By Meghan Hall
A dynamic new office space could be coming to downtown Redwood City, revamping a property currently developed with a Chase Bank and surface parking lot. In March, Tishman Speyer submitted an application to develop 200,000 square feet of office and other uses at 2300 Broadway, with the intention of replacing an underutilized site with a more vibrant development in line with City goals and guidelines.
“In recent years, we have been very active as a commercial and residential developer in the greater Bay Area, working in close collaboration with local officials and neighborhood leaders to enhance their living and working environments,” Carl Shanon, Senior Managing Director with Tishman Speyer. “In this case, we saw the opportunity to make better use of an underutilized location through high-quality redevelopment that will create public green space directly adjacent to the Courthouse Square in Redwood City’s thriving downtown. And by building a residential project of this size nearby, we are able to help the city meet its affordable housing objectives.”
In addition to the office space, Tishman Speyer has included 12,000 square feet of ground floor retail and amenities in the plans. The building will rise ten stories in height.
20,000 square feet of publicly accessible open space in the form of a 5,000 square foot Redwood Grove and a 15,000 square foot Hamilton Green, are also designated in the plans. In order to accommodate more green space, Hamilton Street between Marshall and Broadway will be redeveloped into a pedestrian-only public space. Sidewalk dining, outdoor seating and children’s playgrounds, along with museum programming.
The project will be designed by WRNS Studio, while landscape architecture will be undertaken by GLS Landscape and Architecture. For the project team, one of the driving goals of the project is to create a more exciting urban opportunity for both workers and retailers than the property’s existing uses.
“The current building is a single story, squat, beige building that offers little to the life of Downtown aside from the function of the bank itself,” documents submitted to the City state. Other plans add, “Unfortunately, when the Chase Bank building was built almost a half-century ago, it was constructed in a set-back, auto-centric manner, that detracts from the pedestrian experience, breaking up the continuity of retail space. The proposed project would significantly increase active storefront square footage, and we would work with the City and community to curate that space in a manner that best meets the needs of Redwood City.”
Given the property’s “exceptional context,” Tishman Speyer, WRNS and GLS Landscape and Architecture are hoping to create more vibrancy. While designs for the project are relatively preliminary, the proposed project design takes into account several factors, including the adjacent Courthouse Museum, the preservation of coastal redwoods on the property, and framing the square. The upper stories will step back above the ground floor to frame the Redwood Grove and Courthouse Square, while setting the building back at the corner of Broadway and Hamilton.
“The Project would create dynamic new open space in the form of the Redwood Grove on the Project Site, and will create a multi-faceted center of outdoor civil life with a landscaped, car-free Hamilton Street directly adjacent to Courthouse Square,” states a project summary. “Its addition of new workspace in close proximity to regional and local transit, only a block away from the downtown Caltrain station, will further the goals of the Downtown Precise Plan, including increased transit-oriented development.”
An additional 80 units of offsite, below market units are also planned. Tishman Speyer is pursuing that development as well, although City documents show that the residential is not part of the current 2300 Broadway submittal. In coming months, the development team will complete the application process prior to moving on to environmental and design review and public hearings.