Investing in opportunities for the residents of Redwood City and creating new, positive experiences for our neighbors through community-accessed amenities is central to the Redwood LIFE Evolve project.
Redwood LIFE Evolve presents an opportunity to meaningfully invest in Redwood City’s affordable housing inventory over the course of the phased development. Longfellow’s Alternative Affordable Housing Plan proposes that instead of paying into the City’s Affordable Housing Fund, where the money may wait years to be applied to actual construction, Longfellow will invest its funds directly to qualified projects being developed by affordable housing partners, to ensure that affordable units are built in sync with the Project as development progresses.
Longfellow is committing to invest $85 million – over $30 million more than the required impact fee – to support the development of affordable housing in Redwood City. Longfellow believes that its investment could generate hundreds of affordable housing units over the development horizon for the Project, depending on the level of affordability and the ability of Longfellow’s investment to attract additional funding sources.
Longfellow will work closely with HIP Housing and Eden Housing – two known nonprofit leaders in the community – and other organizations working to provide affordable housing to identify qualifying affordable housing projects. This creates the opportunity to support the production of a variety of affordable housing types—both new development and preservation units, large projects and small, rental and ownership—over the phased development. Most importantly, however, this structure will ensure that Longfellow’s contribution will be promptly leveraged to maximize the production and operation of affordable units by proven leaders in the affordable housing provider community.
Longfellow is exploring innovative strategies to provide and support childcare in Redwood City in connection with the Redwood LIFE Evolve project. All iterations of childcare will have spaces reserved for the local community including some subsidized spaces.
At full buildout, Redwood LIFE Evolve will transform the sea of surface parking into parks with over 47 acres of green space throughout the campus, providing substantial new opportunities for multi-generational recreation and programming.
The 8 acre Greenway along the site’s eastern perimeter, adjacent to the neighboring community, will include active and leisure recreational opportunities with sizable parks on either end that will provide a natural connection for those residents closest to the project. At the southwestern end of the Greenway, nearest the Redwood Shores Library, 3 acres of park space will be designed for active uses, with a basketball court, a multi-purpose sports court for pickleball, tennis, or badminton, a cricket pitch, and an outdoor performance space. At the southeastern corner, 2 acres of more passive park space designed for leisure recreational activities will include an all-abilities playground, outdoor eating and sitting areas, as well as a native pollinator garden for educational purposes. In response to city and community feedback, Longfellow updated its open space plans to add additional public restrooms and another basketball court in the southeastern park. The design and programming of these major parks reflect input from our ongoing conversations with community members and the results of a workshop and survey conducted in late Summer/early Fall 2021.
The Commons is a 3 acre open space at the heart of the campus adjacent to the hotel and Amenity Center that will serve as a gathering space for all of Redwood Shores. This central activity hub will have community and tenant accessible events, with designated space for food trucks, and a large open lawn area for community programming like outdoor music or farmers markets, and an area for smaller events such as yoga or group picnics.
The 1.8 acre Waterfront Park, located at the northern edge of the campus, features a sweeping meadow to create a central space with outdoor amphitheater style seating that will provide a gathering space for outdoor events.
The 7.5 acre, 1.2 mile-long Waterfront Multi-Use Trail wraps around the campus connecting pedestrians and cyclists from the Redwood Shores Library to the Boardwalk community and includes a portion of the San Francisco Bay Trail. The project will enhance the existing trail with improved walking paths, seating, lighting, and landscapes ideal for jogging, biking, or simply strolling along the water’s edge.
The proposed publicly accessible, 46,000 SF Amenity Center will include a conference and meeting center, a food hall featuring local vendors, and an outdoor roof terrace overlooking the Belmont slough and Mt. Diablo beyond for neighbors and tenants to enjoy. In addition to the 32,000 SF of publicly accessible space within the Amenity Center, Longfellow is proposing to reserve a 3,000 SF space dedicated for community use, managed by Longfellow and free for Redwood City residents to reserve. The space will have an adjoining kitchen and movable walls so that it can expand to accommodate a variety of multi-generational uses: maker space, training room for school district off-sites, cooling room for warm days, and a space to host birthday parties, club meetings, CERT training, etc
Redwood LIFE Evolve will promote and accelerate critical sustainability initiatives for Redwood City including the City’s Climate Action Plan and resiliency goals. The phased development will follow a strategy of campus-wide energy efficiency and reduction targets beyond the requirements of Title-24 (California energy code), as well as increased renewable energy adoption beyond the City’s REACH code to support infrastructure for 50% Electric Vehicle parking across the site. All project buildings will be all-electric and designed to LEED Gold standards.
In addition to implementing environmental sustainability best practices throughout the design of each building, the campus will use native plants in its new open spaces and will improve its waterfront to provide natural habitats at its edges for migratory birds and fish while addressing the inevitability of sea-level rise. The project will manage stormwater runoff within re-invigorated native landscapes with rainwater reclamation, reduce heat island effect with ample planted groundcover and vegetated terraces, reduce outdoor water utilization by at least 50% with native plantings, strive to meet 100% of its irrigation requirements with municipal recycled water, and limit light trespass in the night sky.
The Redwood LIFE campus comprises approximately 12% of the Redwood Shores shoreline. Longfellow understands that it must meet its obligation as a member of the Redwood Shores community to invest in the Shore’s resiliency from sea-level rise and is committed to providing necessary levee improvements along the slough. Longfellow will also seek partnerships with OneShoreline and other stakeholders to work strategically on addressing sea-level rise in Redwood Shores.
Redwood LIFE Evolve will support the long-term economic vitality of Redwood City and San Mateo County by attracting and retaining top life science companies that will create thousands of new local jobs available to those with a wide range of education and skill levels. These businesses and employees will support the local economy through direct spending at local businesses and vendors, and will generate increased revenue for schools, City, and County services through sales and property tax revenue. In addition, during construction, Longfellow will make substantial direct investments to the local economy through construction related costs for materials and services and will create thousands of good union-wage jobs.
Over the last two years, Longfellow has hosted a series of open houses, community meetings, and office hours to get feedback from neighbors on the proposed project plans. This outreach activity included:
We look forward to continuing to meet with our neighbors and community stakeholders over the years-long entitlement process. To stay up to date on the latest project plans, sign up for our email list.
Whether you’re a Redwood Shores neighbor, city resident, or local business owner, we want to hear from you!
Throughout the planning process, there will be many opportunities to provide feedback and ask questions. We will also be hosting community events and meetings to share updates.