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USA: Project Including Alma Street Quick Charge

From gas pumps to electric car chargers
At building replacing Alma St. Shell station
By Kristen Peters
Daily Post Staff Writer

The Lytton-Alma building’s developers have agreed to provide two of
the city’s fastest electric vehicle charging stations to Palo Alto
drivers free of charge – which they said would be “a way to recognize
the parcel’s previous use as a gas station in a more green,
sustainable way.”

The proejct, which was approved by the City Council in a 7-2 vote
Monday night, will replace the former Shell station with a
four-story, 52,163-square-foot building, featuring space on the
ground floor for retail stores and non-profit organizations, and
offices on the second, third and fourth floors.

There would also be a 70-foot glass tower in the southwest corner of
the building that would mark the entrance into the city, which is why
the soon-to-be building is called the Lytton Gateway project.

Boyd Smith – who’s developing the building with Lund Smith, Scott
Foster, and consultant Jim Baer – said that the project includes the
construction of five electric vehicle charging stations: two free
stations along Alma Street and three within a 144-space parking
structure that will be available for a fee.

“We wanted to recognize the parcel’s previous use as a gas station in
a more green and sustainable way,” Smith said.

Faster charging

The two free stations along Alma Street will be capable of charging a
vehicle with a period of just 30 minutes to an hour, said Jaime
Rodriguez, the city’s chief transportation official.

“These chargers will be able to charge a vehicle very rapidly,” he said.

Associate Planner Jason Nortz said that the free charging stations
are part of the project’s more than $6 million worth of public
improvements that the developers have agreed to build, designed to
benefit the city’s residents.

“It wouldn’t be much of a public benefit if you made the residents
pay for it, would it?” Nortz said.

Rodriguez estimated that the developers will pay about $40,000 for
each rapid charging station on Alma Street, and about $12,000 for
each of the charging stations in the building’s garage. The chargers
in the garage would be cheaper because they would take three to five
hours longer to fully charge an electric vehicle.

Baer said that before the charging station could be used, developers
would have to rip up the sidewals and install pipes through which
high voltages of electrical power could be drawn.

“The installation costs are going to far outweigh the ongoing
electrical costs,” he said.

Baer estimated that the charging stations would be up and running in
a little over a year.

High demand

Palo Alto currently has electric vehicle charging stations available
to the public in the Bryant/Lytton, Civic Center and High/Alma South
parking garages, Rodriguez said.

“They’re always full,” he said.

Because of the high demand for the city’s existing charging stations,
Rodriguez anticipates even higher demand for these higher voltage
stations.

“They’ll get a lot of use,” he said.

———

As a member of the Planning and Transportation Commission for the
City of Palo Alto, which previously reviewed this project, I ensured
it would have at least one DC Fast Charger available free to the
public on Alma Street at both the Planning and Transportation
Commission actions and City Council actions.

The CIty Council previously approved the redevelopment of the
Edgewood Plaza shopping center, off Embarcadero Road and US 101, and
it will also have a DC Fast Charger and several Level 2 J1772
chargers, but they were not required to be at no charge to the public
(also at my initiative).

Best regards,
Arthur
Source BayLeafs

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