Los Altos Opinions Exchange

Development options on First Street

Issue: Downtown Parking
Date of Posting:10/24/100
Author: King Lear

We have four proposals being considered to eventually replace the Consignment Center and Nelsons Cleaners on city land. Three of these proposals are based on a boutique hotel with 80 to 90 rooms. The fourth is a six screen theater, retail shops along a widened sidewalk with trees on First Street, and condominiums above the street level.

All proposals would provide either a restaurant or cafe near the corner of First and Main with outdoor and indoor dining areas as an inviting community gathering place.

A key goal for any city development is to add to our parking capacity downtown without spending city funds doing it, nor requiring a parking assessment district to fund it. The hotel proposals provide 20 less to 30 more spaces than the 70 existing and the theater proposal offers 74 more. Since the parking spaces will cost about $30,000 each to build underground, the value of the proposals to parking, in dollars, would be lose $0.6M (-20 spaces) or gain $0.9M (+30 spaces), or gain $2.22M (+74 spaces).

The increased parking value for the theater/condo/retail shops/cafe combination is due to the economic attractiveness of selling 28 condominiums.

All proposals have three stories with two stories being on First Sreet and the third story set back next to the Expressway.

The theater would be buried out of sight on the expressway side, but the marque and entryway to the lobby would be by stairs or elevator from underground parking or from Main street. The sidewalk on Main Street would also be widened and Pistach trees added. The theater would only operate during evenings on weekdays, thus would add no traffic nor parking requirements during our normal peak activity times. The theater would add vitality to our downtown in the evenings and weekends for all ages. This will increase business in our restaurants and shops that choose to stay open.

Problems, questions please contact webmaster@los-altos.org