BY EMILY MIBACH
Daily Post Staff Writer
Some residents are calling for a new roller rink to be built in place of the Redwood Roller Rink as part of Greystar’s latest project in Redwood City.
The Redwood Roller Rink, the last of its kind on the Peninsula, closed three years ago after owner Suzie Pollard retired, following the death of her husband, Jim Pollard.
Since then, the property has been bought by Greystar, a national housing developer, and is included as part of the developer’s five-city-block project for the area between El Camino Real and the train tracks and Maple Street and Cedar Street.
On Tuesday (July 7), the city’s Planning Commission will be reviewing environmental reports related to the project, while no vote for the development will occur.
At least seven residents have written to city officials about the roller rink, with many of them urging the city to buy the rink.
“It’s so frustrating and disturbing that the council of Redwood City has abandoned, ignored its most unique, sophisticated community — the roller skating/dancing individuals, that continued history of six decades of an elite culture!” wrote one resident, who is not named in the compiled public comment document connected to the report by Acting Planning Manager Lindy Chan.
Another resident found a local parallel to the rink and the purchase of the Buena Vista mobile home park in Palo Alto.
“A somewhat similar situation has occurred in Palo Alto, where the city purchased a mobile home park from its owner, who wanted to evict all the 400-low income residents and sell it to a developer,” that resident suggested.
In September 2017, the Santa Clara County Housing Authority purchased Buena Vista to make sure the hundreds of residents could stay in Palo Alto. The county and city of Palo Alto each committed $14.5 million to acquire and rehabilitate the park over two years ago. The Housing Authority also contributed $26 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
However, Greystar is proposing to build 19,000-square-feet of family-friendly retail that could accommodate a roller rink, bowling or laser tag. That building would be build at El Camino and Cedar, down two blocks from the roller rink’s location for over 60 years at 1303 Main St.
Also part of the plans for the five-block project are 540 apartments, including 147 of those reserved for low-income earners, an 8,000 square foot child care center, 530,000 square feet of office space and an additional 9,800 square feet of retail space.