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July 02, 2004

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Publication Date: Friday, July 02, 2004

Council considers garage designs Council considers garage designs (July 02, 2004)

Agreement is reached on use of solar panels

By Jon Wiener

Architects working on designing the parking garage-cum-retail space for the corner of California and Bryant Streets presented Mountain View City Council members Tuesday with three different options for the fašade of the structure. But council members split on which to pursue.

The various renderings of the structure had largely cosmetic differences, centering on the style of the entryway and the size of openings in the sides of the building.

At a study session in April, the council set specific guidelines for the use of the space, including a minimum of 405 parking spaces and 14,000 square feet of retail space on the first floor. The five-level garage will cost approximately $36,000 per parking space.

After 45 minutes of discussion, it was still unclear which of the three design options was most popular with the council members. One, featuring a recessed entryway and large openings filled with metalwork, costs an extra $150,000. Another had a tower-like cylinder rising above the roof of the building over the entryway. The last featured smaller openings to mirror the windows of other nearby buildings.

Vice Mayor Matt Neely, and Council members Mike Kasperzak and Nick Galiotto supported one concept. Mayor Matt Pear, and Council members Mary Lou Zoglin and Greg Perry backed another.

"What time is it in Afghanistan?" asked Neely, suggesting a tie-breaking call to Council member Rosemary Stasek, who is on a humanitarian trip in the Middle East.

Perry preferred the third option but said he would support the first if it could be safely built without the metalwork, a major concern for several council members. He also asked city staff to try to increase the amount of bicycle parking in the area.

The council also endorsed the concept of using solar panels on the roof of the building. Rather than pay for a $10,000 cost-benefit analysis, council members asked the city staff to do more research on photovoltaic systems on similar structures. City staff estimated it would cost an additional $100,000 to put in the wiring necessary for a future solar panel system, and $400,000 to install it immediately.

"I imagine the results of the cost-benefit analysis are going to say, 'it depends how long you think it's going to be there,'" said Neely, expressing his support to at least put the wiring in.

"If the payback (period) is remotely reasonable, I'm with you," added Perry. "Anything less than 40 years and I'm in."

E-mail Jon Wiener at [email protected]

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