Cubberley, aka Cubberley Community Center or the former Elwood Cubberley High, 4000 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto, CA, 94304; 35 acres owned by We The People and or PAUSD, slated for redevelopment and or subject to lease. Palo Altans and diaspora members from its 25 classes are well organized and opinionated – -they should be polled as to the outcome.
Castilleja aka known as Castilleja School for Girls, 1310 Bryant Street, Palo Alto, CA 94301; six acres, privately owned; subject to Conditional Use Permit for roughly 400 of the wealthiest area families and their school age chikdren; currently applying for major redevelopment and expansion and investment; although dissidents point out its zoned for housing and therefore costs Palo Altans tens of millions per year in lost taxes; plus the deliberations are divisive and anti-community , especially along class lines that is, pitting the rich against the middle and working classes, elitist and quasi-fascist.
Fry’s, area roughly bounded as 60 acres between Page Mill Road/Oregon Expressway, to the north (i.e., the south border of North Palo Alto versus South Palo Alto; or Old Palo Alto versus South Palo Alto; or white Palo Alto versus Asian Palo Alto —arguably the gentrification being plotted would be like annexing the zone to North white Palo Alto; ironically or not, NVCA is also Ventura, historically Palo Alto’s Black neighborhood; in 2010 San Jose based Sobrato bought from multi-generation dynastic Wheatley Smith Jacobsen the 14-acre Fry’s retail site but then started buying back, often from poor Black families single family homes then lobbied City Hall and their allies in leadership to “upzone” the sites — immediately doubling and trebling the value of their investment- as a special zone of 60 acres was established. Consultants were engaged, often at tax-payers expense, to create the illusion of participatory democracy thru various working groups, to run up the flagpole various outcomes, enabling various yes-men, shills and useful idiots.
F(60) + C (6) + C (35) = 101 potential new acres of parkland in the proposed FCC 101 initiative. If Palo Alto can dig deep in a moral sense to push back against the greed of these parcels’ current controllers, in would be an auspice of a Democratic re-boot here. Plucking the concrete and steel from these three sites and restoring the land as open space or perhaps pollinator zone (with natural plants and flowers that would help the honey bees), even for a temporary 10-year period, besides the environmental benefit would be a victory against creeping hyper-capitalism.
The cost might be $100m to $200m, perhaps less with a majority New Residentialist slate victory in 2022 and 2024 local elections and eminent domain. Castilleja could relocate their school to outside city limits, or potentially to Pinewood campus or Ventura school site. Maybe just two electeds who agree in principle to FCC-101 Parks plan would make it a mandate.
Maybe these three areas could be renamed for A, Al Young — California poet laureate; B, bell hooks, Stanford grad author; C, Clay Carson, Stanford historian who manages The Martin Luther King Papers — all Blacks with ties to the area. I also think of LenRay and Danny McCallister who lived at Margarita and Park for many years, both Gunn too soon, and remembered here, especially in Ventura.