Last week, Redwood City officials voted 4-2 to explore amending the city’s General Plan to allow for the construction of nearly 1.2 million square feet of office space along the Redwood Creek. The amendment is being sought by developer Jay Paul Co, who hopes to build four 7-story office buildings on the 27-acre site, which is currently zoned for light industrial and port use only, with a maximum building height of 3 stories. The office space would be designed with tech and R&D firms in mind.
In addition to the 4 office buildings, the proposal calls for surface parking at each building, two parking structures, and landscape improvements, including a new park with sports fields. Most Redwood City residents will remember the site of this proposed project as the former home to Malibu Golf & Grand Prix, but this massive development would also span the land that Lyngso used to occupy, as well as a lumber supply company and gas station.
In a July 10th letter sent by Jay Paul to the city, the developer outlined over $40 million in community benefits, and $32 million towards measures that would mitigate the project’s environmental impact. The project’s benefits would include $10 million toward the Woodside/Highway 101 interchange improvement project; $10.1 million for the Blomquist Bridge and street extension project, plus a commitment to pay the full $24 million needed “while additional funding sources are identified;” $5 million for the development of an inner harbor public park with new sports and recreational facilities; $2.1 million for bicycle paths; and $2.25 million for a new free public shuttle. Mitigation measures include $15.8 million in housing fees, $5.5 million in sewer and water fees, and $2.5 million in traffic impact fees.
Despite the bounty of public benefits packaged with Jay Paul’s proposal, numerous residents spoke out against the development at last week’s meeting, mostly for it’s lack of housing, and for tech and R&D firms being perceived as a poor fit in the Inner Harbor community. Both Vice Mayor Ian Bain, and Councilwoman Janet Borgens voted against the proposal.
This vote was only to approve looking into the zoning amendment further, and does not itself authorize a zoning amendment. City staff will prepare a draft environmental impact report, which will be reviewed at a future Planning Commission meeting, before being brought back to city council for review.