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A dead mall near Apple’s Silicon Valley headquarters is transforming into a $4 billion development – Tech – Pulselive.co.ke

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  • City officials approved the construction of a $4 billion development project just blocks away from Apple Park, the company’s new headquarters.
  • The project was stalled for years due to concerns about congestion, traffic, and declining home values.
  • The approval could set a precedent for future affordable housing proposals, including a $29 million initiative in San Francisco’s Mission District.

For two years, Cupertino residents have warred over a possible solution to the Bay Area housing crisis. In 2014, developers began working on a plan to transform a now-vacant mall into a $4 billion mixed-used development, located just a blocks away from Apple’s new headquarters in the Silicon Valley.

As the never-ending arrival of tech workers places a strain on available housing stock, many have advocated for greater housing density in the area. In 2017, Silicon Valley’s median home value reached an all-time high of $1 million — more than double the values in places like Seattle, Boston, and New York City. In Cupertino, the average price is even higher: more than $2 million per home.

The battle over the new development, known as Vallco Town Center, was put to rest on Wednesday when city officials cleared the project for construction. With more than 2,600 residential units, 400,000 square feet of retail space, and 1.5 million square feet of office space, the development is set to become one of the largest in the Silicon Valley. The developer, Sand Hill Property Company, still has to decide whether it can live with the concessions and bonuses in the plan, or opt for a proposal with fewer residential homes.

On September 18th, the city of Cupertino held a nine-hour council meeting to discuss the project, followed by a five-hour hearing the next day. At the hearing, citizens expressed reservations about traffic, congestion, declining housing values, and cuts to the city’s school district.

At the heart of the debate was a plan to set aside a portion of residential units for affordable housing, the majority of which would cater to low or extremely low income levels.

“If you don’t build dense housing everywhere in the Bay Area, there is going to be mass displacement, super commuting, more traffic, and more homelessness,” one resident pointed out at the hearing. This sentiment was echoed by councilman Rod Sinks, who urged his constituents to “think about all the people who keep our city going, the service workers, restaurant workers, the people who tutor your kids.”


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The abandoned Vallco Mall.

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(Kenneth Lu/Flickr)

Others worried about aesthetic and demographic changes to their community. “According to the sales pitch, the new housing units would include low-income high-density housing apartments. This would mean that we would have uneducated people living in Cupertino,” one resident said in a presentation. “A lot of other residents and I are concerned that this would make the current residents of Cupertino uncomfortable, and would split our city in half.”

While the debate has been going on for years, the Vallco Town Center ruling is a first for California, which recently passed a law that makes it easier for developers to build affordable units for households earning 80% below the median income.

The Vallco decision could set a precedent for future affordable developments in the area, including a $29 million initiative in San Francisco’s Mission District.

But the conflict isn’t over yet. A citizens group called A Better Cupertino has already pledged to file a lawsuit to block the project’s construction — a sign that Bay Area residents will continue to wrestle for control over their neighborhoods.



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Is Orengo charting his path away from Raila?

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History of intense rivalry between him and Opposition leader, alleged sabotage in 2013 and 2017 elections and talk of betrayal ahead of 2022.

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Police Deploy Chopper to Rescue Students Lost in Forest for 4 Days –

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Three students who went missing after a forest adventure in Mt Kenya, Karatina, Nyeri County, were finally rescued on Saturday after four days in the jungle.

Four days without food, the boys told members of the press that they survived by the grace of God.

17-year-old Anthony Muhoro, Jackson Karuri, 17, and David Mukoma Kinyua, 20, went missing on May 4.

Muhoro is a Form Three student at Gitunduti Secondary School, Karuri is also a Form Three but at Ihwagi Secondary School while Kinyua is a student at Nyeri National Polytechnic.

Also found alive were two dogs that were in the company of the three when they were reported missing.

Read: Missing Businesswoman Caroline Wanjiku Maina’s Body Found In A Kajiado Mortuary

The rescue team comprised of police officers who after four days of futile search deployed a National Police Service chopper to locate the students who were on the verge of despair.

In the Saturday search, the Nation reports, the officers teamed up with Kenya Wildlife Service and Kenya Forest Service rangers to comb the forest in search of the students.

In an interview with the local publication, Muhoro revealed that they were hiking when they lost their way back home.

“It was by the grace of God that we survived for four days without food and other necessities. We thought we were going to die and kept praying,” Muhoro said in a phone interview.

Read Also: Missing Thika Millionare Julius Gitau Found Alive – Police

“We literally groped in the dark after losing our way back home. We survived on water and wild fruits since we had not carried any food.”

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According to the student, the trio entered the forest through Ragati gate but couldn’t trace their way home hours later.

“We found ourselves deep into the dense woods. I don’t know how far it was from the edges of the forest but we were exhausted,” he said.

“We could not even tell the time since it was constantly dark. That is when panic set in.”

They could not communicate with anyone back at home as their mobile phones lost signals.

Read Also: Son To Murdered Kiambaa Family Reported Missing

“We started moving in the forest, literary going in circles in a desperate attempt to find our way out,” Muhoro said.

Days later as they moved around the forest with the hope of finding an exit, they ‘miraculously’ met some police officers and forest rangers who alerted the rest of the search team.

Mathira East Police Commander James Baraza, who led the operation, said the trio’s disappearance was reported at Karatina Police Station the same day they went missing and a search operation launched immediately.

Email your news TIPS to [email protected] or WhatsApp +254708677607. You can also find us on Telegram through www.t.me/kahawatungu

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Police in hot pursuit of gang that car-jacked a Ruaka resident – KBC

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The vehicle was found abandoned in Kagongo village, having been vandalized.

Kiambu based detectives are pursuing a dangerous and armed criminal gang that car-jacked a Ruaka resident on Friday, before disappearing with his Toyota Premio as he drove to his residence.

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According to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations(DCI), the victim had pulled over by the apartment’s gate at Ruaka One River Apartments, unaware that a gang of three assailants was laying in wait for him.

As the gates opened, the driver’s window was suddenly smashed with an iron rod, before two shots were fired in the air from a pistol in an attempt to subdue him.

However, he managed to force his way into the parking lot, but before he could jump out of the car and scamper to safety, the trio caught up with him and roughed him up before grabbing his car keys and phone.

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On receiving the report, DCI detectives based at Kiambaa launched a manhunt for the suspects.

The vehicle was found abandoned in Kagongo village, having been vandalized.

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Its rear and front headlights, side mirrors, all tyres, nose guard, boot and radio had been stolen.

Detectives believe that the three suspects are part of a larger criminal syndicate operating within Kiambu County.

They have been targeting taxi drivers while posing as customers, only to turn against them at isolated places, then vandalize their vehicles.

” Some members of the syndicate have previously been arrested and arraigned in court.” Said the DCI

The DCI has cautioned Kenyans on this trend of crime.

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