Vol 1 Issue 4
Welcome to Reimagining Sequoia Station, a newsletter highlighting the local and regional benefits the Sequoia Station mixed-use infill development project will help bring to life.
The redevelopment of Sequoia Station will transform the existing site into what is known as a Transit Oriented Development (TOD) – a multi-use development that is thoughtfully constructed on and around a frequently-used transit station. In this month’s edition we’ll learn more about infill TODs, discover why they help cities achieve sustainability and equity goals, and speak with a member of the project team to learn about Lowe’s expertise in developing TOD projects.
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Transit Oriented Development (TOD) is a set of transportation and land use principles that create compact, walkable, pedestrian- and bike-oriented, mixed-use communities centered around high-quality transit systems. TOD has become popular across the United States for reducing reliance on cars, lowering energy consumption, minimizing the expense and hassle of long commutes, and meeting the growing demand for quality urban living spaces served by rail systems.
TOD has proven to be highly impactful in advancing equity and sustainability by decreasing dependence on a car for mobility and survival – and creating vibrant, livable communities that offer a holistic approach for people to live, work, and play.
Sustainability is at the center of TOD. Thoughtfully developed TODs provide greater transit accessibility – empowering people with the choice to walk, cycle, or take public transportation to meet their daily needs, living low carbon lifestyles. To maximize uses within a TOD, great placemaking, or the art of bringing physical and operational elements together to create successful public space, is critical. Placemaking elements include well-defined public spaces and plazas, a mix of uses to create lively vibrant places, active ground-floor retail and community-serving uses (like public art and childcare), and reduced and hidden parking.
Ivy Station is a recently completed mixed-use TOD project adjacent to the Culver City Metro Expo Line station. Developed by Lowe, the project provides a welcoming and active gateway to Culver City for residents, metro riders and visitors to the burgeoning area. Ivy Station links two rapidly evolving, but previously distinct and separate areas of Culver City – the lively historic downtown and the growing Culver City Arts District – with its roster of creative companies.
The completion of Ivy Station realizes a vision shared by Lowe, its partners, and Culver City leaders to create a new hub of energy, activity and commerce directly on rail – serving the local community as well as the greater region.
Ivy Station project highlights includes:
The redevelopment of Sequoia Station is a transformational opportunity to build a transit-oriented development in downtown Redwood City. We sat down with Alan Chamorro, Senior Vice President at Lowe and Sequoia Station’s developer, to discuss Transit Oriented Development and Lowe’s depth of experience with developing projects like Sequoia Station.
Why is Lowe uniquely suited to redevelop Sequoia Station?
Lowe is a unique developer because we take on complicated mixed-use projects like Sequoia Station and have extensive experience developing projects that incorporate retail, residential, and office. Effective mixed-use development requires a depth of knowledge and expertise in each asset class (office, retail and residential), and the ability to balance the needs of each use.
Our recently completed Ivy Station project in Culver City is a Transit Oriented Development that includes residential, retail, hotel, and office space – all located directly on the train station. Putting these diverse uses together in one development is challenging, and we are excited about the opportunity to develop retail, residential and office at Sequoia Station that integrates seamlessly to serve the community.
Why is it important to build mixed-use developments on transit?
The biggest benefit of TOD is environmental sustainability. Getting people out of cars and riding transit reduces greenhouse gases, which is paramount to the future of the Bay Area and the planet. Creating walkable and bikeable communities and making it easier to ride transit is good for our local communities in Redwood City, will help connect neighborhoods to Downtown and sets examples for what’s possible for future developments.
Sequoia Station is located directly on a bus stop and rail station. Redevelopment of the existing shopping center to include residential, office and retail gets people out of their cars. Redevelopment of Sequoia Station also unlocks land for future Caltrain improvements and expansion, which benefits the entire Redwood City community, as well as the region at large.
What are the challenges with TOD?
Getting the land uses right in TODs and getting them to work together is challenging. It’s important to ensure a project adds uses that are purposeful and beneficial to the community. Retail is the most challenging aspect in mixed-use developments and should be community-serving and complimentary to the development as a whole. The retail on the ground floor should be attractive to the community and to those living and working on-site.
How does a TOD at Sequoia Station support Redwood City’s environmental goals?
The redevelopment of Sequoia Station is a once in a generation opportunity to help the city plan for the future of local and regional transportation. The land we are dedicating to Caltrain is an investment in Redwood City’s transportation infrastructure, enabling future grade separation projects, and enhancing connections between SamTrans and Caltrain. Our project, as well as Redwood City’s long-term vision for the Transit District, will create a far more walkable and bikeable Redwood City and empower residents to use transit – which is critical to reducing greenhouse gases.
How does TOD support Redwood City’s equity goals?
Eden Housing, Sequoia Station’s affordable housing partner, will deliver 254 affordable homes directly on transit. Building affordable housing on transit offers residents access to critical resources. This would be the largest affordable housing project in Redwood City’s history, and once completed, Sequoia Station will serve residents at all income levels with a walkable community featuring neighborhood serving retail, an art grove, and open space that is public and accessible to all.
What sets this project apart from others in Redwood City and the region?
There are very few examples of projects like Sequoia Station, and the robust benefits the project will deliver to the local community and the region set the project apart. Sequoia Station will bring transportation, neighborhood connections, affordable housing, childcare, next generation community retail, outdoor dining, family-friendly activities, and activated open space – providing Redwood City the ability to maintain and expand its role as an attractive retail destination for the broader region, in addition to serving local residents.
Daytime office tenants will benefit exiting retailers in Downtown Redwood City, the new retail at Sequoia Station, as well as those within the larger Transit District. Having office on-site means there will be people in the area to shop during the day. Having residential on-site, means people will activate the shops and restaurants in the evenings and on weekends, a win-win for all.
The acre of right-of-way dedicated to Caltrain is also unique to this location. It enables Redwood City to become a regional transfer hub, connecting to the future Dumbarton line and expanding Caltrain up and down the Peninsula.
The Redwood City Preliminary Draft Housing Element is available for review and comment. Please visit www.WelcomeHomeRWC.org to read or download the Preliminary Draft Housing Element. The public review and comment period runs through Friday, March 25, 2022.
The City Council is also holding a study session on March 21, 2022 at 6 pm to review the Preliminary Draft Housing Element. Please join this study session to learn about:
The study session agenda will be posted at least 72 hours before the meeting at www.redwoodcity.org/councilmeetings and will include instructions for how to participate in the meeting.
Please join the March 21st study session to share your feedback or you can submit written comments at www.WelcomeHomeRWC.org. Please provide comments on or before Friday, March 25, 2022.
Save the date for Redwood City’s State of the City Address on March 14 at 6 P.M. Learn more about the steps the City has taken to end homelessness and ensure homes for all.
Registration for Chamber San Mateo County’s Annual Progress Seminar is now open. This year’s seminar takes place at the Hyatt Regency in Sonoma from April 29 – May 1 and will be co-chaired by CA State Assemblymember Kevin Mullin, San Mateo County Supervisor Carole Groom, SAMCEDA President & CEO Rosanne Foust, San Mateo County Superintendent Nancy Magee, and San Mateo Labor Council Executive Secretary-Treasurer Julie Lind. Click below to learn more and register for the seminar.
As a reminder, the our team is available to meet and provide project updates to interested community members. If you have any questions or would like to request a presentation from the project team, please email email@example.com or visit sequoiacentervision.com.