Acclaim Cos. Plans Main Street Office Project in Redwood City

Redwood City, Menlo Park, DES Architects and Engineers, Caltrain, The Acclaim Cos., 847 Main St., 857 Main St., Peninsula, development

By Robert Carlsen

Joining a growing contingent of developers looking to take advantage of Redwood City’s downtown redevelopment plans for residential, commercial and retail expansion and conversion projects, The Acclaim Cos. of Menlo Park has purchased a parcel on the city’s historic Main Street to construct 87,000 square feet of new office space.

The project, which encompasses 847 to 857 Main St. and is referred to as the 851 Main St. project, was submitted to the city in March and, according to the developer and city, adheres to the Downtown Precise Plan, which was originally released in January 2011 and amended in September 2012 and July 2013.

The downtown plan calls for the development of 2,500 new residential units, 100,000 square feet of retail space, 500,000 square feet of office space and 200 hotel rooms in a three-block radius around the county courthouse on the 2000 block of Broadway.

The streetfront portion of the Acclaim parcel currently houses three restaurants—La Victoria Taqueria, Palermo Street Foods and New Chin’s—as well as the Tequila Lounge bar and Donna Salon. The parcel extends east to Walnut Street where two aging warehouses sit. All buildings will be demolished, according to Acclaim’s conceptual plan, and the new development will have two frontages on Main and Walnut streets. On the Main Street frontage, certain historical elements will be retained.

According to the design by Redwood City-based DES Architects and Engineers, the building will feature one to two stories on Main Street with a maximum height of 35 feet and will gradually rise to five stories, or 59 feet, along Walnut Street and 67 feet to the top of the roof screen. Two levels of underground parking will supply 215 stalls.

Gary Johnson, partner at The Acclaim Cos., said the project is “transit oriented” as it is a five-minute walk to the Caltrain station.

“What we’re seeing currently in Redwood City is a huge influx of residential, and we are balancing that development with commercial,” he said.

Johnson added that a revised conceptual plan, which has yet to be made public, has recently been submitted to the city.

The project’s preliminary phase will require a separate Environmental Impact Report in addition to the downtown plan’s overall EIR coverage.

“851Main falls outside the maximum allowable development allocation if all the other projects in the queue are approved, so Acclaim is planning to do [its] own EIR and precise plan amendment,” said Aaron Aknin, assistant city manager and community development director for the city.

City planner Michelle Littlefield said the separate EIR and approval will take from six months to a year to complete.

According to the precise plan, Main Street is where the city and its downtown began, and given its history and “precious heritage commercial building stock, [it] is envisioned as a special corridor” of downtown. Plan specifications for new investment on the street will “restore the prominence of the corridor by ensuring that ground level retail shops, cafes, small restaurants and offices are designed to enhance the appeal of Main Street as a walking street.”

Acclaim also has a 133-unit apartment project under construction at 488 Winslow St. in downtown Redwood City. The company’s portfolio includes more than 1,000 apartment units in Northern California and Texas.

Rendering by DES Architects and Engineers. Photo of site by Robert Carlsen.

West Coast Commercial Real Estate News