Last week the City Council gave city staff the green light to begin negotiating a city property swap that will allow a developer to build yet another office building downtown, this time at the corner of Dana and Bryant streets where Dunn Automotive now sits.
In the proposed swap, the city would give up a small 8,400-square-foot city-owned Bryant Street parking lot that sits just north of Dunn's Automotive in exchange for a slightly larger 11,250-square-foot parking lot behind Dunn's, lengthening a city-owned parking lot on Franklin Street that city officials have hoped to redevelop for years. It is currently zoned for retail or housing at up to 30 units per acre.
The property swap proposal comes from owner Charles Dunn of Old Mountain View Properties LLC. He no longer owns the auto shop business, which may be forced to move.
City zoning for the Dunn Automotive property allows residential, office and retail development. While no plans have been submitted, Dunn wrote in a letter to the city in November that "we have recently entered into a long term ground lease with the Smith Family (a developer) with the objective of developing a Class A office building on the premises."
Mountain View economic development director Ellis Berns added that "we'd like to look at the possibility of including retail on the ground floor" of the new building.
"It increases a potential development opportunity," Berns said of the proposed swap. "Right now the ownership creates awkward parcels. This would square off the properties."