Bullis Charter School booted to Old Mill Safeway site in Mountain View

Trustees are set to select Old Mill / Safeway as the long sought 10th site.
Written by lalahpolitico

For once the Los Altos School District has met a schedule it had set for it self.  On Monday night it is revealing that the preferred 10th site, the new land,  is the 8.6 acre Old Mill Safeway corner along San Antonio Road in Mountain View. It is adjacent  to the Crossings neighborhood. The District is also unveiling letters of intent that seem to show it has pretty much lined up 610,000 square feet of TDR purchases worth $79.3M ….towards a land cost estimated to be between $86 to $129M for the 8.6 acres.   The net cost of land out of the District’s pocket could be from $7 to $50 million.

Lalahpolitico: Although the District still isn’t saying… the Old Mill Safeway site is clearly intended for the 900 student Bullis Charter School, not a 500 student District-staffed neighborhood school.  Someone should file an EIR lawsuit about the vehicle traffic this will generate. We have waited 4 years since passing the $150 million dollar bond for this bizarre outcome. Perhaps it’s time for a recall election of trustees.


Here are some slides that Superintendent for Business Randy Kenyon will be presenting Monday night Dec. 11, 2017.

Figure 1: the 10th site is Old Mill Safeway

Randy Kenyon will be presenting the 10th recommendation to the trustees at the Dec. 11, 2017 meeting


Figure 2: Here are the other sites considered

Old Mill / Safeway was the preferred site

Figure 3: List of TDR Letters of Intent

There are 8 “receiving projects” ….entities who have expressed interest in indicated quanitities of TDR sq feet at a price of $130. The district says only the Google interest has not been finalized  in a letter as Google is still haggling on the price of $130. The plan has to be approved by Mountain View City Council.  A letter is not a binding contract.


Figure 4:  After selling off TDRs, still plenty of buildable space for a Big 80,000 sq foot school – aka BCS
at Old Mill Safeway

The arithmetic shows that the deal includes room for a 84,000 square foot school, a big junior high or a 900 student Bullis Charter School

Lalahpolitico Conclusion

If you don’t like the direction this is going, and prefer the Old Mill Safeway site be used for a District staffed neighborhood school tell Mountain View City Council.  Personally I think the vehicular traffic will be awful with the charter there.  Time for an EIR lawsuit anyone? Maybe you think one of the other MV sites is more favorable as a school location for a 500 student neighborhood school.  Contact the MV Council!


Other sticky widgets. I am not sure the Old Mill Safeway site will pass the CDE criteria. We’ll see. Even if the MV Council accepts this flawed proposal, the TDR Letters of Intent are not binding contracts.  Let’s see if the deal among 10 entities can gel and stick together to completion. And let’s see current costs for building a brand new, big school of around 80,000 square gross feet. Or are they going to retrofit the old office building and other buildings there…on the cheap?

I notice that the developer Greystar is involved with one of the prospective TDR buyers. It is also recently an “owner” of  Old Mill Safeway. This may mean they are now “willing” to sell and there is no need for eminent domain on Old Mill / Safeway? We’ll see.


See 2 prior posts about how TDR’s work, the LASD meeting agenda, a letter to MV Voice

1.See 2nd half of this post.

2.Cornerstone post on sites and TDRs 

3.Items J1 and J2 on the Dec. 11 trustee meeting agenda.

4. Want to to write a nice letter to MV Council? … asking them to require that LASD build a neighborhood school for North of ElCamino residents in order to receive MV favors?  NEC residents have been shortchanged for too long. For inspriation see  Nancy Bremeau’s letter to the Mountain View Voice.



About the author


Norma Schroder is an economics & market researcher by trade and ardent independent journalist, photographer and videographer by avocation. Enthralled by the growth of the tech industry over the decades, she became fascinated with the business of local politics only in the past several years.