location will welcome the additional 300 families @ the $2500 per month rent. And the old site of Safeway....MORE apartments.
We are not seeing many public benefits other than density and congestion
Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community, on Mar 30, 2013 at 7:16 am
Not everyone wants to have kids or,not at the,moment, so we have 330 units that will attract a number of different people.
As for public and personal benefits, we have different tastes and ideas. I would like to see a busy vibrant shopping mixed use project with public space. Space to sit out in the sun or shade, eat, maybe have a market stalls, festival with shops right on or off the plaza.
Would like to see this kind of this kind of set in some places. Might work for walkways in between buildings and could act as lobby entrances. 1st floor retail that you would find in a shopping center or mall. 2nd floor could house devices, retail and small office businesses. See hairdressers, insurance brokers, jewelers, wedding planners and photographers. I have brokerage that I trade with that most likely could benefit. The 2nd floor space will less pricey then ground floor, but only just a quick trip up. Upper floors will be larger firms.
Posted by John, a resident of the Monta Loma neighborhood, on Mar 30, 2013 at 1:41 pm
This monster is being proposed because developers salivate at the money that can be made here and will do anything to build the most lucrative project they can possibly manage.
No project has gone up supported by public assent. Developers are ambitious and aggressive. Unfortunately our city employees and part time city council are overmatched. Only members Jac Siegel and John McAlister were opposed and had the courage to mention adherence to the precise plan. Melon Greed said no, don't have to....says it all right there. WE ARE DOING WHAT WE WANT TO DO!
Hang in there Milk Pail! International market and barron park plumbing threw in the towel, after the fencing in incident. Afraid when greed takes away Milk Pail's parking it will have to give in too.
Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community, on Mar 30, 2013 at 2:05 pm
We have been attracting people here since 1956 when Shockley opened, we will be attracting more.
We built a shopping center got baby boomers, we fought against sprawl, freeways, bay infill but yet we don't build anything to support mass transit and the means of why.
Yes it is great to get to and from work, but what about all the other times. Places are important also, our colleges, hospitals, malls, theaters, aren't even close. Shuttles work best when other used are built and will chose to ride.
Miles of strip malls, low rise hotels and buildings when after a certain hour became empty.
We could design a shuttle, one route lets say. Start in the San Center, go around to Caltrain, run down California, meet up with Remarked Ave. right Google, and then back.
You could run a shuttle up California Ave, right to the Whisman Middlefield Rd. area.
Posted by Fred, a resident of another community, on Mar 30, 2013 at 10:31 pm
It's hard to understand why some residents in that area are against San Antonio development. The development will dramatically raise the attractiveness of the surrounding neighborhoods. The real estate value will increase handsomely over the coming years.
San Antonio development can be a cornerstone for a new Mountain View. It is a historical event for that area. Nowadays people want to live close to center of activities - shopping, movies, offices, etc. That's why housing in Manhattan, San Fran, and all active metros are in such high demand.
In the next few years I think we will see more developers buying and demolishing the numerous dilapidated apartment buildings over there to turn them into attractive high-density and high-valued residential and commercial properties. It's going to be a welcoming sea change.
Posted by John, a resident of the Monta Loma neighborhood, on Mar 30, 2013 at 10:47 pm
True, but we aren't in SF or NY we are in the suburbs. But the density and demolishing of so called dilapidated apartments, stores and whatever the speculators can get their hands on will continue, so they can build THEMSELVES high value properties. We will be stuck with gridlock and the overcrowding.
Been on Central expressway at rush hour lately? When sitting at Rengstorff and central appreciate the Prometheus destruction/contstruction on the corner. Bought the property and ran down to city hall to get the high density rezoning and permits rubber stamped.
Enjoy the "new" Mountain View, it's called Sunnyview!
Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community, on Mar 31, 2013 at 4:44 am
Read any newspaper or businesses journal, guess what everyday there is something about Mountain View. We might think of ourselves as a suburbs but we are in Silicon Valley, we are like 2nd to NYC for business. We have top companies, start up groups, drugs and bio tech. Heck we even have a group of guys that just made a plane with solar panels.
Housing here is sorely needed to keep these young youthful talented college educated people coming here. Fresh minds with fresh ideas.
Not to mention they are going to need a place to shop, visitors are going to need a place to stay, and of course more offices.
Posted by Dean, a resident of another community, on Mar 31, 2013 at 2:09 pm
Many people speak of "overbuilding" and "traffic" issues. If you look at downtown Redwood city's revitalization as a small example of what can happen with development "overbuilding" to me doesn't seem an issue. As of a couple years ago San Antonio shopping center was very much dead as the highlights are Walmart, Trader Joes, Milk Pail Market, and a 24 hour fitness. Things like smaller restaurants and a movie theater can really bring back the area and make it much nicer and not as old and worn down as it is presently. That being said current places like Milk Pail Market should be given the opportunity to provide itself with parking, weather it be across the street at the site of the current Safeway or somewhere else close by.
I am curious what people mean by "traffic issues" ??? I drive there 4-5 times a week and unless your counting construction there are not traffic issues I can see.
Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community, on Mar 31, 2013 at 7:32 pm
@Dean, I agree with you, traffic can be a issue for some or not for others. While whole hearted support the spirit of this project, would like see further talks and meetings held.
There is a Cal Train Station and some major bus lines and the chance to build on other transit options. Also remember that stores open mostly after 9 AM, late afternoon to early evening will be a problem.
The next comment is one idea, instead of building 2 office buildings build only 1, leave the other site for future use. Why I say this, we could always get Target to build a store in the new center, this will free up that big site on Showers Dr. You know a school and park.
While we are talking 2,000 units, personally I don't think that amount won't get built or should be built, maybe less and more mixed rentals and homeowner units. The housing part should be based on the design and feel of The Crossings. Nicely built, green space, front porches, something that should be a standard for the area.
All worth looking at, I just don't just don't want to see the thing approved on pretty little drawings.
Posted by Nakul Correa, a resident of another community, on Apr 1, 2013 at 6:48 am
Just want to make sure that The Milk Pail is protected with parking for customers in the City's plans - as well as the historic Shockley site. The Milk Pail attracts customers from all over the Peninsula who end up shopping at other nearby businesses. The City should realize that if customers don't visit The Milk Pail, they won't visit the San Antonio Shopping Center period.
Posted by John, a resident of the Monta Loma neighborhood, on Apr 1, 2013 at 4:56 pm
Mountain View's Environmental Planning Commission (EPC) will hold a study session on Phase 2 of Merlone-Geier's redevelopment of the San Antonio shopping center on this Wednesday, April 3, at 7PM in the Council Chambers, Second Floor, City Hall, 500 Castro Street.
Public comment on the proposal is invited. Individual addresses to the commission are typically limited to 2-3 minutes, depending on the number of people wishing to address the commission. Here are some topics you might choose to comment on:
(1) Conformance of the proposal to the General Plan's vision for the San Antonio change area
(2) How the project will affect automotive, bicycle and pedestrian transit through the area
(3) Effect of the project on the quality of life of people living in the immediate area
(4) Whether the changes will make you and others in the region more or less likely to shop there and why
(5) Design of the buildings and open space areas and how they facilitate a sense of community
(6) General attractiveness of the project design , building heights, set backs from the street, and the ability of the street frontage to engage the public
(7) Whether the Shockley building (now the International Halal Market) should be preserved and/or a more visible memorial to the birthplace of Silicon Valley should be constructed on this site, and what would be appropriate.
Of course, you can comment on anything you like, these are just a few ideas to stimulate discussion.
-- Robert Cox, Commissioner, Environmental Planning Commission
Posted by sparty, a resident of the Gemello neighborhood, on Apr 2, 2013 at 3:10 pm
the halal market is gone. it has been for a while. Not because of fences or evil builders as most of you want to believe I'm sure.
I went in there once and their small hand carry baskets were FILTHY. Black stuff. Green stuff. White stuff. Every. Single. One. Some kind of goopy film like mildew.
They have obviously not been cleaned in months, if not years. I went back a couple months later and they were still filthy. The products were covered in dust, the produce was old, and the floor was just either chipped tile or dirty concrete.
I know someone who went in and got a sandwich. They were told it would take "10 minutes." After waiting about 30 minutes, they asked what is going on and were told "well you should have ordered before you started shopping."
They are gone because they didn't bother to make even the minimal effort at customer service and sanitation.
Rose Market has a line all the time it seems like and it looks run down as it gets. But it is not filthy like that halal market was.
Posted by Peter Whelan, a resident of another community, on Apr 2, 2013 at 7:50 pm
I live in Palo Alto, just off San Antonio at Alma, just a short walk from the Merlone Geier project. Over the past 17 months, I've had the opportunity to witness, every phase of the current approved plan.
I'm OK with the project ending at Phase One.
The proposed Phase Two (hotel, movie theater, housing, etc.) doesn't hold much promise for many of the local residents including myself.
Did Merlone Geier do an analysis on prospective hotel or movie customers?
Is this a viable plan?
I've lived in the neighborhood for ten years, and I don't see Phase Two as being a wise or justified next step in solid community building.
Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community, on Apr 3, 2013 at 9:57 am
Tonight the planning commission meets, they are going to talk about the current proposal, the idea of what may go in is exciting. It just needs to fit in, yes i have concerns about the project and ideas. Call me a armchair developer/planner.
The city also needs the tax base, with state, federal government cuts, the city is going to need the money. Hotels are a good income, Theaters not so much, but they attract a youthful crowd with money. The idea is to get them in and spend money.
Yes I understand some of you want ever use the center, others will. MG is only building the space for the tenants, don't know what kind of tenants. Hopefully the center can attract all sorts of retail stores, but even if you won't want to shop there, you don't have too.
Posted by Oh the need for more , a resident of the Monta Loma neighborhood, on Apr 4, 2013 at 9:19 am
"The city also needs the tax base, with state, federal government cuts, the city is going to need the money."
Why does the city need the money, does it not take in enough taxes already? Could it be bloated salaries and pensions that is sucking out the money right under the cities nose? How much more money does the city need to Govern? Why is it that all i hear is that cities need more and more money? What do they do with what they have? Do they not know how to live within their means?
Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community, on Apr 4, 2013 at 11:46 am
One of the reason I mention the need of having a strong base is to maintain the level of services and other public benefits. This has nothing to do with pay or benefits, yes we need to people but mind the bottom line.
My costs, your costs, every person I know has seen their costs rise at the same time businesses have seen their costs rise also.
So what is a matter with creating jobs and a strong tax base.
Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community, on Apr 4, 2013 at 7:02 pm
With all the budget problem, the state and federal deficits that seems to plague the government along with the cutbacks. We should strength our tax base for the city of Mountain View, also for the local school districts.
Instead of relying on a ever shrinking pool of money.
Posted by Misuse of money is more like it, a resident of the Monta Loma neighborhood, on Apr 5, 2013 at 4:47 pm
Why is the pool of money shrinking? I had to tighten my belt because some of my pay benefit perks got cut, why can't the city do the same? Just spend spend spend till there is no pool left. I'm sure the city will devise more ways to increase their pool, by charging people to use the roads or whatever, to replenish it. All the corruption one hears on the news about how money is mismanaged is mind boggling.
Posted by John, a resident of the Monta Loma neighborhood, on Apr 7, 2013 at 11:38 am
Getting these massive, dense, ugly out of scale developments approved in Mountain View is a walk in the park for the Merlone Geier staff.
Sorry, but city employees like the idea of more taxes to fund their paychecks, so these things are rubber stamped. Not saying anything against our fine public employees, but its natural to look out for one's livelihood.
Council is outclassed when it comes to the developer demanding zoning changes and accommodations to maximize profit and who cares about traffic, congestion and safety? We only had two who stood up and voiced concern.
If we have to suffer the consequences of this out scale development why not make it world class rather than something that looks like the one in Daley City?
It would cut into the already out sized profit for the developer; but there is nothing whatsoever commendable in the proposed design. Put up a building which expresses the best of the best of Silicon Valley and for the people who live here, and at the same time make society better. It means something more than money and profits to have a store like the Milk Pail and other small businesses in the area.
That means a comprehensive plan for the area. For example, how about pedestrian walkways above and away from the din and dangers of traffic? Imagine walking across EC above the traffic?
Phase One is a trashy looking cookie cutter, good luck to the people who rent and shop there. It looks cheap, and we don't know if we're in
Sunnyvale or anywhere. Traffic is already impacted and the fences have just been taken down!
Posted by mr_b, a resident of the Monta Loma neighborhood, on Apr 7, 2013 at 10:48 pm
After the gentrification ... er... 'strengthened tax base' of the San Antonio corridor is settled and well underway, Latham will be next.
Gotta get rid of those low income people providing labor for our value-retail stores, markets, restaurants, and other service jobs. We don't need to provide truly affordable housing for them anymore. We can just make them drive in from EPA or Gilroy away, right? Yay increased rich-poor divide! Yay rich 'liberal' hypocrites and exclusive conservatives!
Seriously, best idea so far is from Garrett: get Target to move into the Phase 2 development and build a school on that old Gemco property. We all know it will be needed and the far stronger tax base of Los Altos won't deign to build it.
Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community, on Apr 8, 2013 at 6:31 am
The buildings in Phase One could have been designed better? Yes. Phase One also looks better then the apartments on Latham St. or California St. The people moving into these units want to have that coffee shop and Safeway nearby.
Remember the Americana Apartments, would prefer to live here if I was given the choice. Park Place and City Center Apartments another example. I know not everyone wants to live in this type of development.
Rents, housing costs have risen, we only have so much space, 12 square miles of Mountain View, surrounding by other cities dealing the same issues.
Affordable housing, schools, traffic, pensions, not enough open space and development. Also a shrinking pool of money.
Posted by Parent, a resident of the The Crossings neighborhood, on Apr 8, 2013 at 1:29 pm
Matt Raschke is completely delusional if he believes that NEC students could "easily" bike and walk to the Egan campus in Los Altos. The distance is not trivial and would require these students to navigate crossing and walking along San Antonio and El Camino. Not safe!
Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community, on Apr 8, 2013 at 2:03 pm
City owns land in the S.A. Circle which is near Monore, Miller, Crossings and the Old Mill condo complex. Have kids walk to the waiting buses and get to school safety. This shuttle bus will work until the younger ones are in a NEC school.
Time to think pedestrian bridge over ECR so the middle and high schools students can cross safety but also will work for adults too.
Posted by John, a resident of the Monta Loma neighborhood, on Apr 9, 2013 at 2:42 pm
Give up on making us give up our cars.
VTA is a slow poke.
San Antonio Station has a train stop every hour.
Anyone knows we are not going to take a bus to go grocery shopping when we have our SUV's and pickups to bring home the groceries.
This "transit oriented" development is nothing but a smoke screen for the developer to placate the naive.
The development does after all include a 3000 car parking garage.
The developer came out with a plan a year ago, knew that if they "scaled" it down a year later it would be meant with less resisitance. They are crafty and ambitious and are using Mountain View like a pawn.
Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community, on Apr 9, 2013 at 4:16 pm
Tell people that they can't own a car or even drive is not my plan, I think building a network of transit is best suited to choices, right now we need a 3000 car garage, we still have a car centered world.
We must improve our transit network to where some can chose to ride or drive, the idea is choice. Also to build uses along the line, not just people to head off to work and head back. People will still need cars for uses that are deemed where transit won't work.
Planning for public transit will take time and money, yes the project is built on the promise of less drivers, but tell you the truth this has been talked about for 20 years maybe even more.
VTA to San Antonio Road, BART around the bay. Free or reduced transit passes for workers, improved times and operations.
Posted by John, a resident of the Monta Loma neighborhood, on Apr 9, 2013 at 10:26 pm
we won't need a 3000 car garage if this massive out of scale development doesn't get built.
To get an idea of the scale, check out the Mountain Bay Plaza high rise on Castro, it comes in at 169 feet.
Now think of 3 of these high rises on the corner of San Antonio/Cal to accommodate the planned GLA: 500,000 square feet of office space, 165 room hotel, 8 screen cinema complex and 106,000 square feet of retail.
Is this development more important than "quality of life for existing residents, more important than safety, open space, daylight, property values, revenue, traffic jams, environmental degradation from the traffic jams, and keeping retail local".
Driving off local businesses so a national chain can have signage?