A second Gatekeeper development given the green light to pursue city review by the Redwood City Council submitted a proposal to build a seven-story office building and two-story teen center on El Camino Real across from the major Sequoia Station project still under review.
Amassing 169,686 square feet, most of the project would be made up of office space with a three-story garage underground. A separate two-story building next door would provide the community with a teen space.
“The 901 El Camino Real Office Building is flexibly designed to accommodate both small and large office users so that it can be a vibrant contributor to Redwood City over decades and ever-changing market cycles,” said the developers Brick Architecture and Interiors in a project narrative submitted to the city.
The earth-tone Mediterranean-style office building would feature a roof garden while the teen center would include a social space, private study room, audio-visual rooms and a demonstration kitchen. Teens would also have access to an upper yoga terrace.
Between the office building and teen center would be a 4,000-square-foot public space with bench seating for informal gathering and teen center events. Called “Chrysanthemum Plaza,” the space would be meant to honor the Japanese American flower growers who gained the city the title of “Chrysanthemum Capital of the World” before their internment during World War II.
Development would require the demolition of three existing buildings, an AutoZone, the former Yumi Yogurt building and the former Tacos El Grullense restaurant.
Positioned close to Caltrain’s Sequoia Station, developers said they aim to reduce single occupancy vehicle trips while promoting public transit use for building users, according to the project narrative.
Community Development and Transportation Director Mark Muenzer said in a statement that the city is working with the developer to “coordinate their proposal with the Sequoia Station development project,” an additional office and residential project.
“The city is carefully planning how their project connects to the Transit District and furthers the city’s goals for safe, convenient and attractive access to shopping, housing, jobs and enhanced transit service,” Muenzer said. “The City will continue to work with both private development teams, as well as Caltrain and SamTrans, to ensure an inviting station and gathering space that serves all community members.”
Of the nine projects that went through the city’s Gatekeeper process, staff recommended only five be permitted to submit proposals for official city review. With current staff workloads, City Manager Melissa Stevenson Diaz told the council that some projects would potentially be put on hold including the Central Redwood City Plan, an updated vision document.
The 901 El Camino Real proposal was one project staff recommended be denied after developers proposed adding an off-site affordable housing element to the project. Plans for the fully affordable 60 unit building will be submitted to the planning department at a later date, according to documents submitted to the city.
Unwilling to pass up any opportunity to build more affordable housing units in the city, the council approved six projects including 901 El Camino Real and suggested contractors be brought onboard to assist with the workload.
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