City Council set to vote on Stanford’s hotel-office complex 

Stanford University’s luxury hotel/office project, expected to bring an annual $1.6 million into city coffers, heads to the City Council for a vote tonight.

Neighbors have aired concerns that the complex, which includes a 125-room hotel and 100,000 square feet of office space to be built at 2585 Sand Hill Road near Interstate 280, will bring unbearable traffic to the area. As recently as this week, residents e-mailed the City Council asking members to consider the project’s effect on local streets.

But Bill Phillips, Stanford’s managing director of real estate, is optimistic. "This is something both the city and Stanford have agreed would benefit both parties," he said.

Menlo Park is requiring Stanford to take steps to reduce traffic, including paying $430,000 in traffic-impact fees, paying to modify the Sand Hill Road off ramp from northbound 280 and launching a shuttle service for businesspeople using the offices.

In May, a CB Richard Ellis study showed that, when fully optional, the hotel would provide Menlo Park up to $1.6 million in revenues by 2011.

Plans for the city’s first five-star hotel come at a time when other luxury hotels are faring well, according to Anne LeClair of the San Mateo County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The Four Seasons, which opened in East Palo Alto in February, is already "extremely popular" with the business community, she said, while other luxury accommodations in Palo Alto continue to draw well.

The Menlo Park City Council meets tonight at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 701 Laurel St.

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