News

Prometheus to add up to 526 units

On Tuesday, Prometheus Real Estate Group got the City Council's stamp of approval for 66 more apartments for its Manzanita complex on El Camino Real.

To be built at the corner of Mariposa Avenue and El Camino Real, the four-story building adds 66 units to the 162 unit complex recently approved for the former site of Western Appliance and Tropicana Lodge, which Prometheus is also building. All told, Prometheus is now set to build another 526 apartments in the city, including 184 units at 100 Moffett Boulevard and 134 units at 111 North Rengstorff -- not including its proposal for 306 apartments at the former California Street Safeway site.

Demand is so high for housing in Mountain View that Prometheus' recently completed 203-unit complex at 455 West Evelyn Avenue has been advertising rents as high as $8,000 a month for a two-bedroom unit.

At 1616 El Camino Real, the approved building tapers down to two stories at the rear, which turned out to be too high to comply with city policies because of the proximity of single-story rental homes. City Council members approved the project with an exception to the rule, voting 4-3. Members Jac Siegel, John McAlister and John Inks were opposed.

Inks opposed a requirement proposed at the end of the meeting by Mayor Chris Clark. Prometheus would need to contribute $100,000 to the city for yet-to-be determined improvement to the neighborhood, which members approved in the 4-3 vote.

"That's not the way we do budgeting around here," Inks said. "If you are going to make it a $100,000 (donation) why not make it a million? How do you arrive at that?"

Council member Mike Kasperzak complained that the requirement was being proposed at the last minute, but other members said it was the first time they'd seen the project and so it was fair game.

Council member Jac Siegel suggested that Prometheus give even more, saying his opposition was partly due to "the very meager public benefits that are being offered."

Several residents advocated for a pedestrian path through the project, connecting to the end of Chiquita Avenue, as well as a safe El Camino Real crossing in front of the project for kids in the area going to Graham Middle School and Los Altos High School.

But there was just one problem -- a private driveway stood in the way of a convenient connection to Chiquita Avenue just north of the Prometheus site, belonging to a homeowners association.

"I'm president of the HOA that people keep referring to," said Lorrie Gibson. "(People) want us to give them access through our land -- it's not going to happen. I'm sorry people have children, I'm sorry they have to get to school, but it's not our problem. It's our land -- it's not public land."

McAlister raised the issue of the project's rear heights not conforming to city policies, which alarmed neighboring property owner Jack Holman, who rents the adjacent homes to four households.

"I question where the exception was required because it's never been discussed, it's never come up in (planning commission meetings). I'm not aware of an exception," Holman said.

The project includes a small public plaza at the corner of El Camino Real and Mariposa Avenue with tables and chairs.

"If Prometheus thinks it's attractive and Prometheus wants to do it for its residents, that's fine with me," Bryant said of the plaza.

Prometheus will have to pay fines for removing two large trees from the site without permission. The trees were removed to build a two-level underground parking garage with 86 spaces.

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mr Adviceo
a resident of Bailey Park
on Mar 21, 2014 at 11:04 am

[Post removed due to excessive and/or repetitive post by same poster]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mr Adviceo
a resident of Bailey Park
on Mar 21, 2014 at 11:04 am

Another shiny example of how $$$ Talks Loudly.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Old Ben
a resident of Bailey Park
on Mar 21, 2014 at 12:24 pm

When they wanna build offices, the scream for housing, when the want to build housing, they scream corruption. Seems nobody is ever happy.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Garrett83
a resident of another community
on Mar 21, 2014 at 2:04 pm

Garrett83 is a registered user.

Buildings don't look bad, better then eyesores and rundown buildings. Could have been cheap nasty looking apartment buildings.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Feeling fine
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Mar 21, 2014 at 2:06 pm

"Prometheus will have to pay fines for removing two large trees from the site without permission."

How big are the fines?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by CP Resident
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 21, 2014 at 2:43 pm

Old Ben - People are afraid of change. It's scary for some.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Martin Omander
a resident of Rex Manor
on Mar 21, 2014 at 2:48 pm

Old Ben and CP Resident are right on the money. People don't like change and they will complain about anything. We have a bustling economy, Mountain View businesses want to hire more people, and it is reasonable that we build more housing so we keep traffic manageable.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by More people to use up our water
a resident of Monta Loma
on Mar 21, 2014 at 3:04 pm

Is there any wonder why our water supplies are running out.

526 more toilets to flush, tubs to soak in, washing/dishwasher machines to run. These add up. But like the state, the people do not know how to do math.

And this is only in Mt View, add to that all the other construction going on in the other cities.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Wow
a resident of Shoreline West
on Mar 21, 2014 at 3:06 pm

I could come up with a 100,000.00 to keep crap apartments out of the neighborhood, if that is all the bribe, The City Council wants.

How does building more housing keep the traffic manageable?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Garrett83
a resident of another community
on Mar 21, 2014 at 3:28 pm

Garrett83 is a registered user.

526 toliets have to get somewhere, low flush or no flush we have to spend the money water saving buildings. Thousands of single family homes, hundreds of garden style apartments with acres of landscaping in the hot valley.

Water for here or there comes from the same source.

We have to start spending money on alternative transportation options


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Dereliction
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 21, 2014 at 3:37 pm

Personally, I'm fine with these new apartments. They are much better than the old broken down retail bldgs previously there.

How can 4 council members pass a project change that they admit to have not seen before? It simple. There's 100,000 reasons. Residents of SWAN have been sold out for a measly $100K in the city coffers that will go straight into the pockets of staffers. These 4 are sending a clear message for when they run their next campaigns. If you need me to spell it out for you, well, you are not paying attention.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Really
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 21, 2014 at 3:52 pm

Are we proud of Promethues charging 8,000.00 dollars for a two bedroom apartment?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Mar 21, 2014 at 4:56 pm

8,000.00 dollars a month for a 2 bedroom, that is what I call free market supply and demand. 96,000.00 dollars a year, but remember landlords know that they can and can't get.

Hotel in Palo Alto getting 700.00 dollars a night for a hotel room.

350.00 dollars for jeans or maybe more.

It is called the free market, consumerism at its finest or maybe being dumb.

The thing is people are buying products and services that are enabling the people come and rent these high rent buildings.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by lunch money
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 21, 2014 at 6:03 pm

@feeling fine - Here's my best guess on the fine. According to these city web pages (Web Link and Web Link), it looks like Prometheus will have to get a "post-removal permit." The fee for heritage tree removal is $116 for the first tree, $58 for each additional tree on the same property. Then they will have to either buy the city 2 new trees, or pay an "in-lieu" fee of $250 per tree. So, that's a total of $674. Chump change, really. Why follow the law when you can pay the fine with your lunch money?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Time out Needed.... NOW
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Mar 22, 2014 at 8:29 am

Let's see.

Council voted on a project containing many changes they just discovered. City endorsed a developer who illegally took down trees. City had no idea what level of public benefits should be offered. Staff thought that some property beautification elements would suffice. City engaged in last minute haggling to define a public benefit "fee" with no economic basis and with no defined use.

I fear to imagine what the approval of San Antonio Phase II will look like.

Time to follow Palo Alto's lead and put the brakes on fly-by-night zoning.

Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Garrett83
a resident of another community
on Mar 22, 2014 at 9:12 am

Garrett83 is a registered user.

I would say fine them more then that or have them pay for tree planting of 20 trees. Not just parking lot trees but Oaks, Redwoods and real beautiful that will last.

Public benefits should be money for public buildings or equipment. Lawn sod, tennis courts repair, paint for schools, books, funds to buy land for parks, tools and tires for public vehicles, or streetlamps.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Time out Needed.... NOW
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Mar 22, 2014 at 9:43 am

We should not leave it to a certain "resident of another community" serial poster to define what Public benefits should be.

The City has to define those .... in public before approving any other project.

Time to follow Palo Alto's lead and put the brakes on fly-by-night zoning.

Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Village.sanantonio
a resident of another community
on Mar 22, 2014 at 10:13 am

From a community impacted by traffic gridlock inflicted by sanantonio phase-1 ...

Time out needed: It is comforting to know that you are recognizing the runaway train
Sanantonio phase-2 is going to be.

Multistory office buildings, hotel and a movie theater in a area with no proximity to a freeway.
These absolutely do not belong. Restaurants and condos and park should be in phase-2 .
Nothing.

Development is running amuck in mountain view and taking down north Los altos around
Sanantonio road with it. Only developers that don't live here benefit.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Linda Curtis
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 22, 2014 at 11:03 am

People don't like change because it wrecks the quality of life at their property. How would you like four stories to tower over your backyard where your children play? Who is looking down upon you & your family? How fair is it to trade your view of half of the sky and all of your privacy and quiet for $100,000 to the City? Or for any price? Why is our city allowed to sell our zoning protection? Zoning is supposed to protect us from just this sort of thing happening. My lifelong investment in my one story little four-plex, all labor self done for 40 years, is going to be ruined for this reason, when 801 ECR is built. This will happen again with the proposal to build beside one story homes (with long term residents) where HARV's CAR WASH is currently: Four stories butting right up against several one story homes that house real people who will lose the private use of their yards and now must keep their blinds & curtains shut, when they did not have to before, as the fence between them and the car wash was sufficient for their well lit & yet private enjoyment in their homes. Do you want to be next for this? If not object! Our rights and freedoms should not be for sale by the city! Don't object and see what else our city sells out from under us.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Garrett83
a resident of another community
on Mar 22, 2014 at 1:04 pm

Garrett83 is a registered user.

I have never believed in letting developers to decided what public benefits should or in the case of Palo Alto. Businesses being public benefits, yes shared parking is a public benefit.

Jumbotrons No, long term open space Yes, plaza at a apartment building, funds for a summer youth program Yes. Funds to maintain bike trails Yes but bike parking in a garage maybe.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Time out Needed.... NOW
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Mar 22, 2014 at 1:28 pm

@Garrett

I agree that the nature and the size of Public Benefits for Mountain View should not be defined by developers (... or out-of-town serial posters like yourself).
They also should not be hacked together by City Council, minutes before approving a project.

Time to follow Palo Alto's lead and put the brakes on fly-by-night zoning.

Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Linda Curtis
a resident of Castro City
on Mar 22, 2014 at 2:02 pm

Those public benefits just mentioned can be paid for by the City of Mountain View without trading away anything. Our City Council must quit trading away things to big money like dictators. We should be able to count on things, as we used to. Would you mind if your backyard, half the SQ. FT. of your home, +your car and/or bike got traded away for the good of others elsewhere in the city? Same thing as trading away someone view of half the sky and the privacy in their backyard or their ability to get through traffic around town. The revolution in Russia benefited the public greatly... at the extreme expense of the wealthy who owned the stuff that was redistributed to all. Does that sound good to you? In my experience, give something for free to someone who didn't work for it and they won't appreciate or work to maintain it as would whose who had worked for it in the first place. I thought we knew that social plan didn't work and is flawed beyond redemption. Aren't we more in favor of democracy? If so, we must maintain our zoning protections so it makes sense to work hard to improve a piece of property. I never would have if I knew this was going to happen to it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Garrett83
a resident of another community
on Mar 22, 2014 at 3:06 pm

Garrett83 is a registered user.

When the bubble busts and taxes shrink down, then you want the stuff.

When you have to pay so much more in services and labor because your home and rent prices are so high. Nobody wants to live here unless high wages are met.

Traffic becomes so bad incoming goods will cost more.

Why open a small businesses when the chain stores can ship in such high numbers.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Rodger
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Mar 23, 2014 at 9:14 am

I don't want high density housing or offices in Mountain View, not now, not in the future. Vote for City Council candidates that will fight this over building. If we don't it will go on and on until Mountain View will be renamed Building and Car View


 +   Like this comment
Posted by incognito
a resident of Waverly Park
on Mar 23, 2014 at 10:06 am

Drive down El Camino Real in Sunnyvale in the afternoon. On the south side of the street is a very large new building that casts a huge shadow across the entire street. I wasn't even looking at the building, it was that the street seemed strangely dark that caught my attention.

That's not what I want for MV.

I have really enjoyed the views of our beautiful hills to the south, and there are tons of people who move to California for the sunshine. We're losing both of those with every tall building that goes up. I wish we had a height restriction.

Also, we learned at a recent City Council neighborhood committee meeting that there are 10,000 more cars per day (yes you read that right) going traveling on Grant Road than there were ONE year ago because drivers from Sunnyvale, Cupertino, etc are taking Grant Road to avoid 85. It won't be very enjoyable or convenient to live in a city that has so much car traffic that you avoid not just the freeway, but several local streets during several times of the day. Heck, I coulda stayed in Los Angeles.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 23, 2014 at 3:20 pm

Tthe approved building tapers down to two stories at the rear, which turned out to be too high to comply with city policies because of the proximity of single-story rental homes. City Council members approved the project with an exception to the rule.

Business as usual - What developers want, developers get! The Majority of City Council disregards the residents of nearby single-story rental homes.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Garrett83
a resident of another community
on Mar 23, 2014 at 3:26 pm

Garrett83 is a registered user.

Most everything is single stories, to build any near, across or next door would cause suffering to single story buildings. Even 2 stories.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Linda Curtis
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 28, 2014 at 2:11 pm

Garrett83: The last thing you posted I agree with totally. The only way to not be unfair to those who paid top dollar for their single story, private residences is to keep all the new multi-story building in an area of just that, built that way from the start.


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