Daly City condo project abandoned

A developer has pulled his application for two floors of luxury condominiums at the top of an eight-story hotel and conference center proposed for Pacific Plaza — and the $583,000 in property taxes that would have come with them.

“I think that the developer heard our concerns, as well as city officials, in the [community] meetings, and that’s what democracy is about,” said Annette Hipona, president of the Original Daly City Protective Association.

But removing the condos threatens the hotel and conference center project, long sought after by the city at the corner of John Daly and Junipero Serra boulevards, because the condos would have made the project profitable for hotelier B.B. Patel, city officials said.

Patel, who has told officials he would pursue the hotel and conference center project, will come back near the end of June to continue the development process. The project includes 150 hotel rooms, two restaurants, 2,000 square feet of retail space and 12,500 square feet of banquet space. Patel could not be reached for comment.

The hotel and conference center portion of the project would cost $35 million, but revenue from the rooms, restaurants and conference center would bring in only $29 million, a loss of $6 million to Patel,according to city officials. The condos would make the entire project profitable by roughly $5.5 million.

The city expects $700,000 in annual revenue from the hotel and retail portion of the project. The Redevelopment Agency — the site is within the Mission Street-Junipero Serra Boulevard Redevelopment Area, which uses taxes inside the area to build up the specific community — would have garnered $583,000 in property taxes from the condos.

Opponents, however, railed against the project’s height, saying the eight-story building did not fit in with the two-story residences that share a property line with Pacific Plaza. They also said the project’s exemption from a required 15 percent affordable housing rule would undermine the city’s authority in future development negotiations.

“There’s a concern there that when you set a precedent like that there are all kinds of policy implications,” Planning Commissioner Dana Smith said about the affordable housing exemption.

Smith, who voted against the condos in April, said she wanted to see the hotel and conference center come to fruition and would “look positively at more hotel rooms” in the proposal.

“One hundred and fifty rooms doesn’t seem to be adequate for what we were hoping, which is to attract some of the convention business locally,” Smith said.

Without the condominiums, the life of the entire project is “absolutely” threatened, said Economic and Community Development Director Terry Sedik.

“It was his profit center,” he said of Patel, the developer. “That profit is the underpinning for making the hotel financially feasible.”

dsmith@examiner.com


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