Community raises funds for orphaned teens | Page 3
T H E H O M E TOW N N E W S PA P E R F O R M E N L O PA R K , AT H E R TO N , P O R TO L A VA L L E Y A N D WO O D S I D E
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W W W. T H E A L M A N AC O N L I N E . C O M
downtown project Greenheart previews its mixed-use El Camino Real development PAGE 5
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OFFERED AT $2,275,000
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LD O S
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Information and all acreage deemed Coldwell Banker reliable, but not guaranteed.
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UP F RONT
Community raises funds for teens orphaned by alleged drunken driver By Sandy Brundage
the department at: 701 Laurel St., Menlo Park CA 94025.
Almanac Staff Writer
s an alleged drunken driver awaits arraignment, the Menlo Park community is raising funds to help the three teenage children who lost their mother and father in a fatal accident in Menlo Park on Oct. 24. Relatives are reported to be looking after the couples’ children — an 18-year-old daughter, a 17-year-old daughter and a 15-year-old son. Menlo Park Police Chief Robert Jonsen told the Almanac that there are two funds people may donate to: One, established by the family, will directly support the children. Contributions can be made to: Rema Singh FBO Singh Family Relief Fund at any Wells Fargo branch. The police plan to use the existing Menlo Park Police Foundation 501(c)3 nonprofit to raise money for ongoing scholarships for children who lose a parent to an accident or crime, according to the chief. “The first wave of scholarships will be committed to the Singh children,” he said. “The oldest daughter starts college in January so we hope to have funds available by then to assist her with tuition and supplies.” Checks may be made out to the Menlo Park Police Foundation and either dropped off at the police station or mailed to
Balbir Singh, 50, and Kamal Kaur Singh, 45, both residents of Menlo Park, were walking their dog in the bike lane eastbound on Chilco Street in Menlo Park during the early evening of Oct. 24 when they were hit from behind by a 1998 Honda Accord driven by Marjorie Reitzell, according to police. Investigators said the Honda
‘The first wave of scholarships will be committed to the Singh children.’ CHIEF ROBERT JONSEN
kept going, over the center median and into the westbound lane. It hit another car, causing minor damage but not injuring four passengers. The Honda then collided with a tree before finally stopping. Police arrived minutes after a 6:54 p.m. call reported seeing two bodies in the road. Menlo Park Fire Protection District personnel arrived and pronounced the couple dead at the scene. Ms. Reitzell, 54, of Redwood City, was arrested on two counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and two
counts of felony driving under the influence. Convicted of a misdemeanor DUI in November 2012, she was on probation and had a valid driver’s license at the time of the Oct. 24 tragedy, according to law enforcement officials. A preliminary screen showed that her blood alcohol at the time of the accident was more than twice the legal limit of 0.08 percent, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said. While scheduled for arraignment on Oct. 28, just before court started Ms. Reitzell complained of chest pains and was removed for medical treatment, according to the district attorney’s office, and was not cleared to return to court for several days. She remains in custody on $2 million bail; the arraignment is expected to take place this week. Mr. Wagstaffe said that while the investigation continues, right now the evidence does not support filing a murder charge against Ms. Reitzell. The Singh family held memorial services last week at Chapel of the Chimes in Hayward. The couple’s dog, Teddy, was turned over to the Peninsula Humane Society immediately following the accident, which took him to the North Peninsula Emergency Veterinary Clinic for treatment. PHS representative Scott Delucchi told the Almanac that the Chihuahua was improving daily and was expected to return home.
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Local News M
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O O D S I D E
O R T O L A
A L L E Y
Greenheart previews its mixed-use project The 420,000-squarefoot project would be built on El Camino at Oak Grove. ■
UNDERGRO UND PARKING ENTRY
WAY RETAIL SU RFACE PARKING 9 SPACES
UNDERGRO UND PARKING ENTRY
By Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff Writer
On the cover: A rendering of Greenheart’s proposed mixed-use development as seen from Oak Grove Avenue in Menlo Park. The drawing shows some of the 215 apartments that would be built on the site.
LOBBY OFFICE PLAZA
LOBBY HOUSING 40’
outdoor dining OFFICE SOUTH
MARRIOTT RESIDENCE INN
OFFICE SU RFACE
215 REN TAL HOUSING UNITS
POTENTIALP RESTAURANT & RETAIL
hile attention has been focused on what Stanford University plans to build in Menlo Park, another developer has quietly acquired the long-empty site that used to be a Cadillac dealership at 1300 El Camino Real, along with the former Derry project site. Greenheart Land Company sat down with the Almanac to unveil “the other project” — the mixeduse development of office space, retail and apartments it plans to build there on its 7 acres. Greenheart principal Steve Pierce and real estate attorney Tim Tosta came by on Oct. 30 to go over the preliminary site design. Composed of 210,000 square feet of office space and 210,000 square feet of apartments, the project would include 16,000 square feet of retail in the commercial buildings and 7,000 square feet in the residential. The office space is divided between two three-story buildings. Mr. Pierce thought likely tenants would be “walk-up services” such as insurance brokers. Retail would focus on destination restaurants and perhaps specialty food stores, he said. Designed by BAR Architects, the complex “looks more Stanford than the Stanford project,” with red tiled roofs and a Spanish flavor to the building design. For comparison, Stanford and developer John Arrillaga want to build a mixed-use complex on 8 acres of land — now mostly vacant car lots — at 300 El Camino Real with 199,500 square feet of office space, 10,000 square feet of retail, and up to 170 apartments. Unlike Stanford’s project, Greenheart’s proposal aims for the bonus level of allowed floor area ratio at 150 percent, rather than the 110 percent, which
chevron POTENTIAL RESTAURANT & RETAIL
POTENTIAL RESTAURANT & RETAIL
140’ UNDERGROUND PARKING ENTRY
EL CAMINO REAL
Greenheart Land Company prepared this layout of its proposed 420,000-square-foot office, apartment and retail development on El Camino Real.
would let the two office buildings go to three stories — 48 feet — with the top stories setback. With residences on nearby Merrill Street going up to 46 feet, Mr. Pierce said, Greenheart’s scale is in line with the surrounding neighborhood. “There will be public benefit,” he said. Greenheart plans to submit the proposal to the city this week to start the evaluation process for figuring out what the benefit could be. The residential portion of the development consists of 215 apartments with an average 825 square feet each. Sixty-seven percent will be studios or one-bedroom units; 30 percent two-bedroom apartments; and the remainder will have three bedrooms. Acknowledging that selling luxury condos in the overheated Menlo Park real estate market would be easy, Mr. Pierce said Greenheart consciously decided to go in the opposite direction with rental housing targeted at young professionals with-
out families, a demographic underserved by the city’s current housing inventory and that tends to live in Palo Alto and San Francisco instead. Also a factor in the dispersion of young workers is the city’s lack of vibrant nightlife. Greenheart hopes the retail and
restaurant aspect of its development helps correct this. The company will retain control of the complex after construction, according to Mr. Pierce. “We build it, we own, we live it.” Both he and partner Bob Burke have spent many years in the area, he said, so they looked
for projects that would add value while maintaining “a nice living environment.” The preliminary design shows three public gathering spots: an office plaza off El Camino Real that could incorporate outdoor Continued on page 10
Greenheart rendering of residential building at Oak Grove Avenue in Menlo Park. November 6, 2013 N TheAlmanacOnline.com N The Almanac N 5
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