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New rent increases to hit 'Page Mill' tenants

Original post made on Jun 16, 2008

A second wave of rent increases this year could hit tenants in as many as 1,700 East Palo Alto apartments by September, the apartments' owner, Palo Alto-based Page Mill Properties, has announced.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, June 16, 2008, 10:18 AM

Comments (14)

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Posted by Resident
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 24, 2008 at 12:59 pm

I can understand that Page Mill has put new money into these areas but alot of people can't even afford the rents they are now paying, let alone another increase. This is what has driven our long time residents away from East Palo Alto along with the crime. We keep being compared to the other surrounding cities and what their apartments rent for. Please stop! Because those cities listed are more financially stable and most people in those cities can afford that kind of rent. Yeah the apartments are looking nice from the outside now, but what about the inside? Have anyone actually went inside to check? I personally feel that Page Mill should have looked allot deeper into this project before splurging all that money and then they wouldn't be making the tenants pay for all these things. And if you haven't noticed, just because you have layed new grass, street lights, security gates & cameras that this is going to stop crime. It is still occurring... The people that they have hired from what I've seen has been mainly hispanic and speak no english and can be rude.... THe majority of those worked used to work originally for the previous owners so I see no change in that department. When did job openings come available? I've never seen a posting even when I lived in a particular complex. I even inquired about positions, but I was always told there are no openings... Maybe I should try again? And yes I have all the experience!!!!!! Change is great but when it affects people's way of living then things need to be re-looked at. I agree about helping the teachers, but do they really want to live here? Not only should teachers be looked out for but what about other people who work for the city or different businesses in the city? Make it fair for everyone...... I personally think everybodies jumping on the band wagon to take East Palo Alto over and make us just like Palo Alto, why? They have never TRULY wanted a part of us unless it benefits them...... TIme has changed, but I still get funny looks as if why am I in this area of Palo Alto? Not only by people who live there but also from the Palo Alto Police department. I'm just tired of this.....


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Posted by Mike
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 24, 2008 at 2:30 pm

G-e-n-t-r-i-f-i-c-a-t-i-o-n.

We all know what's happening, so why not cop to it, including Mr. Taran, who, btw, made sure his diligence team knew all about unused rent increase certificates, but somehow, just somehow, they didn't have a chance (poor things) to notice that the property's infrastructure was a mess? Come on, ,Mr. Taran, you can do better than that. Maybe when you're shilling to the press, and to people who don't understand how these things work, you can get away with that. But not here.

How can Taran, with a straight face, say on the one hand that he "wants to help", and then on the other hand apply the unused certificates?

Mr. Taran is an investor who has a *plan* to generate a very specific ROI from that property. Mr. Taran can't, with a straight face, say that "we didn't know" about how poor the condition of the property was before he bought it.

I would love to have been the reporter in that interview; there would have been some hardball questions, and hardball reporting, instead of jacked-up PR from someone who is all about the money first, and people second.

Why not bring down your ROI expectations, Mr. Taran? Why not nurture that property in a way that would bring a long term payback AND let hard-working folks who live their not have to endure year-over-year rent increases that exceed 10%.

Getting rid of riff-raff is one thing, but the rent increases described are just short of usurious, and all the PR shilling in the world won't make Page Mill Properties look like anything other than the heartless gentrifiers that they so far have shown themselves to be.

Also, I would love to know what those "45 jobs" are; what they consist of; how much they pay, and so on.

Someone needs to DIG into this story, and do some *hard* reporting.


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Posted by Grew Up Here
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 24, 2008 at 2:43 pm

I remember way back in the 70s or 80s, they talked about changing the name of EPA to Nairobi and it was voted down. EPA is in San Mateo County and PA is in Santa Clara County. Why don't they change the name so that people don't think that EPA is part of Palo Alto? Because EPA wants to be associated with Palo Alto.

Why doesn't EPA have their own large grocery store?


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Posted by Mike
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 24, 2008 at 2:57 pm

Grew up here, Palo Altans don't take a liking to people who deliver thinly veiled racist diatribes; it's not neighborly. If you did grow up here, you're on the margin, just barely hanging on. Might I suggest some sensitivity training, or counseling. That might help.

In the meantime, why not write Mr. Taran and ask what he's doing to bring in a large grocery store to EPA.


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Posted by Grew Up Here
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 24, 2008 at 3:22 pm

Mike, Palo Altans think it, they just don't say it.


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Posted by Mike
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 24, 2008 at 6:11 pm

Grew up here, I thought your brand of Hooey went out with the Neanderthals. Hopefully, Taran doesn't associate with your kind of backwardness.


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Posted by Grew Up Here
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 24, 2008 at 8:29 pm

Mike, you are an idealist if you think racism does not exist. It exists everywhere. People here just don't outwardly talk about it to strangers because it is not PC.

I know the wife of a teacher who lives in EPA who said they and children get crap all the time from Palo Altans about living in EPA.

Let me ask you this, Mike, why don't YOU move to EPA? You could have a nicer, larger house built and feel just as comfortable and safe as living in PA, right? EPA is just as convenient as living in PA.


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Posted by Mike
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 24, 2008 at 9:52 pm

Grew up here, Racism does exist, and like it or not, we're all biased in some ways - including toward certain qualities of members of our own race (go take some of the Harvard Implicit Studies, to prove my point).

What I object to are the transparent implications of your not-so-subtle racist diatribe, above. Yes, racism exists. If one thinks racism is a bad thing, one works to end references to racism, and making judgments based on race alone. I don't see you doing that.


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Posted by Grew Up Here
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 24, 2008 at 11:47 pm

Mike, I don't see anywhere in my initial comment anything racist. All I was saying was that Palo Altans don't want to be associated with EPA. For what reason? Maybe the high crime rate and killings which occur over there?

You must be one of those liberal crazies who read into everything and shout racism. If you are working to end racism, you are wasting your time because racism will always exist, even if we elect a half African-American prez.

You really want to try to end racism against African-Americans, then go out and help them achieve success rather than blasting those you perceive as racists.




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Posted by Mike
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 24, 2008 at 11:53 pm

Grew up here, Nice slip-n'-slide. Who are you to presume that Palo Altans don't want anything to do with EPA? You're projecting. Like I said, some sensitivity training is in order; I say that with all humility.


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Posted by Junkyard
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 25, 2008 at 12:08 pm

The process is in full affect !!! 11 million dollars is chump change to a slum lord ! Yeah! the grass looks nice and its good to have proper lighting when going out to the car,but what about the units ? You're charging top dollar to live in these complexes but the units are crap ! As long as I can remember there has been a rodent problem,cockroaches and so forth.You should have used some of that money to fumigate.It's all a bunch of hogwash about hiring pest control agency to curb problem! The same terminex man has been going door to door for the past 8yrs. or so ,setting bogus roach traps and so forth.It just doesnt work!Of course someone will say why dont you clean your pad,but thats not the case.Property owners are trying to justify rent increrase Its just a ploy to drive the poor out.Someone needs to really check these complexes out.They dont even have a place for the kids to play but yet they complain about kids being in the way and vandalising the properties.Why dont you invest in a playground area for the kids?You just dropped 11 million for grass and lights,a couple of play areas for the kids would be pennies to you!! And by the way we know you have a bunch of illegals working for you also! Just because patsy Johnson is gone her discriminatory ways are still visible here at page mill properties.


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Posted by Mike
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 25, 2008 at 12:52 pm

Junkyard, It's called "curb appeal". Slumlord comes in, buys property, does the minimum necessary to compel rent increases - - repeat, year after year, until the units are going for top dollar - - then convert to condos. (or some other common conversion model).

Taran's group ONLY invested when they saw rental shortages popping up. This is not a nurturing investment group. They have a fixed idea about what they want, and damn the human consequences.

As long as they're living in comfort, and their investors are happy, why worry. All the rest is show.


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Posted by resident
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 27, 2008 at 12:11 pm

Wow!!! We all know racism still exists... It's not out in the open but it's there and will remain there... No matter if we do elect a black prez it wil still be there.... As for page mill properties, the old woners of these units knew exactly what they were doing when they jumped ship from them. They also knew how ad the units are inside and out. Even allot of the same workers that worked for the previous owners, now work for the new ones... I would also like to konw what 45 jobs? When did they announce these jobs? They were all in house to people who will work for pennies and I mean pennies.. But little do they know they will be cut off sooner than they think.

Grew up here, Crime is everywhere and so are killings, so to me as a resident of EPA that is a lame excuse. Everyone in EPA is not affiliated with stuff of that nature. There are highly intelligent people here and the people of PA and other cities don't recognize that simply because only bad is reported about EPA. I have lived in EPA for 40yrs. I grew up in the school system and even worked for the City. Like I said before change is great but to run people out of there confort zones is awfull!! Palo Alto has crime and killings, so should I be terrified and leiry of every non black person when I'm in PA? Should I grab my purse closer to me when walking in PA? Should I always except the funny looks, and the under the breath comments when I show ID? What should I do? This is a sad situation. I would like to talk to Mr. Taran about the things that are going on. I don't want to write a letter I would like to see him face to face, so he could really SEE and Hear the frustration I have. Everyone can go back and forth on this but the bottom line is what was said earlier is GENTRIFICATION!!!!!!! This has been going on for years. I actually hope he reads these comments.


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Posted by Concerned
a resident of Ventura
on Jun 27, 2008 at 12:56 pm

Once upon a time in Palo Alo there was a small, mostly African American community at the intersection of Page Mill Road and El Camino Real. The home occupants were mainly renters. A large real estate firm began buying up the area. Afforadable older homes began disappearing and subsequntly replaced by high density appartments, condos and offices. The New Sweet Home Church of God in Christ was cut in half and moved from Page Mill Road and Birch/Ash to Capital Avenue in East Palo Alto in 1966. This church now sits on land ear- marked for future high rise/ high density redevelopment. Black folks were pushed/redlined from down town Palo Alto to the formerly all white East Palo Alto.

Now the Page Mill Properties, owned by a Mr. Toran controls about 90% of the rental apartments in East Palo Alto. He is committed to maximizing investment returns through continual rent increases. Tenents are being forced out. There is a proposal by Berry Swenson Builder to erect a 10 (probably 12-15)story, 200 unit high rise apartment complex in East Palo Alto. If this monstrousity is built, it will be followed by several more, especially on the west side of Bayshore Freeway, on properties owned by Page Mill. The apparent future of East Palo Alto can be found by Looking at Emeryville.

As for a grocery story in East Palo Alto. Circuit City is being purchased By Block Buster and will likey be closed. This locaton would be ideal for a Food Maxx/SaveMart/Supre Marcado.


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