Massive Office Development Could Spur Palo Alto Downtown Re-branding Frenzy

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor The City of Palo Alto is set to see a massive office development take shape in one of its prime downtown areas. Local authorities have teamed up with philanthropist John Arillaga in order to get a four-tower office complex at 27 University Avenue that, if done right, could also result [...]

The City of Palo Alto is set to see a massive office development take shape in one of its prime downtown areas. Local authorities have teamed up with philanthropist John Arillaga in order to get a four-tower office complex at 27 University Avenue that, if done right, could also result in a new theater for the city. According to Palo Alto Online, city officials are debating whether to submit the issue to the public through a voting measure that could take place as soon as spring of 2013.

Set to be located near the downtown Caltrain station in Palo Alto, the development would take shape on the site where the MacArthur Park restaurant currently sits, meaning that the dining spot would have to be relocated in order to make way for the ambitious development proposal.

Palo Alto Online noted that the office project has already gained traction with local officials, an observation confirmed by the glowing report provided by the city’s planning staff. The proposal was praised there as “an unprecedented opportunity to transform the centrally located, transitional area between downtown Palo Alto and Stanford University.”

Local officials are inclined to encourage the project, as it will facilitate a number of other projects and ideas going for the city of Palo Alto. The list includes improving the Intermodal Transit Center, the Stanford Shopping Center, Stanford Hospital and Stanford University.

Such a comprehensive reworking of Palo Alto’s downtown could also get other plans off the ground, most notably a new performing arts center, providing a new home for TheaterWorks. There is also a broader plan to transform the area between the Caltrain station and El Camino Real into an “Arts and Innovation District.”

Silicon Valley suffered in 2011 in terms of the amount of office space developers completed in the area, but 2012′s figures seem to have stopped that downward trend. The need for office space in the tech-driven area is on the rise again, and the aforementioned Palo Alto office development seems likely to improve the area’s tally.

Chart courtesy of CBRE Commercial Real Estate Services at cbre.com


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