Palo Alto OK's Construction Of A New Downtown Building

New office spaces will be constructed in Palo Alto

By Richard Faustino
|  Tuesday, May 15, 2012  |  Updated 7:52 AM PDT
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New Downton Building OK'd in Palo Alto

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The intersection of Alma Street and Lytton Avenue in Palo Alto.

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It may be crowded in downtown Palo Alto, but plans are underway to construct new office space.

According to the San Jose Mercury News, the city council approved the Lytton Gateway Building project with a 7-2 vote early Tuesday.   The project will be built at the corner of Alma Street and Lytton Avenue, at a former Shell gas station. City leaders are hoping it will attract new businesses and visitors to the downtown area.  As a concession, space has been set aside for non-profit organizations to set up shop inside the building.  

But some in the community raised questions over the project's height. Once completed, it will stand 50-feet tall, towering over a nearby neighborhood. In exchange for zoning approval, Palo Alto will receive more than $1 million for its housing fund.  But some council members believe money should go toward building new parking spaces.  As a result, the city council also voted to set aside part of the housing fund for parking.

Issues are also being raised if the location is the right spot for the building. Some council members say the corner of Alma and Lytton should not be viewed as a gateway to downtown Palo Alto.   But backers of the project say the location is ideal because it is within reach of a Caltrain station.  

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