• Finger Avenue Project — Greed Goes Back to the Drawing Board?

    Finger Street Poejct

    Just a few days ago, Redwood City officials announced that they will rescind their approval of a nine-home subdivision, aka the “Finger Avenue Project”, so that a full EIR (environmental impact report) can be prepared before deciding if the development is a good fit for the 3 lots on Finger Avenue.  The official notice of the preparation for an EIR can be found on the City’s website here.

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    The City Council agreed on a return to the drawing board for the Project last July as part of a stipulated judgment reached with The Friends of Cordilleras Creek and Finger Avenue Pride Committee.  The settlement ended a lawsuit filed in Nov. 2009 in which the two groups claimed that Redwood City violated fundamental state requirements for development by approving the project without a complete look at its impacts and feasible alternatives.

    On Nov. 22, the City Council approved a consulting contract for an EIR but still needs to formally rescind the approvals for 50, 80 and 88 Finger Ave. The plan calls for NINE homes on THREE lots, plus a U-shaped private road.

    Ok, so here’s my Devil’s Advocate editorial, on the outside using my inside voice,: putting nine homes where there were once THREE?  Can you say “greed”?

    The first three words that come to my mind: “Remember Palomar Oaks?”

    This was that development on Edgewood Road, bordering Palomar Park — where 4 or 5 McMansions (all at or above 4400 sq. ft. of living space) were built with the anticipation of building at least 6 or so more. When the first one finally came to market in 2006, the high end market in Redwood City had already shot its proverbial wad…”Sounded like a good idea to build these in 2004, didn’t it? Heck, absolutely let’s charge $3.2M for a house on a huge lot with a really unusable steep backyard, where you can hear the white noise hum of cars going up and down Edgewood Road — heck, buyers are suckers, right?” — So what happens? Only the 5 get sold, at a much steeper sale price than the original list prices,  the developer loses his shorts (and his parents’ and grandparents’ shorts), and the remaining lots are foreclosed on and sold on the steps of City Hall for a FRACTION of what the developer paid for them.

    I’m not opposed at all to new development, heck, I’m all for enriching neighborhoods for the better. That IS the Carousel of Progress… But I guess the location of these proposed new Finger Ave. homes makes me kind of scratch my head — because, not only would you be really, really close to El Camino Real, but you’d have the fortune/misfortune of the frequently wafting smells emanating from the KFC on the corner of El Camino and Avondale (one block away).  Now, if that’s what you LIKE, well hey, more power to you.  But I can only imagine that these new homes will be (a) very nice, (b) high end, and (c) probably well over $1.6M apiece (if not close to $2M)….If anyone reading this out there has more accurate data points, please speak up, I’m all ears.  All I know is, if I’m a home buyer spending close to $2M, am I going to want to live in a home with the constant white noise of cars going 40+ mph, plus the smell of fast food chicken whenever the wind blows? Mmm, like many buyers, I might take my money elsewhere, to a quieter street, maybe an older home, and maybe a better school district.  Do these builders ever talk to prospective buyers to know this? If not, maybe they should.  Call me naive, but you can’t just create a high end market, nor convert a mid-range market into a high end market — and brick entry posts won’t fool anyone either.  Of course, I’m no Nostradamus, so I could very well be wrong — time will certainly tell.

    Lastly, the projects’s original approval cheap viagra overnight delivery was far from a smooth process.  Opponents are concerned that the buildings would be placed within a 25-foot creek setback required by the city’s stormwater control ordinance adopted in 2005.

    This entry was posted on Thursday, February 10th, 2011 at 1:15 pm and is filed under Redwood City. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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