SamTrans has identified four properties of interest in the potential acquisition of a new district headquarters building, all located within walking distance of a Caltrain station. 

During a meeting Wednesday, Dec. 6, staff presented four properties of interest to the board, including The Gateway at Millbrae — located at the intersection of the Millbrae Caltrain and BART station — Circle Star in San Carlos and two downtown Redwood City properties. All are strategically located near a Caltrain station and range in size from about 71,000 to 180,000 square feet. 

The push for modernized SamTrans headquarters, currently located in San Carlos and occupying 140,000 gross square feet, began in 2019, arising out of concerns the 44-year-old building was not only too small for the growing number of employees, but it adhered to outdated 1970s building code and seismic standards.

So I have to ask:

1.  Why is there a "growing number of employees" who work in an office?  Not bus drivers or mechanics, just cube dwellers?  The system is on life support and should be cutting cube dwellers before the rest of us, who seldom take the bus, have to pay for the overhead. It's a local bus system, not NASA trying to get to Mars before Musk.

2.  Are these cube dwellers even coming into the office?  The same-day Daily Post edition had the Big J piece about how getting into the top floor of the Palo Alto City Hall is sort of like entering CIA headquarters.  Nobody in PA government wanted the Post to see so many empty cubes.  What is the SamTrans Zoom bill these days?

3.  Why not lease?  The reporter repeats the spin as "coupled with a commercial real estate market now seeing sky-high vacancy rates, the circumstances to purchase property near transit are increasingly attractive."  Uh, no.  With commercial space seeing sky-high vacancy rates how about going for a tasty 10 or 15 or 20 year lease.  In 15 years we might not even need a physical bus authority office space.  Somebody has to ask.