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SamTrans to keep HSR on existing two Caltrain tracks in Millbrae

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  • 12/19 Peninsula Examiner
    Published Wednesday, December 19, 2007, by the Peninsula Examiner Millbrae salvages downtown development plan By Mike Rosenberg mrosenberg@examiner.com
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 19, 2007
      Published Wednesday, December 19, 2007, by the Peninsula Examiner

      Millbrae salvages downtown development plan

      By Mike Rosenberg

      Millbrae's $250 million downtown development plan near the
      BART/Caltrain station, endangered by California's proposed high-speed
      rail project, appears to have been saved.

      The 10-year-old development, dubbed Site One by officials, is
      projected to bring in hundreds of condos right by the Peninsula's
      transit hub, along with a movie theater and retail stores.

      The Pacheco Pass, one of the proposed routes for the high-speed rail
      line, was set to stop at the Millbrae station to connect with BART
      and Caltrain. City officials originally believed the train would
      require two extra tracks, a parking structure and security fencing.

      Under that alignment, the city would have to rethink its
      redevelopment plans or scrap them altogether, Community Development
      Director Ralph Petty said at the time.

      The city has worked with the San Mateo County Transit District since
      late October, however, and has worked out a situation in which the
      high-speed rail, which would zip riders between San Francisco and Los
      Angeles in just more than 2-1/2 hours, will use existing Caltrain
      right-of-way tracks as it passes through Millbrae, City Manager Ralph
      Jaeck said. [BATN notes SamTrans already pinched Caltrain through-track space down to two as part of BART-Millbrae boondoggle. Now promising to limit all future Caltrain, HSR and whatever other train services may come to the existing two-track station bottleneck seems breathtakingly shortsighted and irresponsible.]

      As a result, the city's redevelopment plans should not have to
      change pending an investigation by a city-hired engineer, he said.

      The solution is particularly important as the High Speed Rail
      Authority decides today on a route for the $40 billion train: the
      aforementioned Pacheco Pass or the Altamont Pass, which cuts from
      the Central Valley to the East Bay.

      But the city's plans are not completely saved yet. Developers need
      to acquire two-thirds of the land around the station by buying out
      surrounding businesses before construction can begin. Developers, who
      have already been given multiple deadline extensions, are expected to
      purchase the property before they meet with the City Council in
      January, Jaeck said.

      If the land is not acquired by the deadline, the city would change
      its plans, find other developers, or give another extension, Jaeck

      Developer Dan Rogers declined to comment on the status of the
      property acquisition after he said in October that he had 40 percent
      of the land purchased.

      By the numbers

      * Eight acres of land; development on five acres
      * 231 condominiums
      * 105,000 square feet of retail
      * 131-room hotel
      * Six-screen art-house cinema
      * 40,000 square feet of office space
      * 900-space, two-story underground parking garage
      * Station square community area

      - Source: City of Millbrae

      [BATN: See also:

      Millbrae fears adding HSR tracks to train station will derail TOD

      ... and the dozens of related "See also:" stories referenced therein.]
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