Tue09302014

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Milk Pail owner: Parking deal revoked

ONLINE MILKPAIL Exterior

A new parking agreement to save The Milk Pail Market in Mountain View has been revoked, according to its owner.

In an email to the Mountain View City Council Sunday, longtime Milk Pail owner Steve Rasmussen said a deal with Merlone Geier was revoked by the developer after the Mountain View City Council delayed a vote on Phase 2 plans for The Village at San Antonio Center last week. The council postponed its vote over concerns about a lack of housing in the proposed project.Attempts to contact Merlone Geier ahead of the Town Crier’s press deadline were unsuccessful.

Collapse of the agreement follows Rasmussen’s announcement at the July 1 city council meeting that he and Merlone Geier agreed on a deal for the 11 parking spaces his market needs to meet city parking requirements – effectively preserving its future in Mountain View. The deal, however, hinged on the council’s approval of the Phase 2 development last week, he noted. That second phase includes a 167-room hotel, more than 100,000 square feet of retail space, nearly 361,000 square feet of office space, a 49,000-square-foot movie theatre and a 1,300-space parking garage, among other things.

In his email to the Mountain View council, Rasmussen expressed regret over “the false illusion in the community” that his popular market would be saved by the agreement. Rasmussen currently has a parking agreement in place through 2016 on neighboring tenants’ lots, which have since been sold to Merlone Geier for its Phase 2 project. Despite revocation of the agreement, Rasmussen expressed hope that a new deal could be reached in the future.

“At this time I am very sorry that we have lost our certainty of having parking after January 2016 with Merlone Geier, but I have every expectation that a revised agreement that would accommodate Milk Pail parking in the future is still very possible,” wrote Rasmussen, who has owned and operated the market at 2585 California Ave. for nearly 40 years.

In a July 3 letter to Rasmussen, Merlone Geier Vice President Michael Grehl said his company is rescinding its agreement, per the terms and conditions agreed upon by both parties. Like Rasmussen, Grehl wrote that he hopes for an amended agreement in the future.

“This (vote delay) is a disappointment to both parties but we look forward to working with you in the future,” Grehl wrote to Rasmussen.

Rasmussen told the Town Crier late last week after the council’s delay that he was uncertain his agreement with the developer remained in place.

“That agreement was specific to the city council voting on Phase 2 on July 1,” said Rasmussen. “What we do going forward, I don’t know.”

At the time, Rasmussen termed his agreement with the developer “very last minute,” noting that talks between the two parties were stalled until approximately two weeks ago. Without offering specific details, Rasmussen said the parking agreement to use 11 spaces in a parking garage was for “a substantial length of time.”

“I was glad that Merlone Geier and I engaged (in talks) in the last week or two,” he said. “That shows promise for the future. What the final form (of that future) will be, nobody knows.”

Rasmussen added that he wasn’t necessarily surprised by the council’s lack of action on the Phase 2 project last week, noting that he “thought they would hold off on voting.”

Still, he expressed hope that the delay wouldn’t cloud the market’s agreement with Merlone Geier – and in turn, its future.

“Things will be developing again over time, I assume,” he said.

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