On July 17, 2018, Greystar hosted a second set of community meetings at the Fox Forum to discuss the 1601 El Camino Real project proposed for Beech and Main Streets. Two identical sessions were held, the first in the afternoon and the second in the evening, to accommodate busy schedules and ensure maximum community participation.

In total, around 30 members of the community attended to learn about updates made to the project based on feedback provided from the community and city in the last two months. The anonymous Community Input Survey results can be viewed here.

Representatives from Greystar, WRNS Studio (the project architect), and SWA Landscape Architecture provided an overview presentation followed by a question-and-answer forum.

 

Project Overview:

Greystar Development Manager, Troy Vernon, opened the presentation with an overview of the project timeline, current zoning on the site, and how the project respects current zoning. He also highlighted how the project will be integrated with the surrounding neighborhood while revitalizing the site by providing:

  • Mixed-use development of office and housing ½ mile from Sequoia Station
  • Affordable housing
  • Public childcare
  • Sizeable public open space
  • Family-friendly active space

Vernon emphasized that Greystar is not requesting a General Plan Amendment as the project adheres to existing zoning. Furthermore, Greystar will embrace the design standards and goals of the recently adopted El Camino Real Corrido Plan as part of the project design.

 

Community Input:

Next, Greystar Senior Director, Jonathan Fearn, reviewed community input that had been gathered from the first community meetings, the open office hours, online survey, and other forums since submitting the initial application in January 2018. Key takeaways included:

  • Making Lathrop Street a pedestrian corridor
  • Having a Community Garden at Maple Street
  • Having a café near the Dog Park
  • Repurposing Perry’s Feed Shed at Shasta and Cedar for active uses

 

Design Updates:

Project architect, Ben Mickus, then explained how the project has been redesigned based on community and city input. “The community wants these things, so we are going to work with the city to make it happen,” he said. The site plan was adjusted to improve connectivity for pedestrians, bicycles, and vehicles. The project design has been updated with amenities to benefit the community. Major design improvements include:

  • Aligning Lincoln & Beech across ECR
  • Bike/Ped safety along Lathrop
  • Landscaped trail along the south side of Redwood Creek
  • Ample green space, and a community garden
  • Architectural diversity
  • Adaptive reuse of Perry’s Feed Shed

Renee Bihan, landscape architect from SWA, expounded on Mickus’ architectural overview with a discussion of the project’s public spaces. Streets running through the site are designed as “complete streets,” meaning they will serve pedestrians, bicycles, cars and the environment – with sustainable engineering to improve water quality in the area. El Camino, Lathrop, and Main Streets will each have a unique character and have been designed at the appropriate scale. Additionally, public art and specialty lighting will enliven the entire site. Photos of the site’s current appearance and watercolor renderings of what the site could be were also shared with the group.

After the presentation, a Q&A session was held completing the formal presentation. This was followed by informal small group discussions between residents, the developers, and the architects.

 

Next Steps:

The project’s application will be submitted to the city at the end of August while continuing to engage in community outreach. If you would like to learn more about the project or provide comments or feedback on the proposal, please visit us at our Redwood City office located near the project site:

  • 1526 Main St. (between Chestnut & Pine)
  • Open office hours are held every 2nd & 4th Thursday, 10:00am-12:00pm
  • Greystar can also be reached via email at 1601elcaminoreal@greystar.com