Ambitious proposal for Sequoia Station includes 17-story building

in A&E/Featured/Headline

A developer is envisioning an ambitious plan to transform Sequoia Station shopping center into a dense downtown transit hub featuring a building as high as 17 stories.

Developer Lowe’ early-stage proposal includes up to 440 housing units for rent, up to about 1.6 million square feet of office space, and up to about 175,000 square feet of retail on 12 acres within and adjacent to Sequoia Station shopping center. Lowe is requesting a city general plan amendment allowing, in part, for building height increases and parking ratio reductions to achieve the density.

If City Council allows a general plan amendment to move forward, a formal application would be submitted “with more refined numbers and plans,” according to the city. Lowe said its initial proposal is a starting point of a thorough process that will include developmental and environmental reviews and public outreach.

Lowe described its project as transforming Sequoia Station into a strong employment and entertainment center with a focus on improving transit connectivity to downtown and creating the kind of convenience that would allow residents to travel about without cars.

The plan explores an improved bike lane infrastructure, walkable streets, eliminating surface parking, creating underground parking, and installing community gathering and open spaces, among other amenities.

“Sequoia Station’s size, scale and location allows for the strategic placement of density on transit, while allowing for a focus on non-automobile transportation modes and reduced parking ratios because of the site’s adjacency to transit and proximity to downtown,” according to Lowe.

For more details on the plans, visit the city’s website here.

30 Comments

  1. I like the idea… retail down below, office/living up above, some open space, etc… new streets, etc… there are a lot of pros to this…

    Sequoia Station is a dump, lets face it. Pressure washing it isn’t going to fix it.

    But 17 stories is pretty tough to swallow though.. and the other buildings.. I think it was 10 stories on the corner of Jefferson and El Camino.. meh…

    I think I would like it more if the building were 1/3 the proposed height…

    But the concept… I like it.

  2. I think it’s fair to say that despite all their community outreach, this developer does not have their finger on the pulse of Redwood City residents.

    Given the complexities of the project and integration with many significant stakeholders, the City needs to drive this project. This should not be advanced by a developer intent on bringing 1.6M sq ft of office space (equal to 8,000 office workers) to Sequoia Station.

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  4. Excellent idea. Sequoia Station, although heavily used, is a waste of space. A lot better use of this space is critical. 17 stories, maybe too much. Regardless, given the proximity of its location to public transport should have dense housing/office/retail with underground parking. Seems like a no brainer.

  5. The jobs:housing-units ratio is way out of whack and would *severely* worsen our local jobs:housing imbalance, putting upward pressure on rents and thereby accelerating the affordability crisis and renter displacement.

    Assuming 200 sqft per tech office worker, the currently envisioned proposal currently ranges from 41:1 worst-case scenario to 16:1 for the best-case scenario.

    Worst-case: (1,635,000 sqft / 200 sqft/worker) / 200 units =
    (7,000 workers / 200 sqft / worker) = 40.9 workers / unit

    Best-case: (1,400,000 sqft / 200 sqft/worker) / 440 units =
    (8,175 workers / 200 sqft/worker) = 15.9 workers / unit

    And that’s only for the office, and not even counting the workers associated with the 175,000 sqft of retail — which Lowe says is about the same as today.

  6. Oops, in case you were paying attention, I transposed 2 figures … so here’s the corrected math:

    Worst-case: (1,635,000 sqft / 200 sqft/worker) / 200 units =
    (8,175 workers / 200 sqft / worker) = 40.9 workers / unit

    Best-case: (1,400,000 sqft / 200 sqft/worker) / 440 units =
    (7,000 workers / 200 sqft/worker) = 15.9 workers / unit

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