Lighting the Trip Fantastic

In advance of a trip on which my wife and I are about to embark — to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary! — I spent this week scurrying around not only Redwood City, but Menlo Park and San Carlos as well, gathering the latest on many of the projects I’ve been closely following. This week I’ll run through some of the more interesting bits of progress being made in Redwood City. Next week, I’ll review what I saw in Menlo Park and San Carlos.

What a difference two weeks makes! On the last day of May I visited the Veterans Memorial/Senior Center project in Red Morton Park, and noted that a little over half of that project’s foundations had been poured. On Monday of this week, I paid the project another visit, not expecting to see a great deal of progress. Instead, I saw this:

This large multi-story building will be somewhat L-shaped, with the part you see here being the longer leg of the L. As you can see if you look closely at the above picture, part of the building’s foundation — the shorter part of the L, as it turns out — has yet to be poured. However, that clearly isn’t stopping the steelworkers, who apparently wasted no time in getting started on their end of the project. I presume that construction on this project will proceed in roughly this fashion, with each of the various specialties starting at the end closest to Red Morton’s skate park and working their way out towards the Madison Avenue end.

My wife had to laugh as, during last weekend’s march against gun violence, I stopped mid-march to take a picture or two of a project that, until now, has remained mostly behind closed doors:

This is the space in the four-story office and retail building at the corner of Jefferson Avenue and Broadway that will soon be Redwood City’s Humphry Slocombe ice cream shop. Until now the only clues I’d been able to see were the giant stickers covering up the retail space’s doors and windows with Humphry Slocombe’s name on them, and the small posters that were recently put up to announce that Humphry Slocombe is hiring. Other than that, though, I had no idea how much real progress was being made behind those closed doors. So when I walked by the storefront during the march and saw the open doors, I just had to put on my Walking Redwood City hat and record the progress for posterity. Incidentally, Humphry Slocombe’s website says that this location will be opening in July, and also notes that we’ll be getting a visit from their ice cream truck on June 24 at 5 p.m. (apparently, there were here on June 10 as well). I regret that I’ll be missing their upcoming visit, but you can bet that I’ll be checking the place out shortly after they open their doors.

On the subject of the march, I also should make note of the mural that was painted in support of the cause:

You’ll find it at 2021 Broadway, where the Courthouse 2021 restaurant used to be located.

Out on Woodside Road, the small office building under construction at 1390 Woodside Road (at the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Woodside Road) continues apace:

These days I’m visiting the ELCO Yards project site on a weekly basis; there is so much going on there right now! On the site of the project’s “building B” — the four-story office/retail building being constructed where Towne Ford’s dealership building used to be — digging has begun, likely for the building’s underground parking garage. This week I spent more time, though, on the site of building E, at the corner of Main and Chestnut streets — where the metal Perry Feeds shed stood until recently. The small bit of Shasta Street between Chestnut and Main that ran in front of the shed is being abandoned and absorbed into the building E site; it has now been fenced off, and work is going on behind those fences:

I also got a kick out of watching the final cleanup of the building E site: a large backhoe was converting a pile of large concrete chunks into a pile of smaller ones in a manner I had not seen before. The backhoe was picking up a large piece and dropping it onto the pile, letting gravity do a lot of the work:

As you can see, except for the pile of rubble that may well be entirely gone as I write this, the contractor has done a good job of turning that block into a clean, flat dirt lot, ready for construction to commence.

Here is the obligatory photograph of the county’s new office building (“COB 3”):

I’m including this because it marks the completion of the topmost level of the building (the rooftop). The final panels, which were put in place on the rooftop of the right-hand wing in the above photograph, were installed this week, meaning that all of the wooden structural beams and panels that make up this fantastic new building are now in place. Thus, expect much of the work to shift to fitting out the building’s interior and attaching the building’s exterior skin (which will largely be metal and glass).

Also receiving a weekly visit from me these days are the side-by-side locations of the 1548 Maple Street and County Navigation Center projects. This week, a lot of progress has been made on the former section of Maple Street that used to run between the two sites but is becoming a part of the 1548 Maple Street project:

1548 Maple Street, as you may recall, is where 131 townhouse-style condominiums are soon to be constructed along Redwood Creek.

As for the county’s navigation center site, there is a lot of construction activity happening on the site right now, but little of interest to photograph: so far the work seems confined to running utilities and preparing the ground for the pre-fab buildings that will soon make up the development. Of more interest to me at the moment, though, is the related project (actually being done on behalf of the city by the developer of the 1548 Maple Street project, I believe) to extend Blomquist Street around and behind the Redwood City Police Department offices. That extension will be the means by which people will ultimately access the county’s navigation center, now that the section of Maple Street by which you used to access the site is gone (the property’s address is, or was, 1469 Maple Street). The first part of that extension, from where Blomquist Street currently dead-ends into Maple Street (Maple previously made a “U”; only one leg of the “U” has been eliminated) will begin with a bridge across a small canal, and that is where a lot of the visible progress is currently being made:

You can see this for yourself if you simply drive (or walk!) along Maple Street over Highway 101; you’ll encounter it just after you pass the police station on your left.

If you continue just beyond the construction you see above, you’ll encounter a good illustration of why the navigation center is needed. Even though Redwood City has constructed a clean and fairly attractive safe parking lot directly across the street here, people continue to park and apparently occupy old, seemingly broken-down motor homes and trailers along Maple Street, where they also accumulate the large piles of trash that often seem to mark some of these encampments:

There is almost no better illustration of the desperate need for the county’s upcoming navigation center. I only hope that the people who are currently living along Maple Street today in what appears to be deplorable conditions will take advantage of what the county is building once it opens up.

2 thoughts on “Lighting the Trip Fantastic

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