Stanford Buys Redwood City Property for $39.5MM

By Jon Peterson & Vladimir Bosanac

Stanford University, which has already began developing a new 13-building campus in Redwood City, has purchased another property in the Peninsula city that will help it get closer to achieving its goals. According to public records, on July 19th, the Palo Alto-based university paid $39.5 million, or roughly $584, to acquire a nearly 68,000 square foot building from BioMed Realty located at 550 Broadway Avenue in Redwood City.

The plans for this building are not determined, yet, according to a report by the Silicon Valley Business Journal, and acknowledging the past use for the building as a Genentech data center and administrative office, a public relations representative stated that the university is exploring leasing the building on a short term basis for a similar use.

Redwood City is Stanford’s first significant expansion outside of its main campus. “Stanford’s Redwood City campus will be infused with the ethos of the main campus, drawing from programmatic, cultural and design attributes. It will feel like Stanford. Covered arcades along with the greenway connecting buildings and landscaped spaces; the use of warm, high-quality building materials in the Stanford palette; and spaces of active and passive recreation are just a few examples,” said David Lenox, university architect, in a prepared statement.

The operations of Stanford that will be housed in Redwood City include a number of uses drawn from several areas of the university. These will include the Graduate School of Business, administration for the School of Medicine, Stanford Libraries and University Archives, the administration units of Business Affairs, Lands, Building and Real Estate, Human Resources, Residential & Dining Enterprises and the Office of Development.

The first phase of the proposed campus, which broke ground last year, will feature four modern office buildings, outdoor dining areas and plazas, a child care center, parking garage, a glass-atrium fitness center and its own sustainable central utility plant.

The 35-acre site for the new campus was formerly known as the Mid-Point Technology Park. Stanford has owned the site since 2005. It’s located about five miles from the main Stanford campus and was once home to Ampex, an electronics firm that pioneered reel-to-reel tape recorders. The new campus will have a total of 13 buildings when the entire project is completed, which will amount to 1.5 million square feet of office, medical clinics and R&D space.

There is a development agreement on this project with Stanford and Redwood City. Stanford has offered $15.1 million in public benefits for the project. This includes the Graduate School of Business Executive Education’s entrepreneurial boot camp and management training programs. All were designed specifically for Redwood City residents and business leaders.

One of the goals for the project is to reduce single-occupancy car trips to the new campus, which the university is working to solve by providing shuttles to the Redwood City Caltrain station. Funds from Stanford have been allocated to make street enhancements in the adjacent neighborhoods, and there will be improvements to local street intersections. Stanford is planning to prepare the existing campus with improved communication facilities in order to enable efficient interaction with the new location and avoid unnecessary trips between the two campuses.

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