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New Guild Project - Item I1 5/22 City Council Meeting

From: domainremoved <Skip>
Date: Mon, 21 May 2018 12:19:06 -0700

City Council Members:

First off, thank you for making the New Guild project a top 5 priority for
our city this fiscal year. I strongly support your decision, as I think
this project will be a game changer for the vitality of our downtown
corridor.

This project has strong support from the Planning Commission and also form
a large swath of residents who would like to see a live entertainment venue
downtown. I am sure you will hear concerns about traffic and parking - but
these can be addressed with off-peak usage and creative TDM strategies that
I the innovative team behind this project will surely embrace. Bottom line,
if you want something unique and special in your downtown, you need to
accept a bit more traffic. If we build it, they will come, and that is a
good thing.

But I share a broader vision for this multi-purpose entertainment venue and
what it can do for our city. Personally, I plan to go to many more events
at the New Guild (including movies!) than I ever did at the current Guild
theater. I also plan to patronize the great restaurants and bars downtown
before and/or after events at the New Guild. When I do so, I will most
likely park near the restaurant and walk to the New Guild (if I drive at
all - how about bike racks and Uber/Lyft drink discounts!) Therefore, I
believe many of the concerns about parking limitations and traffic are
overrated. In addition, when the new housing and office developments at
1300 Station and 500 ECR come online, there will be hundreds more residents
and office workers living/working downtown that can WALK to the new Guild
with ZERO impact on traffic and parking. Lets create more things like the
New Guild that will encourage these new residents and visitors to our city
to support the local economy rather then support neighboring towns with
their discretionary spend.

I have heard that some adjacent business owners are concerned that their
businesses may be harmed during construction of the New Guild due to noice,
disruption, traffic, and lack of parking, among other things. While there
will certainly be some disruption in order to realize the vision of the New
Guild -- and the site definitely poses some challenges (I believe the lead
architect described the project as "building a ship in a bottle") -- I am
more than confident that adjacent business owners will see a massive
increase to foot traffic and patronage of their businesses once the New
Guild is up and running. And their land and property will be even that
much more valuable to future develpments with this unique venue next-door.

The New Guild Theater as proposed will offer entertainment and programming
for all ages and tastes, cultural vibrancy, massive tax revenue boost from
restaurants, a home for community group events, all kinds of movies...and
most importantly FUN! Lets move forwards on this project post-haste and
make sure that we do everything we can from a city planning and approval
perspective to make this happen in Menlo Park.

Sincerely

Skip Hilton
Menlo Park Resident - 25 years
skiphilton_at_(domainremoved)
Received on Mon May 21 2018 - 12:20:12 PDT

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