Signs along West Congress Street west of I-10 downtown show how developers are banking on demand for more living and working space there with the arrival of the modern streetcar.
They told Menlo Park and Barrio Hollywood residents as much Thursday night as they gave details on what they have built and their plans for the future. But neighbors said that the city and developers still have a way to go, just like the streetcar.
About 100 people packed into a west-side conference room to hear about what has been done on the land west of I-10, and what is planned.
The area along the I-10 frontage roads was not so much the discussion, even though Area 1 of the Downtown Gateway Development section stretches from West St. Mary's Road to West Silverlake Road. The big talk was along Congress.
Developers such as members of the Gadsden Company pointed out how they have built restaurants, shopping and residential areas and that they plan to construct more.
But neighbors said that they want to see more done directly for them and not just catch the benefit of what happens, if it happens.
"(The city) find(s) out where they can get grants, federal funding, whatever, and figure out how to get it, figure out how to spend it, and then figure out how to go get some more," complained Mitch McTee, a Menlo Park resident.
Ward One councilwoman Regina Romero said, "We are already seeing it, but it can't happen in one day, and I know it's taken some time, but I've always said the role of government is to create and build public infrastructure that will help leverage private investment."
The councilwoman told the crowd that millions have already been spent on landfill reclamation and land preparation for development, and pointed to those costs as part of the $230 million spent by the Rio Nuevo District.
While Thursday's meeting covered the past and a general picture of the future, a more detailed meeting is expected for February.
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