In early March, Greystar Development submitted a proposal to Redwood City for the redevelopment of 1409 El Camino – a block that is currently home to a Vet Hospital, Hair Salon, and Body Shop. The proposal calls for the construction of an eight-story 350-unit apartment complex, with 35 units reserved for lower-income families. At a proposed 300,000 S/F, it would be almost as big as Redwood City’s largest building – the new Crossing/900 Development downtown, which totals roughly 330,000 S/F.
The project is still in the early planning stages, but it’s already receiving a great deal of pushback from residents who think it is too big and does not include enough below market rate units. Some of those in opposition had planned to attend a May 31st Architecture Advisory Committee meeting in protest, but the meeting was cancelled due to a revision made to the proposal shortly before the scheduled date.
In the Facebook Group, Redwood City Residents Say: “What?” – a popular forum for the city’s residents to voice their concerns – come members commented that the addition of high density housing on an already busy stretch of El Camino (near the Jefferson intersection) would make traffic even worse. One group member expressed that while he appreciates much of the downtown revitalization that has occurred as a result of the Precise Plan, perhaps the city is taking on too much too fast. He added that he felt it was time for Redwood City to take a step back, complete the projects that have already been approved, and move forward in a more thoughtful manner.
It’s not difficult to see where these concerns about too much development too fast are coming from. Redwood City’s development map shows 4 other major residential developments within a couple blocks of 1409 El Camino that are either under construction, approved, or completed but not yet fully occupied. These projects total 708 residential units, with a projected 1,300+ resident capacity. This most recently proposed development would bring the total number of brand new residential units in this few square block area to over 1,000.
Current Proposed, Approved, and Recently Completed Residential Developments Near the busy Jefferson/El Camino intersection:
3 – 299 Franklin Street – Status: Built
- Includes 305 residential units on 6 stories
11 – 103 Wilson Street – Status: Under Construction
- Includes 175 residential units on 7 stories
12 – 1305 El Camino – Status: Approved
- Includes 137 units on 8 stories
13 – 299 Franklin Street – Status: Approved
- Includes 91 residential units on 8 stories
16 – 1409 El Camino – Status: Proposed
- Includes 350 residential units on 8 stories
NOTE: Including the projects mentioned above, the city has already approved or completed the construction of 2,150+ residential units of the 2,500 allowed under the Downtown Precise Plan (according to documents obtained from the city planner). This 2,500 unit maximum allowable development cap applies only to the downtown area, so projects like the recently completed 141-unit Lane on the Boulevard (now called Oakwood Redwood City) would not count towards it.
To share your comments and concerns about this recently proposed development at 1409 El Camino, feel free to reach out to the city planner managing the project: Lindy Chan – firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also reach out to city council at email@example.com.