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Pacific Art League deal finalized

Original post made on Oct 19, 2007

The Pacific Art League has inked a deal with local developer Jim Baer to purchase and rehabilitate its nearly 80-year-old Ramona Street building, a spokeswoman announced Friday.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, October 19, 2007, 3:26 PM

Comments (27)

Posted by donnasue jacobi
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 19, 2007 at 4:34 pm

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.] Moving us 10 miles away from downtown PA does not benefit the membership. A group of us (21) have found other less expensive ways of taking care of elevator and ADA bathroom needs for less than $116K - and the Board has refused to even listen. This is a sweet deal between Jim Baer, the Board and the develeopers. The members will lose the opportunity to show in our galleries because they are going to become "public" -- that means that members don't get to show in their PAL galleries. and who's going to go 10 miles away on 1st Fridays? [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Jim Tobin
a resident of Atherton
on Oct 19, 2007 at 5:38 pm

Having two or three owners of a building is not the best way to go. There will be problems and in the end - one of the owners will prevail and it wont be PAL. Also, if the PAL board thinks they will generate income by turning the members gallery into a public - commerical gallery, they are in for a shock. I'm voting NO on the purchase plan.

Posted by Longterm PAL Member
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 22, 2007 at 9:02 am

The inaccurate information about this issue is appalling. Please read the league’s position on all of this: After a significant study of multiple alternatives, PAL concluded that it could not, on its own, finance the cost of retrofitting or rebuilding the Ramona Street property. Similarly, the possibility of purchasing other finished space in downtown would have been cost prohibitive and the visibility of the first floor spaces could not have been duplicated. Some of the key facts are as follows:

• The building is one of the few unreinforced masonry buildings left in downtown Palo Alto. As the Palo Alto Weekly made clear in its article last week, the Ramona Street building is constructed of hollow clay brick, one of the most vulnerable materials in an earthquake zone.

• An upgrade to correct the building’s problems, including ADA compliance, restroom deficiencies, heating and air conditioning systems, a needed elevator as well as stairway reinforcement, will trigger the requirement of a cost-prohibitive full upgrade of the building. The league has received a letter from the City stating that an exhaustive retrofit will be require if more than $80,000 in improvements are made to the Ramona building.

PAL has great classes and inspired programs. However, it can't remain competitive/viable in the Peninsula art community without addressing basic issues of infrastructure. I will vote "YES!"

Posted by mancy
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 22, 2007 at 9:32 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by PAL Artist/Member
a resident of another community
on Oct 22, 2007 at 10:33 am

The information that is being circulated is just plain insane! Every posting by DonnaSue Jacobi is filled with so many inaccuracies that it would take a dissertation to address them all.

If you have any questions or concerns about PAL and the building I URGE YOU to call PAL and they will set you up with an appointment to get all your questions answered by a Board member or the ED. Also go to the website and read the Building FAQ's and other documents.

Posted by PAL member
a resident of another community
on Oct 22, 2007 at 10:35 am

Concerning the PAL Gallery -- To put this rumor to rest, as an exhibiting artist this is important to me -- the gallery is not being turned into a "commercial" gallery. Members will always have the opportunity to exhibit in member only shows along with a few "open" shows like the "In the Garden" show and "Beyond Cancer" shows last year.

Posted by PAL member
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 22, 2007 at 12:22 pm

It is obvious that the "group of 21" have never managed or been in any way involved in a building remodeling project. If any of them had, they would know that the mandatory seismic and ADA upgrades will cost far more than $116K. I hope that they take the time to educate themselves before casting their vote.

Posted by PAL member
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 22, 2007 at 1:22 pm

How can it be an illegal sale? The membership will vote on it at their members meeting. The Board is recommending this (after years of research) but the members still have to go for it. And how is this going to kill the League? The League retains an enlarged, updated first floor, the building is entirely brought up to code and made earthquake safe (a huge issue!!), and they get enough money to buy another building close by for classes, plus money left over in the bank. Seems like a slam dunk to me. I'm voting for it!!

I don't understand the "jab" to Carol Nast who is also a member of the League and has given thousands of hours of work -- being on the Board is entirely VOLUNTEER. And individuals are recruited based on their professional experience to help the League but then have to be ratified by the members each year at the members meeting.

Posted by Valuable Property
a resident of Community Center
on Oct 22, 2007 at 2:43 pm

I have no connection to the PAL but 3.4 million dollars seems like a very low price for such a valuable downtown property.
Who advised the person who wants to sell?

Posted by donnasue jacobi
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 22, 2007 at 9:59 pm

Many of the group of 21 have gone to contractors for advice, planning commission for advice and have done hundreds of hours of research between us. Bottom line the Board has not spent enough time to find another location that is part of this deal. You can't sell something without presenting another location. And did the Board say they "might find something 10 miles south?" That would mean someplace between Mt.V and Santa Clara. If we don't stay within 1-2 miles of downtown, PAL will lose a great deal of it's member base and possibly it's teachers. If you want facts, be happy to email them to you. The Board only presents the pie in the sky "facts."

Posted by PAL member
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 22, 2007 at 10:22 pm

OK, let's clear up some facts.

Palo Alto does NOT require an upgrade to building if retrofits are done.
Elevator and new bathrooms may be installed for under $200,000.
2 million was give to PAL and most of has been spent on studies instead of where it should go.
Where does this walking up horrible stairs come from? It is one flight of stairs. Horrible?

Nope, this is a class battle. Between those that believe buildings need to be all brand new and have shiny stamp from developer, like a Santana Row. Or those that believe there is utility and elegance in an older building.

As for gang of 21, that is because the PAL does everything possible to make sure nobody by they are able to get information out. Notice if you want info they tell you to call and they will explain. Of course, but that is only THEIR point of view.

Why was a person hired to do fund raising who has done NONE. And now that is not longer a priority.

Nope, this is a simple land power grab by a developer. It is people in land/money moving against the un-organized.

However, the gang of 21 should stop fighting as it is clear who has one and this is just tearing the group apart. Make this work for you and live with it.

Because the PAL side is polished, and 21 just comes off like whiners.

Posted by PAL pal
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 22, 2007 at 11:53 pm

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

When trying to calculate the value of this deal, obviously one must look at the $3.4M cash PAL will walk away with AND the value of a retrofitted, modernized first floor of 3250 square feet turned over on a turn-key basis to PAL at no cost. In other words, the value is closer to $6M+. The appraised value of the building today is around $4M, so this is not a good deal. It is a great deal.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Jacobi says, "This is an illegal sale." Not true. The LOI is contingent on the members' approval because according to PAL's by-laws, then, and only then, can the transaction be completed.

Jacobi says, "Most of the board members have never been elected by chosen by Carol Nast based on voting with her to kill the league." Not true. Carol Nast, an exemplary leader whose character is unassailable (at least to those who are rational and responsible), has helped to recruit a board with a combination of a love for the arts and practical business experience in the areas a good non-profit needs to survive: finance, governance, marketing, fund development, human resources and program-development.

Jacobi says, "Moving us 10 miles away from downtown PA does not benefit the membership." An absolute distortion of the facts. PAL will not move out of downtown, except for the period of construction to make the building accessible and safe. Finding a site for the main classroom/studio facility within 10 miles of downtown is what the board is comitted to accomplishing.

Jacobi says, "A group of us (21) have found other less expensive ways of taking care of elevator and ADA bathroom needs for less than $116K - and the Board has refused to even listen." Not true. Jacobi and others have walked a contractor from Half Moon Bay and a sales rep from an elevator company through PAL, accompanied by the ED. Their proposed price on the elevator, for instance, is for the elevator car and its mechanics only, and then only to go to the 2nd floor, not the 3rd. It does not include the steel sleeve into which the car would fit, the shoring up of the URM wall to support the elevator.

Jacobi says, "This is a sweet deal between Jim Baer, the Board and the develeopers." Not true. Baer's offer is significantly higher than the offers of two other developers. Although a provocative statement, the truth is that the board gains nothing through this deal, except the knowledge that they have met their moral and fiscal responsibility.

Jacobi says, "The members will lose the opportunity to show in our galleries because they are going to become "public" -- that means that members don't get to show in their PAL galleries. and who's going to go 10 miles away on 1st Fridays?" Not true. There is no intention to make the downtown gallery a "public" or "commercial" gallery. It will be what it is today: a showcase for excellent member and nonmember art. Once reopened, it will once again be a vital part of Palo Alto Art Walk/First Fridays.

Jacobi says, "This is all about greed and disbanding the League that's been here since 1921." Not true and frankly not worthy of a response.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.

Posted by PAL pal
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 23, 2007 at 12:13 am

There is no "Group of 21." There were 21 people who showed up to a meeting billed as concerned members. Of course invitations were very selectively mailed avoiding all board and staff, all of whom are members of PAL. A showing of 21 out of 600 members is hardly a representative group.

Who are these contractors? Are any of them based in Palo Alto?

Hundreds of hours of research?

For 20 years members of the board have investigated this issue.

For the past year and a half, the current board has worked tirelessly to investigate all possible alternatives.

For the past year and a half, the current board has looked into possible properties for the second site from Mt. View to Redwood City. In fact an ideal property was located in Redwood City with excellent parking, light, access and ambient features. It was determined that this was too far from the downtown site to be ideal. Properties in south Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, Menlo Park and Mt. View have been toured and discussed. At no point has Santa Clara been considered. This is simply another of your falsehoods.

Of course it is possible, reasonable and responsible to "sell something without presenting another location." Timing is everything. If you are a practical businessperson presented with an attractive offer that is scrupulously structured to provide enough time to find, fix and relocate to another site while still occupying the Ramona Street site prior to construction, it would be unreasonable and irresponsible to ignore walk away from it.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Forum Observer
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Oct 23, 2007 at 12:42 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Observer
a resident of Green Acres
on Oct 23, 2007 at 12:59 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Not so fast
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 23, 2007 at 7:39 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by PAL Member
a resident of Woodside
on Oct 24, 2007 at 11:04 am

After reading all of these posts I would just like to say that I have personally informed PAL that I do not want my personal information released after reading this blog. The PAL office probably is not giving out information due to members such as myself that do not want to be bothered by such drama from a small group of people who just want to stir up problems because they have nothing else to do.

Posted by A Concerned Member
a resident of another community
on Oct 27, 2007 at 2:37 pm

I'm concerned that the Pacific Art League will not be able to find another building ready to move into before it has to vacate the 668 Ramona Street building within a reasonable distance from its current excellent downtown location. I don't understand the rush to sell when a new home for the Pacific Art League hasn't yet been identified.

Posted by A Concerned Member
a resident of Mountain View
on Oct 27, 2007 at 2:55 pm

There is no urgency to have to sell the 668 Ramona Street building. It is one of many buildings that have not yet been earthquake retrofit in downtown Palo Alto. The City of Palo Alto allows it to continue to be used without requiring a seismic retrofit until one of two events occurs: 1. there is a change of use or 2. improvements to the building exceed 50% of current appraised value. That means that an elevator can be added and the restrooms can be made to be handicapped accessible and perhaps even air conditioning can be added without having to do a complete seismic retrofit. The problem that exists in buying a new warehouse building is that warehouses not likely to already be earthquake retrofit. The change of use to classrooms for the Pacific Art League will trigger the requirement that a complete seismic retrofit be done prior to occupancy of the new building. Has the Pacific Art League considered this before commiting to sell their fabulous downtown building? It would seem to me that it makes more sense to not be under the gun and to take more time in identifying a viable new site and making sure they can afford to do the probable required seismic retrofit to that site before abandoning their downtown building where they have time to remain until a new building is found that works. Or perhaps they might find that it will cost the same to do the seismic retofit on a warehouse in an inferior location as it will to do a seismic retrofit on their existing downtown building and then perhaps the members will then be able to make an intelligent decision to move or stay when presented with the full story and both options. I will vote "no" on the sale unless the replacement building is identified as I don't think one exists that they can afford and complete prior to having to move from 668 Ramona as per the terms of the current proposed agreement. I urge other members not to rush into agreeing to sell Pacific Art League's most valuable asset prematurely. If it's a good deal, all parties can be patient and wait until Pacific Art League finds another home that will work. Thank you.

Posted by PAL member
a resident of another community
on Oct 28, 2007 at 11:11 am

No urgency to do the building deal??? -- it's only been talked about and researched for years and years and years and years.

The deal that is being offered is excellent and it's time to move ahead.

Read the FAQ's on their website... PAL does not have to vacate the building for way over a year. That would give them plenty of time to find a great building for the classrooms.

I'm really looking forward to the renovation. Charming as it is, the building is crumbling.

Posted by Concerned about last messagae
a resident of Mountain View
on Oct 30, 2007 at 8:54 am

PAL hasn't researched enough, evidently. They say they have been diligently searching for another building for 2 years. They haven't been able to find one. What makes you think they will find one already set up as classrooms that they can move into within a year? The truth of the matter is that if they find a warehouse, as they say they want to do, they will most likely have to do a complete seismic retrofit at that building and bring it up to current building codes before the change of use and occupancy as classrooms will be permitted. I don't think they can afford to do this at a new location. And, if they have to do it at a new location before they move in, I don't think they can accomplish that within a year. At least where they are, they aren't being pressured to do a retofit or move out. I'm not opposed to selling and moving to a better building. I just don't think a better building exists that is affordable where they won't have to put a similar amount of money into retrofitting BEFORE they can occupy it and that all of this can be accomplished within the one year to 18 months max that the existing deal gives them to move out. If it's so easy to find a new building, why haven't they identified it yet and told the members? I just think they should have a new building lined up and know that they can do what they need to do to turn it into classrooms before they commit to selling and vacating what has been their home of 85 years. Once it's sold, there's no way of going back, and I just don't understand the hurry to sell before the new building is identified. Thanks.

Posted by Leslie McLaren
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 3, 2007 at 2:17 pm

It has taken quite some time, but I am coml=pelled to write now.The tone of some of the discussions generated by some members of The Pacific Art League is really amazing, so contentious!. I served on the League Board,a VOLUNTEER position by the way...(that means NOT PAID.) I also served on the Building Committee, the Governance Committee and the Finance committee, all at the same time, we had a very small board. Faced with the defidiences of the building and having remodeled a few properties, I have some understanding (and appreciation)of some the problems inherent in the attempt. I loved the art league, but this process burned me out. Some facts and explainations....
As lovely as the League building is, it is an historical TWO category, meaning that the exterior will be required to kept looking the same as it does now, but is does not qualify as a category one historical building...different requirements and restrictions. Please educate yourselves on the differences! There is quite a bit of misinformation floating about! It does have quite serious building deficiencies with regard to structure. Please, you all that say retrofitting the structure can be done easily, we looked into that scenario quite extensively, and after all the discussions it became very clear that it was not feasible. If it were that easy we would have jumped at the opportunity. We were not happy with the news as it made our job in serving the members wants MUCH more difficult.....more hours of investigationg and problem solving, ahem, all for free! This building retrofit will not be an easy process for anyone.The vibration alone from the demolition necessary to retrofit makes me cringe.
We,the building committee interviewed several architects and construction companies. Rudolof Sletton had already delivered an opinion on the building structure, and we worked with Bob Peterson Architects, and Bloch Construction after interviewing, checking references and visiting three architect and contractor firm projects before selecting them. There were structural engineers involved as well who consulted with both the architects and contracting firm. There was also consultation done with Palo Alto Building Deptartment personel,and as a result some of the upper story components designed by the architectural firm were downsized to keep the facade of the building intact....the small third story as an example. WE WERE NOT ALLOWED to make it any larger. Many hours and lots of thinking, planning and problem solving were done with the league members in mind. The fact that some people don't like the results? Well, try to design a house that 600 folks like!!
The professional project planner, contracter and architects are the best...I would recommend them highly as did all of their references. We could not go to the community (or anyone) and ask for funds in the neighborhood of 6 million dollars to remodel our building if we didn't FULLY understand the scope of the project. That means that we needed to know exactly what was required, how will it be accomplished and what is the projected cost. This is a short list, but it included dealing with street and sidewalk issues,( trees for instance) traffic problems, neighborhood disruptions, demolition debris removaland delivery of new traffic, disruption of neighboring businesses, relocation and temporary placement of the classrooms and offices( that's the easy one!) staying within the parameters of the allowable size, accomodating the various classrooms and incorporating the rented studio spaces on Alma under the same roof as the rest of the classes ......I'm tired just remembering the enormous list that was presented. The professionals, the project manager, the architects and the construction firms were very helpful and fully capable of resolving all of these issues....the art league had to have these addressed before attempting to raise millions of dollars. No donor will be stepping up to the plate with a half conceived plan. In order to acertain that we were following a correct path,other institutions executives were consulted, Ronald McDonald House, Mountain View Music and Art Center, Palo Alto Historical Association and the Allied Arts Guild to mention a few. The executive of the art league at that time followed an often recomended course of action, and that was to educate herself as well as those of us on the building committee by asking the successful executives how on earth might we accomplish what the members reported that they wanted? Oh yes...there were polls taken and yes this is what the results showed, so try she did, we all did. Information was gathered, and paid for with a portion of the bequest...The bottom line is that we were then faced with the cost at 6.5 million?!... where was that going to come from? We tried....while I was there...we had some really nice fund raisers, First Friday was started, various community projects initiated. The 'inexperienced' board worked with enthusiasm and energy, and we did recruit some experienced folks. The recruits on the board presently have many valuable skills and experience as well as an enormous desire to help the art league. The present president/ ed? amazing! Have I mentioned that the League has a Conflict of Interest Policy? ( So much for the accusation of financial gain for the board members!) I know, I submitted it along with other important documents gleaned from the works of John Carver and with the guidance of Board Source, an organization that assists and educates non-profit boards such as the Art League to develop into well functioning boards. (This was as my position as the governance board person.)
This organization was initially a group of friends who got together to critique each others' art and encourage one another. There were some lovely and beloved Palo Altons in this gathering, Birge and Esther Clark's parents for example. It is my hope that supporting each other and art become once again the focus and goal of the league's members, all of them. The of accusations, inuendos and downright vehemence is so contrary to the initial purpose of the league, I am saddened. I was so tired after my board experience that I have not been a member for years. I am renewing my membership now though as I can see that the goal of this administration is to maintain a lovely gallery in the present location, along with a classroom to use and provide the league members with a space accessable to all who wish to support each other and focus on their wonderful the present administration, Hear Hear and Bravo for your untiring efforts. The soul of the league is not the building but the community that endeavors to sustain it.

Posted by PAL friend
a resident of Atherton
on Nov 3, 2007 at 4:12 pm

I read with interest the information by a former board member.
It seems, however, that the present membership has not been adequately informed and the final result looks problematic.
I am reminded of some businesses who say they do a national search for a particular position and then promote the insider they had in mind all along. Since the deal went to Palo Alto's biggest developer and it appears he's getting a really sweet deal, maybe it is time to communicate with the members in greater detail. He can wait, maybe there is a better deal for PAL when new voices are heard.

Posted by Leslie McLaren
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 4, 2007 at 10:22 am

Thank you for reading my long comment...please also read the PAL newsletter Creative Currents beginning from March/April 2003 to the present. They are available online in the website...Pacific Art League Board Minutes are also available in the office of the league. Any questions regarding the well meaning actions and thorough, fiduciary behavior of the league administration are clearly.....clearly available to everyone and I might suggest that those that really have the league's best interest at the heart of their arguments thoroughly research these documents. If the present membership has not been informed it is because they haven't read......
At the end of this transaction, the League will have retained their presence in the lovely old building,(an appreciating asset far beyond it's present value, thanks to the developer who will have invested quite a chunk of change in the upgrading of the space...which the league still OWNS) AND purchased ANOTHER VALUABLE ASSET, which will more than likely appreciate as well...Cool beans!!!!I apologize for my run on sentences and I hope that this matter gets all the research reading it deserves and the league's members can focus on their magnificent art.

Posted by a long-time member of PAL who has bee involved in real estate, architecture and construction for ove
a resident of Mountain View
on Nov 5, 2007 at 10:36 am

Many so-called facts stated by the Pacific Art League are just plain not true or are deceptively misleading.

It is NOT true that adding an elevator and making the restrooms ADA handicapped accessible would trigger the necessity of doing a complete seismic retrofit. Just go down to the City of Palo Alto Development Center on the corner of Hamilton and Bryant and ask and you'll find out the truth for yourself.

It is NOT true that PAL is retaining the first floor of Ramona and making it even larger as Leslie McLaren stated in her letter above. They currently have 4170 sqaure feet on the first floor as you can verify for yourself with the listing agents, the online listing on Cornish & Carey Commercial's website, or with the City of Palo Alto's records also viewable at the Development Center. They will only be getting 3250 square feet as per their own admissions in their press releases. PAL is losing almost one quarter of their existing first floor space with no explanation given.

The main problem is that they want to push this sale through before they have arranged for another building and they have not done their homework on other buildings.

The truth is that if they find a warehouse of 8,000 - 10,000 to buy, most probably, it will need a complete seismic retrofit before they can move in because the change of use to classrooms will require it. Also, many warehouses are in zoning areas that allow the legal use of very hazardous materials and most communities won't allow a change of use to classrooms where children and the elderly will be using the classrooms if there is a building using hazardous materials within 1000 feet.

They have also not considered the higher operating costs of having classrooms in a converted warehouse where, most likely, there will only be windows on the front side without the possibility of adding windows to the sides or back, so there will be higher utility costs for artificial lighting.

As to the value of the building and the cost to renovate: I don't know where Leslie McLaren got her 6.5 million figure, but the figure that the management gave in letters to the members was 2.5 million. Yes, it's a lot of money but there was well over $2,000,000 in the coffers just a few years ago before PAL started spending wildly on excessive salaries, consultants, architects, studies, etc. before thinking. Yes, Leslie, other places such as the Community School of Music and Arts in Mountain View and the Sebastopol Center for the Arts have successfully raised money to provide their members with safer and better facillities, so why did PAL decide it couldn't do it and put an end to fundraising? In fact, these organizations have offered their help to PAL but, PAL management prefers to think that selling their only asset is a quick fix that takes less work than raising the funds to do what they really should be doing.

The fact is that a very similar historic property is on the market for 11.25 million dollars only two and a half blocks away at 518 Bryant that is on a smaller lot, has no parking at all, but has 14,500 square feet after adding square footage allowed in its renovation. PAL's Ramona Street building could have 12,600 square feet after it's renovation, so it's value would probably be over 10 million. So, as I see it, 2.5 million renovation costs plus 3.4 million that the developer is offering adds up to 5.9 million and more than 4 million dollars in members assets that PAL wants to give away because it won't take responsibility for fundraising to do the project itself. PAL should look for a PARTNER that would truly be a partner and share the profits, but someone who wants to charge PAL 15,000 a month for rent starting December 2008 when they understand that it will be virtually impossible for PAL to find, buy and renovate a new building to move into by December 2008 is not playing fair.

If PAL could find a building in a good location that they could buy, renovate and move into within a year, that would be great. But if it's so easy to do that, why have they spent two years looking and not been able to identify it yet?

So, I urge you to check these things for yourself and not rush into voting to sell the wonderful downtown building on November 29 but waiting until a new building is found to be a viable alternative.

Committing to move out of the Ramona building by December 2008 or staying until June 208 at a cost of $15,000 per month and then having to move out when another building has not yet even been identified and probably cannot be ready for occupancy by then is irresponsible on the part of the management of PAL.

A vote of NO is not saying that we don't want to go along with management's ideas to relocate to a new building, it's just saying that we don't want to sell the members' major asset before knowing what the alternatives are.

Posted by Leslie McLaren
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 5, 2007 at 1:09 pm

PLEASE do your research, perhaps beginning with Creative Currents, the PAL newsletter from March/April 2003 found in the Pacific Art League website under the membership area and then newsletter archives all in pdf and available for all who really care to gather the facts and history involved in this tranaction. I 'got' my figure of 6.5 million, from my attendance at the building committee meetings with both the architects and construction company's estimates. As for keeping the membership informed?.....
Please read newsletter Art Beats Summer 2005 "Building Project Update Prior to formally beginning a capital campaign to raise approximately $6.5 million to renovate, retrofit and expand our building,
it is necessary to obtain approval from the city of Palo Alto to
carry out the project. Approval requires a building design that
conforms to the Secretary of the Interior’s standards for renovation
of historic buildings, is compliant with the Americans with
Disabilities Act for handicap accessibility, and meets Palo Alto
building codes. The project must then be reviewed by the city
of Palo Alto Historic Resources Board and Architectural Review
Board. Finally, because this project involves the granting of two
bonuses allowing addition of a total of 5000 square feet, the
project must be approved by the City Council.
In May, the Pacific Art League presented to the city a preliminary
planning application for the project. A consultant was then hired
by the city, at the league's expense, to advise on compliance of
the design with the Interior standards. That process is currently
ongoing; we plan to submit a final application incorporating the
findings of the consultant later this fall.
We welcome your involvement in this very exciting project,
and will continue to update you regularly. If you wish to know
more about our planned building renovation and expansion,
we encourage you to do so by contacting Claudia Morgan at
650-321-3891 or [email protected]"
These figures as well as the building plans were submitted to the membership and remained in the league downstairs for some time.The report negates just two of your alligations, just the facts?! Please provide verifiable documentation to your claims, names of those "quoted" and research resources so that we may in fact have "ALL THE FACTS" your real name perhaps? Thank you, Leslie McLaren

Posted by Disgusted
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Dec 11, 2007 at 4:54 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

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