Downtown’s downtrodden Palmtag Building came up at the Hayward City Council’s “work session” meeting this evening.
“That thing’s about to crumble down. What’s going on with that?” Councilman Kevin Dowling asked his colleagues.
“Not much,” replied City Manager Jesus Armas.
It was more than a year ago that we wrote about the city’s great hopes for the 19th-century building.
The building owner, Oakland-based Browman Development Co., which also developed and owns the neighboring Albertsons/Starbucks/Jamba Juice/etc. shopping center and the new Target center on Hesperian, announced in March 2006 that it was going to restore the Palmtag and put a Peet’s Coffee and Tea Shop there. Their schedule was as follows: Start remodeling in June 2006, complete it by Thanksgiving 2006 and have the coffee shop open by spring 2007. Browman was going to use a $500,000 city subsidy to help restore the structure to its turn-of-the-century splendor, making it look like this:
And although Browman secured a lease agreement with Peet’s, the project never got off the ground. Armas said one of the problems is that the transformer that serves the area is “oversubscribed” and apparently can’t handle the additional load. PG&E could supply it, but the developer would have to bear the costs of expanding the system.