ATHERTON (CBS SF) — A peninsula city looking for a new way to raise money is taking a page from the world of professional sports.
Atherton is a city synonymous with wealth. The average price for a home in this exclusive enclave is more than $6.5 million.
So, why is the city putting up for sale everything from street names to park benches?
Atherton Vice Mayor Michael Lempres said, “So even though we’re in the heart of Silicon Valley, we don’t have Facebook or Google headquartered here. We just don’t have that.”
Here’s the city’s dilemma: It wants to build a new center with a City Hall, police department, library, etc. But it needs to raise roughly $20 million in private money.
And city leaders are trying to see if there’s someone willing to pony up as much as $10 million just to put his or her name on the street where the new center would be built.
Juan Arellano, an Atherton resident, said that people would need to have a lot of money to waste just to have a street named after them.
Arellano said that while he wouldn’t pay that much to have a street named after him, “some people might have the money and the luxury to do that. I think it’s alright if that’s what they want.”
Atherton resident Michelle Kraus said, “I think there’s many families who’ve been fortunate here to make it big in the economic booms. And I think they would joyfully step up to help rebuild these facilities.”
Lempres said there are some things that just aren’t for sale, either because it would be in poor taste or because of ethical concerns.
Lempres said, “there are a few things that just aren’t appropriate for us to name” like the police department, or a urinal. Everything else apparently, is up for grabs.
The Atherton City Council will talk about the naming rights idea at their meeting on Wednesday afternoon.