What's changed in 27 University Ave. plans | November 30, 2012 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |


Palo Alto Weekly

News - November 30, 2012

What's changed in 27 University Ave. plans

A revised proposal to build an office complex and a theater as part of a new "arts and innovation district" in downtown Palo Alto will be reviewed by the City Council on Monday, Dec. 3. Here are the main differences between the proposal the council considered on Sept. 24 and the one in front of them this week.

Building heights

Before: The earlier proposal included four office buildings that were six-, seven-, nine- and 10-stories high and that ranged in height from 118 to 162 feet. The height for the proposed theater was 100 feet.

Now: The new proposal calls for four office buildings with two of them six-stories high and the other two seven-stories high. Building heights now range from 99 feet to 114 feet. The proposed theater is now 95 feet tall.

Commercial square footage

Before: The earlier proposal called for 262,580 square feet of commercial space in the four office towers, including 23,080 square feet on the ground floor.

Now: The new proposal calls for 210,300 square feet of commercial space, with 24,600 square feet on the ground floor. Total commercial footage is reduced by 52,280 square feet.

Location of Julia Morgan Hostess House

Before: The earlier proposal considered various locations for the historic "Hostess House" that currently houses the MacArthur Park restaurant. It did not issue a recommendation for the new location, but listed El Camino Park as one of the options.

Now: The new proposal recommends relocating the Hostess House to El Camino Park, between the soccer and softball fields.

Road changes

Before: The September master plan proposed major changes in the road circulation around the downtown transit center, including a new two-way Transit Ring Road that would replace the existing University Avenue loop road. The new configuration would raise the area's capacity for bus stops and layovers from 21 to 32.

Now: The revised plan includes the previously proposed Transit Ring Road but also a host of new bike and pedestrian connections. These include a proposed underpass at Lytton Avenue and a two-way, 10-foot-wide bike route connecting a proposed bike route north of the Caltrain station to the existing bike route south of the station.

— Gennady Sheyner