Trustees give nod of approval to campus in Redwood City

The campus will blend a sense of warmth with a contemporary aesthetic, and reflect the qualitative aspects of the main campus, such as intimate courtyards, gateways and public spaces.

The Stanford University Board of Trustees has given preliminary approval for the first phase of a campus in Redwood City, Calif., for more than 2,000 Stanford employees.

At their Dec. 8-9 meeting, trustees gave concept and site approval to the project, which includes office buildings, cafes, a fitness/recreation facility, parking facilities, space for conferences and a child care center for Stanford families.

L.A. CiceroSteven Denning portrait

Steven Denning, chair of the Board of Trustees

The Stanford in Redwood City campus, which is located off Highway 101, will have a plaza that will serve as the "civic heart" of the campus, function as its transportation hub and become its "front door."

A landscaped greenway will connect the buildings and the courtyards on the east end of the campus to a parklike feature at the west end. The project will blend a sense of warmth with a contemporary aesthetic, and reflect the qualitative aspects of the main campus such as abundant landscapes, intimate courtyards, gateways and public spaces.

The approved proposal represents the first phase of construction under the Stanford in Redwood City Precise Plan, a 30-year development plan for the 35-acre site. Under the 30-year plan, Stanford may develop up to 1.5 million square feet.

The project represents Stanford's first significant expansion outside its main campus. By relocating administrative staff, Stanford will be able to preserve the main campus for the university's academic priorities and needs.

The Redwood City City Council approved the Precise Plan, the environmental impact report and development agreement in September 2013. Stanford purchased the property in February 2005.

Steven A. Denning, chair of the Board of Trustees, said Stanford made an astute move buying the land nearly 10 years ago.

The site, located about seven miles from Stanford's campus, will become the new home for essential personnel currently working in several key units on the main campus and in the Stanford Research Park.

Stanford has identified about 2,200 administrative personnel who will move to Stanford in Redwood City including staff from Business Affairs; the Graduate School of Business; Land, Buildings & Real Estate; Libraries; the Office of Development; Residential & Dining Enterprises; the School of Medicine; and University Human Resources.

Stanford will create a robust program aimed at reducing vehicular trips to the Redwood City campus similar to the effective commute programs offered at the main campus. The university will provide a commuter shuttle bus, which will be open to the public, and will take riders to and from the Redwood City campus and the Redwood City Caltrain station. The project also includes funding for enhanced bike lanes, on-site showers for bicycle commuters and other transportation demand management program offerings.

The project is expected to return to the Board of Trustees for the core and shell design approval in June 2015 and for construction approval in February 2016. The proposed phase one will undergo additional city review in 2015. Construction is expected to begin in early 2016, with move-in scheduled for late 2019.

Currently, the property houses Stanford Libraries Services; HighWire, an ePublishing platform affiliated with Stanford; and Stanford University Press. In addition, Stanford leases space to several companies.

The site is part of a 48-acre site that houses the Stanford Medicine Outpatient Center in Redwood City. The outpatient center, located at 450 Broadway St., includes several clinics, including Stanford Dermatology Clinics, the Sports Medicine Clinic and the Sleep Medicine Center.