According to Redwood City Mayor, Jeff Gee, a new development unanimously approved by City Council on Tuesday should improve parking in the downtown area. The project, located behind the Fox Theater at 815 Hamilton Street, consists of 7,141 square feet of retail use on the ground floor, 60,322 square feet of office use on the upper four floors, and two levels of underground parking consisting of 88 parking stalls.
The parking garage for this project will connect to the existing city-owned garage on Jefferson, giving it a second exit. Gee says that as it is now, the Jefferson garage is under utilized during the day even though the first 90 minutes are free. He speculates that this is because the single entry/exit point on Jefferson makes it inconvenient to use, and hopes that this new project will change that. The new parking garage will be open to the public nights, weekends, and holidays.
The site is currently housing a surface parking lot and a single story building, both of which will be demolished for the project. A 650 S/F dressing room wing attached to the Fox Theater will also be demolished. The tall blank walls on the backside of the Fox will be covered up by the new buildings, which should serve as an aesthetic improvement.
What does this mean for us Redwood City residents? For now, just more construction and traffic in the downtown area. Currently there are already 6 projects under construction in the area, consisting of 1,810 units of housing and 313,000 S/F of office space. The increased noise and traffic generated by these projects has already been enough to irk some residents, and this next project will likely further congest that portion of Middlefield Road. But Mayor Gee insists that in the end it will all be worth it, and we think so too. Especially at the site of 815 Hamilton, where the addition of 7,141 S/F of retail should be a welcome change from an otherwise underused parcel of land.
The construction isn’t fun while it lasts, but the finished product will hopefully be a more fun and vibrant downtown Redwood City.