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Hyatt Rickeys vs JCC

Original post made by Paolo Rossi Altobelli, Barron Park, on Sep 20, 2006

Why do most people in Palo Alto resist the building of Hyatt Rikeys but not the Jewish Community Center?
Anyone can shed some light? Thank you!
Paolo Rossi Altobelli

Comments (6)

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Posted by Craig
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 20, 2006 at 5:44 pm

I personally would have liked to see Rickey's redeveloped as a hotel, and I support the JCC. Is there really any empirical evidence that more people supported one over the other?

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Posted by J.L.
a resident of Ventura
on Sep 21, 2006 at 12:41 am


1) Critical mass - locals and non-locals - fantastic fund-raising execution and PR
2) 'Empathic' project - as the JCC, a tremendous resource for diversity and the community was lost when Terman was reassigned. The JCC was - in a manner of speaking - "owed" something by the community. i.e. a kind of 'sympathy' factor (totally justified, btw)
3) Tradition (no kidding)
4) Non-profit, with a socially redeeming mandate
5) Pushed all the right buttons

1) Typical neighborhood meddling - extreme micromanagement of process, including traffic surveys, etc. etc. - every developer's worst nightmare
2) Easier ti "pick on", than a non-profit that elicits sympathy. The JCC 'lost' something - the Hyatt people wanted to leverage an asset to increase their bottom line.
3) Council had no backbone - couldn't say "no" to small interest groups who threw the whole thing into an interminable "let's wait and see".
4) Insufficient intermediation by city developoment staff
5) Pushed all the wrong buttons - but the people whose buttons were pushed will hopefully start to take a back seat to those who are more reasonable about how to bring our city forward

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Posted by Abe
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 24, 2006 at 12:28 pm

JCC = Non-profit, visited by Palo Alto residents who are already living/driving in the area.

Rickeys = Large commercial corporation, visited by out-of-town visitors.


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Posted by Penny
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Sep 30, 2006 at 3:58 pm

Actually, the public record shows that the neighbors NEVER opposed the proposed 320 room hotel. They asked the developer to reduce the 302 housing units that the developer proposed in ADDITION to the hotel on the 15.84 acre site. Remember, the proposal was for 320 hotel rooms AND 302 housing units on less than 16 acres. That is extremely high density for any site, but especially for a site that does not have good public transportation access.

The neighbors had numerous excellent reasons for opposing the project that were well supported by data from the Environmental Impact Report: traffic congestion and safety, parking overflow into surrounding neighborhoods, failure to provide adequate open space on the site, zoning code was a very long list.

In seven years, the developer, despite repeated requests from neighbors, city staff, Council members never made a compromise proposal that might have reduced the environmental impacts of this extremely high density project.

Then the bottom fell out of the hotel market after 9/11. That was the reason Hyatt pulled the hotel deal. The developer representative said as much.

Please report correct facts. No neighborhood group EVER opposed the hotel. This is a matter of public record.

I really dislike this BLOG. So much misinformation is written here, and people seem to accept it as fact. Please check the public record for a report of what actually happened.

Broad distribution of misinformation degrades public dialogue. I am sorry that the Weekly attaches its name to a site that disseminates so many incorrect facts. The effect over time may be to degrade the paper's brand name as a reliable news source. That would be too bad.

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Posted by Jane
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Aug 31, 2009 at 11:52 am

Are you kidding? Now that JCC is about to open I think you see it for yourself. Tremendous jewel to the community, not only Jewish. I am not Jewish, but I can't wait for it to open. All the classes and opportunities for kids, adults and seniors!

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 31, 2009 at 1:01 pm

They are both ugly. They both cause traffic problems. I see little difference.

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