City zoning allows a 12-story building, 2,500 apartments on Sequoia Station site

Sequoia Station shopping center in Redwood City includes a CVS and Safeway. Photo from Regency Centers, the management company for Sequoia Station.

Daily Post Staff Writer

A redeveloped Sequoia Station shopping center in Redwood City could be up to 12 stories tall and have up to 2,500 apartments, according to the city’s zoning plan for the area.

As the Post first reported Aug. 2, Lowe Enterprises of Los Angeles — a developer of housing, hotels and resorts nationwide — is working on plans to redevelop the shopping center at El Camino Real and Jefferson Avenue that would incorporate the existing Safeway and CVS.

Sequoia Station is on the periphery of the area zoned “Mixed Use Downtown,” which allows for up to 12 stories. The city’s zoning plan, called a general plan, suggests that most buildings not in the center of downtown would likely be around eight stories.

A maximum of 500,000 square feet is allowable for office space and another 100,000 square feet of retail is allowable at the site, according to the general plan.

No formal application has been filed with the city’s planning department yet, but Lowe has already had preliminary discussions with the city about redeveloping the site, city spokeswoman Jeanne Sullivan Billeci told the Post.

It appears, based on county filings, that Florida-based Regency Centers still owns the land at Sequoia Station. It was unclear yesterday whether Lowe has been hired by Regency to develop Sequoia Station or if Lowe has optioned the shopping center, being able to buy the land once a project is approved there.

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  1. This is ridiculous, Redwood city is already swarmed with apartments and we don’t need more. Redwood City isn’t even Redwood now it’ll now be known as a city that’s just full of unnecessary expensive apartments. There is nothing exciting anymore. Most of downtown is taken down for apartments the roller rink near chestnut is shut down. There is going to be nothing left if they keep building. Taking sequoia station away is a horrible idea putting hundreds of apartments near a highschool makes no sense. Why not build somewhere that actually has the capacity for these major buildings.

    • You should go look at Econ101 supply and demand before saying ‘we don’t need more’. Developers build apartments because there is demand.

      Also, they do not take your retail and entertainment away. The redevelopment will maintain or expand retail.

      • You make it sound as if all you have to do is work hard and you can afford it. Plenty of hard workers that can’t afford the Bay Area. And what about infrastructure. Tons of housing added and the roads remain the same.

    • Redwood City was fun until I started acknowledging that there’s too many apartments going up everywhere I know they want to make a place for the east coast to come does has no work in New York cuz all the old-timers have got all the work so the all these young kids are moving here from the East but what’s going to be enjoyable if there’s nothing but Apartments everywhere I helped build Sequoia Station for the local 467 and now they want to rip it all apart it was only one up in 1991 it just doesn’t make any sense we need a place for the young people

    • Apartments near the high school is great — families with kids can walk.
      Apartments are the only way we can house everybody — were out of sprawl space.
      Sequoia station is right on the Caltrain, and has reasonable access to both 101 (via veterans) and 280 (via farm Hill.) It’s also right by the bus terminal.
      As far as planning goes, this seems like as close to a slam dunk as you can get.

      As a redwood City resident, I think something more exciting than a Ross dress for less and a panda Express would be good there. More retail, less commercial would be better, but adding the mixed use residential is a really good thing! (Just make sure they’re well sound proofed.)

    • The only way apartment rents will go down, is if there are more apartments than people needing apartments.

      So, either build tons more apartments, or somehow get rid of all the people?

  2. You probably don’t live in Redwood City you melon, there’s already a lot of apartments here. These new technology companies are making land value go up pushing the lower class and old residents out we already have enough construction going on let’s leave it like that. You can’t go to any part of the city and not city construction zones it’s more annoying than your hairline boy I’m finna cook your hakumo matata neck ass.

  3. We need more housing. As a young redwood City home owner my friends (your children and grand children) will never get the opportunity to move back home unless there is more housing near transit. Having all the poor people live in Tracey and commute in is not an option!

    • Well said it Carson, I like the way the city is building, at first I was a little exceptical but now I agree that we need more housing in density, even if the price goes up…well who doesn’t want to live wealthy and in a secured area? I like the crimeless and poorless city, I like the diversity and the transit center nearby the core.

      • You guys are insane and obviously have not lived in Redwood City your entire life like some of us have. We do not need more over priced apartments going up. Increasing supply should slow demand but not when the prices are so outrageous that no one can afford to move here except the wealthy. So it’s gentrification and they are pushing out the people that have lived here our whole lives and can’t afford to buy a home. I have lived here for 34 years and even with a good paying job, I can’t afford to buy a house. That’s unfair. We don’t need more money and people in Redwood City. There are already 5 major apartment and condo developments being built. When is enough going to be enough. Redwood City has lost sight of what and who we are. It’s very very sad.

      • This is just ignorant. No place is crimeless and wanting to live amongst the wealthy is gentrification and goes against social justice. There are homeless people everywhere is Redwood City and you are just blind to it cause you must be swimming in your pools of money like Scrooge McDuck. Open your eyes. You’re pushing us out and it’s not right.

      • Homeless rate has been the worst ever since they started building apartments in Vera they remodeled two apartments everyone was so excited until they all got Evicted cause they weren’t remodeling them for residents there are for tech you need to work in Certain jobs to even gain access to even buy any of these fancy apartments even if you got the money google is going to take over Redwood City fast all thanks to Competition Between Facebook they are building massively and fast to pretty much say fuck you to each other lol and we are dealing with the out come

  4. Who is gonna pay 3k – 25k an Apt? We already are paying between 4k and 5k, so people that work hard and have a competition to pay that, I guess they will, if we don’t compete, we will get behind!!!…

  5. Carson the poor people will still not be able to live here after they build more apartments. The cost of these apartments are outrageous. These are not stack and packs for average joes. They are luxury apartments for the likes of the wealthy. Building more will not help the people that need and want places to move to because they still won’t be able to afford them. The developers and the city are greedy. How were you able to afford to buy a house ? What do you do for a living and how many years did you have to save to buy a house here in Redwood City ?

    • The people who want to live in luxury apartments currently live in smaller/older apartments, and this drive prices up there. More apartments means lower prices, no matter what. The reason rent is so high is that all cities on the peninsula have been against development for 30 years.
      Less development world drive up prices even more! We’ve seen that in other cities and areas; it’s well known.

  6. You stubborn, greedy sob’s build elsewhere. I have lived in this area for 40 years & I’m out soon. How many more people do you want jammed in one area. I wish this was the days were Marine World was here when all used to get along with each other & things were affordable. Best of luck to all the people in the Bay Area & God Bless it’s going to be interesting.

  7. As I have stated over and over, eventually the companies that employ those who supposedly need all this housing are free to move wherever it is more financially advantageous for them to set up business. They can up and move any time they want to, leaving all these piles of boxes for who? Who will be able to afford living in them? Oh my memories of the Bay Area Bank building in downtown RWC all those years ago –“gotta have more office buildings for businesses.” Well. I guess a few of them were rented by businesses, but does anyone remember those big banners hanging on the outside of the top floors, advertising the rental offices within? It was kind of funny, although not very attractive. Perhaps all these years later there are businesses in them –I have no idea. For years and years, people did not live near where they work –that still seems to be the norm. Maybe there are enough businesses in this area and everyone wants to live in these building so they do not have to commute? Hmmmm. That would be interesting to see. Let’s get rid of all the shops here, and just assume that “everyone” buys off Amazon anyway. And whose assumption is that? NO –I for one, have absolutely nothing to do with shopping on Amazon, and I am not the only one. The day may come when all the “brick and mortar’s” are gone and I am forced to shop that way, but that sounds like a form of “hell” to me!

  8. Well, if you don’t like it, then go away, no one is stopping you to move, even by force or by voluntee, time is clicking and changing…we have to do the same and not living in conform, I am a bit old and have lived in RWC for 28 years. I have seen the changes and gentrification and I love it, I can’t wait to see the new project when built in the sequoia center, we need more downtown streets with retailers and residentials above. Also I approve the streetcar idea around the city, it will be amazing!.

  9. All of you dumb techies commenting on here saying RWC is crimeless are hilarious!! Screw all of you! Third generation RWC native here, and all of you, every single one of you, have ruined the entire peninsula! I can’t wait for everything to crash and all you privileged asswipes have to sell or move out of your LuXuRy ApArTmEnTs! This is a terrible proposition and anyone who is for it has lost touch with reality. Thank

  10. Redwood City is not fun anymore the crowd. The dirty people. The traffic. It’s not fun even going to places around here anymore. School shut down. Instead of building apartments. Y’all need to figure out this parking situation first. Redwood City is like a mini version of San Francisco.

  11. More insight to what’s behind this:

    Several of the new laws are intended to streamline the approval of new developments. Senate Bill 35, the Housing Accountability and Affordability Act, primarily targets communities that fail to meet their Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA), the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) identified number of housing units (across income level categories) required of a local jurisdiction.
    The new law requires any city not meeting its RHNA goals to use an expedited approval process for two years for any affordability categories that have not been met. Any of these projects will be placed on the streamlined schedule set by the law if the project also meets criteria set forth in Senate Bill 35 for such factors as density, nature of the site, zoning compliance, affordability, and payment of prevailing wage for construction labor.
    Senate Bill 540, the Workforce Housing Opportunity Zone, allows a city or county to identify areas it wishes to encourage development and undertakes planning, environmental reviews, and public hearings at an early stage. The law expedites the approval process for developers because they know what is required for a project in the Workforce Housing Opportunity Zone prior to proposing a project. Also, an additional environmental review is unnecessary

  12. What are you NIMBYs talking about?! We have had unrestrained jobs growth for 40+ years and minuscule percentages of new housing built. What, did you think that you can just keep getting new jobs contributing taxes to the cities’ coffers (subsidizing your homes via Prop 13) and not have to eventually build housing for all those workers?

    Well, the East Bay is full. All the formerly working class neighborhoods are full. The roads and highways are full. You will have to build housing close to jobs. Something has to give. You have racked up a hell of a housing debt over the last 40+ years, and you will have to pay it, one way or another.

    Don’t want more housing, more congestion?

    No problem, tear down all the new offices you have allowed to be built willy-nilly over the last 40+ years and start paying the difference between your subsidized Prop 13 taxes and what it really costs to maintain our infrastructure and schools!


  13. What we need at Sequoia Station is a big homeless navigation center. A place where the homeless can come together to find a bed, a shower, free food, free health care, a safe place to put their stuff. Centrally located too. What a perfect idea.

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