On April 19th of 2016, the Redwood City Planning Commission approved a proposal to demolish an existing building at 2075 Broadway (Powerhouse Gym), and redevelop it into a 93,515 S/F mixed use building, with roughly 65,000 S/F designated for office space, and the rest for ground floor retail. The developer, Lane Partners, had been trying to get the project pushed through for quite some time, having their initial proposal of 1750,000 S/F of office space rejected back in April 2015 due to a lack of parking. Now, with a downsized project and planning commission approval, Lane Partners plans to break ground on the project this June, with an estimated construction duration of 20 months.
Despite project completion still over two years out, Lane Partners have reportedly already secured a major tenant for the development. According to Redwood City mayor, John Seybert, the development will be an expansion site for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a company formed by Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, and his wife Priscilla Chan. According to the company’s website, their objective is to “advance human potential and promote equality in areas such as health, education, scientific research and energy”. The couple introduced the company in December of 2015 with a pledge of 99% of their shared stock in Facebook, which at the time totaled roughly $45 billion.
The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative will be another big name added to downtown Redwood City’s employer roster, which is currently headlined by Box Inc, who occupy the majority of the new Crossing/900 development. While the company is not big in terms of number of people they employ, It is huge in terms of the weight carried by the Chan & Zuckerberg names. Putting those names on a building just a block from the Courthouse Square will impact how downtown Redwood City is perceived by businesses looking to relocate in the future.