Planning Commissioners praise big project that will put 3,777 more cars on the road

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.

BY EMILY MIBACH
Daily Post Staff Writer

The Redwood City Planning Commission last night (Dec. 4) praised a proposal to build 420,000 square feet of office space and 520 apartments on Broadway where CVS is now located, but fretted over the traffic it will create and what that will do to the already overburdened Highway 101-Woodside Road interchange.

“My main concern will be 101 and 84 (Woodside Road). This is something that will be extremely important as we are hearing and learning about this project as it moves forward,” said commissioner Ernie Schmidt.

Planning Commissioner and Councilwoman-elect Giselle Hale praised the project, which will be known as Broadway Plaza, for all that it includes before saying that her significant concern with the project is transportation, mainly the interchange.

“(The interchange) is really what stands out in the most in the unmitigated risks,” Hale said. “This project would not contribute alone to the traffic on 101, but what we need now are partners to solve this.”

Interchange to be rebuilt

Hale then pointed out that the developer, the Sobrato Organization, has said it will contribute funds to the rebuilding of 101 and Woodside Road. However, just how much Sobrato will be contributing hasn’t been determined.

The city’s website says the new interchange 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 cost of rebuilding the interchange has been put at $142 million.

Resident Kris Johnson pointed to three other projects that will also worsen traffic: the Jay Paul Company’s plan to replace the old Malibu Grand Prix with office buildings, Greystar’s plans for offices and apartments along Main Street near the old Redwood Roller Rink, and Stanford’s satellite campus across Broadway from Stanford Medical Center.

3,777 additional cars

It’s expected that Sobrato’s proposal alone will create 3,777 new cars to the road each day, according to the draft environmental impact report.

Commission Chair Kevin Bondonno and commissioner Nancy Radcliffe also praised Sobrato for including viable alternatives to the project. As part of the environmental impact process, the developer must include some other potential options for what they could build if the current proposal does not pencil out environmentally.

The two options included in the report would eliminate the 420,000 square feet of office space and either: double the amount of apartments on the site to 1,040 or just develop the 520 apartments.

Bondonno commented that typically developers’ alternatives are to cut the project in half, which does not accomplish what anyone wants to see in development.

No matter the outcome, the CVS will still be rebuilt.

Residents can comment on the draft report until Jan. 4, after that, the report will be revised and then goes to the commission and the City Council for possible approval.

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