City staff presented an inventory of the city’s property at Monday night’s city council meeting. Of the 247 parcels they own, 30 looked promising.
Real estate on the Peninsula is particularly in demand and the city looked to the council for further feedback on the different avenues they were pursing. The council held a study session on February 27 moderated by a facilitator to discuss city-owned property and align the parcels with the city's General Plan, or city blueprint.
Community Development Director Bill Ekern presented six properties as examples of potential development for the private market place:
Land Description Initial Use Future steps Bradford Street area Cluster of adjacent parcels downtown across from Redwood City School District Affordable senior housing and day care project Still viable option, but city will issue Request for Proposals from developers Heller Street site Single lot near Jardin de Ninos Park in Middlefield neighborhood Affordable housing Current zoning allows a max. of 2 units, city will issue Request for Proposals from developers Perry Street lot Single lot downtown between Perry Street and Commercial Way Parking lot for west end of Broadway City will issue Request for Proposals from developers Jefferson Ave. Underpass area Two adjacent parcels on south side of Jefferson Avenue between railroad tracks and Franklin Street Complications because Transportation Authority (TA) funded 50% to buy parcels Staff advised business owner that there may be complications Maple Street/Harbor Area Two parcels on Maple Street Affordable housing Staff is planning a study session for June 25 Harrison Avenue site Triangle parcel on Harrison Ave. and Clinton St. "Squirrely piece of land" Could be sold to a developer for other use
Councilmember Barbara Pierce expressed concern about removing any existing parking lots, like the Perry Street lot.
“There is concern that the community could come unglued if we were to sell our parking lots,” Pierce said.
However, Vice Mayor Jeff Gee noted that this could be an opportunity to encourage increased use of public transportation and thus reduce the need for more parking. Mayor Alicia Aguirre also supported the selling of parking lots if that meant more in-fill housing, a use that the councilmembers agreed on.
Regarding the Inner Harbor land, Pierce encouraged staff to not only view the property as potential housing, but for recreational activities as well.
Vice Mayor Gee encouraged staff to “get creative” and consider all alternatives including land swaps, not just buying and selling.
Block 2 has been used as an example of what can result from the city issuing a Request for Proposals from developers. Multiple companies were interested, and the city narrowed the field down to .
But Ekern warned that, “Nothing is going to be simple should we decide to move these properties forward. There is a lot of work to clean up the parcels.”
What should the city do with each of these five properties? Tell us in the comments.
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