Downtown Los Altos development pulled; detractors said it was the size of a 747

Daily Post Staff Writer
Personal genomics pioneer Anne Wojcicki’s development company, Los Altos Community Investments, or LACI, pulled a project yesterday (Oct. 11) that was criticized by detractors as being the size of a Boeing 747 in the city’s sleepy downtown.

City Manager Chris Jordan had just issued the First Street Green a mitigated negative declaration, allowing it to move forward without conducting an Environmental Impact Report.

“Since we launched our First Street Green project last year, we have learned much from our robust and transparent community outreach process,” a LACI statement read. “After much thought and analysis, we have decided to not go forward with the First Street Green development proposal in its current form.”



LACI leaders said they wanted to wait until the city finishes its Downtown Vision project, for which it hired a team of consultants to gather input from residents about what they wanted from the city’s downtown.

Some residents have criticized the 91,200-square-foot project, huge by Los Altos standards. The office building would have been three stories high in a neighborhood characterized by one- and two-story buildings.

Some have also voiced discomfort with a private company buying and developing public land.

Other complaints invoked privacy issues from office windows positioned near condos on Second Street and traffic impacts on the county-controlled Foothill Expressway.

A major downtown landlord

LACI, previously known as Passerelle Investment Company, owns 16 properties on First Street and 10 on State Street. The three-story, 77,000-square-foot office building was planned for 101-151 First St., south of Shasta Street, and on a 14,200-square-foot portion of Public Parking Plaza No. 7.
The plaza would have done away with 67 parking spaces at the public lot and relocated them into a three-level underground garage proposed as part of the project.



The office building, planned for the site across from LACI’s office at 110 First St., would have included a 1,200-square-foot cafe on the first floor at the south end of the office building.

Would have replaced eight buildings

The project would have combined eight parcels on First Street totaling more than 1.1 acres and would have entailed tearing down eight existing commercial buildings, including the RebelsMarket clothing store, the Los Altos Mail Office, the Los Altos Vault and Safe Deposit, Momentum Cycling Studio, the arcade Area 151 and Bumble, a restaurant opened by LACI.