At the Dec 18 meeting the Council voted 4-1 to grant the one year extension. However, the developer was forced to add more three bedroom units, to make the project more “family friendly.” Some members of the Council feel strongly that adding three bedroom uints to projects will encourage more kids to go to school in Emeryville. We believe most of the larger units don’t actually attract kids. Larger bedroom units are not more affordable. Most families with kids also drive, and many of those households have TWO cars. As the City begins to discourage cars, it also discourages families. The real problem is the lack of a quality school. When the Emeryville school reaches a certain point of achievement, all of a sudden we will discover the City already has enough kids. The requirement for larger bedroom units just makes the project more expensive to build, and less marketable after its built, while failing to accomplish the desired task. Some members of the council continue to demonstrate a real lack of financial savvy when it comes to making these decisions. Council Member Asher, the lone NO vote, decided their time was up, and that’s it. The fact that no one else would develop that site for a long time, doesn’t matter. It looks like the City will have to reach the point of near bankruptcy before we recognize the need to encourage business people. After working for almost FIVE years to get financing, and only with 50% equity, Madison Park assumed great risk, more than most reasonable people would consider. The first video below shows John Protopappas, and Frank Floes discussing the changes to the project at the Dec 18, 2012 meeting when it was approved.
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The below video shows the Dec 5th meeting when the item was held over.
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