New Business

Last weekend I was in Southern California; I didn’t get home until midday on Tuesday. After checking the weather I decided that Wednesday morning would be the best time to get in a good walk, and that I should be able to get to most of the sites on my list. But before I get to that list, how about Wednesday night’s storm? Wasn’t that early morning thunder, lightning, and hail impressive? I haven’t experienced a storm quite like that one for some time. Thursday morning I checked my rain gauge, and from that storm alone—which lasted for less than 16 hours—my house received 1.09” of precipitation.

In any case, I took my walk before the storm, on a day that became sunnier and quite a bit warmer than I expected. As you can tell from looking at my pictures, the overcast that was there when I set out quickly gave way to beautiful blue skies with some really picturesque clouds.

Having spent Tuesday afternoon organizing my notes and reviewing the latest list of projects on Redwood City’s website, I had a long list of places to visit. Most of them were downtown, although I also wanted to check on San Carlos’ Transit Village project (at El Camino Real and Holly) and on a couple of things on or near Woodside Road.  Because of the incoming storm, however, I had a limited amount of time. That, plus the fact that I found more than enough to write about just in the downtown area alone meant that I’ve had to put those off for another post. At least I know where I’ll be walking to next…

I began Wednesday’s walk by heading down Edgewood Road just to see how the “tower house” was doing. I first wrote about this house in Good Fences Make Good Neighbors, and have been following its progress ever since. The contractor seems to be moving right along: the framing appears to be complete, and the house is nearly ready for roof tiles—I assume that they won’t use shingles on this style of home—and windows. I was pleased to note that the round tower is still very much present and visible (behind the white truck, in this image):

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Continuing on I then headed over to Finger Avenue to see how the eight-home subdivision is coming along (see my post Get Real for an introduction to this project). The three old houses are gone and land has been cleared, but there was no sign of activity when I visited. There were some holes that made me wonder if they are doing soil tests of some sort.

Next up were the Perry Street parking lot murals. I had heard that they were now done, and wanted to see how they look in their final form. Since I last saw them, the floral mural has picked up some extra blooms:

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As for the mural on the backside of the Redwood City Underground Pub, it gained some extra dancers, and the champagne glass above the building’s gas meter has been added:

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All in all, this parking lot is shaping up to be a nice little art display. I hope that other businesses that back onto this lot will allow their backsides to be similarly adorned.

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After admiring the murals, I headed around the corner to Broadway Street in order to check on one of our newest restaurants, Zadna Mediterranean Cuisine. The last time I saw them they still had paper covering their front windows and were advertising for help. Well, they still have a “help wanted” sign in their front window, but they are now very much in business. In fact, I talked to one of the owners, Faiez, who told me that they had opened on February 5. I’m not sure why it took me so long to notice, but in any case I decided right then and there to make Zadna my lunch stop. My wife joined me, and we ended up having a terrific meal. Although I can’t claim to be an expert when it comes to Mediterranean food, I know what I like, and I like what Zadna is producing. They bake their own pita bread daily in what looks to be a pizza oven, and it is excellent. My wife and I both ended up having shawarma (I had chicken, and my wife had the beef & lamb), which we both loved. They are good sized, but my wife was hungry and seemed to have no problem finishing hers. I couldn’t make it all the way through mine since I also ended up trying the falafel, which were also excellent. I ended up getting a “to go” box for the remainder of my schwarma, and look forward to having it for lunch soon.

Zadna Mediterranean Cuisine is well located, being right on Broadway just a few doors down from El Camino Real. They are open seven days a week, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. (on Sundays they close at 7). There is plenty of inside seating in their large and inviting dining room, or you can order for takeout or delivery. For their full menu check out their website at http://zadnarestaurant.com. Do give them a try! I think you’ll be glad you did.

My next stop won’t fill you up the way Zadna does, but it is equally worth checking out. After Zadna I headed over to Teaquation, which is located on El Camino Real near James Street, across from Sequoia Station and just down from Kennedy Auto Body and Paint. You’ll find Teaquation in the storefront that formerly housed Myosotis Caffe, snugged up next to Discount Cigarettes.

Teaquation is a new concept: they combine green tea with various juices and purees, plus a splash of house-made simple syrup, to make a refreshing, flavorful (non-alcoholic) cocktail. They have a number of fascinating combinations, and it appears you may be able to make up your own (to see what they have on offer, check out their website). Since it was my first time I kept things simple and ordered the Purple Rain, which is “green tea with fresh Blackberry and Grapes puree.” It was really delicious!

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Teaquation also has a case with a number of pre-made food items, so you’ll be able to get something to eat to go with your drink. And if you aren’t in the mood for a fruit tea, they do serve coffee (Americano, Cafe Latte, and Espresso). The atmosphere is clean and modern, with judicious applications of barn wood. I felt very comfortable sitting there and plan to go back and take advantage of their free WiFi as I try another fruit/tea cocktail. For the pedestrian they are easy to get to; for drivers it is a little trickier. Unfortunately the adjacent parking lot does not appear to be for the use of Teaquation customers. You’ll need to park on El Camino Real, or on James, or possibly on Harrison. But I strongly encourage you to make the effort, at least once, and check them out. I think you’ll like what you find.

From Teaquation I headed over to see how Classics at Centennial Place was doing. Classics consists of 20 new single-family homes arranged in an “L” around the small two-story office building at the corner of Brewster Avenue and Warren Street. The wraps have finally come off, and you can now see how the complex is going to look when it is finished:

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I find the homes quite attractive, myself. Each unit is three stories tall, and most have three bedrooms (six of the units only have two). They range in size from 1,400 to 1,900 square feet. The sales center opens this spring, and residents will be available to move in this May or June. Prices? They start “in the low $1 millions.”

On the way to my next and final stop, I passed by Marston (the 8-story apartment complex under construction at the corner of Main and Marshall). Their slogan is “Live Simply. Simply Live”. With the construction fences down I was able to see inside the Marshall Street entrance to the parking garage, and was delighted to see this:

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Cute, no?

My final stop of the day was at a motel. Not to go in, of course, but to photograph for posterity:

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The Garden Motel, which is hidden behind the trees, bushes, and picket fence, is a little one-story L-shaped motel of a style that hasn’t been built for many years now. Located at 1690 Broadway Street, it is not our finest—it only got one-and-a-half stars on Yelp (and all four of the reviews since 2011 gave it only one star). Thus it may come as no surprise that a developer has proposed a new project for this site. What may surprise you, given all of the recent development projects we have been getting, is that the project proposed for this site is neither an office building nor an apartment building. Instead, the developer is hoping to tear down this little motel and build a Hampton Inn and Suites.

The hotel, if built as proposed, would boast 92 rooms within a five-story, 88,827-square-foot building. In addition to the lobby, it would also have a small “conference center” (really, a conference room) and a fitness center. Parking would be accommodated by a below-grade parking lot with 48 stalls, plus an additional 24 ground-level spaces.

I’m pleased to see that developers are starting to look to lower Broadway for prospective sites. A hotel at this location would be great, given both the proposed office/apartment project that hopes to someday replace the aging Broadway Plaza shopping center and the Stanford project further down the street—which incidentally is now the home of JetBlue Technology Ventures, “a wholly owned subsidiary of JetBlue that will invest in, incubate, and partner with early stage startups at the intersection of technology, travel and hospitality.” (JetBlue Technology Ventures will operate out of GSV Labs, a tenant on the Stanford property at 425 Broadway Street in Redwood City.) This section of Broadway contains a number of older buildings that could stand to be revitalized, and a popular hotel such as this might just be the catalyst that is needed to jump-start the process.

Except for a couple of minor things that I’ll likely write about later, that was it for that day’s walk. I’m delighted at the two new additions to our culinary scene; I for one plan to patronize them both. And I’m happy to see the new homes and the possible new hotel; both seem to be good additions to our thriving downtown. Some weeks begin with me wondering what I’m going to write about, but as was the case this week, a simple walk reveals that Redwood City always has something new in store.

8 thoughts on “New Business

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  4. I would be sorry to see the old motel go, only because so much of the old architecture of RWC is going away, but if they do get that new hotel approved and built, that will be GREAT for the patients and families at Kaiser. They get a lot of families in from out of town and don’t have anywhere decent to stay within walking distance. So many times I have talked to families who can’t even get a hotel room booked for an overnight stay so they either have to drive home or sleep on a single sized futon in their loved one’s room. Sometimes some of those surgeries can take up to 8 hours, and it would be nice to have a nice hotel so close by so the family can go nap and rest up before their loved one returns from the operating room.
    I too enjoy your blog and I’m very glad you keep up with all the goings on in RWC.

    • Excellent point about Kaiser! We’re also getting the Courtyard by Marriott on the other side of the freeway (by the auto dealerships) but the Hampton Inn would be a fairly easy walk from Kaiser.

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