News


Marriott proposes two hotels in south Palo Alto

Five-story buildings would go up on San Antonio Road

In the latest sign of Palo Alto's surging hotel boom, Marriott has proposed to build two five-story hotels on San Antonio Road that between them would include 301 rooms.

The proposal, which the Architectural Review Board will consider for the first time on June 4, calls for the merging of two commercial sites at 744 and 748 San Antonio Road and constructing two separate Marriott hotels. One would be a Courtyard by Marriott while the other would be AC by Marriott, a brand that is firmly established in Europe and geared toward a more hip, urban and cosmopolitan feel. The two new buildings would be separated by an interior courtyard featuring a swimming pool and a spa, according to the conceptual landscape plan.

Marriott's new hotel complex would replace two small commercial buildings east of Middlefield Road, including the building currently housing the automobile-service shop, Street FX Customs, in a largely commercial area near the city's border with Mountain View.

According to the proposed site plan, each building would be five stories in height. Courtyard by Marriott would have 148 rooms, while AC by Marriott would have 153. The complex would include 235 parking spaces, 186 of which would be in an underground garage while the rest would be in a surface lot.

Marriott's ambitious proposal comes during a booming period for Palo Alto's hotel industry. With the local economy thriving, hotel vacancy rates at historic lows and hotel-tax revenues on the rise, the city has seen a number of hotels recently open its doors. These include the Epiphany Hotel at 180 Hamilton Ave., which replaced Casa Olga last year, and Homewood Suites by Hilton, which has taken over property once occupied by Palo Alto Bowl on the southern end of El Camino Real. On the northern end of El Camino, Westin is in the process of building an annex, a project that is expected to be completed next year.

Another hotel was recently planned for Embarcadero Road, at the former site of Ming's Chinese Cuisine and Bar. That proposal has not advanced, however, and Mercedes-Benz is now pursuing a plan to set up a dealership at the Ming's site. Despite the setback, the city's proposed budget for fiscal year 2016 notes that the city's hotel revenues continue to perform "exceptionally well" and that daily room rates and occupancy levels "continue to demonstrate considerable strength."

Palo Alto officials expect to get about $18.8 million from hotel taxes in the coming fiscal year (which begins on July 1), an increase of 32.4 percent from the current year. The decision by Palo Alto voters last November to approve an increase in the city's hotel-tax rate from 12 percent to 14 percent is expected to add to the revenue windfall. The new rate went into effect on Jan. 1 and is expected to generate $2.9 million in the current fiscal year.

The Architectural Review Board will consider the proposed hotels on June 4 in a preliminary hearings, which means there will be no vote on the application.

Comments

21 people like this
Posted by South resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 28, 2015 at 11:51 am

Will that be a helipad on the roof so the guests can get where they need to without making us residents of South Palo Alto go postal?

San Antonio, no. Ming's site, on the other hand, is the perfect place for a large hotel.


31 people like this
Posted by AlexDeLarge
a resident of Midtown
on May 28, 2015 at 1:19 pm

Uh-Oh, here it comes, Palo Alto a town of 65,000 with one million opinions...


20 people like this
Posted by Ron
a resident of College Terrace
on May 28, 2015 at 1:42 pm

The best place for a multi story hotel would at Page Mill and ECR. Right where the soccer fields are. 3 or 4 story underground parking with a 8 to 10 story hotel, with conference rooms, meeting areas, restaurants, etc. Quick exits to Hwy 101 or 280. Not looking into anyone's backyard. Great location!


16 people like this
Posted by South resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 28, 2015 at 2:03 pm

@AlexDeLarge, "resident of Midtown" hmmm

...that wouldn't have to be voiced if our planning provisions and codes hadn't been violated so blatantly for so long.

Here we go again with the trolls trying to denigrate Palo Altans whose quality of life has been severely impacted, especially in the South (traffic, noise, loss of daylight plane, etc) in the last few years, more like.


16 people like this
Posted by AlexDeLarge
a resident of Midtown
on May 28, 2015 at 2:19 pm

@South resident

Well, that's your opinion...

BTW, life long resident here, 48 years and counting;)


12 people like this
Posted by palo alto resident
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 28, 2015 at 2:26 pm

My only comment is that if you have 301 rooms is that you need at least 301 parking spaces - not to mention parking for employees. To get to most places from San Antonio, you need a car.


33 people like this
Posted by already here
a resident of Palo Verde
on May 28, 2015 at 2:35 pm

How about waiting until there's enough water to support the new demands?

Tired of cutting back so some corporation can make a profit.


43 people like this
Posted by Just say NO
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 28, 2015 at 2:42 pm

There simply should be no further development in CA or people or busk esmes moving to CA at least until there is enough water to support the increased demand. There is not enough for everyone as it is. A moratorium is called for.


7 people like this
Posted by Me
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 28, 2015 at 4:08 pm

Development is good. Provides jobs to young kids and low skills folks. Besides, if you ever needed a hotel room for any reason, it's just down the road


20 people like this
Posted by Frank
a resident of Downtown North
on May 28, 2015 at 4:23 pm

Hotels are a huge contributor to the local economy, as the hotel tax is so much higher than sales tax... And it is paid almost entirely by non residents. It also supports the many high tech businesses in the area that have visiting employees, vendors, etc. Hotels also generate less traffic than an office building, since many rooms have multiple guests, and still other guests arrive by taxi or shuttle.

While I understand the traffic concern, the pros outweigh the cons in my opinion


8 people like this
Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 28, 2015 at 5:31 pm

5-stories...what is the height limit in that area of town?


4 people like this
Posted by Hink
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 28, 2015 at 5:48 pm

Our Planning staff should require rickshaw and bicycle lanes from these hotels toward North Shoreline where the guests will likely be visiting tech businesses.


5 people like this
Posted by Traffic
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 28, 2015 at 6:26 pm

I agree a hotel adds a lot of revenue, but the increased traffic is a concern. Those that drive their own cars will use taxis - not only equivalent traffic but much worse drivers!


5 people like this
Posted by Traffic
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 28, 2015 at 6:38 pm

Sorry, those that *don't* drive their own cars will use taxis - not only equivalent traffic but much worse drivers!


27 people like this
Posted by realist
a resident of Midtown
on May 28, 2015 at 6:51 pm

These hotels are primarily for business travelers who have business with Palo Alto companies or Stanford. If they can't stay in Palo Alto, they will stay elsewhere and probably rent a car to drive many miles to Palo Alto, putting a lot more traffic on our streets. Building the hotels here reduces traffic, so I am for them.

If you want to reduce the demand for hotels in this city, you should talk to the city about limiting the number of jobs in town. Mountain View is telling Google to take their jobs elsewhere. Should Palo Alto do the same with HP and other local companies? Reducing the number of jobs in town will also reduce traffic, as well as lower home prices.


7 people like this
Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 28, 2015 at 7:24 pm

I want to know more about the plan but at first brush I'm okay with it. How much revenue are we getting from all those offices downtown? Doesn't sound like the TOT increase didn't deter hotels from building here. That's good! I don't have an answer for the traffic impact except to suggest that the hotel occupants here on business schedule their meetings with clients/customers for mid-morning after regular workers are already settled in at work.


4 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 28, 2015 at 7:35 pm

Wonder if Marriott know that they will have to pay their janitors, housekeepers, $15 an hour. Perhaps they will have robots making beds, cleaning rooms and of course valet parking cars!


19 people like this
Posted by Yay
a resident of Midtown
on May 28, 2015 at 7:54 pm

Revenue! Time to cash in on the. Hotel tax!


5 people like this
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on May 28, 2015 at 9:06 pm

I'm just surprised that this location is in Palo Alto! I thought that it was Mountain View. The borders of this town are difficult for me to comprehend. Does anyone actually have a map showing the boundaries of Palo Alto?


11 people like this
Posted by Traffic
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 28, 2015 at 10:05 pm

Realist,

"Reducing the number of jobs in town will also reduce traffic, as well as lower home prices."

I completely disagree that reducing jobs will lower home prices. My data: have lived here 50 years and know full well Palo Alto was an "expensive" place to live due to Stanford and the town culture, well before there were any high-tech (or other) jobs here. And, my realtor-spouse knows people don't buy homes here because there are jobs in town, they buy because of the historical status and the schools.

So, in my opinion, we don't need more jobs. We need a better quality of life, a return to what first made Palo Alto a sought-after place to live. Neighboring cities/towns whithout jobs are doing just fine: Atherton, Portola Valley, Woodside, Los Altos Hills, Menlo Park, Los Altos...

What evidence do you have that jobs are tied to home prices? Just saying it doesn't make it so.


5 people like this
Posted by Palo Alto mom
a resident of Green Acres
on May 28, 2015 at 10:33 pm

New hotels will certainly ease my dreaded traffic congestion drive time in Palo Alto. This town is barely crawling between 4:45 pm and 6:30 pm. Take the hotel to another area/town.


2 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on May 29, 2015 at 1:02 am

@Nayeli, for a boundary map you can try -- Web Link

Looks like a hack of Google Maps. Google Maps itself used to work well for me until they switched to their newer version, which would require a browser upgrade, which needs an operating system upgrade, which needs a cpu upgrade which needs a ... you know the drill.


14 people like this
Posted by Kazu
a resident of Downtown North
on May 29, 2015 at 1:10 am

Not In My Backyard, eh?

I live in north Palo Alto, so I think South Palo Alto is the perfect place to build the hotels. The tax revenue will be good to have, it will provide jobs, as well as needed accommodations for business travelers and others.

That NIMBY nonsense isn't so good when the shoe is on the other foot, is it?


15 people like this
Posted by Kazu
a resident of Downtown North
on May 29, 2015 at 1:42 am

@South resident wrote:

"Here we go again with the trolls trying to denigrate Palo Altans whose quality of life has been severely impacted, especially in the South (traffic, noise, loss of daylight plane, etc) in the last few years, more like."

Palo Altans whose quality of life has been severely impacted? Seriously? The quality of life in the entire Bay Area has been severely impacted by overpopulation and what seems like zero urban planning. If anything, Palo Alto has been less affected by these changes than many surrounding areas, not more. Trying to cope with a flood of incoming people by strangling growth simply does not work. That's not trolling, it's logic.

Sure, the Bay Area was a million times better 40 years ago - affordable housing, a laid back lifestyle, laid back, friendly people who knew how to drive, infinitely less traffic, etc. I wish there was a way to turn back the clock, because the invading hordes really screwed things up. The high tech industry is not going away, and neither are the teeming masses it has led here. Even if they all went back home tomorrow, the Bay Area still would not go back to being what is was. Instead of trying to make Palo Alto some frozen-in-amber kind of place, we should instead figure out how best to adapt to the change, and make it work to our advantage.


6 people like this
Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on May 29, 2015 at 12:14 pm

@Ron: the routes to 101 and 280 from the intersection of Page Mill and ECR may be direct, but they are no longer quick!


1 person likes this
Posted by Jenny
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 29, 2015 at 4:11 pm

To: Nayeli....and anybody else who wants to know.

A map of Palo of Palo Alto? If you are a member, get a good free map from AAA on Homer Street. Ifnot maybe you can buy one there. Excellent map.
As for these new hotels. First make a ruling that 'under the circumstances' - drought, the occupants of these hotels will 1) have to bring their own bed linen and take them home to wash. 2) There will be only one shower per week. 3)
There will be no laundromat service- shirts,etc. Take or send them home. 3) Drink water? Bring it with you. 4) Please don't stay too long. Get out of 'Dodge". And if you are planning to stay, bring a bicycle. We're all in this together.


4 people like this
Posted by South resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 29, 2015 at 5:30 pm

@Kazu,

Um, actually, there are some hard limits to resources like water and even space and sky. There is no inevitability to turning the Bay Area into Hong Kong, and it's not even smart. We live in a huge nation with many areas in need of urban renewal. If it gets expensive here, there is no sense in artificially encouraging packing in more people and ruining the place. Right now, Detroit would be a great place to invest, get skilled or eager labor, and probably lots of government concessions. In state, Fresno is turning into a great place for young families. Give parts of it hipper names, and go for it.

@Alex,
Online behavior, not length of residency, determines trollishness.


2 people like this
Posted by AlexDeLarge
a resident of Midtown
on May 29, 2015 at 11:19 pm

[Post removed.]


21 people like this
Posted by Joesph
a resident of Barron Park
on May 29, 2015 at 11:57 pm

This hotel will be a nice addition to an otherwise drab industrial section of PA. I'm for it.


3 people like this
Posted by The Baron
a resident of South of Midtown
on May 30, 2015 at 2:39 am

This section of town is no longer a healthy place to live. Children choke down car exhaust on their way home from school. All of the trees have been removed. These would be the largest buildings in the area. They would block needed wind from the bay and currents from the ocean to clean the blight of an already overcrowded (sub?)urban community. We must stand together against the evil interests of corporate money and those seduced by its "benefits."


5 people like this
Posted by too big
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on May 30, 2015 at 11:35 am

I don't against new hotel along the San Antonio Road. However, the design of these 2 hotels are too big for the small two lots. Looking at the drawing, they are going to build to the edge of the road, tall and monster structure without enough parking slots or gardens. For the current drawing, NO, I against it. Please redesign a much smaller scale hotel with enough parking space for each room plus employees. Put some landscape in the front along San Antonio Road please. Otherwise, overflow cars will be at the other side of residential place plus traffic.

In another comment, a hotel will be better than Google/Linkedin buy it and build monster office with daily traffic.


Like this comment
Posted by JimK
a resident of The Greenhouse
on May 30, 2015 at 1:16 pm

Comments about parking, such as 301 rooms needing at least 301 spaces... Maybe a large space for Googlebikes will help since the Googleplex is only a 30 minute walk away.


11 people like this
Posted by Ahem
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 30, 2015 at 2:10 pm

Horrible... even in the renderings the buildings look like apartment blocks from Soviet Russia. This is not architecture. The proposed buildings are just giant human vending machines.


5 people like this
Posted by Mcsolaar
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 31, 2015 at 8:07 am

Sure, just what we need, another place for paying guests and workers driving in from Tracy - at the expense of housing for those workers and others waiting for (lower income) housing options in Palo Alto! Maybe Marriott should better build their hotel at the site of Buena Vista - more centrally located and our city 9COUNCIL?) will Have it's money where its mouth is. "put in a parking lot," - As Joni Mitchell crooned back in other days, and we all listened..."
"They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot
With a pink hotel *, a boutique
And a swinging hot spot

Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot"


4 people like this
Posted by Kazu
a resident of Downtown North
on May 31, 2015 at 3:37 pm

@South resident wrote:

"Um, actually, there are some hard limits to resources like water and even space and sky. There is no inevitability to turning the Bay Area into Hong Kong, and it's not even smart."

It is unlikely that Hong Kong could be duplicated in the Bay Area, but then I think you already knew that. In fact, urbanization has been taking place for some time, both in Palo Alto and in the surrounding areas. The process is ongoing due to state and local population increases, and there is nothing we can do to stop it. What we can do is manage the urbanization in a way that is functional and realistic. We are not an island, and will never be no matter how hard we pretend otherwise.

"We live in a huge nation with many areas in need of urban renewal. If it gets expensive here, there is no sense in artificially encouraging packing in more people and ruining the place. Right now, Detroit would be a great place to invest, get skilled or eager labor, and probably lots of government concessions. In state, Fresno is turning into a great place for young families. Give parts of it hipper names, and go for it."

What you are suggesting is NIMBY in the exreme. Taking such an approach is dysfunctional, unrealistic and simply does not work. The current mess in which Palo Alto finds itself is ample proof of that. Instead of trying to sweep back the ocean with a broom, we should be building a marina.


@AlexDeLarge wrote:

"[Post removed.]"

Palo Alto Online, please stop with the constant censorship. It has become far too pervasive. This is Palo Alto Online, not North Korea Online.


8 people like this
Posted by Kazu
a resident of Downtown North
on May 31, 2015 at 3:50 pm

@Mcsolaar, the agrarian paradise in Palo Alto was paved over decades ago. Proposals for current redevelopment are to replace asphalt and concrete with better adapted asphalt and concrete.

Paving over some of the best agricultural land on the planet was not a wise move. Our chance at avoiding urbanization vanished when the farms and fields were buried under an urban sprawl. We should have built up rather than building out back then. Now we do not have any choice, up is the only way to go.


5 people like this
Posted by Water Waster
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 1, 2015 at 8:19 am

THERE IS NO WATER IN PALO ALTO!! THERE IS NO WATER IN CALIFORNIA!! that is really all you need to know about building two new hotels anywhere in Palo Alto. 400 new rooms with bathrooms, toilets, showers, bath-tubs, sinks, and a pool in the court yard. REALLY. and this water is coming from where?? Palo Altans seem to think that the water shortage does not apply to us. Palo Altans seem to think that money will solve the water shortage--that is applies just to the other communities. we continue to see lush, green lawns with the run-off water sitting in nearby gutters as we go on our morning walks. this is so disgusting. there should be NO green lawns of any sort in Palo Alto--we thought that Palo Altans were so into global warming and climate change and doing what is right for the environment. REALLY? seems like a bunch of hipocrites on our daily walks. It is time to wake up and see what is really going on in our community. we need to take a leadership role in this--not just think that the water shortage is everyone else's issue. it doesn't matter if you live in south palo alto, north palo alto, or Crescent Park--it is obnoxious to see all the water being wasted--it is obnoxious to see all the green lawns in PA. Instead of building new hotels and new "speed" trains--we should be building new dams and reservoirs--that is really the only thing that is going to save our incessant waste of water--but, of course that doesn't feed the greedy city council and out of area project managers. THERE IS NO WATER IN PALO ALTO. THERE IS NO WATER IN CALIFORNIA. our snow resources are at 0% today. there is no new water supply coming down the pike this year. it is gone. We all will be living in a desert, if we don't wake up Palo Alto. This is not a political issue, it is not a democrate issue. it is not a republican issue. it is not a rich issue. it is not a poor issue. this is an existence issue.


4 people like this
Posted by Palo Alto native
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jun 1, 2015 at 11:44 am

If a new hotel is needed, demolish the Glass Slipper and replace it.

Give us a diner instead of a hotel please.


5 people like this
Posted by Jean
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jun 1, 2015 at 12:32 pm

I notice that all new construction is divided into two groups, one housing the other office space.

It has just been revealed that Marriot wants to build two hotels in Palo Alto on San Antonio Road. Are hotels considered "housing" or "office space"?

Like the JCC on the corner of Charleston and San Antonio Road, Marriot wants an exception to build 5 floors, a ground floor for vehicle parking and 4 floors above. This will require another exception to the 50 ft. height limite like the JCC. Meanwhile the number of parking spaces are quite inadequate for the number of rooms they propose to build.


3 people like this
Posted by Concerned Retiree
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 1, 2015 at 1:23 pm

How does Palo Alto balance the needs for growth and development with a sustainable quality of life for its residents? Do note that none of the large developers who are so ready to turn PA into a concrete city actually live in Palo Alto!

And, of course, all of the newspapers which are "free" are supported by developers and real estate brokers. How can one expect an unbiased report?


5 people like this
Posted by Palo Altan
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 1, 2015 at 6:58 pm

And where will the low paid staff at the proposed Marriott Hotels live? Will they commute to PA with a 4 hour round trip commute? Or, as the Transportation Department likes to think, will they will bike to work? I wonder how long it takes to bike to PA from Vallejo?


5 people like this
Posted by water waster
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 2, 2015 at 8:50 am

WAKE UP PALO ALTO!! there is NO WATER! this ridiculous discussion needs to end at this point. there is no need for any further discussion as to whether to keep building at some rampant pace. THERE IS NO WATER!! is Marriott going to truck in their water usage from Utah? THERE IS NO WATER!!!


2 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jun 2, 2015 at 12:15 pm

At $359 per night, there is plenty of water.


1 person likes this
Posted by water waster
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 4, 2015 at 8:23 am

Musical-- not sure if that was in jest or not--but, that is the mentality of us in Palo Alto--if you have money to spend, the water shortage isn't your concern. unfortunately, nothing could be farther from the truth. THERE IS NO WATER IN CALIFORNIA!! We should be building dams and reservervoirs--not water gushing hotels. Governor Brown (sr) should have allowed the Auburn dam to be built when he was governor--that would have helped tremendously. but, we need to start now with the reservoir additions. This governor brown seems to think the speed rail is going to save the day. what a croc!! WE DON'T HAVE ANY WATER. Our city can help by stopping with all the madness of building, building, building more buildings so that they can collect more taxes so that they can waste more water--because certainly the water shortage isn't Palo Alto's concern.


Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 4, 2015 at 8:30 am

Building dams and reservoirs don't help when there is no rain!!!!


Even in a year of normal rainfall, we are still going to struggle to have enough drinking water. Dams and reservoirs are not necessarily the right solution because they cause problems downstream when there is not enough river water.

A better solution has to be programs to reuse gray water on major levels and desalination plants.

And if you think that sounds gross, where do you think mountain snow comes from? Fresh drinking water is from the ocean and modern purification systems are just as good as clouds for turning ocean water into rain and snow for California drinking water. Ask Israel. Web Link


2 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jun 4, 2015 at 3:12 pm

750 gallons cost me $5. I'll sell the hotels my share at $10. Or maybe the market will drive it to $15. No. Of course the City won't let that happen. The City will take my share and sell it directly to the hotels for $15. The charges won't be explicit, but this is just the way economies work. At the new TOT rate, Palo Alto gets $50 for every $359 room. That's a fantastic return on a little investment of water.


2 people like this
Posted by Cvvhrn
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 16, 2015 at 11:29 am

Traffic is a serious consideration. We have an already busy traffic corridor and add in the traffic of 300+ transient residents PLUS the associated support staff that would be required to maintain and conduct on going operations would make that area even worse. Not to mention the added strain on US101.

I doubt many will be in Taxi's. You have to assume that the vast majority will be in a car.

Mountain View would no doubt want to weigh in on the the project as it will impact traffic for their citizens as well.

On the plus side, its alot of revenue for the city which could go a long way if spent right. It would also serve as a nice contrast based on the conception picture to the "Gulag Chic" of the present day JCC.


Like this comment
Posted by senor blogger
a resident of Palo Verde
on Dec 8, 2015 at 11:44 am

When is this city going to realize that this city is OVERBUILT


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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