Sobrato Proposes Mixed-Use Project on Broadway in Redwood City

Redwood City, The Sobrato Organization, Mixed-use, Broadway Plaza, Studio T Square, Peninsula, Bay Area

broadway plaza

By Nancy Amdur

Redwood City is reviewing a proposal by The Sobrato Organization to build a mixed-use project featuring office, residential and retail space at Broadway and Chestnut Street.

The Cupertino-based real estate firm submitted plans to the city last week for its so-called Broadway Plaza project, which would replace a CVS-anchored shopping center. Sobrato has been working on plans for the project for about two years, said Rob Hollister, president of real estate at Sobrato.

[contextly_sidebar id=”2rKJFWjfOnH69UiZEVgM3EVnKIWLSdBK”]The company recently purchased the 11.2-acre site, assembled from three separate owners, and has now revealed its plans to create a project that exhibits a “live-work-play growth strategy” by offering a variety of uses, according to a project summary letter submitted to the city from Richard Truempler, Sobrato’s vice president of development.

Initial plans for Broadway Plaza include 420,000 square feet of office space among three five-story buildings. The project also would feature 400 rental apartments and 20,000 to 30,000 square feet of retail space, including a new 15,000-square-foot CVS – relocated to the corner of Bay and Woodside roads and still owned and operated by the pharmacy. Additionally, a freestanding retail building would be built along Broadway and ground-floor retail would line the residential buildings. Oakland-based architecture and design firm Studio T Square worked on the project.

The development would be located just east of the Peninsula city’s downtown core and west of the future Stanford in Redwood City development, which will include about 1.5 million square feet of office space. Sobrato’s Broadway Plaza site also sits about two-thirds of a mile from the Caltrain station and is in a mixed-use corridor “where the city wants to encourage redevelopment,” Hollister said.

Broadway Plaza will be Sobrato’s first project of this type in Redwood City. The company was seeking a development opportunity there in part due to the city’s planning goals and leadership.

“We’d been spending a lot of time looking at Redwood City,” Hollister said. “The [local] leadership is doing a great job of not only planning for growth but planning to be a nice livable, walkable environment where you have housing next to office and retail.”

A mixed-use project was determined to be a good fit for the site for long-term sustainability, Hollister said, adding that the environmental impact of a mixed-use project is lower than single-use projects.

Further, mixed-use projects are in demand. “What we see increasingly is it’s how people want to live,” Hollister said. “They want to be closer to their work, they want to be close to their retail amenities.”

Sobrato has other similar mixed-use projects underway or in the pipeline in Menlo Park, Santa Clara and Mountain View and these types of developments are “a strategic direction for our company,” Hollister said.

The main frontage for Broadway Plaza would be along Broadway, which would feature a wide pedestrian-oriented sidewalk, lobbies, leasing offices and flexible commercial space, according to Truempler’s letter.

A public mid-block pedestrian promenade would run between the office and residential buildings and would be anchored by a potential transit stop at the promenade’s entrance along Broadway. The promenade would join the project’s components and help “connect the surrounding neighborhood” with the project, which would further Redwood City’s development as a “vibrant, walkable, connected city,” Truempler said.

Residential stoops and storefronts or offices would activate public streets. Apartments would comprise one- and two-bedroom units ranging from 500 square feet to 1,200 square feet. Amenities would include a fitness center, clubroom space and pool deck. Also, each residential unit would feature a private balcony or deck.

City staff is reviewing the proposal for General Plan and zoning compliance, said Meghan Horrigan, a city spokeswoman. The next steps will include community outreach and working through the entitlement process, Hollister said. Environmental cleanup will be required at the site, which was contaminated from a manufacturing plant formerly adjacent to it, he said. Also, leases at the existing strip mall run through the next couple years. “We hope to see [the project] move forward in 2018,” Hollister said.

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