News

New deal may force nonprofit groups out of Cubberley

School board approves lease, leaving tenants’ future uncertain

Heart Fit For Life is a medically supervised exercise program that leases space at Cubberley Community Center in Palo Alto. Weekly file photo by Veronica Weber.

After years of planning for a joint future at Cubberley Community Center, the city of Palo Alto and the Palo Alto Unified School District are embarking on a new deal that may force nonprofit groups out of the popular community center.

As part of the new agreement, which the school board approved on Tuesday night and which the council has yet to fully discuss, the city will significantly decrease its footprint at Cubberley, a 35-acre campus at 4000 Middlefield Road in south Palo Alto. The school district owns 27 acres of Cubberley while the city owns 8 acres and leases the rest.

Palo Alto would significantly decrease its footprint at Cubberley Community Center, where the city owns 8 acres and the school district owns 27 acres, under a new agreement coming to the City Council in June. Weekly file photo by Veronica Weber.

Instead of renting all of the district's land, the city will now switch to what City Manager Ed Shikada called an "a la carte" approach in which the city rents specific portions of Cubberley. The city will pay the district $208,300 per month for use of the theater, pavilion, gym A, gym B, rooms G5 and G8 (attached to a gym) and the fields. The rent from the Junior Museum and Zoo, which has been temporarily relocated to Cubberley's auditorium while its Rinconada Park facility is being renovated, will be $13,790 per month. The rent for the "S" building, adjacent to the auditorium, will be $5,650 per month.

Meanwhile, the district would take over the A, B and I buildings in the center of the campus, the Q building behind the Pavilion and three rooms in the G and M wings (the latter of which is attached to the theater). Those spaces for years have been supporting the city's nonprofit tenants.

The new lease is expected to save the city about $2.5 million annually at a time when it is facing a projected budget shortfall of nearly $40 million in the coming fiscal year. The four-year agreement also represents a $3.3 million decrease for the school district in rental revenue and city reimbursements of shared expenses.

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It also marks a dramatic departure from the vision that the city, the district and the broader community were contemplating just a year ago, when they were wrapping up a series of meetings to develop a shared vision for Cubberley.

The exercise resulted in an ambitious concept plan that envisioned more green space, swimming pools and a performing arts center with a 550-seat theater. But the city's and district's mismatched pace and desire for redevelopment repeatedly caused friction and left Cubberley's future hazy.

The four-year agreement is also creating uncertainty for tenants with long-term leases on the portions of Cubberley now to be used by the district, including Avenidas, Chinese for Christ Church of Palo Alto, Friends of the Palo Alto Library, Genius Kids Room, Heart Fit for Life, Imagination School, Minority TV, the Palo Alto Humane Society and Silicon Valley Karate.

Carole Hyde, executive director at the Palo Alto Humane Society, told this news organization that she hopes the nonprofit will be able to remain at Cubberley, even if it means moving to a new location within the community center. She said the city notified her nonprofit earlier this month about the pending lease discussions with the district, and it wasn't clear at that time whether the nonprofit would be allowed to stay.

"It makes me a little wary," Hyde said. "You try to carry on in the midst of this situation now, where you have to make all these work-from-home adjustments, and I'm a little wary at the thought of having to move but very much hope we can stay at Cubberley."

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Hyde recalled last year's planning process for Cubberley, during which hundreds of residents offered ideas about what they'd like to see in the former high school campus. Hyde noted that participants at these meetings ranked space for nonprofits as one of their highest priorities for Cubberley's future. Now, ironically, it looks like Cubberley is set to lose nonprofit space, Hyde said.

"I think the community really values its nonprofits," Hyde said. "I hope the city will value them."

Another of Cubberley's longtime tenants, the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra (PACO), pressed the school board on Tuesday to continue renting space, even at higher rates than the district charges for leases of facilities on other campuses.

Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra rehearse at the organization's space in the Cubberley Community Center on May 19, 2016. Weekly file photo by Veronica Weber.

"I implore you to consider your longtime tenants at Cubberley," said Will Betts, manager of PACO, a youth orchestra. "Paying district rates makes sense and would be fair, but if there's any way for longtime tenants to remain, especially if space isn't going to be used, we hope that" consideration would be made.

Michelle Baldonado, board president of PACO, also asked the city and the school district to allow the nonprofits to remain in their location.

"As some of the oldest tenants in the history of Cubberley, we would like to ask that the city and PAUSD prioritize the leases that we and other Cubberley-based organizations have in place," Baldonado wrote to the board. "We are part of the cultural fabric of Palo Alto and of the neighborhood identity of south Palo Alto."

Jon Keeling, chief instructor at Silicon Valley Karate, said some tenants, including himself, would be willing to pay a little bit more to stay at Cubberley. Keeling said the tenants constitute a real "community." Residents can drop off one child at a martial arts class and another at a dance studio or soccer practice. There is shared parking and bathrooms.

Jon Keeling, far left, chief instructor at Silicon Valley Karate, teaches an adult karate class at Cubberley Community Center on Aug. 3, 2017. Weekly file photo by Veronica Weber.

"It's so convenient for everyone," Keeling said. "This whole area is one community center. The only thing that's holding back Cubberley is that it's dilapidated."

Keeling said that he might be able to find another site in the area with similar rent. But that sense of community would be lost if the city and the district don't allow the nonprofits to remain. And while he said he would be interested in moving to the city-owned portion of Cubberley, he noted that space is tight and he does not expect his studio to take priority over some of the nonprofits that would similarly be displaced.

The new lease is just the latest setback in the long-standing partnership between the city and the school district. Even before the pandemic, the two sides were struggling to reach a compromise on a long-term agreement. The prior five-year lease expired in December, and while the City Council had directed staff to negotiate a new deal that would include jointly planned renovations to Cubberley, the two sides had not been able to close the deal. Instead, they have been operating on a month-to-month lease since the beginning of this year.

Kristen O'Kane, director of the Community Services Department, told the council Tuesday that staff at Cubberley have been looking at what might be available on the city's part of the property for tenants who would be displaced from their current locations.

"This includes talking to some of the tenants who have a lot of space on the city side and seeing if there is something they'd be willing to either consolidate, share or give up completely while still being able to operate their own programs," O'Kane said. "That's something we're doing very actively."

O'Kane told this news organization that the city is now surveying all space that it has available at Cubberley, including a room that is occasionally used by the city itself. Once that is done, she said, the city will reach out to tenants on the city-owned portion of Cubberley to see if accommodations can be made to relocate those groups displaced from the district-owned portion.

"We're doing our best, but it's a puzzle," O'Kane said. "We're trying to fit tenants where we can."

The council did not fully discuss the new arrangement, though several council members asked staff about what will happen to the nonprofits on the district-owned side of Cubberley. Vice Mayor Tom DuBois said he would like to see the city retain the ability to incrementally rent more space from the district if needed.

"I don't want us to be totally hands off and just abandon a lot of the people that were renting there," DuBois said.

When Councilwoman Alison Cormack asked at the Tuesday council meeting whether the school district will assist organizations whom the city is unable to help, O'Kane said that this would be up to the school district. Superintendent Don Austin, however, indicated at the school board meeting, which was taking place concurrently, that the district has no interest in being a landlord.

'We're doing our best, but it's a puzzle.'

-Kristen O'Kane, Community Services Department director

Austin and school trustees emphasized that the terms of the new lease were spurred by the city's financial situation.

"We are not buying a car. We're repossessing a car we once owned. We didn't ask for the car back," Austin said. "The city is in a position where they needed to, according to their finances, walk away from the car, in this case Cubberley, and we're taking parts of it back."

Outside groups that currently rent space from the city on property that the school district is resuming ownership of will be evicted, Austin said.

"The city has been made aware over and over again that PAUSD is not and will not supplement leases if any leases continue on our portion of the land that we're reclaiming," he said. "I know that sounds cold, but our district was not designed to do land management or to supplement leases."

On Thursday, however, after this article's publication, he said that he does expect to lease some space "once we figure out what we need for district business."

The district is now eyeing Cubberley as a means to enable socially distant learning if schools reopen in the fall. Teachers could give and film live lectures in larger rooms with space to accommodate more students, Austin said. He and district administrators have been walking the 35-acre campus and will soon draft plans for use of the district's share.

"There's no doubt that there's some space there that can benefit our district, especially in a time when social distancing is an issue," he said.

O'Kane said staff plans to bring the new lease to the council for approval in mid-June. If the council approves the lease, the district would take possession of its share of Cubberley on July 1.

"This wasn't something we looked for or invited or tried to bring about," board President Todd Collins said. "We would have been happy with the prior relationship, but the city needs to do what the city needs to do."

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New deal may force nonprofit groups out of Cubberley

School board approves lease, leaving tenants’ future uncertain

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Thu, May 28, 2020, 9:01 am

After years of planning for a joint future at Cubberley Community Center, the city of Palo Alto and the Palo Alto Unified School District are embarking on a new deal that may force nonprofit groups out of the popular community center.

As part of the new agreement, which the school board approved on Tuesday night and which the council has yet to fully discuss, the city will significantly decrease its footprint at Cubberley, a 35-acre campus at 4000 Middlefield Road in south Palo Alto. The school district owns 27 acres of Cubberley while the city owns 8 acres and leases the rest.

Instead of renting all of the district's land, the city will now switch to what City Manager Ed Shikada called an "a la carte" approach in which the city rents specific portions of Cubberley. The city will pay the district $208,300 per month for use of the theater, pavilion, gym A, gym B, rooms G5 and G8 (attached to a gym) and the fields. The rent from the Junior Museum and Zoo, which has been temporarily relocated to Cubberley's auditorium while its Rinconada Park facility is being renovated, will be $13,790 per month. The rent for the "S" building, adjacent to the auditorium, will be $5,650 per month.

Meanwhile, the district would take over the A, B and I buildings in the center of the campus, the Q building behind the Pavilion and three rooms in the G and M wings (the latter of which is attached to the theater). Those spaces for years have been supporting the city's nonprofit tenants.

The new lease is expected to save the city about $2.5 million annually at a time when it is facing a projected budget shortfall of nearly $40 million in the coming fiscal year. The four-year agreement also represents a $3.3 million decrease for the school district in rental revenue and city reimbursements of shared expenses.

It also marks a dramatic departure from the vision that the city, the district and the broader community were contemplating just a year ago, when they were wrapping up a series of meetings to develop a shared vision for Cubberley.

The exercise resulted in an ambitious concept plan that envisioned more green space, swimming pools and a performing arts center with a 550-seat theater. But the city's and district's mismatched pace and desire for redevelopment repeatedly caused friction and left Cubberley's future hazy.

The four-year agreement is also creating uncertainty for tenants with long-term leases on the portions of Cubberley now to be used by the district, including Avenidas, Chinese for Christ Church of Palo Alto, Friends of the Palo Alto Library, Genius Kids Room, Heart Fit for Life, Imagination School, Minority TV, the Palo Alto Humane Society and Silicon Valley Karate.

Carole Hyde, executive director at the Palo Alto Humane Society, told this news organization that she hopes the nonprofit will be able to remain at Cubberley, even if it means moving to a new location within the community center. She said the city notified her nonprofit earlier this month about the pending lease discussions with the district, and it wasn't clear at that time whether the nonprofit would be allowed to stay.

"It makes me a little wary," Hyde said. "You try to carry on in the midst of this situation now, where you have to make all these work-from-home adjustments, and I'm a little wary at the thought of having to move but very much hope we can stay at Cubberley."

Hyde recalled last year's planning process for Cubberley, during which hundreds of residents offered ideas about what they'd like to see in the former high school campus. Hyde noted that participants at these meetings ranked space for nonprofits as one of their highest priorities for Cubberley's future. Now, ironically, it looks like Cubberley is set to lose nonprofit space, Hyde said.

"I think the community really values its nonprofits," Hyde said. "I hope the city will value them."

Another of Cubberley's longtime tenants, the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra (PACO), pressed the school board on Tuesday to continue renting space, even at higher rates than the district charges for leases of facilities on other campuses.

"I implore you to consider your longtime tenants at Cubberley," said Will Betts, manager of PACO, a youth orchestra. "Paying district rates makes sense and would be fair, but if there's any way for longtime tenants to remain, especially if space isn't going to be used, we hope that" consideration would be made.

Michelle Baldonado, board president of PACO, also asked the city and the school district to allow the nonprofits to remain in their location.

"As some of the oldest tenants in the history of Cubberley, we would like to ask that the city and PAUSD prioritize the leases that we and other Cubberley-based organizations have in place," Baldonado wrote to the board. "We are part of the cultural fabric of Palo Alto and of the neighborhood identity of south Palo Alto."

Jon Keeling, chief instructor at Silicon Valley Karate, said some tenants, including himself, would be willing to pay a little bit more to stay at Cubberley. Keeling said the tenants constitute a real "community." Residents can drop off one child at a martial arts class and another at a dance studio or soccer practice. There is shared parking and bathrooms.

"It's so convenient for everyone," Keeling said. "This whole area is one community center. The only thing that's holding back Cubberley is that it's dilapidated."

Keeling said that he might be able to find another site in the area with similar rent. But that sense of community would be lost if the city and the district don't allow the nonprofits to remain. And while he said he would be interested in moving to the city-owned portion of Cubberley, he noted that space is tight and he does not expect his studio to take priority over some of the nonprofits that would similarly be displaced.

The new lease is just the latest setback in the long-standing partnership between the city and the school district. Even before the pandemic, the two sides were struggling to reach a compromise on a long-term agreement. The prior five-year lease expired in December, and while the City Council had directed staff to negotiate a new deal that would include jointly planned renovations to Cubberley, the two sides had not been able to close the deal. Instead, they have been operating on a month-to-month lease since the beginning of this year.

Kristen O'Kane, director of the Community Services Department, told the council Tuesday that staff at Cubberley have been looking at what might be available on the city's part of the property for tenants who would be displaced from their current locations.

"This includes talking to some of the tenants who have a lot of space on the city side and seeing if there is something they'd be willing to either consolidate, share or give up completely while still being able to operate their own programs," O'Kane said. "That's something we're doing very actively."

O'Kane told this news organization that the city is now surveying all space that it has available at Cubberley, including a room that is occasionally used by the city itself. Once that is done, she said, the city will reach out to tenants on the city-owned portion of Cubberley to see if accommodations can be made to relocate those groups displaced from the district-owned portion.

"We're doing our best, but it's a puzzle," O'Kane said. "We're trying to fit tenants where we can."

The council did not fully discuss the new arrangement, though several council members asked staff about what will happen to the nonprofits on the district-owned side of Cubberley. Vice Mayor Tom DuBois said he would like to see the city retain the ability to incrementally rent more space from the district if needed.

"I don't want us to be totally hands off and just abandon a lot of the people that were renting there," DuBois said.

When Councilwoman Alison Cormack asked at the Tuesday council meeting whether the school district will assist organizations whom the city is unable to help, O'Kane said that this would be up to the school district. Superintendent Don Austin, however, indicated at the school board meeting, which was taking place concurrently, that the district has no interest in being a landlord.

Austin and school trustees emphasized that the terms of the new lease were spurred by the city's financial situation.

"We are not buying a car. We're repossessing a car we once owned. We didn't ask for the car back," Austin said. "The city is in a position where they needed to, according to their finances, walk away from the car, in this case Cubberley, and we're taking parts of it back."

Outside groups that currently rent space from the city on property that the school district is resuming ownership of will be evicted, Austin said.

"The city has been made aware over and over again that PAUSD is not and will not supplement leases if any leases continue on our portion of the land that we're reclaiming," he said. "I know that sounds cold, but our district was not designed to do land management or to supplement leases."

On Thursday, however, after this article's publication, he said that he does expect to lease some space "once we figure out what we need for district business."

The district is now eyeing Cubberley as a means to enable socially distant learning if schools reopen in the fall. Teachers could give and film live lectures in larger rooms with space to accommodate more students, Austin said. He and district administrators have been walking the 35-acre campus and will soon draft plans for use of the district's share.

"There's no doubt that there's some space there that can benefit our district, especially in a time when social distancing is an issue," he said.

O'Kane said staff plans to bring the new lease to the council for approval in mid-June. If the council approves the lease, the district would take possession of its share of Cubberley on July 1.

"This wasn't something we looked for or invited or tried to bring about," board President Todd Collins said. "We would have been happy with the prior relationship, but the city needs to do what the city needs to do."

Comments

Samuel L.
Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 28, 2020 at 10:07 am
Samuel L., Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 28, 2020 at 10:07 am
27 people like this

Fairly typical for PAUSD to try to place all of the blame on evicting tenants on the city. Yes, the city is cutting back on its space, but that does not mean the district needs to evict the tenants unless the district plans to use the space. For Austin to compare it to taking back a car shows the value Austin puts on the community members of Palo Alto. For him to say that it's beyond their scope to do land management and supplement leases miss the point and is to a degree not accurate. No one is asking for the district to supplement their lease. In fact, some in the article even said they'd be willing to pay more. If he is talking about continuing the leases when he says supplement, then he is also under selling what the district has done in the past and currently does with regards to their facilities. The district rents out rooms, fields and meeting areas on a regular basis. They are definitely in the business of land management. PAUSD properties are used regularly and consistently as a church, a day care, a meeting space, classroom space for outside parties, sports complex, wood shop, upholstery shop, etc...
PAUSD could easily continue to earn money from the Cubberley tenants until they determine if they need to use the space. Given that the district is laying people off, I'm not sure why they wouldn't use it as a way to make some more money. I guess they don't really need more money.
Austin is mad at the city and his reaction is to kick out the city's old tenants and then call the city the bad guys. He was the kid at school who took the ball and ran home with it when the other kids weren't playing how he wanted them to play. He's still just a kid in the schoolyard who didn't get his way, so he's taking it out on everyone else.


notamathmajor
Adobe-Meadow
on May 28, 2020 at 10:32 am
notamathmajor, Adobe-Meadow
on May 28, 2020 at 10:32 am
6 people like this

I'm not great at math. But doesn't the below indicate that PAUSD would be GIVING UP revenue by letting go of this lease? 3.3mln - 2.5mln = 800k, right? Has the City been paying so much more to PAUSD than they had been bringing in from tenants? Why not just raise rental rates a little and keep our community center alive?

"The new lease is expected to save the city about $2.5 million annually at a time when it is facing a projected budget shortfall of nearly $40 million in the coming fiscal year. The four-year agreement also represents a $3.3 million decrease for the school district in rental revenue and city reimbursements of shared expenses."


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on May 28, 2020 at 10:35 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on May 28, 2020 at 10:35 am
7 people like this

I attended a music event at the Heritage theatre in Campbell. It turns out that the community center there is a high school that was closed and now has a theatre, fields for sports, and a charter school. I am sure there is more going on there but that is what was obvious. They have turned their high school into a beautiful location serving a number of different community services. There is an obvious model of how to do this so why is it so hard? If the city of Campbell can do this then why can't we do this without all of the wrangling gong on. And there is NO HOUSING on the site. It is a community center and school. period.


Resident
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 28, 2020 at 10:55 am
Resident, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 28, 2020 at 10:55 am
14 people like this

And yet PAUSD rents out whole school facilities to other schools. Pinewood, Ventura and the school on California next to Jordan.


Resident 2
Barron Park
on May 28, 2020 at 10:59 am
Resident 2, Barron Park
on May 28, 2020 at 10:59 am
12 people like this

@Resident 1:

Cubberley already HAS a theatre, fields for sports, etc. And although there is currently no charter school at Cubberley, there are several small private schools, including Imagination Lab School, which is arguably one of the best schools on the Peninsula (far better than PAUSD schools). We already HAVE a great community center. The only problem is that City of Palo Alto and PAUSD don't care enough about the community to keep it going. Disgraceful.


Clay L
Fairmeadow
on May 28, 2020 at 10:59 am
Clay L, Fairmeadow
on May 28, 2020 at 10:59 am
9 people like this

The Friends of the Library book sale is absolutely one of my favorite parts of living in Palo Alto. Sure hope they will continue and continue from there as it's so convenient.


Repossession?... No, Just Lease It!
Downtown North
on May 28, 2020 at 11:12 am
Repossession?... No, Just Lease It!, Downtown North
on May 28, 2020 at 11:12 am
28 people like this

I'm not sure Dr. Austin knows what repossession means.

PAUSD is currently leasing to the city month-to-month. That is stopping. The "ask" is for the School District to lease to these wonderful organizations directly rather than as sub-letters, essentially.


Resident 2
Barron Park
on May 28, 2020 at 11:19 am
Resident 2, Barron Park
on May 28, 2020 at 11:19 am
4 people like this

@Clay L:

Good luck with that. FOPAL leases spaces in the PAUSD-owned section of Cubberley for storage, sorting and sales. Don't expect them to survive this, at least in their present form. They may be able to scale back to about 10-20% of what they had been. But I wouldn't count on any sales going forward that are anywhere near the scope of what they were.


Brent C
Mountain View
on May 28, 2020 at 11:19 am
Brent C, Mountain View
on May 28, 2020 at 11:19 am
9 people like this

It sounds like the City and the PAUSD are not putting enough creative thought to find a solution to evicting the tenants for an extremely important resource for Palo Alto and the area. Is the net result evicting these community tenants and the space is left empty, because the City and the PAUSD can't compromise? I am a member of one of these tenant groups, my son is in another, and my other son was involved with yet another. Sadly, I see a lack of cooperation, and the end result will be a loss for Palo Alto and this part of Santa Clara county. These tenants will find other places eventually, but perhaps not in Palo Alto. Or they will shut down. Who gains in that scenario - the City, or the PAUSD? It's certainly not the residents or members of these groups.


Concerned Parent
Old Palo Alto
on May 28, 2020 at 11:23 am
Concerned Parent, Old Palo Alto
on May 28, 2020 at 11:23 am
10 people like this

So what does PAUSD plan to do with the space once it kicks out the tenants? Just let it sit there idle; try to rent it out to some startup or another to generate revenue or put a high school back in?
Cubberly is a wonderful community center. My family has been using it for years. We need to have it be expanded and improved, not get the long term tenants kicked out.
Perhaps they can reconsider and just rent directly to the existing tenants ?
This makes me extremely sad. What can we do about this?


Roxanne Reeves
Professorville
on May 28, 2020 at 11:27 am
Roxanne Reeves, Professorville
on May 28, 2020 at 11:27 am
8 people like this

RETHINK CHURCH. Though it buried the lead, this article is really about the school district trying to deal with social distancing. They are looking at Cubberly to provide more instructional space, even at a financial loss. Ironically, over the past 2 years, the city has punished a local church for renting space to non-profit groups (see the saga of First Baptist of Palo Alto). There are many religious organizations in our area with underused multi-purpose rooms where nonprofits would be welcome. They can use the revenue. They like having diverse populations in their spaces. And they can offer lower rents than the City or PAUSD. Perhaps, as if by design, our faith community can lend a helping hand in another time of need. rr


Repossession?... No, Just Lease It!
Downtown North
on May 28, 2020 at 11:29 am
Repossession?... No, Just Lease It!, Downtown North
on May 28, 2020 at 11:29 am
14 people like this

@Brent

In my opinion, it is generally the case that the public loses when one group of highly paid, taxpayer funded bureaucrats, negotiates with another.

Having the lessees work directly with only one of those bureaucracies seems straightforward, and a logical simplification of nixing the middleman. That is, if a concern for the public interest matters to decision makers.


Ken Horowitz
University South
on May 28, 2020 at 11:45 am
Ken Horowitz, University South
on May 28, 2020 at 11:45 am
4 people like this

Again the City is getting a bad deal by signing another long term(54 month)lease with PAUSD. So long as the District can rent the facilities to the City, they have no interest in developing Cubberley to its full potential. PAUSD just wants to hold on to its land and the City gets stuck with paying rent and the maintenance costs such as sidewalk and roof repairs of a dilapidated Cubberley.
Please City Council don’t sign the agreement unless there is a rider that includes a future plan to develop the site


Resident
Community Center
on May 28, 2020 at 11:52 am
Resident, Community Center
on May 28, 2020 at 11:52 am
12 people like this

My understanding is that PAUSD 1) wants to use Cubberley space to support social distancing, for both add'l classrooms and for remote instruction studios/facilities. They will be running two parallel set of schools next year - online-only and hybrid - and they need more space. 2) If they have space left over, they want to rent it at their own rates vs. the City's (subsidized) rates, to try to recoup the lost revenue.

Since the City Council is choosing not to support the Cubberley non-profits, they will have to wait until PAUSD sorts out its needs, and then pay the rates PAUSD charges. To expect PAUSD to just pick up the responsibility that the City Council decided to drop - in the middle of a pandemic - is unrealistic. They've got plenty on their plate to keep them busy.


nat
Midtown
on May 28, 2020 at 12:37 pm
nat, Midtown
on May 28, 2020 at 12:37 pm
Like this comment

What will happen to the art community? I don't know if it is leasing rooms from the City or the school district?


Dave Ross
Portola Valley
on May 28, 2020 at 12:43 pm
Dave Ross, Portola Valley
on May 28, 2020 at 12:43 pm
6 people like this

A topic apparently not discussed, but of vital importance to many hand-to-mouth non-profits is that Palo Alto continues to charge rent at Cubberley for spaces they have been prohibiting the tenants from using due to SIP mandates. While this is barely a blip on the radar for the City's budget, it could be a make-or-break issue for some tenants.


Andreas Stavropoulos
Old Palo Alto
on May 28, 2020 at 1:38 pm
Andreas Stavropoulos, Old Palo Alto
on May 28, 2020 at 1:38 pm
3 people like this

What is the school district going to do with the space? Why forgo the revenue from the numerous clubs and non-profits? The groups currently occupying pieces of Cubberley are doing a much better job than the district is likely to ever do to maintain and even beautify the space, let alone the revenue that would be lost if they all get evicted. Let them stay!


rita vrhel
Crescent Park
on May 28, 2020 at 2:22 pm
rita vrhel, Crescent Park
on May 28, 2020 at 2:22 pm
3 people like this

Maybe someone could start a non profit to help pay the rent for all these small, but vital to so many, organizations. I would contribute. Time to do some creative thinking.


Disappointed. in the city and PAUSD
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 28, 2020 at 2:54 pm
Disappointed. in the city and PAUSD, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 28, 2020 at 2:54 pm
8 people like this

The city staff and PAUSD staff are angry with each other. There are lots of reasons, but they are all forgetting to consider their constituents--Us. They are so full full of spite toward each other, so busy blaming, they are not working together looking for the solutions that will serve the community they are both paid to serve.

Tit for tat exchanges are not helpful or professional. We need Cubberley to serve the community. Please work together to find a way.

Please do not put housing on the table again. That will divide the community. Getting the city and school district to collaborate will be hard enough to manage. Including another agency will complicate an already challenging tangle of authority and responsibility. This is not the Campus for Jewish Life which is controlled by a single governing board. It is public land owned by two democratically controlled government agencies. It sits on our last large parcel of publicly owned land that has been preserved for public use, not PRIVATE use like housing. As we develop housing elsewhere in the city , we will need this land to meet higher demand for schools and services.


wander3r
Community Center
on May 28, 2020 at 3:03 pm
wander3r, Community Center
on May 28, 2020 at 3:03 pm
5 people like this

Lame example. Car are repossessed only when the buyer has done something wrong, such as miss payments. The nonprofit tenants didn’t do anything wrong.


John
Mountain View
on May 28, 2020 at 4:30 pm
John, Mountain View
on May 28, 2020 at 4:30 pm
10 people like this

The school district's position is contradictory. They are just now thinking of things to do with the space? "The district is now eyeing Cubberley as a means to enable socially distant learning if schools reopen in the fall.... He and district administrators have been walking the 35-acre campus and will soon draft plans for use of the district's share."

"This wasn't something we looked for or invited or tried to bring about," board President Todd Collins said. "We would have been happy with the prior relationship, but the city needs to do what the city needs to do."

The prior relationship was that the District was leasing space which they were happy with and which the community was happy with; community members "ranked space for nonprofits as one of their highest priorities for Cubberley's future". Now because they don't want to manage leases directly (really? they manage plenty of leases) they want to toss that overboard and maybe, or maybe not, use the space in the fall? They sound like they're just making up justifications now.

The school district is accountable to the community, as well as to the students and parents. I hope they hear from the community now.

I predict the space will be left empty and unused for months to years -- or rented out to others after the district realizes this, after destroying a community asset. The worst of all possible worlds.

(Disclosure: My son goes to classes at Cubberly.)


WalterHays Dad
Community Center
on May 28, 2020 at 4:45 pm
WalterHays Dad, Community Center
on May 28, 2020 at 4:45 pm
3 people like this

How much was the City subsidizing the rents of the non-profits? That is, if the City paid PAUSD $X, but the City collected only $Y, and X is greater than Y, then we had subsidization. Maybe this is the right thing to do, but was it explicit and clear to the community that this subsidization was ongoing.

One would think that PAUSD would want to continue letting to the nonprofits if it could receive good rents. As mentioned, PAUSD already rents out whole schools, and in normal summers, it rents out all or portions of schools to various camps, so there must be some employees in the business office who know how to act like a landlord.

Nonetheless, as also mentioned, perhaps most importantly PAUSD wants the space at this time for its own use, and as plans may not be complete, opening up all the space it can gives PAUSD maximum flexibility. Maybe PAUSD could give each entity a month-to-month lease which would maintain PAUSD flexibility, yet maybe PAUSD does not want the administrative hassle of evicting tenants.

I imagine we will see, probably no later than summer 2021, PAUSD starting to relet some of the spaces once it has a better idea of how much of Cubberley PAUSD needs for its own uses.


Resident 3
Green Acres
on May 28, 2020 at 5:45 pm
Resident 3, Green Acres
on May 28, 2020 at 5:45 pm
5 people like this

@WalterHays Dad - the clearest evidence of the City's subsidy is that they wanted out of the lease. If they broke even on the space they gave up (i.e., collected $3.3M in rent for the space they are releasing), then this change would generate no savings. Since the City seems to be counting this as a $2.5M savings, my guess is they collected $800K in rent, since $3.3 - 0.8 = $2.5.

PAUSD's goals seems to be to 1) use the space if they need it, esp. during the pandemic, and 2) collect the best rents they can on the rest, since those rents fund education. My guess is you are right, that they will end up renting some of the space again, but at higher rates than before.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on May 28, 2020 at 7:38 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on May 28, 2020 at 7:38 pm
1 person likes this

I am fully aware that Cubberley has a theatre and playing fields. My family was involved in AYSO soccer for many years. I know where all of the fields are and the condition of the fields. The theatre is run down and shabby. The buildings are run down and shabby.

The title of this stream is kick out the non-profits - why is there a focus on non-profits vs profits? If a group is going to pay for a space then that should be irrelevant. Somehow people are wrapped around the classification of business vs running a successful program. That is like a red herring that prevents a quicker resolution to getting the place fixed up and utilized for the stated purpose.
People who run a child care center need to make a profit. People who run a dance studio for the kids needs to make a profit. Please get over the profit vs nonprofit insertion into this issue.


Keith R
Charleston Meadows
on May 28, 2020 at 9:09 pm
Keith R, Charleston Meadows
on May 28, 2020 at 9:09 pm
9 people like this

In fleeing from its Cubberley commitments, the City is forgetting the reasons it funded Cubberley in the first place: Cubberley adds value to the community.

While the City does need to reduce its expenditures, the City is blindly cutting costs as opposed to maximizing the value of our expenditures.


Terry Terraceter
College Terrace
on May 28, 2020 at 10:47 pm
Terry Terraceter, College Terrace
on May 28, 2020 at 10:47 pm
7 people like this

Sorry I ever gave money to the PAUSD foundation PIE. Sad. How can they say they are not in the land management business when they continue to lease out so many old campuses to private schools, and demand new land from Stanford for another campus or two. Time for us, the citizens, to take back control of this renegade entity. I mean now.


Janice
Midtown
on May 28, 2020 at 10:55 pm
Janice, Midtown
on May 28, 2020 at 10:55 pm
3 people like this

PAUSD needs the space for classrooms during this pandemic for social distancing. Glad they have it to hopefully enable students to go to class 5 days per week.


Resident 3
Green Acres
on May 28, 2020 at 11:12 pm
Resident 3, Green Acres
on May 28, 2020 at 11:12 pm
5 people like this

@Terry T, I believe PAUSD has a total of 3 tenants - one at Garland (Stratford), one at Fremont Hills (Pinewood), and one at 525 San Antonio (Athena). They rent out whole campuses, provide no services or maintenance, and have virtually no turnover or vacancies. I wouldn't call that the "land management business" - they just deposit the rent checks.

I expect they'll try to do much the same at Cubberely for the space they don't use - try to find a few large, stable, self-sufficient tenants, who hopefully will pay high rents. Managing a community center is the last thing I want to see a school district turn its attention to.


Easy 8
Green Acres
on May 28, 2020 at 11:31 pm
Easy 8, Green Acres
on May 28, 2020 at 11:31 pm
7 people like this

Friends of the Palo Alto Library (FOPAL) is also a favorite of mine.

FOPAL donates the proceeds of their sales - I believe around 1 million dollars a year - to the PA library system, which of course is owned by the city. I am surprised the city did not wish to keep the leases where FOPAL is currently situated, since the city is essentially cutting off a funding source if FOPAL folds. I hope the city plans on moving FOPAL to the city owned site of Cubberley.


Easy 8
Green Acres
on May 28, 2020 at 11:41 pm
Easy 8, Green Acres
on May 28, 2020 at 11:41 pm
Like this comment

There are many large wings of Cubberley that are not mentioned in this article - C, D, E, F, J, K, H, L and many other large wings. Does anyone know which are city owned, which areas PAUSD will repossess, etc?

Here is a map of Cubberley
Web Link


Andrew
Midtown
on May 28, 2020 at 11:57 pm
Andrew, Midtown
on May 28, 2020 at 11:57 pm
3 people like this

How is space at Cubberley going to help with socially distant learning? PAUSD can't afford more teachers so it's not like they can just add additional classrooms. Would love to actually see this plan for the space.

As for raising the rents on tenants they don't evict: really? At a time when everyone is financially strapped you want to double or triple the rents of a bunch of nonprofits? Who is gonna be able to pay?


Jeremy
Midtown
on May 29, 2020 at 12:00 am
Jeremy, Midtown
on May 29, 2020 at 12:00 am
Like this comment

The lease and its attachments can be viewed on the agenda from the school board's May 26 meeting. Go to Web Link or directly to the meeting page at Web Link

Click on "View the Agenda", then scroll down to find "Action Items" Cubberley is the first one. There are five attachments which are the lease, maps, and tables which show how the school district's portion of Cubberley is being divvied up.


Resident 3
Green Acres
on May 29, 2020 at 12:07 am
Resident 3, Green Acres
on May 29, 2020 at 12:07 am
2 people like this

@Andrew, PAUSD has lots of teachers who today perform special functions - reading specialists, Teachers on Special Assignment, district office team members. I expect many may be pressed into service as classroom teachers to support social distancing.

Also, if 25% of students stay home, as the district's survey data is suggesting, that will create a parallel district of 3000 students doing online-only school. The best way to handle this is to create a center for online schooling, probably at Cubberley and Greendell, where the teachers for those students can work together in one place and have specialized facilities (like studio lecture halls). 3000 students implies about 150 teachers K-12.


Transparency please
Palo Verde
on May 29, 2020 at 10:46 am
Transparency please, Palo Verde
on May 29, 2020 at 10:46 am
9 people like this

Shame on PAUSD and City Council if you can't work this out for the taxpayers and voters in our community. Be transparent about your true motivations.

1) PAUSD rents spaces all the time. Pre-covid, there were churches, sports tournaments, and debate groups operating at Gunn and JLS most weekends. Summer camps lease elementary schools every summer. Dr. Austin's comment about not being in the prop mgmt business is disingenuous. They have been for a long time and will continue to do so once Covid passes.
2) How well-formed is the PAUSD plan for Cubberley if they were only just walking around last week? The site has been on the table before and it requires a LOT of upgrades to meet the strict regulations for a CA public school. There is asbestos. Earthquake retrofitting, etc.
3) Is the City subsidizing the non-profits? If the City does this and plans to stop, that is a valid reason for PAUSD to kick out tenants. A market rate is preferred, but zero rent is zero. No tenant should be removed until there is a CLEAR plan for its use.
4) Covid will pass and our residents need these services and communities more than ever. Karate studio, MakeX, ESL classes, Heart-healthy courses, FOPAL book sales, dance studio, camps, and classes for every age group. Closing Cubberley will decimate all of it. Taking even more away from people who live here.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on May 29, 2020 at 12:52 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on May 29, 2020 at 12:52 pm
2 people like this

So I am catching something here that I may have missed. If an organization states that it is non-profit then does it get free rent? Or reduced rent?

Some organizations are there to support city functions - like the library. If their activity is directly related to a city function then I can see where they would not pay - or pay a nominal fee for the space. At least to cover the utility cost. But other groups that are a "business" may classify themselves as a non-profit as a gimmick but are competing with an actual commercial businesses - like karate studios.

Someone needs to figure out what the space is worth and how to bill people for that space. Other spaces are used by the city because they are busy tearing another part of the city apart - like the children's zoo.
And the idea that some of the space would be converted to housing? Is that where this is going? If so then no freebies and no non-profit status which throws the burden on the city or school to pay for.


Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 29, 2020 at 2:04 pm
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 29, 2020 at 2:04 pm
2 people like this

Posted by Transparency please, a resident of Palo Verde

>> Shame on PAUSD and City Council if you can't work this out for the taxpayers and voters in our community. Be transparent about your true motivations.

Yes. It is always easier when budgets are increasing than when they are decreasing. Both PAUSD Board/top administration and PACC/top city management need to think harder about what is best for students, residents, teachers/staff, employees, and residents/taxpayers priorities.

We've all seen massive "edifice complex" behavior from the top on both sides. We can't afford it right now, so, just stop it, and cooperate for the benefit of your constituencies.


Mark Weiss
Downtown North
on May 29, 2020 at 5:41 pm
Mark Weiss, Downtown North
on May 29, 2020 at 5:41 pm
Like this comment

I will pay a pro rata share of the rent for the Cubberly multi-purpose room/auditorium which seems to be roughly $460 To produce a monthly showcase of jazz blues and folk as I did recently at Mitchell Park and will likely continue there and as I did at Cubberley back in the 1990s. I have more than $5000 on credit currently with the city. Which easily covers the first year.
Bands I had previously brought to the Cubberley Auditorium which is now of course a museum, a library briefly include cake, AFI, blink-182 brown Fellinis Alvin Youngblood Hart —some of these are still around.
For example:
Web Link

If the curve isn’t bent enough we can do the first couple shows as a live streaming maybe a lottery to have a token number of actual Palo altans in the room wearing masks politely bobbing their heads and tapping their feet.
Almost heaven....


Mark Weiss
Downtown North
on May 29, 2020 at 5:47 pm
Mark Weiss, Downtown North
on May 29, 2020 at 5:47 pm
Like this comment

“Just Like Heaven” by The Cure but AFI cover it. I’m not saying we could get AFI or blink to come play Palo Alto again but we could always try; and there are a significant amount of artists who could sell 300 seats in Palo alto and are worth the trouble.
Really, the city should cosponsor which means they donate the room in exchange for the production. (As TheatreWorks or Palo Alto players do and the local group called MusikWest)


Repossession?... No, Just Lease It!
Downtown North
on May 29, 2020 at 5:53 pm
Repossession?... No, Just Lease It!, Downtown North
on May 29, 2020 at 5:53 pm
11 people like this

PAUSD can't have it both ways. They can't say they didn't want this to happen, but that they really need the space. Which one is it?

They can't say they are unequipped to lease our community owned assets, because they do it all the time, on large scales (long term) and small scales (one-offs of rooms, facilities, etc.)

Misdirection will hurt you in the long run. What's the real motivation and story? Do you need the space, but are embarrassed to admit this out loud due the budget impact, especially given the very recent context of your embarrassing multimillion dollar budget overruns? Does this make work for you that you'd prefer not to do because you're busy with Covid? What's the real story?

Whatever it is, PAUSD can't have it both ways. Not if they want to maintain credibility with their constituents, that is.


Mark Weiss
Downtown North
on May 29, 2020 at 6:04 pm
Mark Weiss, Downtown North
on May 29, 2020 at 6:04 pm
Like this comment

I always thought dividing Cubberley between the school board district and the city is like stealing from Peter to pay Paul or stealing from George Harrison to pay Yoko Ono. (I guess and please note that I lived half my life in this category the los altos Hills and Stanford people are along for the ride and not the straw that stirs the drink).

My understanding is Deb Simon leads an important current group trying to input and affect this; Also there are rumors in the distant land of Mordor that 25 classes of Cubberley students maybe as many as 10,000 people a diaspora are organizing and our deliberating a Hall of Fame once a cougar always a cougar respect. also there are rumors in the distant land of Mordor that 25 classes of Cubberley students maybe as many as 10,000 people a diaspora are organizing and are deliberating a Hall of Fame —once a cougar always a cougar —respect. I personally keep in touch with more than 20 such.


Mark Weiss
Downtown North
on May 29, 2020 at 9:09 pm
Mark Weiss, Downtown North
on May 29, 2020 at 9:09 pm
Like this comment

So to tie together a couple loose threads on the internet here at PAW, we have 35 acres at Cubberley, 39 acres special zone and Casti, which someone, apples to oranges, defines as a CUP on 51 R-1 single house tracts -- I think these three discussions will define us as a community and be the gist of the election locally in the fall. A couple years ago, there was Maybell and Buena Vista concurrently but not treated equally or not thought of simultaneously - -and pretty mediocre outcomes in both cases.
It is a challenge for us to self-govern in Palo Alto; the special interests -- which I define loosely as Downtown Interests Vs The Residents -- have had a rout going on for at least since 2009 when I started to tune it seriously. Leadership should be reflective of and responsive to We The People. How many of us feel that is the case?

There is no way that 15,000 voters and 50,000 citizens and 10,000 homeowners call all get what we want all the time. And I often feel that our differences are an asset; they are unique to us, our problems; or as The Guy Who Wrote Jonathan Livingston Seagull wrote: inside of every problem is a gift.
I want to see more park lands, a major park, in South Palo Alto. I guess I'm a NIMBY on housing, but if we do have housing, don't do gimmicky schemes (like at the Maybell that was referendum-dummed, or refendunned) and maybe there should be subsidies for teachers, civil service, public safety or artists.
By the way, I think PAUSD gives a sweetheart deal to the tenant at my old school, the Fremont Hills campus we own -- its a private school. Maybe that should be housing!!! BMR in LAH! Who's with me?

I had a theory that Palo Alto always under-utilized Cubberley in terms of not really programming it , just keeping the light bulbs current -- no pun intended, the floors mopped. And that that was a dog whistle to the developers that they will someday get to send in their bulldozers and then build baby build.
By the way, who builds a school then 25 years later asks for a Mulligan and shuts the school? And then basically lets it flop around like a flounder for 40 years. Who builds and closes, who shutters and stutters? We do, both counts. Maybe the mascot for the School and the city should be the Push Me Pull You or The Flounder (and our Sister City had a radish as a mascot -- I wrote somewhere that Ed Shikada's first job in the area was as the hockey mascot, or that we hired him to find us a good mascot).

What about moving Casti to Cub and having PAUSD teachers live there too, building some homes at Bryant and Embarcadero, to fund shuttles and other precariot services, and making it up the difference to actual and current Palo Altans at Fry's, with an arts center and some parks and just a smidgen of housing. Or maybe housing above a PAC performing arts center at Ventura, and use the old school campus of Ventura School as a lure, or lagniappe.
But lets plan this all ourselves super-slowly - I'm serious -- and not hire a bunch of out of town consultants. And don't throw "scoping parties" with high end cheese.

We could change the name of Cubberley to Green, Bill Green and then change the old Jordan to Baez, Joan Baez.
Or if Jeremy Lin can raise $10M I'd say call the Cub, The Lin. Years from now they will think the Cougar was a Lion, The Lin Lions. I'd make the park in Ventura Yamamoto, the war hero.
Problems solved.
Your welcome.


Me 2
Old Palo Alto
on May 30, 2020 at 9:22 am
Me 2, Old Palo Alto
on May 30, 2020 at 9:22 am
2 people like this

Uh, what?


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on May 30, 2020 at 10:53 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on May 30, 2020 at 10:53 am
3 people like this

I am totally against converting any of the space at CUB to housing. Our city taxes pay for that space in a number of fashions. If you are taking space supported by the taxpayer for specified purposes which we have all agreed to then we are not going to hand it off to some "non-profit" organization to fool around with. While you are at it take a look at any "non-profit" organization that works for the city and check out how much the head of that organization makes.

Side note - in order to maintain a "non-profit" tax definition the organization cannot make above a specified amount net profit. That means you pay the leaders more money in order to increase the expenses and reduce the net income. That is called Bookkeeping 101. Learn the rules on how this works so your local newspaper person does not glorify some non-profit when the leader is making a large salary.

And worse what that does is take the onus off the other Housing site - FRY's. Right now FRY's answers all of the checkboxes required by the state for every type of housing you want - you can put a least 4 towers on that property each serving a different requirement. And you are in walking distance to Caltrain and El Camino buses. One can imagine that the El Camino buses will increase if we add more housing. And if buses on that street then the RV's at SU will have to go. the RV's on El Camino are not an excuse for lack of transportation on that street.

I have yet to figure out how buses - which are required - fit on that street with giant RV's sitting there. That defies every safety and common sense rule out there. Who thinks this type of stuff up and talks the city into doing it when transportation is a key element of city planning? And a key element of housing issues?


Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 30, 2020 at 4:34 pm
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 30, 2020 at 4:34 pm
Like this comment

Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, a resident of Adobe-Meadow

>> And worse what that does is take the onus off the other Housing site - FRY's. Right now FRY's answers all of the checkboxes required by the state for every type of housing you want

That site is private property, owned by Sobrato. Sobrato is making money right now leasing it out as offices. I imagine that this will continue until a future date when someone opens an upzoning window for them to develop something very high-end. This will be justified because the land is so valuable. (Anybody notice the circular reasoning?) The city is somehow on the hook to have developed more affordable housing, even though no developer wants to do that in Palo Alto because they believe that they can hold out for "high-end" something. It is a vicious circle.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on May 31, 2020 at 12:19 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on May 31, 2020 at 12:19 pm
Like this comment

Yes - we are all fully aware that Sobrato owns that property. We have been arguing that for at least a year now. But if you follow all of what we know about Sobrato then they are more than the bottom line. They build hospitals and get awards for their participation in community supported functions. They attend large events put on by Gavin Newsom and Nancy Pelosi. If nothing else they want to promote those causes that they are for. So if they build at least four towers - each with a different purpose and pricing - then they will get accolades from the state for their great service in providing the very housing choices that the state currently wants. And that can be a showcase for the rest of the cities on the peninsula.
If you need a model of how this works go up to San Mateo and look at the new building east of the Caltrain tracks - area between 101 and Caltrain. A whole new community with both business and housing of varied types.
Do you all want to waste time looking at what other cities are doing right now? Every one else is moving on and getting these important upgrades done.


Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 31, 2020 at 2:28 pm
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 31, 2020 at 2:28 pm
Like this comment

Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, a resident of Adobe-Meadow

>> Do you all want to waste time looking at what other cities are doing right now? Every one else is moving on and getting these important upgrades done.

I disagree with you 100% that building 4 high-end towers on the Fry's site is an "upgrade". It is bad urban design, and any policies that promote it are bad.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on May 31, 2020 at 4:39 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on May 31, 2020 at 4:39 pm
1 person likes this

So what do you think is good urban design? Go over and look at the location. Across the street - Park is apartment houses. Then there is the business section right there. And new apartments going up right now on Park. Park is a border street to the whole FRY's location. The whole place is going up in apartment complexes. And if you look at Oregon and El Camino there are large business towers. So the question on the table is what policy is allowing the apartments to go up on Park?
While you are at it there area large apartment houses directly in the downtown area.
The current Fry's site is shabby and falling apart. It needs to go.


Mark Weiss
Downtown North
on May 31, 2020 at 6:09 pm
Mark Weiss, Downtown North
on May 31, 2020 at 6:09 pm
Like this comment

@Anon, regarding Sobrato and “upcoming” if you follow the recent history of Fry’s you would know that Sobrato a South Country dynasty bought the 14 acre parcel from Wheatley a local entity then the site was expanded to near 40 acres of UPZONING as developers quietly bought out mostly or partly long time residents and people of color in Ventura. Sho nuff, ya dig?


Mark Weiss
Downtown North
on May 31, 2020 at 6:11 pm
Mark Weiss, Downtown North
on May 31, 2020 at 6:11 pm
Like this comment

Up zoning not “upcoming”
Sho nuff ya dig is a Spike Lee joint


Mark Weiss
Downtown North
on May 31, 2020 at 6:14 pm
Mark Weiss, Downtown North
on May 31, 2020 at 6:14 pm
Like this comment

40 acres and A Mule VS 40 Acres and Mo’ Moolah
By any means necessary


Stone Cold Austin
Community Center
on Jun 1, 2020 at 6:46 am
Stone Cold Austin, Community Center
on Jun 1, 2020 at 6:46 am
Like this comment

Superintendent Austin is being cold and a good community member at all. The city and school district have a long term partnership of doing what is best for residents young and old. It’s why the Cubberley lease existed in the first place. It is short sighted to say that PAUSD can’t rent space out, even subsidized space. Many of these programs are after school programs for kids. Dance, music, karate plus friends of the library. These organizations should band together and ask PAUSD for workable rent.

Don Austin needs to become a member of the community.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 1, 2020 at 10:49 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 1, 2020 at 10:49 am
Like this comment

There are a lot of people who go to coffee shops to use the wifi. Why not set up a room where those people can come and work on their own business efforts. Tiny offices. Of course there does have to be wifi available.


Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 1, 2020 at 2:32 pm
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 1, 2020 at 2:32 pm
2 people like this

Posted by Mark Weiss

>> @Anon, [...] Sho nuff, ya dig?

No.

==
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, a resident of Adobe-Meadow

>> So what do you think is good urban design?

Affordable 3-4 story RM-30 apartments/condos. I prefer townhouse/rowhouse designs with separate street entrances.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 2, 2020 at 12:21 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 2, 2020 at 12:21 pm
Like this comment

We have major residential locations downtown - Channing House, Webster House, giant condo at Alma and Palo Alto Ave at edge of city. Those facilities were built for specific purposes and needs. Older people. Same units are good for teachers, city staff, etc with less luxurious amenities. The city has already approved these buildings and in the case of Channing House have built a new medical care unit next to it. All within city code. Sunrise on El Camino and Oregon does not have that many floors but is a model of a communal living building that works for those people.
Side note - my in-laws were in Webster House and through time had to move one to Sunrise which has a dementia floor - third floor. There is a point in which "active, energetic retired adults" no longer fit the "model" of what sells in retirement homes. Be aware of that when they try and sell you a "life-style" unit. Life Styles tend to change at a certain point in time.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 2, 2020 at 1:29 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 2, 2020 at 1:29 pm
Like this comment

If we are trying to reduce the cost of building then check out all of the new apartments in RWC on El Camino and Jefferson - next to the shopping center. SU has a big apartment building there - brand new. Others with first floor shops. There is a whole new complex of buildings in that area. And all look good. All have the central lobby. The central lobby provides the mail boxes for the units. And some security - anyone who is looking for trouble would have to enter the main lobby and go up a elevator. Security is a prime topic now. I think you have to design buildings that provide access for the service providers - mail people - yet provide security. And those buildings are next to the Caltrain tracks. I think they are doing a great job up there. And they voted down turning the shopping complex / Sequoia Station into more housing. YEAH. Enough.


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