Real Estate

A whole new image for San Antonio corridor

Mountain View development to include new apartments, office, retail space

The massive facelift of Mountain View's San Antonio corridor has already begun -- with the first phase of the San Antonio Shopping Center currently under construction -- and more apartment buildings, office space and retail developments on their way.

Despite some pushback on executing the phase-two plans for the San Antonio Shopping Center, developer Merlone Geier is hoping to go to City Council for final approval in late spring or early summer of next year, City Planner Melinda Denis said. If the almost-10-acre project gets the green light, construction will likely start next summer and a two-year timeframe is anticipated.

This would mean the arrival of a 167-room, six-story hotel; approximately 54,000 square feet of retail; 393,000 square feet of office space; 28,000 square feet of commercial space and 35,000 square feet for restaurants on the north side of the shopping center between California Street and El Camino Real.

There's also the proposed movie theater, which Denis said is locked in at 1,700 maximum seats, which allows for about eight theaters, depending on their final size.

Plans also include an underground parking structure below all the office buildings that goes down four levels as well as a centrally located above-ground structure with retail on the ground floor and seven levels of parking above. The hotel will also have its own one-level underground parking area.

Geier owns certain existing properties in the center -- Ross, BevMo! and the vacant international market known as the birthplace for the Valley's first silicon chip maker -- which will all be torn down, Denis said.

However, she said Geier has been in verbal discussions with BevMo! to bring the liquor retailer back into the project and is working with Ross to see if there's another location within the center that the store could relocate to.

The Milk Pail Market, corner restaurant and small office building are all privately owned and, Denis said, will remain. However, many residents have expressed concern that Geier's decision to not renew an agreement to share parking with the Milk Pail could threaten the partly open-air market.

Denis said the developer hasn't yet committed to any public benefits, but installation of a new bike lane -- along San Antonio Road in front of Phase I and down to California Street -- is included in the project description.

Denis said this will require modifying the lane configuration and moving the median on San Antonio.

"There's a lot of things that are going to change," Denis said. "Essentially there are going to be some traffic impacts, which is what we're studying now. (And) just the visual settings of it are going to change."

The total size of the shopping center is pegged at 21.5 acres.

Also possibly on tap for the San Antonio corridor is up to 376 apartment units in five four-story buildings built over underground parking garages at 400 San Antonio Road, between Miller Avenue and Fayette Drive.

According to a city staff report, the developer, Pillar Group, has pitched a mix of 196 one-bedroom and 180 two-bedroom units. A "modern design" has been proposed, aiming for flat roofs, stucco, wood siding and masonry base. There will be pedestrian paths connecting all five apartment buildings. The proposed project is larger both in acreage and unit numbers than other recently approved apartment projects, such as the Madera Apartments on East Evelyn Avenue near the Caltrain station. Madera built 203 units on a 3.63 acre site, and the Pillar Group has proposed its 376 for 5.72 acres.

Scott Plambaeck, senior planner for the city, said the project is still at the early stages, at least nine to 12 months from city approval.

Rebecca Shapiro, associate planner for the city of Mountain View, said that the city has also received an authorized gatekeeper application -- but not yet a formal development plan application -- to redevelop the Target site on Showers Drive. The city authorized the gatekeeper application, which includes plans for moving the store closer to the street.

"The existing Target store is undersized and operationally obsolete," the gatekeeper application reads, which was sent from Target's Regional Development Manager John Dewes to the city of Mountain View in April.

The application goes on to propose demolishing the existing store and constructing a new two-story structure with parking at the ground level and Target on the second. The new store would be larger: 163,000 square feet instead of the existing 119,000 square-foot space.

Target also proposed bringing the structure closer to the street to "help to 'activate' the public street and provide the ability to offer more pedestrian friendly amenities including an open-space plaza," the application reads. There would be an outdoor plaza along the street, instead of a parking lot.

The project also includes plans for new retail space facing Showers Drive and a redesign of the area behind the DMV at 595 Showers Drive to allow for additional street-level parking.

Editorial Assistant Elena Kadvany can be emailed at ekadvany@paweekly.com.

Comments

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Posted by parent
a resident of Los Altos
on Oct 15, 2013 at 8:41 pm

If Phase II is anything like Phase I it will be a disaster. Phase I was sold as a live/walk/shop site but is anything but. It is a glorified strip mall. Safeway, a mattress store, and a jewelry store? A horrible parking lot and no way to walk between stores. Everyone I know cannot stand coming to this site.


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Posted by Not AB issue
a resident of Community Center
on Oct 15, 2013 at 8:51 pm

Parent-- phase I is not done yet. There is also the counter, a Starbucks and another few restaurants coming, as well as more retail. Parking lot by Safeway is fine, with a ground level and roof parking. Great Safeway store, also. You must not know the right people because the Safeway parking lot s very crowded, as is the counter!!


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Posted by parent
a resident of Los Altos
on Oct 16, 2013 at 7:16 am

The people I know go to Safeway, including me, because the Los Altos Safeway is closed and you can only go to Draeger's so often. I haven't heard anyone say the store is laid out great or that's it's easy to find anything. That Safeway is a necessary evil. The Counter is great but where are the real retail stores? The developer put out an online survey asking for input on the types of stores customers would like to see. I can guarantee you that no one said a mattress store and a jeweler.


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Posted by Love the new Safeway
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 16, 2013 at 7:45 am

Parent--Funny that the Safeway website does not show that the Los Altos Safeway is closed. But, anyway. You do have WHole Foods, Trader Joes and Wal Mart for groceries, so you do not have to go to the new Safeway.
Who have you spoken to about the layout and finding things? This new Safeway sure beats the dump in Midtown
Here is a link to retail at the center:
Web Link
Since you gurantee it, you must have knowledge, so please provide the survey that showed that no one wanted a mattress or jewelery store. WHat kind of retail are you looking for there, bearing in mind that Wal Mart and Target are nearby and there is a drug store across the street?


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 16, 2013 at 8:01 am

The new Safeway is good if you need to buy a week's worth of groceries, but not ideal if you just need two or three items. The layout is wrong with groceries around the perimeter with a drugstore in the center. It makes for a long hike to get dinner!

I would like to see more retail because that is what makes the center look vibrant. I do not like WholeFoods, TraderJoes for regular groceries because they don't sell regular brands or have anything that is not prepackaged. Likewise WalMart.

Reading this article, Target is targeted for a remodel and that will make a big difference to our family's shopping habits. Kohls is OK, but a poor replacement for Mervyns. Still miss Sears too.

The Counter is OK, but not a quick burger replacement for BurgerKing. The wait is long at dinner time and is not cheap. Fresh Choice had been going downhill for a long time before they closed. Something like Sprouts Restaurant would be a good replacement - at least some type of salad, healthy option place would be good.

I still have my reservations about the center and hardly call a concrete jungle a village which I think of as a remote place with poor services in which you need a car to survive. Thinking about it, that just might be a good description of the center too.


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Posted by Elizabeth
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 16, 2013 at 10:28 am

I'm with Resident on the inconvenience of Safeway for picking up a few items. I'll always opt for "midtown" for quick trips.

And if the developer doesn't share parking with The Milk Pail, I'll continue to shop with The Milk Pail, but the developments will get none of my business.

I don't support mean-spirited developers. They continue to destroy wonderful neighborhoods in favor of greed.


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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Oct 16, 2013 at 10:46 am

I am one of the rare ones for which I like the new "The Village", found the buildings to be nice and different. Not like some suburban boxes that I have seen around Mountain View and elsewhere.

I don't see anything wrong with the Safeway, it is big, it has lots of stuff and shopping for 3 items which was never easy. These stores are designed to carry as much items that people love to see and have popular features. The Brick Oven in the bakery is a very nice feature.

The retail part will fill up with stores and services, remember phase 2 will have space and I am sure every retailer will watch and wait but not every retailer will decide to lease a space.


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Posted by Concerned about design
a resident of Monroe Park
on Oct 16, 2013 at 10:48 am

My larger concern is with the overall site design and the management of the project experience for the public by Mountain View's Design Review. What is one of the most prominent corners, now amplified by the scale of the development, is now the back of storefronts, emergency exits and mechanical equipment enclosures facing the street. I don't mind the height or density but the site plan and overall massing create a visual barrier which is not welcoming. Other than the tiny plaza at the corner, the lack of street facing amenities and glass makes this a very uninviting facility. Coupled with the intense and insensitive lighting in the evening and the place is really pretty unpleasant. I shop at the Safeway and eat at The Counter because it is close, but I don't like how it all feels. Hoping they will do better with the next phase...


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Posted by Cur Mudgeon
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Oct 16, 2013 at 11:18 am

I agree that the San Antonio Center was in need of modernization, but it sickens me to see it become a cluster of high rises and fake "villages," to say nothing of the increases in the already high volume of traffic.

Wonder if all the new units thus far built are rented or leased yet?

I feel that Geier et al, by not providing shared parking with Milk Pail, is essentially forcing them out--his version of "eminent domain."

I hate what is happening to the northern end of Santa Clara county, Palo Alto included.


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Posted by Please, Mr Custer....
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 16, 2013 at 11:31 am

All of this is great, except for the theater, which would be better placed at the old HP/ Mayfield Mall site that is being redeveloped. San Antonio is packing too much stuff into too small an area, and not leaving much for parking.

And please, please don't take the Milk Pail! Best cheese and produce for the money!


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Posted by native
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Oct 16, 2013 at 11:38 am

I have very fond memories of San Antonio shopping center when I was a child, Thrifty's for ice cream, Sears for school clothes, Norney's for all kinds of goodies, traveling carnivals, the parking lot pumpkin patch, etc. Those days are long gone and I'm happy to see the shopping center being revitalized and updated. The new Safeway is great to shop at and the look and feel of the first phase seems to improve with each visit. Is there room for improvement, of course. I'm hoping the next phase will be as good if not better. I hope the Milk Pail and their parking survive phase 2 intact.


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Posted by MidtownMom
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 16, 2013 at 12:06 pm

I like the Phase I. Its not complete yet..

Safeway is good for "weeks worth" of shopping. Like any other new store, it takes time to get used to the layout. There is plenty of parking in the top level .. invariably its only 10 to 15% occupied while the street level parking is always full (just go the parking on top of the store). The elevator make it easy to get the carts to the second level.

A movie theater would be nice ! The Shoreline theaters need to improve to keep up with technology. AMC Mercado is excellent - but I would definitely take San Anotino over driving to Mercado.

I would hate to loose the Milk Pail market. I do hope they work out some deal with the developer.


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Posted by businessdecision
a resident of Menlo Park
on Oct 16, 2013 at 12:24 pm

Now we know what's the reason for NOT building right out to the street: it's awful to sit waiting for a bus in the sun, without being able to back off into some place with shade.
Because of that, I won't use that Safeway.
The Milk Pail is the BEST. Whatever it takes to keep it I hope will be done.


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Posted by Mike
a resident of Mountain View
on Oct 16, 2013 at 12:28 pm

Pro Tip to the writer:
when your sentences are so long that you start a new paragraph after each one, you should revisit your "period" key and see if it still works.

That's my opinion, and it's free.


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Posted by BREATH ADOBES
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Oct 16, 2013 at 12:31 pm

10 ACRES OF PURE CEMENT AND CONCRETE, BLOCKS AIR, REPLACED BY AIR CONDITIONER BLOWING HOT, HOT, HOT, VERY VERY HOT HOT AIR INTO THE AIR MAKING OUR ATMOSPHERE HARD TO BREATH, HARD LIKE CEMENT AND CONCRETE.


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Posted by randy albin
a resident of Mountain View
on Oct 16, 2013 at 12:32 pm

how about what the san antonio was like before? what are these people thinking? let's bring in the rich and shove out the poor. what is this?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by mutti
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Oct 16, 2013 at 12:51 pm

I wish MilkPail could move across the street and share the old Safeway with someone. Still convenient and lots of parking. Get Greir to buy old Safeway and then trade it straight across with Milk Pail lot.


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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Oct 16, 2013 at 1:26 pm

Phase 2 will be more of mixed use project and overall this project will be the best use shared parking which will be used at different times of the week. Most of the buildings will have underground parking and one large above ground parking lot. A small amount of parking will be found not in one of the structures but on the inner streets of the project.

You will have people working and visiting the businesses in the office part of the project which will be most likely in the day time on the week days. You might have people working the weekends and in the evening but I wouldn't imagine such a high number.

Retail Customers (non office customers) will shop at businesses in the project at all times of the week but I would imagine the weekends will be the busiest along with the evening.

Most people attend movies on the weekends or evenings and then funny thing most people will go as a group. Group is 2 or more persons.

The hotel will have parking and the guests will be moving 7 days a week. If hotel will have meeting space that will be a 7 day a week business.

You might find people using the project at different times of the day or night, you won't have movie goers in the morning or offices filled up at a 11:00 PM on a Sunday night. You might have people living across the street but won't work in the project but will most likely be a customer.

Extend light rail to San Antonio Station, build a shuttle network that will run in a loop. A person living on San Antonio Rd can catch a shuttle to Target and then back home.

Milk Pail needs to remain, better public spaces and parks and a school is needed.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jan
a resident of another community
on Oct 16, 2013 at 1:41 pm

"It makes for a long hike to get dinner!"



word "hike' means "hill walk", it's hardly appropriate to discribe a walk around Safeway :)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Nana
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Oct 16, 2013 at 2:00 pm

We LOVE the Milk Pail -- sure hope it's able to stay, and have parking nearby.
Good quality vegetables, fruits and cheeses at great prices.


Maybe a group to advocate and lobby for Milk Pail to the Mountain View City Planning group needs to be formed.

The new Safeway is very pleasant to shop in once you figure out the layout.
And we find there's parking available there.

I'm enjoying the new colors and designs of the apartments built so far.

But it sure sounds like a HUGE development on the horizon:
"This would mean the arrival of a 167-room, six-story hotel; approximately 54,000 square feet of retail; 393,000 square feet of office space; 28,000 square feet of commercial space and 35,000 square feet for restaurants on the north side of the shopping center between California Street and El Camino Real."

There must be some way to keep some of what's there now -- Joanne's Fabrics, Milk Pail, flowering trees, a sense of space, mixed in with the townhouses already built between the train station and California.


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Posted by bobgnote
a resident of Mountain View
on Oct 16, 2013 at 2:36 pm

I agree with mutti; I wish somehow Milk Pail could locate, in the old Safeway site, across Cali Street, from the Walmart block, where Milk Pail is, on owned property.

OR all of us have to keep on walking, from home or from the new Safeway lot, if needed. Hey, just park at the old or new Safeway sites, shop at Pail, and scarf strawberries and cheese, as usual.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by J. Greenburg
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 16, 2013 at 3:13 pm

I thought that the traffic on San Antonio Rd. couldn't get any worse.
I was wrong.
Just say "No" to developers. (if only it was that easy)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Oct 16, 2013 at 3:21 pm

Can anyone verify that the odd little green strip between phase-1 and phase-2 is owned by San Francisco?

Bring a flashlite if you shop that new Safeway after midnite, particularly for the produce aisle. And I haven't figured out the sizable wee-hours population in the wifi area at the front-north corner of the store. Looks like Happy Donuts.


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Posted by Can you say traffic jam?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 16, 2013 at 3:25 pm

I live on San Antonio Road, and this news is not welcome at all. With the development at the old Mayfield site as well as these plans for San Antonio Center, thousands of car trips will be added every day to San Antonio Rd. It'll be a traffic nightmare!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Palo Alto Redux
a resident of Green Acres
on Oct 16, 2013 at 4:21 pm

This is another PA mess waiting to happen, but on a bigger scale. Cupertino is on for it big-time with traffic caused by the new Apple campus.

Why does no one plan for the excessive traffic burden that development causes? Developers and planners must be held responsible and brought to heel! Roads must be improved, widened, and additional roads built when more traffic is brought to a location. parking must be allocated.

it's a no-brainer!!!!


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Posted by Tony
a resident of Mountain View
on Oct 16, 2013 at 4:26 pm

I agree with Mutti. The Milk Pail should move into the old Safeway site along with Trader Joe's.

The new center could use some shops like Old Navy and DB Shoes. If I had money, I would lease space for a "Hot Topic" or other teen-centric shop.

A bar & grill like Gordon Biersch would also be nice.


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Posted by Greedy developers
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 16, 2013 at 4:32 pm

[Post removed.]


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Posted by A resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 16, 2013 at 4:55 pm

Retails, movie theaters etc. are fine. The biggest problem is the 376-unit apartment complex. It will make this area much more crowded, and much more traffic.

Look at San Antonio Road between 101 and El Camino today - traffic all the time, let alone rush hours.

Greedy developer is destroying this peaceful neighborhood. Ultimately, City of Mountain View should take the blame. They shouldn't have approved even Phase 1. They should reject Phase 2.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Frustrated
a resident of Los Altos
on Oct 16, 2013 at 5:00 pm

My family of 5 (3 teens) lives within walking distance of the San Antonio shopping center. I have never been to the new development nor do I ever plan to go. I don't feel a need to shop there with so many great options around (Whole Foods, Safeway at Cuesta, Draegers, Costco, etc) and I HATE the look and feel of the new center. It looks quite imposing and unfriendly. I dread Phase 2. Merlone Geier should be required to add wider sidewalks and bike lanes on his side of the development as a public benefit. This might encourage more people to shop there, along with wider setbacks, and would help people navigate around the area. Even if he pays for them, adding sidewalks and bike lanes is not a public benefit if Geier's project requires public property and further impedes area traffic flows. Also, a school in the area is a necessity. The City of MV needs to PLAN and to figure out how and where to place a school as the city reconfigures and redevelops the entire NEC neighborhood and continues to approve more high-density housing (to the tune of 574 current students in the NEC area and more to come).


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Posted by Marcie
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 16, 2013 at 5:17 pm

The plans for the second phase is way too massive. I hope Mt. View finally puts a stop to this. The developer is taking advantage of Mt. View.

The developer has been unfair to the small stores on the California Corner putting most out of business so they were forced to sell. He cut off their parking lots. I think it strange that he has treated the popular Milk Pail parking situation with disdain. I've noticed that his center's employees are using the parking lot in front of Chili's without consequence so far.


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Posted by Frustrated
a resident of Los Altos
on Oct 16, 2013 at 5:25 pm

p.s. The fact that I would much prefer to drive to the Safeway on Cuesta, or the Counter in Palo Alto, or the theater complex at Shoreline rather than patronize the new section of the San Antonio complex that is right by my house should speak volumes about how depressing I find the new San Antonio development to be. Judging by other comments above, I am not alone. I do hope that the City of MV, Merlone Geier, and other developers take note. If neighbors don't even want to shop there, who will? And if people with large families (who require many groceries) don't want to go there, you better hope for a lot of "singles" to compensate. Can't we build something that is beautiful, useful, unique, and doesn't cast dark shadows on the street? The result will be better for our community AND better for business.


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Posted by Not an issue
a resident of Community Center
on Oct 16, 2013 at 5:53 pm

Frustrated-- every center built will generate opinions from those that like it and those that do not. And if you use this forum to gauge opinions about it, you are wasting your time.
As to who will shop there-- plenty of people and the centers nt even finished yet. The Safeway lower parking lot is alwya full and there is a wait to get into the Counter. When the other eateries open, the place will be even more crowded. The center will do quite well without your business if you chose to shape elsewhere. And who decides what is " beautiful, useful, unique etc" . You? Me?
I think the center is great. The Safeway is vast improvement over the dingy, under stocked Safeway in palo alto. I did get a chuckle from the person complaining about the long hikethrough safeway to get dinner!!! Typical of the overexaggerations that people love to throw in when they engage in their favorite local hobby-- bashing anything new and different. I look forward to the movie theatre as well.
BTW-- San Antonio road is a main artery n PA/MV-- so there will be traffic on it all the time--- but maybe Jamie Rodriguez can reduce it to one lane, so thatbthe traffic will magically disappear!!!!!


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Posted by Midtown Resident
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 16, 2013 at 6:01 pm

Alma is already packed at peak hours. Where do these people think the traffic is going to go? As usual, a city council being bribed by developers while residents get screwed.


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Posted by Not an issue
a resident of Community Center
on Oct 16, 2013 at 6:05 pm

What does Alma have to do,with this?
Please provide proof that a city council accepted bribes. This is a serious claim. I assume you have proof.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Lives next to this monstrosity
a resident of Mountain View
on Oct 16, 2013 at 6:49 pm

The developer is looking to only maximize his profit and the City doesn't seem to care while the quality of life is going to hell. The traffic on California will be horrendous. Where will the kids in the apartments go to school? LASD schools are going to be overcrowded.

MV City Council, please stop this monstrosity.


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Posted by Greedy Developer
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 16, 2013 at 6:52 pm

[Post removed.]


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 16, 2013 at 6:54 pm

Yes, I plead guilty. I did exaggerate about hiking to get dinner around Safeway. It just seems a long meander around the store to get fresh bread, meat and some produce for a quick stop to get dinner.


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Posted by Mr.Recycle
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 16, 2013 at 9:06 pm

You complain about greedy developers, but the density is government mandated. Unless you start screaming at your city and state reps for change, we'll keep getting these community redning projects.


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Posted by Ann
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Oct 16, 2013 at 9:52 pm


How can anyone call this a village? Villages are inviting places with relatively small scale buildings, walking/ biking paths, plenty of greenery and breathing space. Town and Country Village lives up to its name. S.A. Road "Village" has all the charm of a prison and all the warmth of an iceberg. I used to shop at the old Safeway. It wasn't great, but It was convenient and right across the street from my beloved Milk Pail ( the only building that looks like it's part of a village.) I stopped into this new Safeway once and that was enough. It's not the store as much as the overall feel of the development.

How this project ever got off the drawing board is beyond me. I hope Phase Two is a whole lot better, but I fear that this type of development will be the new trend. THE UGLIFICATION OF OUR BEAUTIFUL CITIES HAS BEGUN. Those of us who want to preserve the beauty and livability of this area better get cracking NOW!


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Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Oct 16, 2013 at 10:49 pm

Ever been to Greenwich Village?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by June
a resident of Los Altos
on Oct 16, 2013 at 11:54 pm

City of MV needs some growth limits. Are they trying to increase city revenues to insure their pensions are paid? What is the thinking here for such a large scale development - traffic is already congested on San Antonio. What happened to city planning, green space etc. Current shopping center is ugly and the stores of no interest at all. I refuse to shop there.


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Posted by Love the new Safeway
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 17, 2013 at 5:47 am

"How can anyone call this a village?"
They can call it anything they want, despite your definition of what a village is to you. Town adn COuntry has plenty of greenery!!!!!! I remember that people hated the new ;look there as well. But that is standard from Palo Alto--hate on everything that is new and different, even when it replaces old and decrepit.

All this waling and gnashing of teeth from residents of another city as well. My advice--do not shop there and that will be that. The center is doing quite well now


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Posted by Mtn View Student Parent
a resident of Mountain View
on Oct 17, 2013 at 9:02 am

Please excuse me if I missed this discussion in the previous comments, but where will the children of the families that move into this corridor be educated? I do not see any plans for a school and we all know that additional school sites are needed even before the completion of this project. Eminent domain anyone?


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Posted by Density Phobe
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Oct 17, 2013 at 9:02 am

I avoid places where you have to park in parking garages, and expect the new developments planned for this whole area to be even more walking/biking not only unfriendly but dangerous.

San Antonio shopping area won't be getting much business from our family.


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Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Oct 17, 2013 at 9:22 am

Sorry, the Milk Pale is going along with Ross, Annies and everything else on that side of the old San Antonio shopping Center. To be replaced by a giant 169 ft tall hotel complex - more than twice as tall as the JCC!!! If you think its crowded now, just wait!!

To make things worse GOOGLE will be developing another huge GOOGLEPLEX at San Antonio and Central Expressway together with a third GOOGLEPLEX on East Meadow Circle.

Enjoy your Safeway now because in a few years you'll be lining up just to get into their miserable parking lot. The traffic on San Antonio Road will be horrendous.


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Posted by Love the new safeway
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 17, 2013 at 9:39 am

"I avoid places where you have to park in parking garages"
So you never go to San Jose or San Francisco airprots? What about Stanford SHopping Center? Valley Fair??

"expect the new developments planned for this whole area to be even more walking/biking not only unfriendly but dangerous"
Based on what? Or are you just trying to fan the flames of fear with outlandish (Palo Alto) claims

"San Antonio shopping area won't be getting much business from our family."
I am sure the shopping area will do quite well despite your reluctance to shop there

It must be terrible when Mountain View is growing and building and replacing decrepit areas in a timel manner and Palo Alto has nothing to say about it. Maybe all the PA residents that hate the new center should show up at city council meetings and stamp their feet and pitch a fit.


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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Oct 17, 2013 at 10:11 am

165 foot office building is 14 stories which I Googled, hieght of the 2nd largest building Washington D.C. I don't how 7 stories can be 169 feet or we are going to have really high ceilings.

Just because you don't like parking garages or structures which is fine for you but for me. I don't care.

I really hope the Milk Pail and the developers can work out a parking deal but are we going to hold up entire project for 1 building.

Mayfield Mall could have been badly needed housing instead it has become leased office space.

You will find in any developement the words. Meadow, field, village, vista, view, green, lane, estate and common. Feel free to use one or more with other names like Fairmeadow or Sterling Estate. I use to shop at Cupertino Village Shopping Center.


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Posted by neighbor
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Oct 17, 2013 at 10:14 am

Perhaps a better title for the article would be "A SAD NEW IMAGE FOR THE SAN ANTONIO CORRIDER"


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Posted by litebug
a resident of another community
on Oct 17, 2013 at 3:34 pm

former resident

For what it's worth, the Safeway store here in McMinnville, OR just rearranged much of the store space, also with a drugstore right in the middle with aisles running perpendicular to the others. I can't find anything in there now and also notice that, along with the reconfiguration, there have been changes to the merchandise. One very conspicuous one is the bulk coffee. They used to have a large selection from different coffee roasters but now only a small selection, all Safeway brand. Their thrust for awhile has been to replace other brands in favor of their own.


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Posted by David V
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Oct 17, 2013 at 4:39 pm

David V is a registered user.

All I care about is Starbucks. To have two in one parking lot, just a couple hundred feet apart. What else could we possibly want. And another thing, it's not a jewelry store...it's a GALERIA of FINE JEWELRY!


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Posted by Lives near Santa Rita
a resident of Los Altos
on Oct 17, 2013 at 4:58 pm

I find the Phase I visually offensive. From San Antonio heading N at El Camino it looks like a fortress. I don't like having all the service entrances facing the street, I don't find the mix of stores useful, I don't like having drugstore in the middle of the Safeway. The food at the Counter is ok, but you have the choice of having your conversation drown out either by the music inside or the trucks on El Camino on the patio. (We drive to California Ave to the Counter there.)

I really hate coming along El Camino heading W just before the San Antonio intersection. People from the new driveways will block the rightmost lane trying to get across several lanes of traffic to turn left (S) on San Antonio. There is really no good route out of the new shopping center for traffic that wants to go that direction.


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Posted by Not an issue
a resident of Community Center
on Oct 17, 2013 at 5:09 pm

Lives near Santa Rita-- seems that you tough to please. Are you going to wait for the center to be complete before you decide the stores are not to your liking? As for the Safeway, may I suggest the dingy, under stocked midtown Safeway-- the drugstore is in the corner ( is the drugstore in the middle really a issue-- sounds funny) .Also amusing is " different" posters repeating the exact same complaints!!!!
I suggest waiting until this phase is done, otherwise don't drive on el camino. You should consider moving to palo alto.


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Posted by Another Resident
a resident of Los Altos
on Oct 17, 2013 at 6:58 pm

The new center is definitely spruced up compared to the old San Antonio Sears center.
Unfortunately the tight right angle parking and narrow parking aisles make parking a crazy experience, and I don't even drive a large vehicle. The San Antonio center Safeway remains second choice to driving over to the Cuesta Safeway until the new Los Altos Safeway is reopened.


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Posted by Ron Roode
a resident of another community
on Oct 17, 2013 at 7:45 pm

Where are the necessary schools for the hundreds of kids that live in that area?


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Posted by Tommy Strong
a resident of Los Altos
on Oct 17, 2013 at 8:29 pm

Ron,

Here is what LASD should do to provide classroom space for this area:

1. Move the district offices to leased office building space.
2. Move special programs (LAPP, SDC, and pre -1) to either Oak, Gardner Bullis or Springer.
3. Put all of BCS at Covington - in a sharing arrangement. Will require portables and part-time day use of Rosita Fields. Some of BCS could stay at Blach (the Fab Lab)
4. Build a school for 350 -400 students at the current BCS site. This new school will take students from the current Santa Rita, Almond and Covington attendance areas from both sides of San Antonio and El Camino.

This plan reduces crowding and displaces few students. Most importantly in provides a school right in the middle of the fastest growing area near this shopping center.


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Posted by @puzzled
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 17, 2013 at 9:34 pm

I don't understand why people whining about this development. I remember the old shopping center. It was nothing to write home about. People should get used to the fact that the spaces are going to be denser and the wide open suburban life is no longer sustainable. Think of Mountain View and Palo Alto as the early stages of San Francisco. In another 10-20 years, we are going to live in a real city and not in a 'banlieue'. Get your bikes and walking shoes ready for mingling with whole bunch of other people...


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Posted by Lives near Santa Rita
a resident of Los Altos
on Oct 17, 2013 at 11:49 pm

Try looking at this standing near Chef Chu's. It's just ugly. While what was there before was pretty junky, there was an opportunity to replace that with something that was not an eyesore.

I guess I am disappointed. It was billed as being like Santana Row. While SR is not the Parthenon, it is far less ugly than Phase I. Subjective, I know.

Also, failure to plan a safe route for people wanting to drive from this shopping center S on San Antonio seems like a big flaw to me.

I suspect the other 3 corners of San Antonio and El Camino will undergo big changes fairly soon, too. The CVS/Sprouts center could use an overhaul. I hope it turns out better.


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Posted by Midtown Resident
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 18, 2013 at 4:30 am

@
"What does Alma have to do,with this?"

Where do you think the traffic to this monstrosity is going to come from? Alma and El Camino are the 2 big roads nearby. I for example live in midtown and will drive via Alma/Central

"Please provide proof that a city council accepted bribes. This is a serious claim. I assume you have proof"

No I don't proof so I will take back my claim. BTW, I have this orange bridge I need to sell you.

Giving and taking bribes is legal in the US, in case you haven't heard, thanks to the republicans in the supreme court. Its called "campaign contributions"

There is no doubt that many local city councils are in the pockets of developers, call them bribes or not. If you follow the developments carefully you will see that parts of cities are being sold off to developers by city councils who do not give a damn about the ensuing traffic or the quality of life of the residents. How do you explain this huge development in a place where peak hour traffic is already bumper to bumper? It takes me 1/2 hour to navigate 5 miles sometimes between 101 and Alma/Central. I assume people in these high-density housings have been provided personal helicopters. Anything less is going to make the traffic impossible. Its not like the public transit in this area is great.

You would think the city would consider bike paths separated from traffic with a barrier which I would love to use, but the few bike paths require me to share the road with dangerous 2000 lb vehicles driven by blind drivers and the paths are far from fully connected. Sorry but a city council that really represented residents would not have approved this kind of a dense development.


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Posted by pa
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 18, 2013 at 9:41 am

Is Mitchell Park Library still under construction?


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Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Oct 18, 2013 at 10:33 am

@Midtown, you mean 3000, 4000, and 5000 lb vehicles. Even a Mini Cooper tips the scale over 2500.


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Posted by Jules
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Oct 18, 2013 at 11:17 am

One little street to get to this complex and the neighborhood beyond from 101 is alarming. No thought was given on the impact on traffic.
I think the Safeway parking lot design is terrible. People have to walk across the main thoroughfare just to get into the store. That's an accident waiting to happen as well as a back up of cars to San Antonio.
The complex is too massive for the location and from the sound of phase two its just going to get even bigger. Town and Country center was a tasteful face lift that still increased traffic a lot. This Mountainview project is a monstrosity.


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Posted by Midtown Resident
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 18, 2013 at 11:29 am

Besides the traffic nightmare this creates, I really think residents must send a message to the city council to stop the ever-increasing height limits of buildings. The old San Antonio mall, while decrepit at least was't in my face. Most cities have an overall development plan with clauses that require views be maintained. These clauses are forever being ignored and overruled at the behest of developers who cram houses like sardines then leave the residents to deal with the ugliness and traffic while they go and buy a nice house in Los Altos hills on a 2 acre lot with a view of the mountains, with the money they got by screwing the residents in collusion with the city council.


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Posted by Love the new Safeway
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 18, 2013 at 11:39 am

Jules--depending where you park at Mollie STones you walk across the main traffic lane. If you shop at Whole Foods in PA you have to cross two lanes of traffic to get to the store. At Town and COuntry you also have to cross traffic to get to the stores. You can alwyas park on the roof of the new Safeway if you are concerned about crossing traffic.
Or you can shop at the Midtown Safeway--that parking lot is a nightmare during the day.
I find it amusing the various excuses people come up with to bash this new and welcome shopping center


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Posted by jd
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Oct 18, 2013 at 12:13 pm

Would love to see some truly walkable and bikeable development, but I'm skeptical. Also, what's up with San Antonio Rd between 101 and Middlefield having sharrows in the middle of the lane?! WTF? Who are they actually expecting to cycle with San Antonio traffic? Meanwhile, residents in a huge apartment building already with their own parking lots get free curbside parking. That street parking on San Antonio should be removed and turned into a buffered bike lane. Why is the city prioritizing (free, nonetheless) parking that is a *convenience* for motorists over the *safety* of cyclists? This is just an example of a car-centric mindset that I believe will continue to manifest itself throughout this development, regardless of how the city advertises it.


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Posted by Frustrated
a resident of Los Altos
on Oct 18, 2013 at 2:17 pm

To "Not an Issue: I think most people would agree that nature is beautiful. This center would be more inviting if it incorporated more nature through wider setbacks from the streets, with a buffer of trees and flowers, and had a lower height so that we could still see the mountains and sunlight as we pass by. Most of us live in this area because we don't want to live in a city, so the urban bulk, height, and density of the center are unappealing to us. The name "Carmel at the Village" is ironic, because Carmel and villages make us think of greenery, space, and nature, which is what the center lacks. My opinion is only my opinion, of course, but the backlash against developments like this one, the Mikki's store in midtown, and the bulky developments along Alma near University Ave in Palo Alto (read recent issues of the Palo Alto Weekly) demonstrate that in general, this is not the kind of development that people in this area want to live near and shop at. Developers and store owners in this area could probably make more money with a design that local shoppers find welcoming, even if it requires more "green space."


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Posted by Frustratec
a resident of Los Altos
on Oct 18, 2013 at 2:28 pm

To Tommy Strong: Your ideas about schools to accommodate the kids in the North of El Camino area in Mountain View place the entire burden on Los Altos. Traffic in Los Altos is really bad now, especially around Egan/BCS/Santa Rita because of all the students driving to Los Altos from Mountain View. Your ideas do nothing to solve the school traffic problem that MV has created with all of the high density development. Further, Egan is a junior high and thus requires more acreage than an elementary school (mostly to run athletic programs and elective programs). Egan needs the space from BCS back. Placing another school on the Egan campus in place of BCS solves none of the space constraints that Egan currently faces (in addition to not solving the traffic problem). Bottom line is that over 25% of LASD students now live in Mountain View, and but only one LASD school (out of the 10) is located in Mountain View. Over 575 K-8 students live in the NEC neighborhood of Mountain View, and there are many additional 9-12 grade students and lots of other residents who live there too. Yet there are no schools or recreational facilities in this neighborhood. The San Antonio neighborhood north of El Camino needs a school -- in Mountain View.


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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Oct 18, 2013 at 2:38 pm

While in the whole scheme of the universe and our daily lives which I think the lay out of a Safeway supermarket and placement of a drug counter would be important. I have shopped at lots of supermarkets which not one has ever suited me or my shopping habits. I learned to live with lay out, lack of product, brand and even lack of choice which is one of the reason why we have big stores.

How many brands, styles and what used to be colored? Toilet Paper.

It is a parking lot with cars and people walking around pushing carts and kids in tow. Not one parking lot has ever been designed in a manner that is suited to all users. Some of the worse parking lots have been acres of paved areas with no trees, curbs or bumps.

This project is built for the younger person or not who is looking for a more urban living style in mind. The Old Mill, Americana, Park Place and City Center also remember Two Worlds which are outstanding mixed use projects built with different design at different times. The projects are high density living with stores and offices nearby.

Old Americana Apts. and The Old Mill were both close to major shopping but only one had cinemas with nightlife close by to enjoy. The Old Mill in its day was successful and its design was popular. The Crossing which sits on the old shopping complex was and still popular in modern city planning.

LASD must work with developers, landowners, cities and those families who seek out a school. Best spot for a school is the old Safeway store with a special Jr. High shuttle.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 18, 2013 at 3:03 pm

I do agree with those who have commented about the front of the Safeway being dangerous. It is set out with fancy paving and looks to all purposes like a Plaza.
I have seen people standing chatting and seem very surprised to see that in fact cars are waiting for them to move out the way. It has a feel that it should be for pedestrians to chat, children to play, and tables for coffee set up - not a place where cars are expected to use. It is poorly designed with those pavings. If that were changed, it would look much more like a traffic throroughfare and pedestrians not stand around chatting.


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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Oct 18, 2013 at 3:05 pm

In the past you could stand inside the old mall part of San Antonio center or by anyone buildin and not see the mountains. The whole urban part of Santa Clara is a sea of ugly buildings, strip malls, 6 lane highways and houses that have been built over 60 years. Tilt ups, car lots and gas stations other post war auto centered development. Set backs are great but most likely will be used for parking spaces with enough space for shurbs.

We have loads of outdated strip malls and other freestanding buildings that won't see big development but small scale development that 2 to 3 story buildings would be fine. We will always need one story buildings for certain kind of business.


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Posted by Another idea
a resident of Los Altos
on Oct 18, 2013 at 4:21 pm

Here are two more out-of-the-box ideas to motivate MV to plan for the education of its school-age NEC residents:
1) Place all 1000+ Mountain View residents of LASD at Springer, the one LASD campus that is located in Mountain View.
2) I'm not a big fan of charter schools, but I suppose we could all do as BCS did, and make all of the LASD schools in Los Altos into charter schools that give priority to Los Altos residents.
3) Have the city of MV provide (and provide space to house) a network of buses to carry the hundreds of K-12 students to the schools in Los Altos. (MV students would still have to be split among several LASD campuses to enable students who live within biking/walking distance of a school to do so).
Of course these are not ideal solutions, but MV does need to provide some infrastructure for the hundreds of young residents who reside in the NEC neighborhood instead of passing the buck for the social costs of its high-density developments to Los Altos while MV reaps in the tax revenue from those same developments. Anything less is environmentally irresponsible (think traffic), un-neighborly, and downright poor planning for its own residents.


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Posted by Not an issue
a resident of Community Center
on Oct 18, 2013 at 4:42 pm

I do find it amusing that palo alto residents are complaining about a mountain view store that actually has decent parking, given palo altos history of nt providing sufficient parking. I guess palo alto residents will find any reason to put down anything that is not built in the "Spanish" style or does not look like an Eichler.
Here are some of the complaints:
- there is a pharmacy in the middle
- its a long hike to get dinner
- the right angel parking is bad
-- the street in front of the store is bad
- I can't see the mountains when I drive by
- there is a mattress store
- there isn't enough of a setback
-- there aren't full grown trees yet

Bottom line-- this center is in mountain view-- palo alto should have absolutely no say about it. Period.
But complain on


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 18, 2013 at 4:48 pm

N A I

Sorry, but I just had to laugh at the image you conjured up of the angel and her parking habits.


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Posted by Observations
a resident of Los Altos
on Oct 18, 2013 at 4:57 pm

Hi Garrett: "This project is built for the younger person or not who is looking for a more urban living style in mind." I agree that the city and the developers seem to want to attract employees of Google, LinkedIn, etc. But what I find interesting is that those same businesses are mostly located on lovely campuses with lots of open space and abundant recreational facilities. These high density housing/shopping developments would be better located in "Googledom" if that is what the "younger person who is looking for a more urban" environment is really looking for. Also, though the developers may be trying to attract young workers who seek an urban living style, the fact remains that a LOT of kids also live in the neighborhood, and they need recreation space (and schools) too.


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Posted by Check it Out
a resident of Monroe Park
on Oct 18, 2013 at 5:44 pm

The younger employees and techies do not WANT to live here. They want to live in SF and take a company-sponsored charter bus to work every day.

people who live in this area do so because it was once a great place to raise a family, and the schools and childcare, as well as parks and recreation, are still good.


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Posted by Midtown Resident
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 18, 2013 at 6:27 pm

@"Not an Issue"

"I do find it amusing that palo alto residents are complaining about a mountain view store that.."

Your right to swing your arm stops at my nose.

I don't know who was complaining about parking but traffic affects all of us. As high-rises go up in surrounding communities, the commute time keeps going up. Have you driven 101 N. in the morning and 101 S. in the evenings around mountain view? The whole freeway is a parking lot! How can you justify more housing without addressing the traffic say by implementing public transit first. I for one would be happy to ride my bike, 11 miles to work if I had a way to do it where I'm not menaced by cars.


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Posted by Not an issue
a resident of Community Center
on Oct 18, 2013 at 6:36 pm

"Your right to swing your arm stops at my nose."

Cute saying, but not sure what it has to with what MV does.

"I don't know who was complaining about parking but traffic affects all of us. "
Read some of the postings on this thread and you can read all the complaints about

"Have you driven 101 N. in the morning and 101 S. in the evenings around mountain view? The whole freeway is a parking lot! "
Traffic has been slow during the rush hour on 101 for yeras ( decades maybe) . It is a sign that this's a thriving, healthy area. Or would you prefer the opposite-- no traffic on 101 . We are in the center of the silicon valley!!!!!!


"How can you justify more housing without addressing the traffic say by implementing public transit first."
I do not need to justify anything. I certainly do not feel the need to stick my nose in MV's business. Anyway, public transportation does not work in spread out areas like this one.

" I for one would be happy to ride my bike, 11 miles to work if I had a way to do it where I'm not menaced by cars."
Plenty of people commute by bike every day. The claims of being " menaced" by cars similar to the constant complaining in palo alto about " traffic"


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Posted by Cool gal
a resident of Mountain View
on Oct 18, 2013 at 6:46 pm

Every time someone writes a comment complaining about the new Safeway lot, the developer's stooges refute it with a false positive comment. We still talk to our neighbors and know that everyone hates it, almost everyone who has lived here. Soon we will be outnumbered by the new comers who will be packed densely in these over priced matchbox apartments and no one will care. While we still can, let's safe this disaster from being replicated. Movie theaters at this location were so AMC Old Mill dead. We love milk pail. We need parks. We need walking trips around the neighborhood, with out having to dodge cars or cramped sidewalks. Find a sensible developer. Whole Foods was better constructed than Safeway. Parc Crossings and Stanford got good architects and developers. This one just has no clue what is appropriate. They only understand city living and money making. We need a developer who understands the importance of community building through shared open space designed to do it right.


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Posted by Not an issue
a resident of Community Center
on Oct 18, 2013 at 6:56 pm

[Post removed.)


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Posted by Midtown Resident
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 18, 2013 at 7:44 pm

@"Not an Issue"

>"Your right to swing your arm stops at my nose."
"Cute saying, but not sure what it has to with what MV does"

Sigh, OK. If development in Mtn. View makes traffic unbearable for my commute I have a right to complain. See the parallel?? Understand the reference? No? Oh, Well. Let's go on to the next topic.



"Traffic has been slow during the rush hour on 101 for yeras ( decades maybe) . It is a sign that this's a thriving, healthy area. Or would you prefer the opposite-- no traffic on 101 . We are in the center of the silicon valley!!!!!!"

That's the most foolish statment I've even heard. "Because traffic has always been slow, let's keep building since slower and stopped is no worse than slow"


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Posted by Not an issue
a resident of Community Center
on Oct 18, 2013 at 8:02 pm

Midtown resident-- you have a right to complain all you want and you are doing a good job at it. Since you live in palo alto, your complaints about MV does can be ignored. How often has palo alto consulted with its neighbors about what t is doing ( a perfect current example is the Newell bridge) .

The most foolish statement is theone that says that 101 is a parking lot everyday. Traffic moves slowly, but it moves.
But let's stop all development-- no new housing so that people will have to commute to,this area to work. It is not alwya about you and your commute. You drive 11 miles a day ( according to your statement) and you are making it sound like you are coming from Stockton and the new developments are adding hours to your commute.
As usual, it is always about palo alto and how no one can ever be inconvenienced for any reason.


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Posted by midtown resident
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 19, 2013 at 6:19 am

@"Not an issue"

"you have a right to complain all you want and you are doing a good job at it."
Yes I have a right to. Then why are you objecting to me complaining about it? If you have any actual issues to debate let us debate it.

"But let's stop all development-- no new housing so that people will have to commute to,this area to work. It is not alwya about you and your commute."

That's right. Stop all new housing if the traffic impact is negative. Do you understand the concept of limited resources? 101 does not have an infinite capacity to hold cars. Nor does Central or El Camino. At some point it is FULL! If as you claim, that high-density housing here, actually helps traffic, its ok with me. Just show me the traffic study that says traffic will actually be reduced. The issue here is "where?". Traffic may reduce on say 101 or 280 because people are commuting smaller distances. But it it chokes up Central, it dumb to build more housing without adequate public trasnsit.

"public transportation does not work in a spread out area like this"
There area many cities and countries like Japan that have high-speed public transit that cover large distances and work just fine. Do you work for an oil company?

" You drive 11 miles a day ( according to your statement) and you are making it sound like you are coming from Stockton and the new developments are adding hours to your commute."

How does it matter how far I commute? If I'm stuck for 1/2 an hour, I'm stuck, spewing carbon. Again you make no sense.

"As usual, it is always about palo alto and how no one can ever be inconvenienced for any reason"

Another random statement with no relevance to the topic. What does this have to do with me living in palo alto? you seem to have a bee in your bonnet about palo alto.

So I guess I'm selfish and spoilt because I don't want traffic to get worse? Oh boy. You really must be one of the developers of this project or are have totally swallowed the BS they put out every time they push one of these projects about the "public benefits" of the projects. All this is is another developer screwing residents of a town so they can go buy a large house with a view in Los Altos Hills.


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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Oct 19, 2013 at 8:02 am

No techies wants to live in Mountain View which seems odd for the rents keep going up and the need for apartments.

Yes the NEC needs a school and open space which I can say not every square foot of space needs to developed. The LASD and MV must talk to land owners or developers to find a shared site. The old Safeway site might make a good K 3 with park.

Want to point out not everyone moving into this area will be having children right away or within 5 years. I really don't know but not everyone cares to have a bundle of joy but having dog will be OK.

Traffic at rush hour is bad, commute travel times which means most people travel to and from work at set times. So while you are sitting in traffic at 8 AM most likely at 9 AM at the same spot is lighter. I drive for a living so I get to see streets at their worse and at their best.

Will make my case why San Antonio Rd is so bad going towards 101. Los Altos portion 4 lanes. Mountain View portion becomes 6 lanes down to 4 lanes. Some turn and exit only lanes. Palo Alto 4 lanes with turn lanes which one.is used for 101 south. 4 lanes become 2 lanes just before the overpass. Northbound.ramp for 101, then Bayshore Frontage Rd and other streets are found after going over 101.


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Posted by John
a resident of Mountain View
on Oct 20, 2013 at 9:25 am

Midtown Resident hit it
"There is no doubt that many local city councils are in the pockets of developers, call them bribes or not. If you follow the developments carefully you will see that parts of cities are being sold off to developers by city councils who do not give a damn about the ensuing traffic or the quality of life of the residents."

This monstrosity has no place to be out where it is: the equivalent of a 17 story building et al. Who will pay the social costs while the developer pockets the profit? Residents and taxpayers, commuters etc.

There is obviously a developer troll on the comment board.

By the way, I stopped in the new Safeway after work on Friday, after sitting in traffic and maneuvering through the parking lot, and to my surprise it was mostly empty! Hardly anyone was there. And there's no compelling reason to ever return.


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Posted by JoAnn
a resident of Ventura
on Oct 30, 2013 at 7:22 pm

To those who go to California Ave for The Counter, don't worry, Palo Alto is in the process of trashing that area, too.

And hey, Milk Pail, my neighborhood would welcome you with open arms.


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Posted by what next?
a resident of another community
on Mar 28, 2014 at 8:01 pm

Please Note: You all mean Albertsons!

Albertsons will be running the show. Safeway has been bought out to cut costs so they can compete with big-box retailers, convenience stores and niche grocers.

Start thinking: Boise, Idaho in the middle of Carmel by the Sea.

Just sayin'


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Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Mar 29, 2014 at 8:20 am

A lot of comments on Safeway. I disliked shopping at the MV Safeway because I though it was dirty inside. My choice is the Safeway in Menlo Park for good parking, diversity of products, and Midtown for short hops. Note that the new batch of Safeways are based on the gold standard in Honolulu - Waikiki. You can live in that store and never leave.

Note on redevelopment - every facility has a depreciation schedule for accounting purposes and once it reached the end of the depreciation schedule the owner is forced to upgrade for current specifications to restart the schedule. Given the cost to upgrade vs tear down and re-develop it makes more sense to tear down and replace to meet current specifications.

That is taking place in buildings owned by the state of California who is faced with upgrading for current earthquake specifications - or sell and lease space in a new buildings which are located in outlying areas where younger people can afford houses.

You will see older buildings coming down that have no historical value because the value of the property has bottomed out. Only the land has value.

That is like your house - you have to continually replace and repair and at some point you sell out for a new home in an outlying area. Or you tear down the existing home and rebuild a new home built to current specifications.

Commercial property is just that - has to have commercial value.


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Posted by DAVID ENGLISH
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 30, 2014 at 9:03 pm

I SOLVED THE ENTIRE PROBLEM OF CONGESTION AND UNCONTROLLED DEVELOPMENT....I JUST LEFT TOWN. LET THE SUCKERS LIVE WITH THE PROBLEMS AND VOTE FOR THE NITWITS. A TIME COMES TO MOVE ON. IT'S SAD TO LEAVE SUCH A WONDERFUL PLACE.

DAVID


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Posted by Mikeal
a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 30, 2014 at 9:53 pm

Oh David English, we will miss you!

I remember one time as a child, my bike chain got stuck on my mail route, David English just happened to be driving by, and wouldn't you know it, he drove me around and let me toss papers from the passenger window!


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Posted by Kirstin
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 30, 2014 at 10:06 pm

When a girl who was bullying me in middle school took my backpack, David English went to her house and not only got my backpack from her mom, but convinced her to pull her daughter out of school they moved away a few weeks later!


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Posted by Volvo-driving coupon clipper
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2014 at 11:37 pm

@Resident,

I miss Sears and Mervyn's, too! Sears building was in poor repair, but it had that great Land's End shop (with it's fantastic sales), appliances, boys' jeans (Tough Skins are THE best jeans for boys), and a baby gear department that is frankly sorely needed around here. And tools. Mervyn's was much more practical and economical than Kohl's. I miss it, too.

I shopped at the Safeway a few times and gave up. It's exhausting to go there. I shop at Sprouts, TJ's, WF, and Country Sun with coupons after the farmer's market. I pay attention to sales and coupons, and do my best.

I hate the loss of the hills and horizon. It wouldn't have been nearly so bad if they hadn't built that thing right out to the street with the backs of the businesses facing the sidewalk and El Camino. Very unpleasant since I'm at that intersection frequently. It feels like the street is being shut out. Very unwelcoming.

As for the facelift ... good word. But it's the facelift gone too far -- you know, the one that was way worse than just leaving the wrinkles and all...


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Posted by Surrealisto
a resident of Mountain View
on Mar 31, 2014 at 10:04 am

The idea of putting a hotel there is ridiculous. The only people touristing in Mountain View are most likely to be software developers with business in Silicon Valley- families are most likely to stay with relatives. There is literally nothing to see in the South Bay worth mentioning to those with no local connection with the possible exception of Shoreline Ampitheatre. I foresee many vacancies, lost income, and lost investments.


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Posted by Theodore
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 31, 2014 at 10:11 am

I can't imagine what life around here will be like with David English gone... I didn't have a prom date my senior year.  David English not only let me take out his Russian bride to the dance, he let me get to second base with her afterwards!


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Posted by Danna
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 31, 2014 at 12:28 pm

What a story Mikeal!  I remember my mom sent me and my sister grocery shopping, we didn't have enough for a chocolate bar at the register so we had to put it back.  David English happened to be standing in line behind us, and as we were leaving he pulled up and told us he had a surprise inside his car.  It was our chocolate bar and he bought it for us


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Posted by Saul
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 31, 2014 at 1:37 pm

Ah, David English, What a human being!.

Long ago, I took my obligatory 'walkabout', in the Middle East: Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Syria. Once, when I had been stuck hithchiking on the Road to Damascus for more than two days, David English picked me up, and helped me to see the world in a wholly different light.

I will be forever thankful to him.


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Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 31, 2014 at 7:46 pm

Having been bitten by this a few times ... it would be very nice if the Palo Alto Online website would flag the color for the link of any article that is over a certain number of weeks or months old. People go back and comment on articles years old, and then start up a whole new round of comments because it is not immediately apparent if you don't look at the dates.


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