Stanford Leases Entire Complex

Posted on January 30, 2015 by  
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CollonadePeople interested in renting in Los Altos can scratch the yet-to-be-completed Colonnade apartment complex off their lists.

Stanford University last week reached an agreement with the Sares-Regis Group of Northern California to lease the entire 167-unit complex at 4750 El Camino Real. Stanford officials noted that the long-term agreement was in response to the tight local housing market.

The apartment complex is slated to be ready for occupancy this spring. It features 100 one-bedroom and 67 two-bedroom units in addition to approximately 12,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space.

Stanford officials cited the complex’s close proximity to the campus and nearby public transit routes as additional benefits to employees.

The move is one of several steps the university is taking to secure housing for faculty, staff and students in the area. Stanford officials noted that the university is developing 180 housing units on California Avenue in Palo Alto to house faculty. In addition, dormitory construction projects are underway on campus that will house approximately 400 students.

School officials reported that Stanford will lease individual Colonnade units directly to employees. The initial mix of residents for the complex may include renters not affiliated with the school, they added.

“It is a very desirable and high-quality residential project that we anticipate will become long-term housing for Stanford affiliates – faculty, staff and possibly academic researchers,” said Jan Thomson, director of faculty staff housing. “Los Altos is already home to many Stanford professors and staff members, who enjoy what they consider a very desirable place to live.”


Museum Explores Connections

Posted on January 28, 2015 by  
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Los Altos History MuseumStanford University played a vital role in the development of Silicon Valley, according to speakers at a Jan. 21 Los Altos History Museum program, “Symbiotic Superstars: The Stanford-Silicon Valley Connection.”

The program is one of several designed to complement the ongoing museum exhibition “Silicon Valley: The Lure & the Legends,” scheduled to run through April 19.

In a lively interview, Stanford University President John L. Hennessy and Leslie Berlin, historian of the Silicon Valley Archives at Stanford, discussed the founding of Silicon Valley and Stanford’s role in its evolution.

They recounted how engineering professor Fred Terman visited East Coast strongholds like Bell Labs and MIT in the 1940s to lure the brightest minds to Stanford.

Opportunities to collaborate with creative peers, government-funded projects and the region’s ideal weather fertilized Silicon Valley’s growth, the speakers said. Stanford encouraged entrepreneurship in its students and fostered university-developed products.

Hennessy said he sees the same entrepreneurial spirit in today’s student body, with new programs such as dual majors in science and music for undergraduates as well as teams of graduate students whose collaborations yield real-time contributions to Third World countries.

Upcoming programs:

• “Silicon Valley Stories”: 7 p.m. Feb. 11 at Los Altos High’s Eagle Theater, 201 Almond Ave.

• “Family Day/Young Minds @ the Museum”: Noon to 4 p.m. March 14 at the museum, 51 S. San Antonio Road.

• Film Night: 7 p.m. April 14 at Los Altos Stage Company, 97 Hillview Ave.

For more information, visit


$25 Million For Stonebrook Court

Posted on January 14, 2015 by  
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12335 StonebrookAfter years on the market, the Los Altos Hills historic estate known as Stone- brook Court has a new owner. Sacramento-based biotech executive Norah Lacey recently purchased the 7.5-acre property for $25 million.

Percy Tredegar Morgan, a British capitalist, acquired the l35 acres in l9l0 and built Morgan Manor as a near-replica of Speke Hall, a mansion built in 1598 in Liverpool, England. Morgan and his wife, Daisy, an Oakland native, were the first to add an Italianate influence to the property when they imported a 16th-century Venetian palace’s ceiling for the ballroom.

The property shrunk in size over time and passed through a variety of owners after Morgan’s 1920 death. At times, it was rumored to have housed a brothel, a speakeasy or neither.

In 1955, Los Altos educator John Ford opened the Ford Country Day School in the house, where it operated for 30 years. The property returned to private ownership in 1988. By the time Kelly and Christina Porter bought the property in 1999, the house was in a state of disrepair.

The Porters spent the next six years renovating the estate with an English Tudor exterior and an interior inflected with the gildings of the Italian Renaissance and the carved wood of Tudor England. Lacey acquired the seven-bedroom house with many of its furnishings included, according to Christina Porter.

Because the home is listed on the National Historic Register, its owners pay lower taxes in exchange for constraining their development of the site to meet Department of the Interior standards and hosting a minimum of two semipublic events each year.

The 30,000-square-foot house sits at the end of a long private driveway and thus can’t be spotted easily from the street. The property includes a ballroom, living quarters and separate outbuildings.



Annual Concert To Support The Blind

Posted on January 7, 2015 by  
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Stent HallLos Altos residents Steve and Nancy Gill have scheduled their 14th Benefit Concert for The LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in Menlo School’s Spieker Ballroom, 50 Valparaiso Ave., Atherton.

The concert – with the theme “Harold Who?” – will feature the music of Harold Arlen, composer of “Old Black Magic,” “It’s Only a Paper Moon” and songs from “The Wizard of Oz,” among many other American classics.

The LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired offers a session at its Enchanted Hills Camp for visually impaired adults with other disabilities.  The Gills’ gratitude for the camp’s existence, their appreciation for the patience and compassion of the staff and their desire to support the special-needs session inspired Steve to organize the first benefit concert for The LightHouse in 1999.

Annual concerts have raised more than $87,000 in donations, enabling dozens of adults with multiple impairments to receive full or partial scholarships to attend Enchanted Hills Camp. Like Anne, they can enjoy spending five days in the Napa Hills participating in activities like horseback riding, swimming and hiking.

Los Altos resident Mollie Thompson and former Los Altos resident Linda Jordan will perform at this year’s tribute to Arlen. The concert will include performances by seven alumni of Menlo School.

A donation of $15 is requested. Seating is first come, first served.  For more information, call Steve or Nancy Gill at 948-4648.


Off-market In North Los Altos

Posted on January 6, 2015 by  
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320 Solana

320 Solana Drive, Los Altos, CA 94022
Off-market List at $3,500,000 / Sold at $3,420,000
4 Beds / 3.5 Baths / Home: 3,400 sqft / Lot Size: 13,800 sqft +/-
Single Family Detached
Represented: Buyer


Pharmacy Headed To Main Street

Posted on January 2, 2015 by  
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Pharmaca coming to 400 Main StreetA new tenant is slated to call the recently completed 400 Main St. development its new home early next year.

Colorado-based Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy has signed a lease to open a new location at the Jeffrey A. Morris Group’s mixed-use development, according to a company spokesperson. A grand-opening date has been tentatively scheduled for Feb. 28.

The company was founded in 2000 and is currently headquartered in Boulder, Colo. It offers a variety of traditional and holistic products, as well as services provided by a wide range of practitioners, including herbalists, naturopathic physicians, acupuncturists and chiropractors.

Pharmaca currently has 27 locations throughout Colorado, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington and California, including pharmacies locally in Los Gatos and Menlo Park.

For more information, visit