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El Camino is a suburban highway with generally three lanes in both directions. During commute times more than 70% of the traffic either originates or is destined for locations outside Menlo Park. With the exception of Atherton this artery is lined with a hodgepodge of building and uses and is neither pedestrian nor bike-friendly. In general El Camino lacks any “village charm” in any Peninsula community. In Menlo Park the structures include single-story retail buildings, two small shopping malls, one small movie theater, muli-story office buildings, a half dozen hotels/motels, two residential developments, a shrinking number of gas stations and a single large supermarket (Safeway). Along its entire length the two sides of El Camino are quite different with most office buildings sited to the east.
- 145 ECR (formerly Pendletons – vacant since X)
- 500 ECR (formerly car dealerships – 6 parcels – vacant since X)
- 1460 ECR (new building in 2014)
- 761 ECR (formerly Arby’s and owned by Cook’s Seafood – vacant since 2007)
- 1029 ECR (formerly Menlo Hub – vacant since X )
- 1039 ECR (formerly Su Hong – vacant since)
- 1275 ECR (formerly a movie theater – closed in X)
- 1300 ECR (formerly XXX – 3 parcels – vacant since X)
- 1388 ECR (formerly a Union 76 gas station – closed in X)
- Several small office buildings have been built on the east side
- The former British Bankers Club (BBC) is being converted to a new restaurant
- The Mermaid and Menlo Park Inns (motels) are being renovated
- Two restuarants have closed their doors (BBC, The Menlo Hub)
East Side of El Camino Real
- Most new construction on El Camino has occurred here
- There are several either three or four-story office buildings
- Ten lots and two buildings remain vacant
- The older buildings house small retail businesses and are mostly single-story.
- There are two large hotels (Stanford Park and Residence Inn) and one small inn (Red Cottage)
- There is only one residential property (Atherton Park Forest Condominiums)
West Side of El Camino Real
- There has been little new building construction during the past 10 years.
- The sole new residential development was completed in 2014 (Artisan)
- There is one large remodeled Safeway with several adjacent retail stores
- Two motels are currently being renovated (Mermaid Inn and Menlo Park Inn)
- There is one vacant lot (formerly the Park Theater) and three vacant buildings