BY EMILY MIBACH
Daily Post Staff Writer
Redwood City Council wants a developer to make changes to the office project proposed at the former Malibu Grand Prix site, including possibly making it smaller, after residents expressed concerns about how it could worsen the housing crisis and increase traffic.
The council on Monday (Feb. 11) reviewed San Francisco-based developer Jay Paul’s plan to build 1.1 million square feet of office space along Blomquist Street, near Highway 101 and Woodside Road.
Most council members fretted about how the project would impact housing and traffic and lead to the loss of industrial space near the city’s port. Most of the council expressed interest in looking at alternatives to the project.
Those may include designating the site for research and development or making the project smaller and adding a soccer field.
In July 2017, Council members Janet Borgens and Ian Bain voted against beginning the environmental studies for the project.
Why are no homes included?
Councilwoman Alicia Aguirre, who voted to begin the studies, said that a lot of the questions she had in 2017 about traffic and other impacts related to the project had not been answered yet.
Councilwoman Giselle Hale questioned why the project would be OK for office space but not for housing, pointing out that most people are in their offices for eight to 10 hours a day.
However, Assistant City Manager Aaron Aknin pointed out that the restrictions on housing or even child care being built on the site are mostly due to state laws.
Most speakers opposed it
Some 20 or so residents came to the microphone on Monday to weigh in on the project and less than a quarter were in favor of it.
Those who supported the project, such as Lydia Ramirez, said it will be good for the area because Jay Paul is offering to fix the roads around it.
But others, including Merrily Robinson, criticized the plan for its jobs-housing imbalance (the project is expected to bring in around 6,000 employees with no housing), and how it would increase traffic in the area.
Developer to make changes
Adam Alberti, who is representing Jay Paul (and also publisher of Climate Magazine and ClimateRWC online), said the company is still processing the input from council and residents and that it is too early to say what the next step for the project will be.
“But we can say for sure that we will be proposing changes to the project that take into account the feedback and technical learnings of the (draft environmental impact report),” Alberti said. “Our goal is to refine and put forward something that everyone can be proud of and support.”