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Council OKs 164 apartments for Rose Market site

Original post made on Dec 12, 2014

A real estate developer was praised by a wide swath of the community at the City Council meeting on Tuesday evening for going to great lengths to preserve several small businesses in a redevelopment project at the corner of Castro Street and El Camino Real.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, December 12, 2014, 4:33 PM

Comments (36)

Posted by Justin
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Dec 12, 2014 at 10:49 pm

"The project includes a plaza that Deibel said would serve as a public gathering space, underground parking that exceeds the city's parking requirements, solar water heating, bike storage, electric vehicle charging stations, the Zip Car car-sharing service, and transit passes for retail employees."

No doubt that this adds significant costs for the developer. Not that this would be in any way affordable otherwise, but wringing out more concessions and including costly underground parking ($30,000+ per space) will lead to prices higher than any current housing in downtown. It would be nice if future residents who wish to do so could opt out of parking and the spot could be opened for public or local employer use.

Posted by Profit motive
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 13, 2014 at 5:33 pm

@Justin - Rental prices are determined by what the market will bear, not by construction costs. You might argue that developers won't build if construction costs are too high, but developers seem to see a gold mine here, as they are building like crazy.

The best profits are to be found in upscale apartments. Amenities like bike storage, electric vehicle charging stations, Zip Car spaces, and transit passes for retail employees make the place seem upscale, and look "green" in the eyes of the City. They don't cost that much.

As for extra parking spaces, I'd be interested in knowing exactly how many were provided. The city's requirement, one parking space per bedroom, is pathetically minimal.

Greystar at least made an effort to not displace some of the businesses. That's not nothing.

Too bad about Frankie, Johnny and Luigi's, though. Selling off the city parking that they had been using to the developer was a terrible decision. It benefited no one but the developer. Unfortunately, that sort of sellout is typical of the present MV city government.

Posted by Local Neighbor
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 13, 2014 at 7:29 pm

This will be a great project that will greatly improve the area. Proud of the 4 council members that voted in the best interests of the city.

Posted by Happy in OMV
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 14, 2014 at 7:24 pm

Mr. Deibel, Thank you for respecting the community in a way that truly shames what is happening down on San Antonio. Looking forward to welcoming 164 new neighbors! (And, while 4-3 is a close vote, if this had been delayed until the Council turns over, it probably would have been nearly unanimous)

Posted by Not A. Improvement
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Dec 14, 2014 at 8:01 pm

@Happy in OMV:

164 apts., many of which are 2 bedrooms and some are 3 bedrooms (which only get the same number of parking spaces as 2 bedrooms apts., so good luck to those families where both spouses and their teens all drive) means welcoming 164 x 3 or 4 approximately. So that will = 656 or so new neighbors, with well over an additional hundred residents where Harv's Car Wash is now. So also welcome to no place to park nearby and even more gridlocked traffic.

And say good by to all but 4.5 of the 15 businesses that used to exist where these two construction projects are cramming in for only those who can afford high rents/prices. Even the "affordable" condos being built in place of Harv's will go for over $1M.

Posted by Kurt
a resident of North Whisman
on Dec 15, 2014 at 1:39 pm

The article says that Curtis said something but it didn't previously describe who this Curtis person is.

Posted by letsgetreal
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Dec 15, 2014 at 2:37 pm

It is impossible to get down El Camino going south at most any time... ugh, can't wait for even MORE cars. It's beginning to feel a lot like LA.

Posted by Rita
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Dec 15, 2014 at 2:47 pm

FLJ was a little hole in the wall (start up) when I got my first takeout in 1968. It has expanded and built a strong customer following. We have gone ever since. I would hate to see it leave because of parking.

Posted by Disgusted
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Dec 15, 2014 at 2:48 pm

The council just HAD to do it again. Drives me crazy. Seven people that decide the fate of our town. (Thanks to the three of you who voted against it.) They should make the appt entrance/exit on el camino so that it doesn't impact the school kids. Who thought up reducing two lanes of traffic to one lane and adding 400+ cars? You should be adding a freeway in that case.

Posted by William Hitchens
a resident of Waverly Park
on Dec 15, 2014 at 3:40 pm

What else is new? The housing madness continues on its merrily destructive pace for whole neighborhoods. Mountain View has gone insane.

Posted by developer-awareness
a resident of another community
on Dec 15, 2014 at 3:49 pm

Mountain View with its in-your face apartment & office buildings
everywhere with no setbacks... and the city council is going gaga
over developers. All the MV citizens are watching all this and not
taking charge of MV's future.

For example, San Antonio Phase-2 when finished will be the biggest
traffic nightmare ever! Why don't the developers understand?

Developers do the following to maximize profits without any concern for quality of life and livability of the surroundings...

(1) Build with no setbacks.
(2) Build as many stories as possible.
(3) Remove heritage trees and just pay pittance in fines -- even
$5 million won't be enough per heritage tree. But the city is
happy to take a few thousand dollars as fines.
(4) Build high density with no concern for the traffic mess and
destroy livability of a town.
(5) Build cheap with no architectural aesthetics.
(6) Charge high rents because the young recent grads working
for world-class companies are able to afford it.
(7) Don't show any interest in the community and not worry
about schools for the kids living in the 1000 apartment
complexes. Pretend that since the residents today are
20-somethings, there will never be small children ever
in those apartments.
(8) Pave concrete everywhere and not provide ADEQUATE green
space for the 1000's of apartments and offices they build.
(9) Focus only on the returns for the developers themselves
and their far-removed investors.
(10)Add inexpensive glitz and glamour to the development and
pretend that the buildings are upscale.
(11)Present studies that show no traffic increase when the traffic
is already a disaster for everyone to see and experience today.
(12)Lot of people are suffering the traffic congestion
and have to endure the massive out-of-proportion
developments -- however, they are busy raising families,
busy with their careers, etc. Who has the time to attend
meetings on weekday evenings to speak up?
(13) The unsuspecting citizens expect the city council to do
the right thing -- pay attention to traffic mess, etc. when
approving projects. But this city council is gaga over
developers showering them with praises. Do these council
members drive on San Antonio Road or El Camino Real?
(14) Developers have armies of support staff
to go play the necessary roles in the weekday evening
city council meetings and get whatever they want. Quality
of life or the livability of a city be damned.

But are there any checks and balances to ensure the livability of
a town? Yes -- but it is only as good as the citizens that are
willing to elect the right officials for city administration.

Posted by Jeremy Hoffman
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Dec 15, 2014 at 4:04 pm

I'm glad to see these apartments going up. It's still a drop in the bucket to address the unmet demand caused by our terrible jobs-housing imbalance, but every bit helps! That's a great location that will support walking to retail (less driving and parking required by businesses), and will be great for the vitality of the neighborhood. I would have supported five or six stories, but four is pretty good. Personally, I think we should be happy for our neighbors who will be able to stay in the city or move into the city.

Posted by NeHi
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Dec 15, 2014 at 5:36 pm

Hmmm, more Lego architecture, more concrete canyon. Hope El Camino remains driveable; as businesses leave we have to drive to Sunnyvale more often.

By my count, there were more "better" restaurants between Grant and Fish Market Palo Alto 50 years ago than now and it is not getting better. Yes, Castro has helped keep things near even.

Posted by Roman
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 15, 2014 at 6:41 pm

Very good. You nailed it.
The developers don't live here. They live in San Francisco, Hillsborough, Blackhawk and Atherton. So they could care less about Mountain View except how much money they can squeeze our of it. Then leave to rape another area. We are left with cramped, shoddy housing, acres on concrete and ridiculous traffic. Forget LA we are starting to resemble Tokyo or Hong Kong with people climbing all over each other just to exist. Our once tranquil small town has become a jungle.
Thank you Mountain View city council.

Posted by John
a resident of Monta Loma
on Dec 15, 2014 at 7:18 pm

Couldn't agree more. Look for more affordable apartments being torn down and replaced with "new luxury" apartments with the blessing of a compliant city council. We don't see a lot of concrete being pored in Atherton!

Posted by Really
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Dec 15, 2014 at 10:50 pm

Many of the landowners and developers live in Mountian View and nearby cities. Why not blame local residents for all of the development.

Posted by Justin
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Dec 16, 2014 at 2:54 am

I'd like to make clear that I support this, but we need to look at real solutions to parking and congestion. I don't know how it can be implemented, but the whole Bay Area needs a real-time congestion charge, possibly to replace property and/or sales taxes. Parking needs to be priced too. Sure, most households will have cars, but if they either have to pay $30,000 for a second spot or are able to sell their second spot for $30,000, they may be more inclined to sell the second and third cars.

Posted by Robert
a resident of another community
on Dec 16, 2014 at 8:12 am

>Why not blame local residents for all of the development

Because its easier to blame others, rather than acknowledge that you're just as resposible as anyone else for driving up demand. I mean, traffic is caused by all those other drivers on the road, nevermind that in the big picture you're one of them.

Posted by OMV Resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 16, 2014 at 10:59 am

Roman states above:
"Forget LA we are starting to resemble Tokyo or Hong Kong with people climbing all over each other just to exist. Our once tranquil small town has become a jungle."

Sure, Roman, Mountain View is starting to resemble Tokyo and Hong Kong... if you took a bulldozer to Tokyo and Hong Kong and replaced it with mostly single-family homes and some scattered 3 to 5-story apartments and office buildings.


Posted by OMV Resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 16, 2014 at 11:32 am

I was happy to hear that the Council approved this development. It will dramatically improve this corner in terms of appearance and function. I look forward to the wider sidewalks, new landscaping and trees, the new plaza and outdoor seating, and the new housing opportunities that this development will bring. The intersection of Castro and El Camino is one of the most important gateways in our entire city, and I'm pleased to know that we will have an attractive new development there rather than a vacant lot with weeds, temporary fencing, and the occasional rug on display.

Posted by Susan
a resident of Castro City
on Dec 16, 2014 at 11:36 am

I ask again...What is the definition of "Affordable Housing"?
There is none being developed in Mountain View that I can see.
I am a retired executive and can't afford to live in any of the new places.

Posted by Disaster
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 16, 2014 at 2:15 pm

Great idea! Let's jam hundreds of people on the busy corner of el camino and castro! Oh, and hand over a public parking lot so it damages nearby businesses that are not part of this project.

Well done landowner! Keep that lot an eyesore until the council caves.

Posted by Maher
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Dec 16, 2014 at 2:21 pm

As a loyal and loving customer of Rose's market I am delighted they are included in the final design. This business is unigue in MV as far as I know. Persian food items a wonderful carryout deli and bbq service. Nothing like it anywhere else around here. We need more ethnic businesses like it to add character to our city.

Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Dec 16, 2014 at 3:24 pm

Lots of ugly buildings have been built in the last 60 years that replaced farm land for other structures. This corner is already build on which menas the 164 unit mixed use project is replacing other structures which means it is not taking away open space or farmland.

I am glad the developer going to help and keep places like Rose Market and those other small businesses. I think have a really good market or other small businesses will entice people to live near small businesses. El Camino Real could use more small business other then gas stations, fast food, vacant buildings and empty lots.

Posted by Profit motive
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 16, 2014 at 4:55 pm

@Garrett - Redevelopment has a significant downside when it eliminates affordable older rental space (retail or residential). That's what has happened here, at 801 El Camino. You won't see Mom and Pop businesses on ECR with new-construction rental prices.

Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Dec 16, 2014 at 7:18 pm

Just another cycle of redevlopement on this corner that has seen lots of changes in the last 60 years. We are going to have 164 units of high end rentals because housing in this area is so tight that rents and ownership real estate reflects the market.

You are going to have a 164 apartment dweller who are going to pay top dollar to get home and shop at Rose Market and eat pizza at FJL's. People will spend top dollar so they don't have to sit in insane traffic on 101 or 237.

Posted by Profit motive
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 16, 2014 at 8:02 pm

There may some truth in that prediction. But the Rose Market is not about "top dollar". FJ&L's isn't either.

I'm not happy with the idea of a community where everything - rents, groceries, and restaurant meals - goes for "top dollar". Again, it's good that Greystar made an effort not to kill all the businesses. Hopefully they will be able to afford to stay open in the longer term.

Posted by hmax
a resident of another community
on Dec 17, 2014 at 3:37 pm

Once again...nothing said about know... the stuff we need to be able to live...multiply each unit approved by the morons of the city council who are in favor of this uber-growth by a minimum of 75 gallons per day per unit...yes, droughts are traditionally typical for California but the huge increase in population has put a tremendous strain on water resources...maybe they'll find some on Mars and they can all move there...

Posted by Silly Comment
a resident of Bailey Park
on Dec 17, 2014 at 10:08 pm


A silly comment. The project would not be allowed water permits unless there was enough water. Has anyone you know in Mtn View gone short of water? Has anyone on Mtn View died because of lack of water.

Posted by Worried
a resident of another community
on Dec 18, 2014 at 5:14 am

hmax is on to something. But, forget water..what about strawberries? What is the plan there? I'm very worried that the population of strawberries in Mountain View is on the decline. Perhaps we should halt all development until we get that sorted out.

Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Dec 18, 2014 at 9:02 am

Mock those concerned about the environmental impact of this development at your peril. Concerns over water, noise, parking, etc. are not unfounded, and in fact the Environmental Impact Report for this project states that the "environmentally superior option" would have been the "reduced development option" with 127 total units and not the 164 units that the city rubber stamped.

Posted by Robert
a resident of another community
on Dec 18, 2014 at 1:02 pm

I'm curious MVResident67, have you looked at the environmental impact documents for the development you live in?

Posted by Worried
a resident of another community
on Dec 18, 2014 at 1:35 pm

Yes, please mvresident67... Do enlighten us on how the environmental impact statements for this development highlighted WATER as a key issue.

Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Dec 20, 2014 at 9:24 am

Here's the link to the Mountain View city government page which contains a link to the Environmental Impact Report for 801 El Camino Real. The Draft EIR is the meaty document, 243 pages. There is also a link to the Traffic Report which is cited in the draft EIR. Some eye popping claims in the EIR. Truly.

Web Link

Posted by HowAboutSchools
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 21, 2014 at 9:13 am

I wonder where will all the kids go to school? Do we need new schools to house all the new developments?

I also wonder if the city councils are getting kickbacks for approving these development when so many residents are against it.

Posted by Kathy M.
a resident of another community
on Jul 2, 2015 at 6:58 pm

I've lived in Mountain View most of my life. I even went to the old Mountain View High School where a multi-use development and Eagle Park sit now so I remember
Castro Street before Redevelopment. The upside is that Mountain View is a vibrant, fiscally healthy city with tons of ethnic diversity, which I miss after I recently moved to San Martin. I made a special trip to pick up koubideh at Rose Market yesterday, hence a little internet search and this post.

The unfortunate downside to the development is the congestion that will issue with so many units and business patrons competing for parking. The upside is that Mountain View would have a more "walkable" neighborhood. When I moved to San Martin, I breathed a sigh of relief that the parking down here is so much easier for my pickup truck. I will not be happy about parking when I visit Rose Market. Let's face it, Mountain View has been crying about housing vs. business ratio for years, so the housing is sorely needed. Let's only hope that someone will wake up and figure out a workable public transit system to accommodate the growth. This doesn't just apply to downtown Mountain View... the entire Silicon Valley is undergoing scary growth!!!!! Look at what's happening in San Jose at Cottle and 85....

I hope Rose Market will consider having a restaurant... they are that good. But I kinda like the "secret window" in the back of the parking lot.

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