MidPen Housing Looks to Kickstart $41MM Redwood City Development

MidPen Housing Corporation, San Francisco, Bay Area, Redwood City, Foster City, Half Moon Bay, Menlo Park, East Palo Alto

MidPen Housing Corporation, San Francisco, Bay Area, Redwood City, Foster City, Half Moon Bay, Menlo Park, East Palo Alto

By Michele Chandler

A plan for a low-income senior housing development in downtown Redwood City continues to move forward.

Affordable housing developer MidPen Housing Corp. was selected early last year to complete the $41 million project, which is located at 707 Bradford St. and is being developed in partnership with the city on what is now mostly vacant, city-owned land.

Under the plan, Foster City-based MidPen Housing—a non-profit developer, owner and manager of affordable housing—plans to construct a seven-story, 117-unit residential development for very low-income seniors on four city-owned land parcels. The proposed development will be bordered by Main Street to the east, Jefferson Avenue to the west and Veterans Blvd. to the north.

Rents for the studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments will range from $646 to $1,170 per month and will be available to seniors who earn up to 50 percent of the San Mateo County area’s median income, or about $52,650 for a family of two.

“Affordable housing is a need throughout the region, and Redwood City is no different,” said Steven Turner, planning manager with the City of Redwood City.

The proposal must undergo Environmental and Design Review and be discussed at a public hearing before final approval can be given. Once approved, construction could start in November 2018 and be completed in June 2020, said Nevada Merriman, MidPen Housing’s director of housing development who oversees the company’s Silicon Valley and Peninsula region.

The project will include an 8,000 square foot daycare facility on the ground floor that can accommodate 70 children, including infants to children up to age five. “The City Council really had a vision to include that use on the ground floor. They saw there is a lot of demand for child care,” said Merriman.

The building will also include 76 private parking spaces and 24 bicycle parking spaces. Low water flow toilets, a solar thermal energy system for hot water and photovoltaic solar panels for on-site energy generation will help offset the building’s energy use.

Merriman said that MidPen Housing is very active in providing new senior apartment homes for low-income seniors, having completed senior housing homes in cities including Half Moon Bay, Foster City, Menlo Park and East Palo Alto. “What’s special about this project is that the downtown location makes it an exceptional site because it will be so well-connected to downtown Redwood City and all the amenities there,” including public transportation, she said.

Also, said Merriman, “the city of Redwood City hasn’t sponsored an affordable housing project in quite some time, so we are very excited to partner with them once again to provide housing for some of the city’s lowest-income residents. We were selected to be their development partner, but they own the land.”

The proposed development is located within the Downtown Precise Plan (DTPP) area. The DTPP established new land use, development and urban design regulations for the 183-acre Redwood City area for a 20-year planning period, including the potential for up to 2,500 residential units.

MidPen Housing submitted its conceptual design plan to the City planning department in May 2016 and submitted the full application for a downtown planned community on June 16, 2017.

Dahlin Group Architecture Planning of Pleasanton is the architect of the project, while BKF Engineers of San Jose and landscape architect Gates and Associates of San Ramon are also involved, according to the proposal.

MidPen Housing last partnered with Redwood City 15 years ago for City Center Plaza, a family housing community community located at 950 Main St. That complex features affordable apartments and townhomes on the upper levels, with stores, restaurants and public transportation hubs on the ground level.