Development Proposal Unveiled for Aging RWC Shopping Center

Back in June, Cupertino-based Sobrato Organization closed on the purchase of an 11.2-acre shopping center in Redwood City – between Broadway and Bay, off Woodside Road.  The  aging plaza is currently home to a CVS, Big Lots, Foods Co. and few other shops.

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Last Friday, Sobrato unveiled their proposal for the land.  The mixed-use development – which they have dubbed the Broadway Plaza – would call for the construction of 400 apartment units, 420,000 S/F of office, and 19,000 S/F of retail.  As a part of the deal negotiated between Sobrato and the previous ownership group (which included CVS), CVS will acquire a new store at the corner of Woodside and Bay.

The residential component would be closest to Chestnut Street, with the buildings rising up to 6 stories.  Ground floor apartments will feature stoops to give the project a “softer edge”.  This will also help it mesh with the residential neighborhood that will face the development from the other side of Chestnut.

The office component would consist of two large buildings – one at 200,000 S/F, and the other at 220,000 S/F.  In between the office buildings and the apartments, there would be a 40,000 S/F landscaped space open to the public.

The proposal includes 1,860 parking stalls, only 40 of which are above ground, and all of which are shared – meaning residents and guests can park in the office spots during nights and weekends, and workers can park in unassigned residential spots during the day.

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In a phone interview with the Silicon Valley Business Journal, Rob Hollister, the President of Real Estate for Sobrato, said the mixed use development approach is a way of addressing the concerns about traffic and lack of housing in Redwood City.  It reduces traffic because it give[s] people the chance to live where they work and shop where they live”.    And it addresses the shortage of housing simply by virtue of the fact that there will be 400 more housing units than there would have been were the shopping center left as-is.

This development could lead to resident opposition stemming from concern for a loss in affordable shopping.  Both Big Lots and Foods Co. are “bargain” grocery/department chains.  This project is still a ways out as some of the plaza’s current tenants are locked in for a couple of years.  Don’t expect to see this project move forward until ’17-’18.

What’s Next: Redwood City will review the proposal to verify that it complies with their General Plan, at which point they will initiate an environmental impact report.

2 thoughts on “Development Proposal Unveiled for Aging RWC Shopping Center

  1. This project is a true disservice to the residents who patronize the community based stores that seniors,low income and working class people frequent.No consideration was given to them.Where will we go to find affordable food prices.Its simply a times old adage of the rich getting richer and common everyday people getting stepped on and pushed aside.What class of people will be able to afford the projected housing,certainly not the class of people who shop at Foodco.What about the displacement of the employees who work at those places,many of them who have been there for years.Many who cannot afford the totally unreasonable commute distances.Mothers who would be much too far away in case of a mishap with their offspring.Is this really a viable option or fair to the less endowed working class people of this community or simply a classic case of the rich getting richer?BIG business simply is stepping on the necks of the less fortunate once again.

  2. The amount of new apartment complexes being built in Redwood City is out of control! There is no mention in this article how this Sobrato company wants to put a transit line aka street car on Broadway too. Woodside Road isn’t going to start construction until after this Broadway Plaza is built, what will that do to traffic? Woodside Road isn’t starting until 2018-2020. With this kind of development we need more traffic lanes less bike lanes. With the amount of apartments and input of people moving into Redwood City, we do not need a new 6 story condo/apartment complex and two new office buildings. We need retail: grocery chain, restaurants, pharmacies, and clothing stores. The amount of retail space that this Broadway Plaza is putting in is limited. What I find fasciniating is that this proposal has been passed for over two years and the “public” as in residents that live close to this plaza were only notified by posters put on the closing store fronts, officemax and biglots! Why weren’t the residents mailed a mailer stating what is happening in the community? One community meeting was held on Dec 14th after Officemax closed and BigLots was being emptied. Redwood City needs to get it together.

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