By Meghan Hall
Over the past decade, Redwood City has become one of the Bay Area’s preferred locations for both established companies and brand-new businesses. The City sits right in-between San Francisco and Silicon Valley and is home to major companies such as Oracle, Electronic Arts, Shutterfly and, according to the City’s website, 500 new start-ups.
Since 2012, office vacancy rates have declined nearly five percent, while office rents have grown to nearly $60 per square foot. The increasing strength of the Redwood City market and its accessibility compared to Northern California’s tighter metros means that now might a good time for redevelopment. One of these property owners, Sand Hill Property Company, is taking advantage of the growing market by constructing a new office building at 200 Twin Dolphin Drive.
The 4.68-acre site, which is located outside of Redwood City’s downtown core where the development is happening, is less than a mile away from Highway 101 and is a short drive from the San Carlos Airport, Redwood Shores and the El Camino corridor. Of the 17 commercial projects listed on Redwood City’s website, 16 are located within a few miles of the City’s downtown core, making the 200 Twin Dolphin Drive project the only commercial project further from the center of town.
Currently, there are six one-story office buildings on the site that were constructed during the 1980s, according to the Redwood City Planning Department website.
According to Steve Lynch, the Director of Planning and Entitlements at Sand Hill Property Company, many of the current offices are empty and the remainder of the buildings’ current leases will expire in 2020. When asked if Sand Hill Property Company had a tenant lined up or was designing for any particular client, as is often common in the market, Lynch responded by the developer had no specific future tenant in mind.
The buildings would be demolished and replaced with two new office buildings. The first will be a 130,960 square foot, four story building, while the second will be a 72,750 square foot, three story building. A parking garage with 479 stalls and surface parking with 63 stalls are also included in the plans. A 5,150 square foot café and a recreation center; both facilities will be available to the public as well as on-site workers.
The exterior of the building, designed by Kenneth Rodrigues & Partners, Inc., will include frosted spandrel glass, dark gray metal panel cladding and a dark wooden deck with a clear glass railing.
“The architecture will utilize a nautical theme,” said Lynch of the developer’s preliminary plans.
The landscaping will be designed by San Francisco-based The Guzzardo Partnership, Inc., and will include a paved pedestrian connection to public park spaces and signage to direct the public to the nearby Waypoint Trail. Improvements to the existing trail access to Belmont Creek and outdoor tables, chairs and a lawn play space will be located on the northern part of the site.
Palo Alto-based Sand Hill Property Company just recently submitted its planning application for the development; City officials have yet to deem whether or not the application is complete.
“The project is still under the initial review and the types of submittal materials and technical studies required for completeness are still being analyzed by the City,” explained Associate Planner for Redwood City Apollo Rojas.
Lynch speculates that construction will begin sometime in 2020, and stated that the developer did not foresee any huge challenges with the project, given that no utility or infrastructure issues have yet been found. Rojas, however, was more vague on the City’s timeline for approvals.
“Like with any project of this scale, there will be comments regarding design, site planning, code compliance, environmental review, etc.,” said Rojas when asked if the City had any immediate feedback. “It is likely the project will have to go through a couple of public hearings. It is still too early in the process to give an accurate timeline for the project, but any decision on the project is still months away.”