In The News

Greystar Seeks Another Project in Downtown Redwood City as Apartment Cap Nears

June 2, 2016

Source: TheRegistry

(project currently under pre-con with W. L. Butler)

Greystar, Redwood City, Peninsula, Bay Area, Architectural Advisory Committee, Downtown Precise Plan

Charleston, S.C.-based multifamily developer Greystar is pursuing another project in downtown Redwood City as a cap on new apartment units nears in that district.

Greystar’s latest proposal at 1409 El Camino Real would follow three others by the developer that are already finished, under construction or approved.

“They realize the opportunity available here … and have gotten to know what can be produced,” city Senior Planner Lindy Chan said. “They realize it is a place to invest in.”

1409 El Camino Real would feature an eight-story, 350-unit development with about 6,000 square feet of ground-floor retail, three levels of underground vehicle parking and 93 spaces for bicycles. The project would include 35 affordable units for low-income tenants.

The proposal is currently in the city’s environmental and design review phase. It was scheduled to go before the Architectural Advisory Committee on Tuesday, May 31st.

If the proposal garners all city approvals over the next few months, Chan said, construction could begin early 2017.

Greystar representatives declined comment.

1409 El Camino Real would be among four Greystar projects within three blocks of each other in the district covered by the city’s Downtown Precise Plan, which establishes development conditions and caps the number of new residential rental units at 2,500.

Currently, about 2,300 units have been approved or are under consideration already in the precise plan area—counting those from 1409 El Camino Real, according to Redwood City Councilman Jeffrey Gee.

Once the cap is reached, Gee said, potential additional units will not completely be banned in the district although their proposals will have to go through a more traditional application and review process compared to the streamlined, facilitated approach afforded right now by the plan.

The city in the future could amend the plan to increase the cap beyond the 2,500 units. But that would first require “a council conversation with the community,” Gee said.

The city had considered dropping the number of apartment units allowed to 1,800 while upping office development from 500,000 to 600,000 square feet in the plan area but did not proceed with that idea.

What the council did go ahead with recently was to approve a change in the plan that raises the number of affordable housing units required from 250 to 375.

The other Greystar projects in downtown are the completed six-story, 305-unit community at 299 Franklin St.; the under-construction seven-story, 175-unit complex at 103 Wilson St.; and the approved seven-story, 137-unit development at 1305 El Camino Real, which is expected to break ground this summer.

Tenants seem to be enjoying what Greystar is offering in town, Gee said. They have “many amenities, can walk to a number of restaurants and the theater, and have easy access to public transit.”

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