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Mixed-use housing development proposed to replace prominent Chase Bank site in Mountain View

Original post made on Aug 14, 2023

A key gateway to downtown Mountain View is poised to undergo major changes, with a proposal to redevelop the Chase Bank at the corner of Castro Street and El Camino Real Avenue with hundreds of apartments.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, August 14, 2023, 1:04 PM

Comments (13)

Posted by CA Native
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Aug 14, 2023 at 3:45 pm

CA Native is a registered user.

Just wondering where all the bank and retail customers are going to park when they "run in". Or is the design that only the residents would use them?

I guess people who want to utilize the bank will just have to figure out that one of the parking entrances on the back side or the farthest from the bank leads to some kind of parking that doesn't require a half a block to roll your wheelchair.

Posted by Donna Davies
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 14, 2023 at 5:36 pm

Donna Davies is a registered user.

There will be underground parking for bank customers, shoppers, and residents.
I am looking forward to this Greystar development very much as it will replace the austere, monstrous Chase building surrounded by extensive cement walkways and an expansive, largely empty, asphalt parking lot. The bank is set at a severe, inharmonious angle that wastes so much space and is barren of trees.

Posted by Sane Mountain View
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 14, 2023 at 6:20 pm

Sane Mountain View is a registered user.

The Chase Bank building, with arches that come from a long line of architect's arch designs, is the most special thing about the building and art. Greystar could design around it, build beautiful gardens for a cafe and put Chase, which wants only 5000sf, into 20% of the existing building.

The reason it looks stark now is the large blacktop parking, the uncared for front area toward ECR and Castro corner, etc. Also there are a dozen big olive trees, one of the easiest species to move.

Greystar could design around the existing building, putting in all the housing, underground parking and street level rear parking they plan now, without demolishing the building.

Greystar could move the olive trees and put in a lovely cafe area, and preserve the dozen pieces of art inside and outside of the building, preserving the gorgeous arches and the beautiful gold colored long skinny bricks. Each one of those windows could open to a unique retail experience, cafe and all in a very unique and special setting we rarely are able to get in Mountain View.

We don't have to remove this building specially commissioned for Mountain View, or toss all the art work. We could have it all.. if Metropolitian Insurance (the land owner), Chase, and Greystar would agree to do it.

It could be gorgeous, special and very very Mountain View, with the 299 units, and the retail, and the trees.

And it would save 22k sf of carbon footprint, they want to rebuild with new carbon footprint. Why not adaptive reuse, and save the trees?


Posted by bjd
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 14, 2023 at 10:34 pm

bjd is a registered user.

Looks great! I hope they'll afford some decent public parking for bikes. More people could bike to here and catch a 522/22 to Palo Alto, walk 10 minutes to Caltrain, or just enjoy Castro.

Posted by ivg
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Aug 15, 2023 at 10:24 am

ivg is a registered user.

I really like that building aesthetically, but it's an egregious waste of space. It would be nice, though, for the retail frontage to have an architectural arcade in homage to the old bank.

Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 17, 2023 at 10:13 am

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

I think this bank building design is just a clone of other Home Savings buildings built in the same era.

What is unique is the 'particular' artwork chosen for this 'particular' site and community. I'm glad the architects/developers are able to figure out how to keep this part of the building in THEIR DESIGN.

Design Different?
"Why are WE not doing this?" ... it's because there is no "WE" in this development. It is not a community funded project (Go Fund Me) or a commercial/residential co-op or a local government project.

Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 17, 2023 at 11:44 am

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

Sun/shading impact of this 6 story complex. You might note that there is a "second level cut line" (dotted) in this plan. Hopefully this is part of the mitigation designed so adjacent land is not overly shaded by the tallest part. There is even an 'advantage' to the multi-family residential (2 story) units to the direct SouthEast. They will still be open to all direct sun-lines for all the year and all seasons EXCEPT for the max of Summer and Spring late-afternoon (hotter days).

This matches some of the shadow-to-the-North and lower stories-toward-neighbors that you can see in the less-large multi-family building near the train station. [and that was a 'fight' to get]

Posted by Really.....
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Aug 17, 2023 at 1:27 pm

Really..... is a registered user.

The corner of El Camino Real and Castro is very busy, especially for students going to and leaving Graham Middle school. Safety is a real concern. Parking is important, traffic is all day. It would be better for future apartment dwellers is the homes were further away from this busy corner. For any retail or banking to continue to thrive in this location, dedicated parking for patrons in vital. The current Chase bank building is beautiful. If the art cannot find a new home in the development, perhaps the Mountain View Public Library could find a spot for this iconic and historic collection. Greystar and MV needs to take public comments into account.

Posted by That MV guy
a resident of Jackson Park
on Aug 18, 2023 at 1:02 am

That MV guy is a registered user.

If they wanted to save something unique then it should have been the Mancini tower at the dealership that sat on the site before it was torn down and replaced with the brick bank building. That tower was Iconic. I recall seeing it as a child in the mid 1960s.

See it here: Web Link

Posted by Joe Redmond
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Aug 21, 2023 at 1:34 pm

Joe Redmond is a registered user.

Looks like a great new addition to the neighborhood! I hope they can get approval and can build these new homes quickly :)

I bank at this location, and have always felt like the walkable neighborhood around downtown Castro St should extend down to El Camino. As it is now, all of this surface parking and unused pavement seems like a waste of space.

Happy to see this kind of change, which helps younger generations and area newcomers!

Posted by People Need Water
a resident of Shoreline West
on Aug 22, 2023 at 9:29 pm

People Need Water is a registered user.

I'm a little confused as to why people want such large buildings where they currently live. Quit buying the George Soros/Development propaganda! Urban landscapes are terrible for the environment, unhealthy to live in, and UGLY!

Posted by SRB
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Aug 23, 2023 at 8:47 am

SRB is a registered user.

Huge improvement over what's mostly a large oversized parking lot.

re: the building, if it's historic, the El Camino Precise Plan should have called it out and plan around it.

Precise PLan calls for maximum setbacks from ECR and for the largest density on that lot (a Village Center), with highest density towards El Camino and less density near adjacent residential areas.

It would seem challenging to keep the Chase bank building as is while complying with the fairly recent El Camino Precise Plan.

Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 24, 2023 at 3:58 pm

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

The schools and students-to-be living here / Graham Middle school is literally Right Down the street (back entrance to GMS) and Bubb Elementary is only a few blocks further. Bubb has capacity available, probably Graham also.

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