Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Tale of Two Cities

Auto dealers are very important to the tax base of any city in California. Some cities, such as Fremont, have done very well for themselves by developing large tracts of land for several auto dealers. Other dealers, noting this, have expressed a desire for the same accommodations and have announced plans to move--while two complacent cities slumber.

Menlo Park is looking at land in its Belle Haven district to house one or more dealerships. Meanwhile, Palo Alto has authorized a task force (Wednesday, page 1) to find out what is available and to stem the tide of dealer defections. Toyota of Palo Alto as well as Cadillac Buick Pontiac GMC of Menlo Park are two dealerships that have announced plans to leave and both could end up a the same location, but it isn't likely that either will end up in Palo Alto or Menlo Park.

A quick look at a map of Palo Alto's available land shows little likelihood appropriate development along 101. Menlo Park has a location, but would need to relocate business and clean up the land. Both cities have sat on their hands while the dealers formulate their plans to move. Palo Alto's task force was only voted on after the Toyota dealer announced its plan to move.

When newspapers editorialize about doing something to keep auto dealerships it's a sure sign the time to act has long past. Both Redwood City and Mountain View would have to be considered prime locations, and both have proven to be far more nimble in developing the lands at their disposal. Give the nod to Mountain View.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

where was the editorializing, Bob? point it out to me cos i don't see it...

3:24 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

Anonymous is right to point out that the Daily News didn't editorialize about car dealerships. My reference was to the March 20th edition of the Palo Alto Weekly. I should have been clearer. But even that wasn't the editorial voice of the paper, rather it was a guest opinion piece written by Karen White. BAD SQUIRREL!

7:08 AM  

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