Stanford's Redwood City campus moves closer to reality | News | Palo Alto Online |


Stanford's Redwood City campus moves closer to reality

University plans to build 1.5 million square feet for offices, medical clinics and research and development

The Stanford University Board of Trustees gave its blessing this week to the university's first significant expansion outside the main campus: a 35-acre "state-of-the-art" site in Redwood City to be filled with more than 2,300 employees.

The board approved design plans for the Redwood City campus, located near the intersection of Woodside Road and Broadway Street, which will include four "modern" office buildings, outdoor dining areas and plazas, a child-care center, parking garage, glass-atrium fitness center, pool, park and its own sustainable central utility plant, a university press release announced Wednesday.

Over time, Stanford plans to demolish eight existing buildings at the site and build up to 13 new ones, creating a whopping 1.5 million square feet for offices, medical clinics and research and development, according to the university. The new buildings will be seven miles away from the main campus, but "evoke the colors, look and feel of Stanford's main campus in its design and landscaping," according to the press release.

"Stanford's Redwood City campus will be infused with the ethos of the main campus, drawing from programmatic, cultural and design attributes," University Architect David Lenox stated in the press release. "It will feel like Stanford. Covered arcades along the greenway connecting buildings and landscaped spaces; the use of warm, high-quality building materials in the Stanford palette; and spaces for active and passive recreation are just a few examples."

The site, formerly the MidPoint Technology Park, faces U.S. Highway 101 and once housed Ampex, an electronics firm that pioneered reel-to-reel tape recorders. Stanford purchased the property in 2005, "prompted by its long-term strategy for future growth, as it looked beyond Santa Clara County for opportunities," according to the press release.

Close to a decade later, in 2013, the Redwood City City Council approved Stanford's proposed development project — which included an offer of about $15.1 million in public benefits. These include the Graduate School of Business Executive Education's entrepreneurial boot camp and management-training programs, all of which were designed specifically for Redwood City residents and business leaders, according to the university.

Dollars have also been allocated to make street enhancements in the adjacent neighborhoods, and Stanford will be making improvements to local street intersections. A "robust" transportation demand management program will include shuttles to the Redwood City Caltrain station, as well as other transportation alternatives to reduce single-occupancy car trips.

The university has also funded a feasibility study for streetcars. Barron, Warrington and Hurlingame avenues will be extended through the site, creating better pedestrian and vehicular traffic circulation, the university said.

The campus will initially be populated with Stanford employees from offices that are "currently scattered or located off the main campus," the press release states, including: the Graduate School of Business; School of Medicine administration; Stanford Libraries and University Archives; the major administrative units of Business Affairs; Lands, Building and Real Estate; University Human Resources; Residential and Dining Enterprises; and the Office of Development.

The Redwood City site will offer an "opportunity for co-location for units that support the university in key areas, including supporting research, overseeing technology and financial operations, maintaining the university's lands and buildings and creating and implementing human resource policies and procedures," the press release reads.

Currently, the site houses about 75 archivists and preservationists working with Stanford Libraries Services and staff members of Stanford University Press. About 700 doctors, nurses and other medical staff specializing in areas ranging from orthopedics and pain management to sleep disorders also work at the adjacent Stanford Medicine Outpatient Clinic at 450 Broadway St.

An advisory committee made up of staff whose team members will be either partially or wholly located in Redwood City has been convened and is discussing issues from work stations and offices to conference rooms and connectivity to the main campus.

Design plans will be submitted to the City of Redwood City for approval in early 2016, with groundbreaking tentatively scheduled for fall of 2016, the university said. The first phase of development is scheduled to be completed by 2019.

Steve Elliott, managing director for development in Stanford's Real Estate Office, said in the press release that it will likely take many years to fully build out the campus, depending on the university's needs.

"Stanford values its growing relationship with Redwood City," said Lucy Wicks, Stanford director of community relations. "We're proud to be part of the city's future, and we appreciate the way Redwood City residents have welcomed us. The first campus to be built outside Stanford is a milestone for us, and we're grateful to have a partner like Redwood City to work with."

Clarification: This story has been edited to clarify that the planned space will be used for offices not housing.

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4 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 10, 2015 at 11:30 am

Interesting that this housing facility, which sounds wonderful, will have shuttles to the RWC Caltrain station. This is actually taking people in the wrong direction and will probably not help traffic in downtown RWC.

I would like to think that perhaps they might use a special Marguerite to do something similar to the Google buses. After all, if a resident of this complex needs to get to Stanford, they would need a shuttle at the beginning and end of their journey for three stations on Caltrain. A more sensible approach might be to give them a direct shuttle that takes them all the way.

2 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Dec 10, 2015 at 11:53 am

@Res, no offense to Elena but an unfortunate appearance of the verb "house" in the initial paragraph. This is not a housing facility. The correct verb should be "office" but that's not yet widely recognized usage.

1 person likes this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 10, 2015 at 10:27 pm

Thanks for the clarification.

I am just shocked that Stanford should have that many employees that don't need to work on campus.

But isn't building housing for employees an obvious next step for any large corporation? Stanford has faculty housing already which is not available for anybody not qualified. Having leased condo type buildings for other employees would just be an extension of that principle. Add to housing the facilities that improve quality of life with gyms, childcare, etc. would be icing on the cake.

1 person likes this
Posted by Resident 2
a resident of Stanford
on Dec 11, 2015 at 10:22 am

There is a housing complex (Stanford West) for staff (and faculty) on Sand Hill, but the waiting list is long and rent high.

6 people like this
Posted by Chris
a resident of University South
on Dec 11, 2015 at 11:32 am

Stanford has many new housing projects in the pipeline on campus, primarily for graduate students, almost half of whom live off campus now. Stanford currently contracts for a substantial amount of off-campus housing that it makes available to students.
It is also building housing on El Camino and on California Avenue. It is completely taking over a new complex that was already under construction on El Camino near San Antonio.

10 people like this
Posted by Fritz
a resident of another community
on Dec 11, 2015 at 12:09 pm

As a Redwood City resident who lives nearby I am thrilled that Stanfird is investing in our community with the look and feel ol the old campus, tree shaded walkways, a gym and pool. That part of Redwood City is underutilized and pretty much deserted now. Welcome Stanford! Bring your money and your high class ways to Deadwood City.

1 person likes this
Posted by Stanford land
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Dec 11, 2015 at 2:13 pm

I guess I'm confused: Stanford owns a ton of land, yet with their great wealth they opt to expand over into Redwood City, where other interests perhaps more beneficial to the region could use the land/space.
We know Stanford has one of the very highest endowments of any American university.
I also think Stanford should be required to do additional mitigation on traffic here, as Embarcadero Rd has become very heavily trafficked with drivers headed up to Stanford (I see it constantly as I often travel this route almost into Stanford campus) from 101.
The Marguerite shuttle is fine, but we still have huge traffic impacts on our local neighborhoods in PA from Stanford interests and visitors.

4 people like this
Posted by Robert
a resident of another community
on Dec 11, 2015 at 2:25 pm

Stanford does have a lot of land, but most of it can't be built on due to the general use permit it has with Palo Alto. The only way to "expand" is to rent or buy other buildings off campus for the various support staff to work. They're already renting a ton of office space on Porter Drive near HP off Page Mill Road (which I'm sure will move over to the new facility).

I'm sure there'll be a Marguerite shuttle to the RWC Caltrain and another one to the main campus (doubtful they'd make employees going from the main campus to RWC have to take the extra step of getting on the train).

1 person likes this
Posted by Joseph
a resident of another community
on Dec 12, 2015 at 6:04 pm

Hey resident 2 I try to get some infos about the waiting list, how long it is ? There is no infos on Web Link

3 people like this
Posted by Eric
a resident of University South
on Dec 13, 2015 at 6:46 pm

"Stanford does have a lot of land, but most of it can't be built on due to the general use permit it has with Palo Alto."

The use permit is from Santa Clara County. Most of the Stanford campus isn't part of the City of Palo Alto. (The medical center and shopping center are within city limits.)

2 people like this
Posted by OPar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 14, 2015 at 6:22 pm

Stanford land,

Stanford bought this park 10 years ago, it's theirs to use--wise decision, too, given what's happened to real estate.

I don't know how huge an impact it will have on Embarcadero traffic given that people will both live and work at the satellite campus.

Like this comment
Posted by Sea reddy
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 17, 2016 at 2:54 am


It is impressive plan and our community will benefit.

I commend Stanford and city of Redwood City for their commitment.


1 person likes this
Posted by Public neighborhood access
a resident of Menlo Park
on Apr 9, 2016 at 10:07 am

Will their shuttle and transportation system and the other amenities be available to the local residential neighborhood.?

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