Just a week into the new year, some Palo Alto residents are scrambling to find a new place to live as the owner of the President Hotel Apartments on University Avenue plans to build a luxury hotel on the property.
Back in June 2018, a Chicago-based real estate firm bought the apartment building and gave residents notice that the plan was to turn the space back into a luxury hotel.
The tenants of the 75-unit, six-story building were given five months to vacate, meaning they need to be out by the end of this month, though some hoped they'd have more time.
"Many of my clients bike and walk to me so not only would I be losing my home, I’d be losing my place of employment," resident Diane Boxill said back in June.
Other residents questioned whether a luxury hotel was really needed in the area.
"Do we need luxury hotels more than we need housing?" Iqbal Serang questioned.
Former Palo Alto City Manager Jim Keene responded, stating, "the displacement of 75 units is a concern given the city’s current housing shortage, but hotel uses are permitted by right in downtown."
According to the Palo Alto Weekly, the building owner considered extending the move out date if the city council took several actions that would have facilitated the conversion. The city did not, so the eviction date is Jan. 31.