Mountain View: Council to consider overhaul, expansion of 60s suburban apartment complex

MOUNTAIN VIEW — A community of rent-controlled apartments built in the 1960s could soon get a facelift and new neighbors as the city council on Tuesday weighs a proposal to overhaul the site, get rid of parking lots and add new housing.

First proposed in 2015, the project by AvalonBay Communities aims to completely transform the typical mid-century suburban apartment complex at 555 West Middlefield Road into a modern community of over 700 homes complete with a public park at its center.

Under the proposal, the already existing 402-apartment community will get a facelift while the developer constructs two new, four story apartment buildings within the 14.5-acre site by eliminating about seven acres of covered parking lots.

A rendering of the proposed layout at the 555 W. Middlefield Road project.Courtesy, AvalonBay Communities 

The developer plans to remove two existing surface parking lots covering about seven acres of the site to do it, and they hope to get 329 units of mostly one- and two-bedroom apartments with some studio and three-bedroom options.

A fourth one-story building with a three level underground parking garage will replace the existing leasing office and amenity building, pool and spa. The developer is also proposing a 1.34-acre public park along Cypress Point Drive to replace existing tennis courts.

Just blocks away from the center of the quickly changing Whisman district, the transformed apartment complex would be a sizable addition to the city’s housing stock alongside similar projects proposed by Google and other developers which a pro-housing council has been quick to approve.

But residents have been vocal since the project was first proposed about their concerns over the sizable demographic change that part of town will see over the next several years. At 777 Middlefield Road, the council in 2019 approved a 716-unit apartment complex, and there are also tentative plans for a similarly sized redevelopment at the Shenandoah Square site caddy corner to the AvalonBay project.

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Writing to the city in opposition to the project, Peter Bergsman of Mountain View said he owns one of the condos across the street from the site and is concerned Cypress Point Drive will not be able to handle traffic from the project.

The project’s proposed parking garage entrance is on Cypress Point instead of the more heavily trafficked Middlefield Road and Moffett Boulevard.

“Cypress Point is a tiny, narrow, quiet, neighborhood dead end street,” Bergsman said. “It will be utterly overwhelmed by this project, let alone the many years of invasive construction activity.”

Daniel Shane, who also wrote the city, said he’d like the council to take a step back from approving what he called a “ill-conceived and flawed” development. He said the council should step back from approving high-density projects in medium-density neighborhoods as millions of square feet of office space sit vacant across the region as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Hundreds of people’s lives would not be disrupted by the construction banging noises, heavy equipment backup alarms, disturbances such as traffic detours, traffic jams and traffic safety issues, dust and exhaust smoke pollution for a …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

      

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