ULI’s Technical Assistance Panels (TAPs) provide strategic advice on complex land use and real estate development issues for local clients, such as municipalities, public agencies, and non-profit developers.
This past year, the City of Mountain View engaged ULI to convene a Technical Assistance Panel focused on the following questions provided by the City:
Based on stakeholder interviews, what are the panelists’ observations and what themes should the City consider for Downtown Mountain View? Provide a draft mission statement for Downtown.
How might future planning efforts positively influence the success of Castro Street and Downtown Mountain View? What can the City do to leverage its assets and address its challenges (as identified by the stakeholders) in light of changes and growth?
Based on what the panel heard, what land use concepts and retail/experiential uses are recommended for Downtown Mountain View? What policies, programs, and actions should the City consider to support these concepts and uses and to maintain a successful Downtown? What unique things about Mountain View can/should be capitalized on?
Drawing from our seasoned professional membership base, ULI SF composed a panel of professionals from a wide variety of disciplines reflecting diverse perspectives, including market analysis, land use and design, retail consulting, architecture, finance and development strategies, governance and policy and real estate development. TAP Panelists included:
Amy Neches, Partner, TMG Partners (Panel Chair)
Dena Belzer, Founder and President, Strategic Economics
Don Capobres, Principal, Harmonie Park
Jason Dries-Daffner, Director of Operations, Perkins+Will (TAP Writer)
Bill Gilchrist, Director of Planning and Building, City of Oakland
Jacinta McCann, Global Design Advisor, AECOM
Jim Randolph, Executive Vice President, Newmark Knight Frank
After several months of preparation and a two-day onsite workshop consisting of walking tours, stakeholder interviews, and panel deliberations, the Technical Assistance Panel proposed the following draft mission statement for consideration:
Downtown Mountain View has great bones and a great brand! The City and stakeholders should build on this strong character to ensure that Castro Street continues to be the vibrant heart of Mountain View in the future.
To build upon this mission statement, the panel identified the following four main areas of focus, with associated recommendations:
POLICY AND PARTNERSHIP Recommendation 1: The City and stakeholders should continue to proactively make investments and implement policy to incentivize Downtown development.
OPPORTUNITY SITES Recommendation 2: Preserve older, smaller buildings as a backbone, but encourage new development to accommodate a range of retail uses.
PUBLIC REALM Recommendation 3: Ensure an appealing environment that encourages active users.
PARKING Recommendation 4: Manage parking for efficiency and user convenience.
The panel provided suggested implementation strategies for each recommendation ranging from tax incentives and enforcement of existing standards to development of specific underutilized sites. The purpose of both the recommendations and suggested implementation strategies is to provide the City and stakeholders very specific actions they may take as steps to reach larger aspirations.
The overall sense of the panel is that Downtown Mountain View should build on its strength, which is a robust food and beverage area in the first three blocks of Castro Street. While ongoing success will take intentional, proactive investment, both the desire and the resources may already be in place.