Redwood City approves Stanford office building proposals

Over the next 30 years, Stanford plans to demolish eight buildings in the former Mid-Point Technology Park in Redwood City and construct up to 13 new ones for use by administrators whose work does not require frequent interaction with faculty and students on Stanford's main campus.

Kate Chesley A building in the former Mid-Point Technology Park

Stanford plans to eventually demolish the buildings at the former Mid-Point Technology Park.

The Redwood City City Council on Monday approved Stanford's office development project located off Highway 101 and accepted the university's offer of about $15.1 million in public benefits, including educational programs offered by the Graduate School of Business.

As a result of the city council's approval, the university can proceed with plans to develop the former Mid-Point Technology Park site, which is about seven miles from campus.

The project represents Stanford's first significant expansion outside of its main campus.

"Redwood City has been a creative and visionary partner in working with Stanford to establish a long-term plan that will be a win-win for the city and the university," said Steve Elliott, managing director of real estate development.

Over time, the university will demolish eight existing buildings and construct up to 13 new ones on the site, offering 1.5 million square feet for offices, medical clinics and research and development. According to Elliott, the development of the area will be phased and is likely to take as long as 30 years. No date has been set for groundbreaking.

Eventually, the buildings may house administrators whose interactions with faculty and students do not necessarily require an office on the main campus.

Among the $15.1 million in public benefits the university has agreed to provide to Redwood City is an entrepreneurial boot camp, management-training programs for Redwood City employees and entrepreneurship events. All will be offered in conjunction with the Graduate School of Business Executive Education Program.

Stanford is also offering neighborhood street enhancements, support for the Redwood City Educational Foundation and the city's summer concert series and contributions toward flood-reduction measures.

The 35-acre development is part of a larger 48-acre area located just south of the intersection of Woodside Road and Broadway Street. The area already includes recently renovated Stanford Hospital and Clinics buildings. Those buildings house dermatology, imaging, orthopedic surgery and sports medicine, pain management and sleep medicine.

Stanford's property currently houses such businesses as Silver Spring Networks, Ampex, BigBand Networks, Nest GSV and MokaFive, as well as Stanford Libraries Services, HighWire and the University Press. The university plans to continue leasing that space for the foreseeable future.

Stanford purchased the eight buildings in 2005. The purchase was prompted partly by the university's General Use Permit with Santa Clara County, which regulates expansion on the main campus.

According to Lucy Wicks, Stanford associate director of community relations, Redwood City's vibrant downtown, robust public transportation infrastructure and plan for its future made the city appealing as a place to establish a new administrative office location. Eventually, the development is envisioned to include a day care center, fitness center, eateries, a central unifying green and useable open spaces.