Developer Drops Plan to Buy Buena Vista

Prometheus Real Estate Group has backed away from its plan to build high-end apartments on the Palo Alto site of Buena Vista Mobile Home Park, adding a fresh layer of uncertainty to the park’s future.

The San Mateo-based real estate company last month submitted a quitclaim deed with the Santa Clara County Clerk-Recorder, effectively nullifying its 2012 agreement with the Jisser family, which owns the mobile-home park at 3980 El Camino Real. The proposal has been heavily criticized by residents of Buena Vista, a low-income community of about 400 people in Palo Alto’s Barron Park neighborhood.

Despite the decision by Prometheus to back out of the deal, the Jisser family is proceeding with the closure process, their attorney, Margaret Nanda, said Monday. “The application is not withdrawn,” Nanda told the Weekly, referring to the plan to close Buena Vista. “We have not withdrawn it.”

Winter Dellenbach, founder of community-support group Friends of the Buena Vista, said “Prometheus dropping its option to buy Buena Vista opens the door for a different plan for the property that allows BV residents continuing to live there on all or part of the 4 acres. The residents, a non-profit housing provider, or a consortium of public and private entities and funding sources, with city participation, needs to fill the vacuum.” On May 13, 2014 at the Administrative Law Hearing on the closure of Buena Vista, Winter suggested to the owners that there could be alternative paths for the disposition of the property.

[Read full story]