Seal Posse Reins In ATC Hotel Project

Did anyone ever ask the seals if they like the massaging action of the vibrating rocks?

Seals Getting Massages

Residents opposing the ATC Hotel and Commercial Project – as it’s called by developers Comstock Homes – say the changes don’t go far enough. One longtime advocate for the harbor seals of a nearby pupping beach, Thom Akeman, says reducing the amount of granite excavation by 40 percent for underground parking is insufficient. “That underground garage will be the death knell for the harbor seals on the beach,” Akeman says. He’s worried constant jackhammering and construction noise will drive seals away forever.

Comstock representative Debra Geiler says the elimination of an underground garage closest to the beach and limiting excavation to a location up the hill should protect seals from noise and vibrations.

Seal Posse Reins In ATC Hotel Project

Letters From The Editor: Mega Hotel At ATC Is Not For Us

Should be replacing the old 50s motels with up to date PG Remodels instead.

ATC

 

Proposed ATC hotel won’t help
It’s always been about a certain quality of life in Pacific Grove. Always. It’s a bit slower, a bit quieter than our neighbors. If we need to see the “bright lights,” Monterey and Carmel are a very short drive away. I always loved the fact the sidewalks would roll up in the evenings and the town would go to sleep for another day. This quality of life is in danger of being taken away from us by people who want to make Pacific Grove into their vision of what Pacific Grove should be, a tourist town, a place for conventions, a place to hang out at night and have drinks.

So why does Pacific Grove need another hotel? Most say we need the revenue. OK, what city doesn’t? The question we need to ask is, with a limited revenue source, what do we want to sacrifice in order to achieve a more sustainable revenue source? Raise taxes? Raise fees? Pacific Grove is not Monterey or Carmel and I’m not sure if we really want to or need to compete with them. These cities already have the infrastructure and are way ahead of us. If we add another hotel what will this do to the quality of life we have come to expect. With traffic, parking and water issues already at the forefront in town, how will another hotel help with these issues? Will these issues be lessened by building another hotel or will they become worse? Yes, a hotel will bring in revenue to the city but at what cost? Are we willing to throw out the baby with the bathwater? Are we going to accept that this is what’s required for Pacific Grove to become more of a tourist destination than it already is? My opinion is that Pacific Grove has always been a quiet little town and should stay this way. We should not sacrifice this quaintness in order to pay our infrastructure bills, pay for the retirement packages to city employees or to try to compete with our neighbors for tourist money.

Some have said that Pacific Grove needs a place for our school kids to have dances, a place for graduation ceremonies or even a place for high school reunions. My question is how many of these places does Pacific Grove require? We already have plenty of sites that can be used for civic events like Asilomar Conference Grounds, PG Performing Arts Center, the Masonic Lodge, Chautauqua Hall and the golf course clubhouse. There is a new boutique hotel going in at Central and Fountain that was presented to City Council as having space for local events so why do we require another hotel with another space for these events that can not seem to be accommodated currently?

At the proposed ATC hotel, there will be 304 valet served parking spaces for the 225 rooms but this number does not take into account the minimum of 75-100 employee parking spaces, plus vendor parking and all the parking spaces needed for special events will pretty much put the proposed allotted parking at more than capacity on most days.

It’s simple. It’s about our quality of life.

— Vicki Illgner, Pacific Grove

Letters From The Editor: Mega Hotel At ATC Is Not For Us

Failed Project Bella, Lawsuit Goes Federal

Place ought to be used for senior housing.

Project Bella Overhead View

The former U.S. Army general facing a lawsuit by an investor over a failed luxury hotel in the American Tin
Cannery has successfully had the case moved from Monterey County Superior Court to federal court.

Investor Todd Timboe in October 2020 sued four-star Gen. Wesley Clark and four other  businessmen who were behind the failed Project Bella, a high end hotel proposed for  the American Tin Cannery. Proponents promised the hotel would bring scores of jobs and millions of dollars in tax revenue for Pacific Grove, but the proposal crumbled long before a shovel ever had a chance to hit ground.

A new project to build a hotel on the site proposed by Comstock Development has better financial backing and is moving through the process, though some residents are still opposed to the idea of a hotel on the site. Timboe filed the lawsuit in civil court in Monterey, alleging the hotel backers had fraudulently induced him to invest $500,000 in the project — even as the companies behind the development didn’t have the financial wherewithal to build the hotel.

Failed Project Bella, Lawsuit Goes Federal

Seal Posse Opposes Hotel At ATC

And did you know that a Fakebook Page about seals has fewer followers than subscribers to the Hear-old?

Pacific Grove’s shoreline is also a place where thousands of tourists flock to in order to observe wildlife, including the popular seals around Hopkins Marine Station. Thom Akeman, a docent with Bay Net, the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary’s volunteer naturalist program, said he’s seen more than 1,000 newborn pups over the past 17 years he’s been a docent.

He’s talked about seals with more than 50,000 visitors and has trained other docents to help tourists and visitors understand the seal colonies. His wife, Kim Akeman, maintains a Facebook page called “Harbor Seals of Pacific Grove” that has in excess of 12,000 followers.

“We have seen how little it takes sometimes to disturb the harbor seals and drive them off the beaches,” Thom Akeman said about the estimated two years worth of construction that includes removing an estimated 70,000 tons of granite bedrock — enough to fill 6,000 dump trucks.

The environmental report states that no blasting will occur at the site, but it also notes in a geotechnical report that removing that much granite “will probably not be possible with conventional construction equipment.” It does not reference what alternative means of excavation would be used.

Seal Posse Opposes Hotel At ATC

New Hotel Builders Step Up To ATC

First Awakenings will have to close, leaving the birds to fend for themselves.

It seems that no one wants to be associated with the last disaster. Entire news article has no mention of the name “Bella”. The name will go down in P.G. history as being a description for any failed building project where the elected and appointed city leaders have their fingerprints on.

“The first one ended, is done, expired and those applicants are gone, they are no longer affiliated with the property at all,” said Anastazia Aziz.

ATC

In June of 2019 new developers took over the job and it is now moving forward.

The plan is to build a 225 room hotel using a portion of the old American Tin Cannery Building and constructing the rest. The 5.59-acre property is located at 125 Oceanview Blvd. in the city’s coastal zone. The hotel would have a restaurant, multiple bars, meeting spaces and an underground garage with 260 parking spaces.

New Hotel Builders Step Up To ATC

Another Try For A Hotel At American Tin Cannery

No mentions of all the silly eco-features of the Bella Fella

ATC

“The design will incorporate the existing building,” Geiler said. “The plan will also have 20,000 square feet of retail, very similar to the San Francisco Ferry Building.”

An earlier 160-room hotel project dubbed “Project Bella” came apart at the seams after launching in 2015 by developers Domaine Hospitality Partners. In February 2017 the permit for that project expired leaving the city of Pacific Grove in the lurch for more than $100,000 worth of expenses only partially recovered from the developers, according to a Civil Grand Jury report issued in July of last year.

Up to the point of failure, the project had cost nearly $250,000 plus the cost of a $31,000 investigation. Domaine Hospitality reimbursed the city roughly $180,000 of that.

Pacific Grove was the subject of severe criticism in the Grand Jury report, accusing it of moving ahead “without proper due diligence,” the report read.

Another Try For A Hotel At American Tin Cannery

Project Bella Part 2?

Just don’t lose any more money like the last time.

ATC

While the developer has not officially submitted project plans to the city yet, it is taking steps forward with a hotel project in mind, according to Pacific Grove City Manager Ben Harvey.

“The city has been meeting with a potential applicant for the site,” said Harvey, noting the applicant’s name was Comstock Development and that any deal was very preliminary at this point. “They have been doing their due diligence to make sure that this is worth pursuing.”

Harvey continued, “At this point we don’t have an application for a project yet.”

Project Bella Part 2?

P.G. Bella Players “Costly Mistake” Cited In Grand Jury Report

You need to approve it before you can see it. And the city manager that lives in another city needs to commute by jet. P.G. voters please don’t elect any more mistakes.

ATC

The mishandling of the failed luxury hotel project known as Project Bella ultimately cost Pacific Grove $100,000. That was the main finding of a recent Monterey County civil grand jury report investigating why the 160-room hotel development, which was proposed to replace the American Tin Cannery Outlets, failed to become a reality.

While Roufougar had also determined allegations that Harvey accepted paid airfare and other gifts from Domaine developer Ron Meer had no merit, the grand jury report looked deeper into Harvey’s part in a group membership into a private airline with his friend and sub-contractor of Domaine, Jared Ficker. Meer was also part of the membership.

P.G. Bella Players “Costly Mistake” Cited In Grand Jury Report

Project Bella. It Keeps On Giving

Giving sketchy excuses. And Ben Harvey would love for it to be done.

Project Bella Overhead View

It is one of what has become a series of allegations by a partner in the project about financial wrongdoings and mismanagement on the part of Domaine Pacific Grove, LLC. Despite the accusations of Michael Crall, Domaine spokesman David Armanasco said the project continues to proceed.

At the Pacific Grove City Council meeting on Jan. 11, City Manager Ben Harvey gave council members an update on both the project and its development team and said the city was working to renegotiate a contract with Domaine.

Still, Harvey said that ultimately the city would love the project to come to fruition.

Project Bella. It Keeps On Giving