Fri08292014

News

Downtown construction roundup: Buildings going up, coming down along First Street


Photo By: Ellie Van HOutte/town crier
Construction crews begin work on First Street in front of Safeway this week, in preparation for streetscape work.

Following are updates on three construction projects, including two already underway on First Street in downtown Los Altos.

100 First St. condominiums

Dave Dacus of Lamb Partners, LLC, told the Town Crier that construction crews are currently pouring and forming the wall, floor, columns and other concrete elements for the underground parking garage of developer Randy Lamb’s condominium project at 100 First St. The project, he noted, remains on track for completion in spring 2014.

Dacus added that construction of a concrete podium deck – which serves as the building’s first-floor foundation – will be completed by the end of May. From there, he said, crews will begin vertical wood framing for the four-story, 48-unit structure, signaling a new phase in the project’s ongoing work.

“That’s when people start recognizing that it’s not just a hole in the ground anymore,” said Dacus, who serves as the company’s sales manager.

Dacus said he’s received early buyer interest in the project, which will offer units ranging from one to three bedrooms and floor plans from 1,100 to 2,600 square feet.

“I’m surprised,” he said. “There’s been pretty high demand. We’ve currently identified 15 people who are ready to go to contract and select a home.”

The company is in the midst of gearing up its marketing for the development. That includes developing a website for the project – www.100firststreet.com – which Dacus anticipates will go live at the end of May. Still, he said he expects the company won’t “go full blast” with its marketing push until the fall, when the company will begin presales and release pricing for available units.

“It’ll start slowly at the end of the month (May) and pick up throughout the rest of the year,” he predicted.

First Street streetscape

Construction crews last week took several steps to stage future demolition and construction work for the second phase of the city’s First Street streetscape project, according to Los Altos Special Projects Manager Dave Brees.

The initial portion of the Phase 1B project includes sidewalk widening along First Street, from State Street to Shasta Street, as well as street-corner widening and crosswalk improvements. Other improvements include the installation of streetlights, trees, irrigation systems, storm drains and rain gardens.

The first portion of the project is expected to be finished before the city’s annual Arts & Wine Festival in July. Following the festival, crews will resume streetscape work, closing the intersection at First and State streets for additional improvements. The overall project is slated for completion in September.

“The project itself is broken up into sizable chunks to work with,” Brees told the Town Crier.

Brees noted that to date, tasks underway or completed include site layout, project surveying and staking, identifying utility locations, installing stormwater runoff prevention measures and installing traffic controls – including signage to direct traffic – along First Street. In addition, construction crews last week– in coordination with the California Water Service Co. – completed the relocation of a fire hydrant from Shasta to First.

He added that crews began sawing portions of the sidewalk and roadway in preparation for landscape, curb, gutter and sidewalk demolition starting this week.

“It will take a week, if not a little longer,” Brees said of this week’s demolition work.

Brees noted that motorists in the area should expect some delays. Although the First Street sidewalk remains closed during construction work, affected businesses remain open and accessible to customers, he added.

For more information and updates, visit www.firststreetlosaltos.org.

First Street Safeway

Safeway closed its longtime grocery store at 160 First St. at midnight May 4 and is still in the process of decommissioning the building, according to Brees.

Safeway plans to replace its existing 46-year-old building with a new podium-style grocery store approximately twice the size of its predecessor – at 45,000 square feet.

Brees said the company is in the process of removing fixtures, equipment and other materials from the store. From there, the company’s contractor will conduct hazardous material remediation work to eliminate asbestos in advance of razing the structure, he added.

The building is tentatively slated for demolition in early June, Brees said. Construction on the new market is expected to take approximately 10 months.

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