With the redevelopment of the Sequoia Station Shopping Center, Redwood City has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reimagine neighborhood retail, provide much-needed affordable housing, and connect residents through exemplary public realm and transportation improvements.
Sequoia Station today is a frequently-used neighborhood shopping center that provides critical shopping services to Redwood City residents and access to Caltrain, but it is also outdated and car-centric. There is no easy route to walk or bike to Sequoia Station retailers, the Caltrain station, or Redwood City’s downtown entertainment district from the west.
Sequoia Station is the puzzle piece we need to connect existing neighborhoods to Downtown and the Entertainment District across the Caltrain tracks. This critical piece will convert parking lots to walkable public realm, create green open space and activated retail, and develop high impact housing and commercial space adjacent to a future modern Caltrain station.
Sequoia Station will complete the puzzle that connects people and places – Neighborhoods to Downtown.
Sequoia Station’s redevelopment unlocks the opportunity to create a new level of connectivity in central Redwood City – connecting people and places through an inspirational public realm. Initial concepts for a new Sequoia Station fit into the City’s broader vision for Central Redwood City and its transit-connected future, with a focus on creating a seamless relationship between the City’s pedestrian-friendly entertainment district, a multi-modal Sequoia Station, El Camino Real, and its established neighborhoods. Critical services that residents depend on, including Safeway and CVS, will be maintained and open while Sequoia Station Shopping Center is reimagined to become the neighborhood shopping center for the future.
It would also allow Redwood City and Caltrain to plan and build for the future by providing critical land for future track expansion and electrification, as well as integrate with regional Cross Bay (Dumbarton) planning efforts to connect the Peninsula and East Bay. The redevelopment of Sequoia Station is required for this critical transportation expansion.
Sequoia Station, which is a part of Redwood City’s Transit District planning efforts, includes all of the City’s strategic priorities – Housing, Transportation and Children and Youth – with Equity, Inclusion and Sustainability all top of mind. The redevelopment of Sequoia Station would expand Redwood City’s downtown core by putting housing, retail, and a transit-focused job center directly on rail.
The project would provide important community benefits, including both market-rate housing and hundreds of much-needed affordable (very low and low income) housing units. Redwood City residents would also enjoy new walkable and family-friendly retail and entertainment, inviting public open spaces, walk-able and bike-able streets that connect downtown to the neighborhoods, on-site childcare, and a vastly improved and activated shopping and parking experience. The opportunities Sequoia Station’s redevelopment unlocks are truly one-of-a-kind.
During the initial outreach, we heard that the Sequoia Station redevelopment must be a City-driven process. We will continue to listen and respond to the continued outreach during the City’s Transit-District planning process.
We are also updating our plans to incorporate feedback we have already heard – like less office, more housing, decreased heights, transportation improvements, more open space, artist, non-profit and community space, family and teen friendly retail and play space, and onsite daycare.
The redevelopment of Sequoia Station is a transformational opportunity to collaborate between project developers (Lowe and Eden Housing), property owners (Regency, Safeway and SamTrans), Caltrain, Redwood City and the community. Multiple retail tenants, transit partners, property owners and development stakeholders are aligned in this moment to reinvent Sequoia Station and the Redwood City Transit District.
At Redwood City’s January 13, 2020 City Council meeting, a Strategic Plan was adopted identifying Housing, Transportation and Children and Youth as the City’s top priorities. The City Council also directed staff to launch a community planning process to 1) update the previous Downtown Precise Plan (DTPP) through a Central Redwood City planning effort, and 2) prioritize studying a sub-district called the Transit District Area Plan. The redevelopment of Sequoia Station is central to the city’s work around the Transit District Area Plan – in fact, Sequoia Station, together with the adjacent Caltrain property, comprises the large majority of the District. Future Caltrain track and station expansion at Sequoia Station requires the demolition of structures that currently house CVS and Safeway. The redevelopment of Sequoia Station enables a win-win to expand transportation while keeping these critical service retailers.
The City of Redwood City has sent a newsletter out to the community that provides an update on the Transit District planning process. Redwood City is also launching a virtual community workshop process to gather input for the Downtown Transit District.
Redwood City has the potential to be a regional hub that connects San Francisco, San Jose, and the East Bay – while maintaining its identity and the integrity of surrounding neighborhoods. Putting jobs directly on transit, enabling future rail as well as station upgrades, creating vibrant and walkable retail that connects to Downtown, and providing much needed affordable housing at Sequoia Station are all key to unlocking this opportunity.
Click on the links below for more information on how this project reflects both the local and the broader regional landscape on the Peninsula: