Office project will add 3,777 cars a day to Redwood City streets

The proposed Broadway Plaza in Redwood City. Illustration from the plans the Sobrato Organization submitted to the city.

Daily Post Staff Writer

The Sobrato Organization’s proposal to build 420,000 square feet of office space and 520 apartments on Broadway in Redwood City where CVS is now located will put 3,777 cars to the road each day, a newly released environmental report shows.

The additional cars will increase traffic on the already congested Highway 101-Woodside Road interchange nearby. Overhauling the interchange so it can handle more cars could take years.

The city’s website says the interchange project is in the “design phase.” The website says the interchange should be fully designed and funded by June 2020, with construction starting in late 2020 or early 2021. Construction is expected to take three to three and a half years.

The proposed Sobrato Organization development at 1401 Broadway, 1155 Broadway and 2201 Bay Road. Illustration from the Planning Department report that will be presented to the Planning Commission on Dec. 4.
The proposed Sobrato Organization development at 1401 Broadway, 1155 Broadway and 2201 Bay Road. Illustration from the Planning Department report that will be presented to the Planning Commission on Dec. 4.

The cost of rebuilding the interchange has been put at $142 million.

According to the draft environmental report, Sobrato will have to pay its “fair share” for the interchange project, but it did not specify an amount.

The Jay Paul Company’s office development at 320 Blomquist St., which will replace the old Malibu Grand Prix on the east side of 101, is expected to pitch in $10 million of the interchange project.

In addition to rebuilding the interchange, the draft environmental report — which goes to the city’s Planning Commission on Tuesday (Dec. 4) at 7 p.m. — suggests a couple of other things Sobrado could do to reduce the traffic from its project.

One idea is to install a stoplight at Bay Road and 5th Avenue. That intersection is so congested it currently gets an E, or a failing grade, on an A-F scale. A stoplight will improve the situation to a B-level, the report said.

The other idea is for Sobrato to give up some of its property to widen Woodside Road, adding a third westbound through lane, a bicycle lane and a right-turn lane at the intersection of Bay and Woodside.

The development will add 1,600 to 1,700 jobs, based on the 420,000 square feet of new office space. However, the project only calls for 520 apartments. So it will worsen the housing-jobs imbalance.

The development also calls for a new CVS store to replace the one currently at that location.

Plans call for 2,038 parking spaces.

The project and the environmental report will be reviewed on Tuesday (Dec. 4), 7 p.m. at 1017 Middlefield Road.

A link to the Planning Department report on the development, the Draft Environmental Impact Report and the project’s plans.


  1. STOP BUILDING!!!! I wish this information was given to the residents of Redwood City during the elections. Why is all this construction being approved? Maybe some city officials need to be replaced!!

    • It’s not approved yet.
      This is the whole point of the process, to get review by the planning commission, require changes that are appropriate, hear the residents concerns, etc. Then it still needs approval from the city council. This project is a decade away, so please calm yourselves.

  2. This entire region has a third-world transit problem. More roads and cars are not the answer. We are way past critical density. There is a rail line down Chestnut St that connects the main caltrain line to the end of seaport blvd. To support more anything, we need to transfer trips from car to non-road transit. Building projects get approval with developer impact fee funding their share for passenger rail connecting these sites to a needed ferry terminal at the end of seaport. This rail option would serve the Malibu site and all the corporations in the seaport peninsula to reduce daily car trips. Impossible, you say? Driving is already impossible yet we are forced to do it every day.

    • I agree that to grow this much the would have to be a more holistic view of improving transportation downtown.
      For example is really like to see some of the streets around the county museum closed to care altogether. Push parking further away where it is faster to get to (but of course would require more walking).
      Overhauling and adding significant coverage of separated bike Lanes that would also serve scooters and e-bikes would make downtown far more accessible from other parts of RWC without cars. While I know we’ve added some bike lanes we are still way behind other cities that have used this to make a serious dent On their own transit woes. And we have the best climate for riding.

  3. This article neglects to inform about the number of cars that were already using the site when it was a shopping center. The net impact on traffic would be the difference between the new number and the number that were there every day shopping at the businesses that were there.

  4. The project will add 3,777 cars per day and they provide parking for 2,038 of them? There seems to be a problem with the math.

  5. I was glad to see someone else point out that cars were coming and going from the former shopping center and that the proper number to consider is the difference. I’d like to know what’s being measured in the “3,777 cars” number. If those are actually “trips”, then a smaller number of parking spaces is appropriate as the spaces will turn over during the day.

    Whether this project is built, that interchange needs fixing and I welcome the ability to charge some of its costs to a specific project.

    One of the appealing aspects of this project is that it fronts on Broadway, which extends to the CalTrain station and beyond. A free shuttle between Woodside (or Second Avenue) and the train station would significantly mitigate the extra traffic created by this project (and also ease that caused by the Stanford development). An easy-on/easy-off cable car-type tram would help businesses up and down the line.

  6. A light at 5th & Bay will only back traffic up at that intersection making the residents of 5th Ave unable to get out of their driveways. See Hillsdale Blvd and Holly Street

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