Nothin' but lunch | March 14, 2014 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Cover Story - March 14, 2014

Nothin' but lunch

Despite city's plans, tech employees question affordability, desirability of California Avenue

by Sue Dremann

A vision of Palo Alto's California Avenue and its environs as a mecca for high-tech employees was met with limited enthusiasm this week by the very type of workers the city hopes to attract.

This story contains 642 words.

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Like this comment
Posted by Cal Ave YO!
a resident of Mayfield
on Mar 14, 2014 at 9:35 am

These techies may be brilliant at computer codes, but clearly are lacking in their understanding of zoning codes.

Like this comment
Posted by confused
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 14, 2014 at 10:15 am

Clearly, they are confusing Palo Alto with San Francisco. San Francisco has no problem intermixing tech office buildings with restaurants, cafes, and other service businesses. Is that why so many tech businesses are fleeing Silicon Valley for San Francisco?

Like this comment
Posted by Euclid V. Amber
a resident of Mayfield
on Mar 15, 2014 at 12:20 pm

'Cal Ave Yo' and 'confused' are certainly entitled to their opinions, but I think they've missed the point in an all-too-Palo Alto sort of way--i.e., by telling people what they SHOULD want rather than listening to what they ACTUALLY want. Perhaps the techies that were interviewed for this article have unrealistic expectations, but it would be a waste of money to design California Ave to be something that the customers don't want.

Like this comment
Posted by steve jobless
a resident of South of Midtown
on Mar 15, 2014 at 2:18 pm

one time steve jobs was sitting with friend ,front of del sol restaurant- he was leaning over table almost in his friends face ,talking intently about some idea ,''THAT"S what i was doing there''...only 6 months before death. he was thin but loud enough and jumpy.

Like this comment
Posted by Bob
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 15, 2014 at 2:51 pm

Can't wait to see one of these Glassholes get sprayed with soda water by the bartender at the Nuthouse.

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Posted by Greenacres
a resident of Green Acres
on Mar 15, 2014 at 2:56 pm

Okay, first of all, let's put to bed the idea that massive amounts of building is going to make Palo Alto affordable.

Is San Francisco an affordable place because it's a denser big city? What makes San Francisco more expensive than, say, San Jose? San Francisco is, if anything, more densely built than San Jose. There is that little factor of desirability, location, location, and location, remember that? Building, building, building does not make things more affordable unless it destroys desirability, and by the time that happens, it's an unfortunate snowball downhill that is impossible to stop.

People work here for high tech, and live here for the schools. We have Stanford here, and we have great schools. And we have something different than the massive urban environments of San Jose and San Francisco, that is, open space, grass, trees, and a less hectic, college-town feel. Or, we did until our City Council started selling off our town willy nilly for the short-term benefit of their developer friends.

Building massive amounts of apartments is only going to make developers rich, and require the rest of us to foot the bill for the City services the apartments won't pay for, we know that most will move here for the schools and the cost of the services is more than they will put back into the tax rolls or local economy. Massive urban-blight building will hurt the desirability of our town, i.e., hurt the future property values for the rest of us who have sacrificed long-term to be here already. We can't compete with SF as a City and we don't want to.

Stop selling Palo Alto to the developers for their short-term profits. There is no scenario under which more building creates affordability here. It only destroys the character of our town when we sell out to developers to be a San Jose wannabe.

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Posted by Greenacres
a resident of Green Acres
on Mar 15, 2014 at 3:43 pm

P.S. The answer is a good and energy efficient public transportation system. Period. We should be making developers pay much higher impact fees in order to afford better transportation systems. Or we should sue the state to pay for it after making us build all this housing in what is essentially an unfunded mandate.

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2014 at 5:24 pm

Last time I had a lunch appointment in Cal Ave I parked beside the little park on Alma (the one with the car running with legs) and used the tunnel to get to Cal Ave. I was the only one to arrive on time.

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Posted by What'cha-Smoking-Pal?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2014 at 5:44 pm

> The answer is a good and energy efficient public
> transportation system. Period.

More delusional poppycock! Period!

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Posted by Greenacres
a resident of Green Acres
on Mar 15, 2014 at 11:56 pm

>"More delusional poppycock! Period!"

Really? You think it's better to make permanent land use decisions that require tens of millions of dollars for each plot of land instead? We're paving over paradise, blotting out the sun and views of the hills, destroying the desirability of the area on which our property values rest, and what happens when riderless cars become a reality? Rideshare takes on a whole other meaning.

Transportation is where the disruptive technologies will take place in the next 20 years. Transportation and energy.

If we're going to spend the money, the better option is the more flexible one over time, which is transportation, not turning Palo Alto into a small and ugly version of San Jose.

Back at'cha, delusional.

Like this comment
Posted by Greenacres
a resident of Green Acres
on Mar 15, 2014 at 11:59 pm

Oh, and by the way -- I've been here long enough to know what comes up must come down. There will be another bust cycle. Another reason we should be focusing on transportation.

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Posted by If you build it they will continue to come
a resident of Mayfield
on Mar 16, 2014 at 10:58 pm

The techies will want to live here when it is built out - they just don't know that yet.

Also in regards to restaurants being too expensive - did they only interview unpaid/underpaid high tech interns for this article? I though all you techies were making the big bucks? What gives?

If you really think Cal Ave restaurants are too expensive Jack in the box is right around the corner on El Camino Real and I believe they still have 2 tacos for 99 cents.

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Posted by Jug head
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 17, 2014 at 5:07 pm

The techies on. Park Ave do not work for Google, Facebook, Zynga, or LInkedIn--therefore they are not overpaid enough to afford to live shop, or eat in Palo Alto.

The rents charged in even the least expensive PA neighborhoods are still too costly to allow affordable living,,shopping, or dining here--especially on a daily basis.

Think about it: how much money did YOU make as a recent college grad, even with an advanced degree?

Like this comment
Posted by Backpacks not briefcases
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 19, 2014 at 9:26 pm

I agree with Jug head, the techies are not overpaid enough.

Not everyone is a techie either.

And they would not be able to afford the expensive housing that will go up for sale.

People justify Palo Alto housing prices for the schools, and these young people are too young still.

The housing will be marketed in offshore markets which have enough rich people happy to plunk millions for nothing.

Like this comment
Posted by Andrew Kloak
a resident of Stanford
on Mar 27, 2014 at 9:07 am

The world is shifting and tech is moving away from the Valley. The comments in the article are telling. Exponential change is on the rise and the area is still thinking it is incremental. They've already missed the boat.

Plus, the Bay is rising and will inundate the low lying Valley floor in 20 years.

Like this comment
Posted by HUTCH 7.62
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 27, 2014 at 9:56 am

I miss The Palo Alto of 20 years ago. Before the greedy city council, the Mc Mansions on tiny lots [portion removed] and heavy traffic 7 days a week. It really was so much nicer back then and a lot quieter.

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Posted by Vrubel nachman
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Mar 27, 2014 at 10:05 am

Not sure which palo alto hutch is referring to from 20 years ago. We still have the wonderful parks, great schools. However times change, people change and places change. The city council is not greedy ( but has become a joke how disgruntled people throw around the term " greedy" these days when things do not go their way). The " McMansions" are peoples homes- they chose to build them that way-- how about some consideration for what the actual homeowner wants? At least they look better than those dumps on Tennyson avenue![Portion removed.] There is no heavy traffic "7 days a week"-- another myth pushed by those that expect no traffic anytime they are on the road.

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