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Five-story apartment project gets icy reception

Original post made on Mar 28, 2017

A massive 240-unit apartment project planned for the Shoreline West neighborhood has become the latest flash point in Mountain View's challenging path to dramatically grow its housing stock.


Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, March 28, 2017, 10:40 AM

Comments (81)

Posted by Hippie Chic
a resident of North Bayshore
on Mar 28, 2017 at 11:46 am

Prometheus is a horrible developer and owner of overpriced apartments. Renters beware.


Posted by Ed
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 28, 2017 at 11:47 am

An apartment building of this size is desperately needed--and many more like it, if we're going to make a dent in the housing crisis. But they belong on El Camino, near Caltrain stations, and in that new neighborhood we've been promised in North Bayshore. Not smack in the middle of an old neighborhood. Scale this one down to 3 stories.


Posted by Matt
a resident of Monta Loma
on Mar 28, 2017 at 2:02 pm

We need affordable housing in Mountain View and Measure V rent control to come through.

What we don't need is Prometheus, which will continue to jack up rent prices in the area. Please take a look at Prometheus' website and do a search for Mountain View. You can't get a small studio for under $2,400. Most 1-bedrooms are well over $3,000. And when your lease is up, your rent will skyrocket. If you want to rent month-to-month, the offered price will be even higher.

Mountain View city council, what the heck are you doing? Well over 50% of your residents are renters (source: Web Link) Please help us and create affordable ways to live here.


Posted by Robyn
a resident of another community
on Mar 28, 2017 at 2:19 pm

Enough is enough! Huge buildings ruin residential neighborhoods. Privacy is negatively impacted and the sun sets an hour earlier if you are to the east of the monolith.
These tenements belong along train tracks or other already ruined residential or commercial areas. What about traffic congestion and limited natural resources?


Posted by Martin Omander
a resident of Rex Manor
on Mar 28, 2017 at 2:21 pm

Martin Omander is a registered user.

In general, I think it makes sense to only allow one story taller buildings than neighboring lots. So you could only build a five-story structure only if the adjacent lots have at least four-story buildings. I don't think that's the case here, but correct me if I'm mistaken.

We do need *a lot* of new housing to get real estate prices back to a sane level. With limited land the only way to go is up. But these taller buildings should be near downtown, San Antonio Shopping Center, in North Bayshore or on El Camino.


Posted by Rodget
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Mar 28, 2017 at 2:28 pm

The city has gone mad with this high density insane development
We need to find s way to end this fast!


Posted by Anke
a resident of North Whisman
on Mar 28, 2017 at 2:35 pm

Yet again we see that we're all fighting a losing battle against the powerful parties who benefit from increasing the already immense imbalances in our city and across the Bay Area. As long as the giant tech companies are allowed to continue their unfettered growth, we will continue to see our quality of life be taken from us.


Posted by Ken M
a resident of Rex Manor
on Mar 28, 2017 at 2:40 pm

Stupid, stupid, stupid place to put such a development. Put it on El Camino or some other place that doesn't destroy this neighborhood. If this thing is OK'd and built I'll vote against every council person who voted for it !!! Stupid, stupid, stupid idea as set forth.


Posted by Sowelllike
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 28, 2017 at 3:05 pm

The hand wringing by council every week, for every decision, is getting old, tired and laughable.

Council will approve any new development with 1-1.5 parking spaces per residence. Parking is a nightmare on city streets near downtown that do not post 2 hour parking restrictions.

Council placates the residents with a vision of moving overhead pods, Ubers and uniformed valet attendants. Votes from the poor and donations from the rich is what keeps our council (and every politician) in office.

Quietly, council approves 3-4 restriction free street permits per residence for their friends and family in Old Mountain View (RPP) that have requested/demanded an end to strangers parking in front of their homes on city streets.

Now that's politics. Every new residential development is one less rent control opportunity and street parking will evaporate for visitors and those that live in new developments outside Old Mountain View that wish to support local business.

It's funny that the folks that can walk downtown will soon take up all the parking spaces left. Sigh.....


Posted by Marie
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 28, 2017 at 3:17 pm

How about some thought going into building schools! Where are the children going to be going to school???
It is bad enough now that children are on weight lists to attend the schools in their neighbor and have to be shifted off to locations which are sometimes impossible for parents to get them to.


Posted by Greg David
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 28, 2017 at 3:22 pm

Greg David is a registered user.

@Robyn

You do realize that this proposed project is on an old commercial toxic waste site AND next to the railroad tracks? It also happens to be very close to many single story, single family homes.



As for housing, if Mountain View really wants it to be more affordable, they need to kick their addiction to job growth. If you keep letting them build more offices, the housing will increase in price. As much as many Californians seem to want it, you can't dictate a free market economy.


Posted by Concerned MV resident
a resident of North Bayshore
on Mar 28, 2017 at 3:23 pm

Having grown up & lived most of my life in Mountain View, the name use to mean exactly what it is - mountain view. Unfortunately, that is no longer the case - just drive down San Antonio Road towards El Camino from Central. It's stifling to see walls of buildings with more to come, not to mention what lays ahead with more traffic... Mountain View is losing its appeal due to congestion.


Posted by M. Roberts
a resident of Shoreline West
on Mar 28, 2017 at 3:38 pm

Google has leased most of Moffett Field and is preparing for extensive development. They have also improved the golf course and hired a management company to oversee it.

Eliminate the golf course and build high-rise, high-density housing there. It appears to be well over 150 acres, right on the Bay, in an industrial technology zone. There is no other housing of any type anywhere near it.

Further, a spur line of the VTA light rail system could be built directly to it along Enterprise Way.

If Google needs more high-density housing, let them pay for it and build it on property they already control. The loss of a golf course pales in comparison to the permanent degradation of established neighborhoods.


Posted by Alex M.
a resident of Willowgate
on Mar 28, 2017 at 4:36 pm

NO MORE RENTAL HOUSING PROJECTS. PERIOD.

Let's elect a city council who values HOME OWNERSHP above providing rental income to a handful of wealthy developers.

Renters are temporary, itinerant by nature, and have no sense of ownership. You get a real community when the residents have invested in it.

If a developer wants to propose a multi-story multi-unit residential project, let them propose a condominium. Those can be made affordable too. NO MORE RENTAL UNITS.


Posted by Alex M.
a resident of Willowgate
on Mar 28, 2017 at 4:43 pm

"Councilwoman Pat Showalter urged Prometheus to take the extra steps for the new apartments to be converted to for-sale condominiums, so that more people could someday own homes."

A breath of fresh air -- thanks Pat Showalter. But it doesn't go far enough. This should be a REQUIREMENT for all new multi-unit residential projects.


Posted by Maher
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Mar 28, 2017 at 4:45 pm

This growth nightmare is rooted I believe in the dreadful fact that Mountain View is now a "company town" vav Google. The social/political/economic ties and town dependency on Google hold dire consequences for our future.

Can anyone name a company town that didn't ultimately fail because I can't.

I think the city council and the entire city government needs to take a deep breath and a step back and deal with what has happened.

It's my BIGGEST HOPE.


Posted by Whismonian
a resident of Whisman Station
on Mar 28, 2017 at 4:53 pm

I agree we need more affordable housing. Wish Google would go to Vegas!
What is the max allowable now that landlords can charge when they raise the rent? Ours does each year and charged us $200 more. Is it 4%?


Posted by Anke
a resident of North Whisman
on Mar 28, 2017 at 5:06 pm

@Maher - exactly! There is much talk about how wonderful the tech-fueled "booming economy" and the resulting job creation. And under normal circumstances that might be true. But those new jobs don't go to locals. They go to people from all over the country and the world that the tech giants bring in to fill them. All those newcomers drive the demand for housing into the stratosphere and with it the cost. The tech companies and property management companies enjoy their sky-high profits while the rest of us get crushed by the loss of quality of life. Meanwhile, the regions all those newcomers desert suffer from "brain drain" and population loss. In short we have massive imbalances that hurt everyone except the people who cause them.


Posted by BOHICA
a resident of Castro City
on Mar 28, 2017 at 5:06 pm

BOHICA


Posted by OMG!
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Mar 28, 2017 at 5:16 pm

City Council: JUST SAY NO!!!


Posted by Keep dreaming
a resident of North Whisman
on Mar 28, 2017 at 5:37 pm

Monster development does not provide affordable housing. This will do nothing except create more congestion and more overpriced housing. MV is better off without this nonsense.


Posted by B. Minkin
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Mar 28, 2017 at 6:05 pm

History shows that if the proposal comes from Prometheus, the council will momentarily resist while adding token complaints. Then, it will get approved.

The picture is a little too clever, showing a two-story house next to the complex, when nearly every house nearby is a single story. Those Prometheus guys know what they are doing.


Posted by MyOpinion
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 28, 2017 at 6:53 pm

You don't see this happening in Los Altos, Los Gatos etc....it's not permitted.


Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of North Whisman
on Mar 28, 2017 at 8:35 pm

the_punnisher is a registered user.

Sigh. look at the city of Englewood, CO for an example of PLANNED GROWTH for a city. For resident MOUNTAIN VIEWS, no more than 4 story housing can be developed near the city center. RTD light rail and RTD buses are within an easy walking distance. When the Historic Cinderella City Mall was closed down, the City offices moved in. Note: ALL THIS EXPECTED GROWTH WAS PLANNED DECADES AGO!
Our plan of having BART, 40 years ago, WOULD HAVE EASED THE TRANSPORTATION AND HOUSING ISSUES YOU HAVE NOW. NONE OF THIS CALTRAIN CRAP but true, fast travel for residents living South of San Jose. No empty car VTA trains if BART had been properly built THAT I PAID FOR!
I recommend 4 story height limits and no more development by Prometheus. They have shown that they " don't follow the rules " of developement. They push the MV limits every time they build in MV. I regret the Dog City building every time I see it. No more outsized buildings!


Posted by Diablo
a resident of Monta Loma
on Mar 28, 2017 at 8:42 pm

That's not a bad location for a development of this size. Close (easy cycling, even walling distance) to North Bayshore, Shoreline Blvd and 101. Walking distance to downtown.

I was clearly a NIMBY on the Mayfield housing development, but in retrospect, it was a mistake. Even though that was close to squat, single-story Eichlers, it still made sense. I think this could work also.


Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Shoreline West
on Mar 28, 2017 at 9:03 pm

Was there any notice of this meeting sent to residents? I sure didn't get one and I live one freeeekin block from the proposed development. This is the first I have heard of it. (Maybe I am out of touch?) Just great, building on the Jasco site (is that still a superfund site? I don't recall it being cleaned up in the 24 years I have been here.) And E-Z access to transportation, just jump the fence! I agree that more housing needs to be built, but this project is so oversized for this neighborhood, it is just ridiculous.


Posted by MC
a resident of Rex Manor
on Mar 28, 2017 at 10:11 pm

While I agree with most of the comments above, I think it is past time for the City Council to act like adults who are representing the best interests of the residents of Mountain View rather than caving in to every desire of huge corporations who want what they want when they want it! For some time now, watching decision after decision ruin the gem that was Mountain View, I have felt I was watching a bratty five year old order the parents around. Enough is enough -- there will never be enough housing for the Bay Area when every city is allowing all these corporations to BUILD, BUILD, BUILD! It is past time for our City Council to stand up to these corporations by speaking up for the residents who value Mountain View as it is and do not want to see it further damaged by overbuilding.

We are renters who moved here 16 years ago, we have raised our family here and we have participated in many wonderful civic events. If we had wanted to live in a concrete jungle with huge housing structures built to the sidewalks we would have chosen to live in New York or Paris or some other overpopulated, concrete city.


Posted by DDD
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 29, 2017 at 12:10 am

Wow, so much F-you I got mine attitude, perfect for Trump's America. When people are being priced out of their homes, every bit of additional housing helps. And if you prefer people be priced out of their homes because aesthetics, that just makes you selfish. This location is within walking distance of transit/downtown, so perfect for dense housing. If dense housing cannot be build here, dense housing cannot be built anywhere.


Posted by YIMBY
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 29, 2017 at 2:13 am

"NO MORE RENTAL HOUSING PROJECTS. PERIOD."

You're exactly why Prop 13 needs to go. Entitled NIMBY homeowners who want to freeze all development in their cities and watch their property values skyrocket are why rents are so insane in the Bay Area.


Posted by The Deceptions Abound
a resident of another community
on Mar 29, 2017 at 3:53 am

How is it providing affordable housing to count existing units that are older and so already naturally rent for less? This is not helping the situation. It cements in a lack of density at the "affordable" location.

Why should this developer be permitted to exceed the zoning of this location at all? Four stories would still be a large building. There roof top patio is a real negative too. This is effectively a 6 story building if there are going to be parties up on the roof.

This is not a downtown location. This is 8/10 of a mile from the train station. In the other direction, that distance puts you at South Whisman Road. Is that an area served by mass transit? This is poorly located for a transit-oriented development like this. There are not enough parking spaces for the residents. Stacking them up two cars one under and one above the other and then only providing slightly more spots than there are units. The streets are going to be packed with overflow.

Wrong location for a project of this size. 80 units per acre is the city's highest density, and it is specified that this should be on El Camino Real, San Antonio Road, or close to Downtown, not 4000 feet away. Anything over 2500 feet is too far to expect to find people walking. That's just the way people are. You aren't going to change that with a crazy plan like this.


Posted by IVG
a resident of Rex Manor
on Mar 29, 2017 at 7:02 am

This is clearly catnip to our preservationist friends, and I don't have time to pick a fight with all of you at once. Suffice it to say that I'm a tenant and I voted for more projects like this. I'd like to see another half-dozen around town. Supply and demand, folks.

That said, the location of this project isn't great. I'd like to know how the 240 Googlers are going to get to the Googleplex from there without driving. And the loss of the 19 existing units is unfortunate.


Posted by Prop13isyourfriend
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 29, 2017 at 8:23 am

Landlords of multifamily housing units, especially the older units that are maintained by the original owners, also enjoy the benefits of reasonable property tax rates just as single family homeowners that have also lived in their homes for a long period of time.

Should all properties go to market value (I have no dog in this hunt), those increased costs will be passed on to the current renters or the old property could be sold to a developer that will have current market value property taxes passed on to their new tenants. That's just one reason new renters pay $4000.00 per month. But hey, they get a new building with lots of amenities.

Prop 13 is an unseen advantage for renters in multi family housing that hasn't changed hands in years. Renters and homeowners suffer together when the state or local taxing authority decides to take more money. When taxes are raised everyone feels the pain. Changes to Prop 13 will only benefit the state. Rents will rise and the cost of home ownership will increase.


Posted by Prop13isnotyourfriend
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Mar 29, 2017 at 8:34 am

@Prop13

Landlords don't set rents like that. They set rents to what the market can bear which, due to inadequate housing supply, is far greater than their costs. If they were to pay their fair share, property taxes on the market value of their property, they would still have costs less than the rent. Otherwise, they could at this very moment raise rents to the higher amount you're proposing and still have willing renters.

Prop13 is definitely someone's friend, but it ain't the renters.


Posted by ha!
a resident of Monta Loma
on Mar 29, 2017 at 8:44 am

that's classic. "Landlords set rents to what the market can bear." They did but not anymore, now they're being dictated how much they can charge.

Prop 13 at least encourages OWNERSHIP. Which in turn encourages more participation and vesting in a community.


Posted by YIMBY
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 29, 2017 at 9:29 am

Prop 13 prevents ownership beyond an entrenched few. It's resulted in a lower turnover rate on property while also incentivizing current homeowners to block new developments, all the while causing a rise in prices from the artificially low housing supply. So homeowners stay in their current homes forever without selling to others, don't let anything else get built that others could buy, and create an environment of such high housing costs that it becomes harder to save for a down-payment on a property that becomes more expensive by the day while having that down-payment savings eaten up by ever-increasing rents.

Prop 13 is really just a subsidy to the Boomer generation that everyone else is paying for, especially including any new homeowners who finally overcome the hurdles to ownership only to be saddled with a massive property tax rate caused by Prop 13's effect on the market.


Posted by Beyond Concerned
a resident of Waverly Park
on Mar 29, 2017 at 11:59 am

This explosive out of control growth is stealing our most precious asset....time that you never get back. Is there an interest group or lobbying group that opposes the rapid gentrification an office expansion without sustainable smart growth? People really need to get involved and ask why there needs to be a Manhattan skyline the size of Long Island when there is open space only 1-2 hour drive off the peninsula. Cisco had the right idea before last bust cycle. They have code so you can't have two Taco Bells next to each other. Seems like a good time to apply to code to types of technology companies and how many mice they cram in to less square feet. Large companies must carry more responsibility than just bottom line for themselves.


Posted by Beyond Concerned
a resident of Waverly Park
on Mar 29, 2017 at 12:08 pm

Like a horse with blinders, it appears that government believes that more housing is the only solution when it may just be a band aid to the problem. Are we treating the symptom or the cause? I believe we need to have more attention to the other side of the balance scale or we all suffer a much lower quality of life at the expense of immediate gratification for a few. If there aren't strong interest groups in opposition, there needs to be!


Posted by YIMBY
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 29, 2017 at 4:36 pm

"or we all suffer a much lower quality of life at the expense of immediate gratification for a few."

Yeah, certainly wouldn't want to have a situation where that's happening.


Posted by YOHIMBE
a resident of another community
on Mar 29, 2017 at 8:36 pm

Developers always ask for more than they think they can get away with. What Prop 13 has to do with this is very hard to see. These luxury apartments will rent for $8000 or so each or a bit less for the smaller units, which are still going to be 1200 square feet. It's not going to help anyone own a home. Condo development is out of favor because the developers can make more money with apartments. They are big corporations. They want to rake in the money for years.

At 80 units per acre, this is at the upper limit of any development allowed in Mountain View. (Thank god. When you think about it, the arguments evinced here make you wonder why not go to 20 stories and REALLY address a housing solution. Why not? What's the difference?)

The thing is, the city has 7800 acres of land. If 2% of it is developed at this density, it makes 123,000 new units of housing, or homes for about 200,000 added people.

So what's the problem? Just pick any random 2% of land and let it go to 80 units per acre. If there's no need to consider where, it would be easy to Triple the size of the population in the city. It's not crazy to think of 2% of the land being built on like this. Think of the money the developers can make. But it might make sense to exercise some discretion and focus the 2% of the land with so many people in a small area really close to public transit, not spread all around the city..... This is not a downtown development, this is on the extreme periphery of downtown.


Posted by YOHIMBE
a resident of another community
on Mar 29, 2017 at 8:44 pm

Oh yes, forgot something. The developers have to pay more money for the land
which has nearby transit infrastructure, like near the train or light rail stations or along El Camino Real. The fact that ABAG has encouraged future development along ECR
has helped to increase still further the value of that land.

By going to an area which will create transit issues and call for future public investment, the developer gets in on the ground floor at cheaper land prices.

So naturally, the developer actually LIKES the fact that the location is not really
part of the planned development area with the higher density. So they are pretty smart. You can bet the next thing will be for the Avalon property nextdoor to come up with a new development plan with still more 5 or 6 story buildings. They have open land on their property so they wouldn't even really need to tear down any of the buildings. Here comes more underground parking, with zero cost for new land to Avalon. Oh boy.


Posted by Wes
a resident of Monta Loma
on Mar 30, 2017 at 3:19 pm

We need affordable housing and more units of housing ASAP. This may not solve all issues, but it will solve some.


Posted by IVG
a resident of Rex Manor
on Mar 31, 2017 at 8:03 am

Yeah, I'm going to go buzz off and commute for 2 hours from Morgan Hill so that you can sit in your backyard and enjoy your "mountain views."

#homeownerprivilege


Posted by Jeremy Hoffman
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Mar 31, 2017 at 11:34 am

I'm a member of Leadership Mountain View class of 2017 ("best class ever"). We've had the opportunity to visit Graham Middle School, the Mountain View police station, Mountain View fire station no. 4, and El Camino Hospital.

Do you know what we heard from our teachers, our public safety officers, and our healthcare providers? Remarkably, it was the same thing.

Housing. Is. Too. Expensive.

The Principal of Graham Middle School told us a story about a beloved teacher who cried as she tended her resignation because she had to move her family to a cheaper area. Many of the teachers that do stay are paying a huge chunk of their income on housing, or are commuting an hour or more.

Many of our firefighters don't actually live in Mountain View. What happens if "The Big One" hits and they can't get here to protect us?

I realize that change can be hard. Skylines change. Parking changes.

But the simple math is, our community didn't build the housing it needed before to keep up with population growth, and the bill has come due.

If we want our teachers, firefighters, and other workers to live in the community they serve, then we need more housing, lots of it, and soon.


Posted by Joe Brant
a resident of another community
on Mar 31, 2017 at 12:10 pm

This is near Caltrain and downtown businesses. Not a bad place for denser development.


Posted by Windfall
a resident of Castro City
on Mar 31, 2017 at 2:24 pm

Mike McDowell talks about Prometheus "hitting the jackpot", but the real unearned windfall is with the long-term single-family property owners, who've had their home value skyrocket due to the multi-decade supply shortage! Take nearby 1660 Villa Street for example- using public records, you can see it's assessed at $261,618, but its estimated market value is $1,823,755!

On the one hand, it's great that someone gets to stay in their home, but when they (or their heirs) sell it for luxury prices (and they ALWAYS sell it at market rate), the city should ideally get a hefty "Prop 13 make-up tax" to fund more affordable housing and all those city services that were subsidized by newer property owners. How about that, Shoreline West homeowners? Is that kind of fairness in your "neighborhood character"?


Posted by SQUAWK
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 31, 2017 at 4:11 pm

Yeah, how dare those developers buy out the existing homeowners for a princely sums to develop a multi-story apartment building next to an existing multi-story apartment building!

If you don't like it why don't you sell your property and leave? You can get a wonderful home elsewhere and the new people are paying far more in rent and property tax to live here. Maybe show some gratitude to all of those techies helping your home value appreciate.


Posted by thegovernmentisheretohelp
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 31, 2017 at 4:31 pm

The city is exploring ways to encourage more home ownership in Mountain View such that long time owners would rather sell than rent. Changes in tax code could change taxpayer behavior but will never solve your housing crisis. The government enjoys taking money by making promises, but they are not so good at fixing things. Increased taxes are only about funding pension obligations. Housing affordability is pretty far down the list of government priorities.




Posted by Ryan
a resident of another community
on Mar 31, 2017 at 4:32 pm

NIMBY NIMBY NIMBY NIMBY NIMBY NIMBY NIMBY.


Posted by Munch
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 31, 2017 at 4:58 pm

Well I realize, thing gotta change and not every original locals to some extend is pretty much disillusioned that mountain view is a small sleepy town.

So I approve of this building and its near Caltrains, then best to build it up. Also invoke the state bonus density law to remove parking next time on their next building.

I'll put in this perspective as well: Hoo~ So, its like that neighborhood character is nothing more then a phantasm masquerading; The "OLD GENERATION DON'T WANT TO GIVE A CHANCE OR SPACE TO THE NEW GENERATION STARTING WITH THEIR CHILDREN,BUT THEY FORGOT ALTHOUGH THEY REACHED SUCH HEIGHTS, THEY AREN'T IMMORTALS AND DECAYING,THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT PEOPLE WANT.


Posted by Cog
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Mar 31, 2017 at 5:42 pm

There are no more single family neighborhoods in Mountain View. This isn't suburbia any more, this is rapidly becoming urban and it's about time. 5 stories is not a monolith or anything near it, even considering the neighborhood it is in.

It would be best if these large housing complexes could be built closer to the rail and light rail corridors, but I think the housing population in MV will take what it can get. Anyone on the city council that gets in the habit of voting against large housing projects, or votes in favor of limiting development to single story projects, needs to go.


Posted by Jay
a resident of Shoreline West
on Mar 31, 2017 at 8:15 pm

Building it next to caltrain is the best possible place to build a higher density apartment complex. Building it near El Camino is stupid.


Posted by Eric
a resident of The Crossings
on Mar 31, 2017 at 9:56 pm

Looks like everyone wants more housing to bring down prices, just in someone else's neighborhood.


Posted by John
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 1, 2017 at 12:29 pm

Not sure what the problem is. Prometheus owns council so the apartments will be built.


Posted by Kyle
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 1, 2017 at 12:32 pm

Build as much housing as humanly possible.


Posted by Pandora
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 1, 2017 at 2:24 pm

@Jeremy Hoffman - be careful what you wish for.

Current sample Prometheus "luxury" pricing (retrieved from their website by searching for lowest price closest to 12-month lease offered):

Heatherstone (Sunnyvale?): 1BR/1BA, 700sqft, 12 month lease: $2,687/month
Madrone, 1BR/1BA, 500sqft, 12 month lease: 2,762/month
Park Place, 1BR/1BA, 700sqft, 12 month lease: $3,151/month
Montrose: 1BR/1BA, 500sqft, 13 month lease: 3,315/month
Madera: 1BR/1BA, 850sqft, 12 month lease: $3,591/month
100 Moffett: 1BR/1BA, 762sqft, 12 month lease: $4,065/month (holy moly!)

Not exactly "reasonable pricing" relative to median incomes.[1]

My personal experience with a new Prometheus complex:

In 2013 I was paying $1,290/month to rent a 700sqft 1BR/1BA one block away from the newly opened Prometheus "Madera" complex.[2]

I remember my jaw-drop when I saw the pricing on their cheapest offering (~$2,400) when Madera opened... Prometheus also passes through a trash/water/maintenance charge to tenants (that I was not subject to at my complex), but I didn't get details beyond "usually under $100/month".

Nice place, but wow -- over twice the price for smaller square footage than my place!

A few months later I received a surprisingly large annual increase from *my* landlord: 20% increase to $1,550 (from $1,290). Previous years' increases were under 5%.

While they were building Madera, I had thought that bringing more units to the neighborhood would reduce demand and lower area rents. I was wrong!

When I asked about the jump, the landlord said the rent was in-line with the neighborhood and that, yes, Madera's "luxury" pricing was a factor in those calculations. Arguments about "you're comparing luxury pricing to a regular old apartment unit" fell on deaf ears.

So, for me, the fancier Prometheus units "raised the market."

I'm no longer in the rental market (thank god!), but I'll feel for those who take "the Prometheus hit" if they let this new place open.

[1] Web Link
[2] Web Link


Posted by YIMBY
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2017 at 2:40 pm

That's what rent costs when the supply of housing is so constrained that every available unit will have countless applicants. Build more units and it won't matter how "luxury" they are, the increased supply will take demand off of other housing stock and help lower prices. There are plenty of closets in SF that go for that much and it has nothing to do with being "luxury". It's supply and demand.


Posted by LEFTCAPS
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2017 at 3:23 pm

No citizen will build a unit without a market return for their investment.

Increased property taxes (Prop 13 market value taxes), new development fees, construction costs, etc. will make every post Costa-Hawkins development unaffordable for anyone that that cannot pay market value rent.

Public housing went the way of Cabrini Green. Targeting a small subset of old landlords to fix a housing problem is wrongheaded and discriminatory on its face.

Section 8 vouchers and a couple of pre-Costa Hawkins landlords are the only targets left. Public housing and/or government vouchers are the only answer, not some guy that owns some old apartments.


Posted by IVG
a resident of Rex Manor
on Apr 2, 2017 at 7:31 am

"How LA taught me to love density": Web Link

@Ryan:
I appreciate the refreshing honesty. If you'd made a more substantial argument, I would have felt tempted to refute it.

@Eric:
Here's what I would do if something like this were proposed across the street from me. I would enjoy my last year of watching the Independence Day fireworks from my balcony, make some wistful comments about change, and then support the development.

@Pandora:
Rents in Oakland have gone up more than just about anywhere else in the Bay Area, in the absence of major construction.

I don't live across the street from a big new apartment development (the closest one is 100 Moffett, >1/2 mile away). But my rent followed a similar pattern to yours: steady until 2012, then big increases starting in 2013. What happened in 2013 is that we'd used up all of the slack in the housing market after the market collapse.

So I'm glad that 100 Moffett is going to absorb a few hundred high-rollers who might otherwise have bid on my apartment.


Posted by Caltrain Neighbor
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 2, 2017 at 10:17 am

Gee thanks folks for tossing the neighborhoods around Caltrain under the bus. The only problem is that the San Antonio neighborhoods for example, already have virtually every available space under development with 4 to 6 stories being the norm. And while, our higher density neighborhood is near Caltrain, it's not even remotely close to schools so parents are forced to drive anyway. Oh but wait, this proposed complex *is* near a school, so by the saves-a-trip myopic development logic of Mountain View and well, folks here on this board, this is probably a perfect location. Parents won't need to drive their kids to school. End of story. Finished analysis. Stop talking. It's perfect. Enjoy.


Posted by YIMBY
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 2, 2017 at 1:46 pm

If you don't want to live near a mass transit stop with high demand for high-density housing then sell your house for the king's ransom it's currently worth and go find a sleepy suburb to live in.


Posted by Juan
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Apr 2, 2017 at 6:54 pm

At least three local elementary schools no longer have room and are rejecting local kids. Maybe the council should take a step back and make sure that infrastructure is in place before adding to population growth?


Posted by Wow
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 2, 2017 at 9:25 pm

@YIMBY wow. Talk about callous and inconsiderate.

"Go find a sleepy suburb to live in". Why do you think most of us bought here instead of SF?

so now because you can't afford it you're telling US to leave? Classic.


Posted by Caltrain Neighbor
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 2, 2017 at 9:35 pm

Like I said before, all available land is already being built up near our Caltrain stops. But the density has to go somewhere, so if you don't like living in a higher density area, perhaps you need to sell your suburban home and move out of Mountain View, period.

That said, it would be nice if there were actually some planning for higher density. Like schools and parks, which are needed even more in these areas. Even simple things like the requirements for the giant recycling containers are really meant for single family homes not higher density housing.


Posted by YIMBY
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 2, 2017 at 10:55 pm

@Wow

"Here" happens to be one of the hottest economic centers in the world. Here's the thing: I'm not even telling you to leave. If you want to stay, great. But don't block high-density development elsewhere in the neighborhood then.


Posted by Long gone
a resident of another community
on Apr 3, 2017 at 10:46 am

YIMBY is right. The sorry collaboration of the forced urbanizationists with the corporatists has ruined MV. Why we left years ago.


Posted by YIMBY
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 3, 2017 at 1:20 pm

I hate this narrative of people being forced out of Mountain View because urbanization "ruined" it, as if it were a tragedy that someone sold their home for what was likely a king's ransom and voluntarily moved out of a growing area to get back to a specific neighborhood density they preferred.

No, you know what the real tragedy is? People being forced out of the area who actually want to live here and try to hang on as long as they can until rent increases finally hit a point where they literally cannot make it work anymore, and they have to move out of the bedroom they were renting for $1500 a month. All because a vocal percentage of the population think that seeing an uninterrupted skyline from their backyard is more important than the thousands of people being forced out of the area from price increases and lack of new housing supply.

There used to be a time in this country where having a two bedroom house was seen as a natural progression to adulthood, and federal, state, and local governments, along with numerous private entities, went on a building spree to provide housing to everyone for the price of a new car. Over the decades as one generation got theirs, the building slowed down, the ladder started to pull up, and now more than half the state of California is made up of renters because buying even a condo costs half a million.

We're going to have a generation of renters at this rate, because how are people supposed to afford buying any property, whether it's a condo or a house, if the supply is so constrained and rents are so high that saving for a down payment is impossible?


Posted by Long Gone
a resident of another community
on Apr 3, 2017 at 1:47 pm

The best part of leaving the bay area isn't leaving behind the crushing culture, the crowds, congestion, traffic, crime, dirt and noise.
It is only partly leaving behind the anti-democratic unelected government agencies that force endless increases in population density.
The best part is leaving behind the anti-democratic elitist socialists who think they know better than their fellow citizens. Those who will do most anything to force their dystopian vision upon those who want no part of it. Yeah, you and yours yimby. Move to SF and leave the poor sods who can't leave this mess alone.


Posted by YIMBY
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 3, 2017 at 2:33 pm

You are not entitled to prevent new people from moving in to city of Mountain View. This is not a gated community where you get to vet every new person and have an up or down vote on population increases. This is not your personal fiefdom.

San Francisco is suffering from the same exact NIMBYism that Mountain View and the rest of the Bay Area is. Senior Citizen apartments face rants and raves in neighborhood meeting because they'll block someone's view. Building anything runs into a million roadblocks from homeowners who think SF should be a suburb. There is nowhere in this region that doesn't have homeowners who think the area should stay a quiet suburban town forever and block all development.

Check your privilege. If you wanted Mountain View to stay the same forever then you should have bought the rest of the city after you bought your house.


Posted by wow
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 3, 2017 at 2:57 pm

YIMBY you are very insistent in your points and certain you are right. Let me ask you this.

I want to live in Los Altos Hills. I cannot afford it. How can we make this happen?


Posted by YIMBY
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 3, 2017 at 3:03 pm

Your​ argument is a strawman. The point isn't that anyone should be able to afford to live anywhere. It's that no one in Mountain View, SF, or any other Bay Area city should be able to prevent the city from growing or prevent new residents from moving in.


Posted by stradivarius
a resident of Waverly Park
on Apr 3, 2017 at 3:28 pm

The point is everybody should make 500K+ and pay less taxes. It sounds like you need a second job. Save your cash for the next bust cycle and be happy. Ignorance is bliss!


Posted by YIMBY
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 3, 2017 at 5:13 pm

More like Prop 13 should go away so homeowners can't sit cozy watching their property values skyrocket while they block any new development from happening.


Posted by stradivarius
a resident of Waverly Park
on Apr 3, 2017 at 5:37 pm

They would still sit and watch their property values skyrocket, just pay more in taxes and lobby for a better tax structure. They would also charge more rent. Are you old enough to drive YIMBY? Your dialog sounds of entitlement. Did you not get the bicycle you wanted for Christmas?


Posted by YIMBY
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 3, 2017 at 6:54 pm

Very unlikely that the majority of homeowners would not feel the hit of being taxed on the true market value of their homes after years of property value increases in a supply-restricted environment. There'd be a pinch and motivator to stabilize property tax increases through increased supply, otherwise homeowners would move and put their house on the market instead of sitting on it for decades.

Prop 13 is an entitlement to the Boomer generation, and it's time it came to an end.


Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of North Whisman
on Apr 3, 2017 at 7:55 pm

the_punnisher is a registered user.

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


Posted by stradivarius
a resident of Waverly Park
on Apr 3, 2017 at 8:09 pm

The Dude Abides! Ignorance is bliss.....Last word of more subjective melancholy? Dig Deeep


Posted by @the_punnisher
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 3, 2017 at 8:23 pm

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


Posted by YIMBY​
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 3, 2017 at 8:30 pm

At the end of all of these sob stories are the eventual sale of a property for a ridiculous sum worth many times over the original buying price. All because Prop 13 encourages owners to pull the ladder up the moment they buy into a town and watch their property values skyrocket while everyone else is left to deal with the consequences. Thousands of families are forced to move away because rents keep rising year after year, but to an entitled few the real tragedy here is that the "feel" of a Mountain View from decades ago is gone. You've certainly earned your title of the Me Generation.


Posted by @YIMBY
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 3, 2017 at 8:44 pm

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


Posted by YIMBY#2
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 4, 2017 at 12:29 am

Just build it...sheesh. Mountain View will be urbanized "Fun fact, the site IS along Caltrain's tracks and next to another existing Avalon apartment complex."

Reality is global population is up, high density will be needed for public transportation. Deal with reality of suburbs will become density.

Also, this is at Shoreline and Villa, it's 3 blocks away from the central business district of a Bay Area city, and two more blocks from the Caltrain station. The expectation that it should remain as single family homes forever is utterly absurd.


Posted by marknn
a resident of North Whisman
on Apr 6, 2017 at 12:12 am

marknn is a registered user.

Just build this! This seems like a perfect location - close to a two big streets (cetnral/shoreline) where SFH are not really appropriate - whereas five stories is actually nice. It also creates more affordable houses (30) than it destroys.

If you think that blocking it it will prevent high-tech employees from moving in, you've got it wrong - blocking it (and other projects like that), will cause anyone who has makes less than 6 figures, move out. Ah, law of unintended consequences...


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