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The Sand Hill Road freeway exit.
Looking eastbound down Sand Hill towards Stanford. Most of the office complexes are obscured by trees and brush and cannot be seen from the road.

Sand Hill Road is a road in Menlo Park, California, notable for the concentration of venture capital companies there.[1] Its significance as a symbol of private equity in the United States may be compared to that of Wall Street in the stock market. Connecting El Camino Real and Interstate 280, the road provides easy access to Stanford University and Silicon Valley.

For several years during the dotcom boom of the late 1990s, commercial real estate on Sand Hill Road was more expensive than almost anywhere else in the world. The annual rent on Sand Hill Road peaked at around $144 (USD) per square foot ($1550 per m2) in mid-2000; at the time, this was higher than rates in Manhattan and London's West End.[2]

Sand Hill Road venture capitalists currently invest in a variety of areas, in particular:

Sand Hill Road is also home to the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center.

Some venture capital and private equity firms located on Sand Hill Road include:

History

For many years, Sand Hill Road's northern end terminated in the middle of Stanford Shopping Center's parking lot, and the only four-lane segment was the section from Interstate 280 to Santa Cruz Avenue (the section where all the venture capitalists are housed) (note that Santa Cruz Avenue continues the alignment of Alameda de las Pulgas in this area). This situation resulted in two severe bottlenecks which made it difficult to travel to and from Stanford Shopping Center, Stanford University, and Menlo Park.

Extension and widening of the road was fiercely opposed by environmentalists, who were concerned about the road's proximity to San Francisquito Creek, and by residents of Menlo Park, who feared that completion of the road would increase traffic congestion in their area due to the mid-Peninsula region's lack of a direct north-south arterial. After three decades of lobbying, negotiation, and litigation, the road was finally completed to El Camino Real in 2001. Only the existing portion from just north of Alameda de las Pulgas to just south of Stanford Shopping Center was widened to four lanes; the new extension past the shopping center was built only as two lanes.

The bottleneck near Santa Cruz Avenue was widened in 2006 and features a 16-foot (4.9 m) high faux rock wall at the junction of Sand Hill Road and Santa Cruz Avenue. The project was delayed because the stretch of land at issue runs through Menlo Park, not Palo Alto; the city reversed its stubborn opposition to widening only after it saw how well the widening of the northern Palo Alto segment turned out.[3]

References

  1. ^ Holson, Laura M. "Still Feeding An Internet Frenzy." New York Times, June 6, 1999, sec. BU, p. 1.
  2. ^ Ulfelder, Steve. "Welcome to the Hotel California No Vacancy: It's goodbye Santa Clara and hello Cincinnati for an increasing number of Internet start-ups that would rather not deal with the Valley's insane real estate costs and fickle workforce." Network World, September 25, 2000, p. 100. [1]
  3. ^ Neidorf, Shawn. "Menlo Park OKs Widening Sand Hill Road." San Jose Mercury News, November 13, 2002, sec. B, p. 1.

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