Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Passerelle Investment Co. will collaborate with the city’s Planning Department on redevelopment proposals for 170 State St.
Call it a meeting of the minds.
The Los Altos City Council approved Passerelle Investment Co.’s July 24 request to work with the city’s planning staff on concepts to redevelop 170 State St.
The council gave thumbs-up to the collaboration during a study session related to downtown Parking Plaza 9 – partially owned by Passerelle. According to Los Altos Assistant City Manager James Walgren, Plaza 9 is the only downtown plaza not 100 percent publicly owned.
During the session, Passerelle presented preliminary office building and hotel concepts, “simply to show the mass of a project if we pooled our resources,” Passerelle co-founder Amanda Tevis said.
Tevis added that the company would consider a range of concepts in its work with the staff, including mixed-use projects.
Los Altos Mayor Val Carpenter noted the “tuning fork” configuration of the publicly owned spaces in Plaza 9 and suggested that a land swap might also be considered.
Approximately three-fourths of the spaces in the plaza’s first drive aisle closest to 170 State St. are publicly owned. Passerelle owns the majority of the land comprising the plaza’s second drive aisle (closest to 170 State St.) as well as spaces. Ownership of the plaza’s remaining two drive aisles and spaces appears more evenly split, according to an illustration in a city staff report.
“My expectation is that they will develop a number of different concepts for us to review,” Carpenter said.
Walgren added that a redevelopment of 170 State St. could potentially include the use of the company’s portion of Plaza 9, which has “historically” been used by motorists in the same way as publicly owned spaces. To that end, Walgren said he hopes the redevelopment concepts will include the replacement of any lost parking spaces.
In a second study session, Passerelle presented preliminary concepts for a 5,000-square-foot public gathering area in Plaza 4. The concept, according to a staff report, may require the removal of 18 public parking spaces, located directly behind Peet’s Coffee & Tea.
Complicating matters, however, is the city’s new shared-parking agreement with Safeway, which has a 22-space buffer in a defined parking area including Plaza 4, Walgren said.
Losing 22 or more spaces in the defined area would trigger Safeway’s opt-out clause, costing the city approximately $1.8 million.
“If we hit that 22-car space threshold, that would be pretty significant,” Walgren said.
With this in mind, Walgren said any collaboration between the city and Passerelle on public gathering space concepts in Plaza 4 would likely wait until the city completes its downtown parking management study. The council approved a $157,284 services agreement July 24 with CDM Smith to complete the study.