It’s probably a healthy sign that Redwood City is always changing. At least, I’m going to interpret it that way. In any case, there are a couple of new ventures opening in Redwood City this week, and a couple of smaller, but nevertheless interesting, projects underway that I have not written about before. Finally, on Monday the City Council (and those of us who choose to attend or watch) will be presented a proposed project that may potentially have a large impact on at least one part of Redwood City.
On Tuesday, July 26, at 1 p.m., a long-awaited business is finally coming to Redwood City. Humphry Slocombe, a popular Bay Area-based ice cream vendor, is opening their doors on what hopefully will be a long and fruitful venture. Worthy of note is the fact that to celebrate their grand opening, they’ll be giving out free scoops that day (the scoops may be free, but I’ll note that Humphry Slocombe is recommending that patrons make a $1 donation to Redwood City Together).
Humphrey Slocombe’s Redwood City store is located on the Broadway face of the four-story brick building at the corner of Jefferson Avenue and Broadway. They’ll be open from 1 – 7 p.m. on Tuesday, and presumably will post regular hours after that.
If the signboard in the above picture is accurate, after Tuesday single scoops will go for $5.50, double scoops will retail for $7.75, and triples will set you back $9.50. As for flavors, well, they seem to have a very interesting variety. Given that I have yet to try them (they have existing stores in both San Francisco as well as the East Bay), I cannot comment on the product itself, but I’m definitely looking forward to giving them a try.
Not far away, a new venture of a very different sort is getting underway tomorrow, Saturday, July 23. Whearley & Co., an independent “homewares” retailer, has leased the greatly rehabilitated Young’s Auto Parts space at 925 Main St., and will be opening their doors that day. Cliff Whearley, a local realtor who recently started his own firm, and his wife Natalie are behind this new venture, bringing their “over fifteen years of experience in real estate and a penchant for crafting exceptional experiences,” plus a collection of furniture and other items of home decor they’ve accumulated over a number of years, to this new Redwood City storefront.
Whearley & Co. plans to be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. They also have an online presence: their shop can be found at https://shop.whearleyandco.com. But do drop by their new storefront and say “hi” — Cliff and Natalie are delightful people, and having gotten a preview I can attest that their shop is an inviting and comfortable space that is well worth a visit.
Thanks to a couple of readers keeping me on my toes, this week I paid a visit to two project sites located in parts of Redwood City to which I don’t often get, thanks to their somewhat out-of-the-way (for me) locations. First up is the site of Redwood City’s former ice rink, Nazareth Ice Oasis, at 3150 Bay Road:
As you can see, all but the primary structural elements of the former ice rink are gone. The developer, who is transforming what you see above into life science lab space, is reusing those structural pieces and will be constructing the new building around them. The resulting 31,370-square-foot building will have an open floor plan featuring “flexible office layouts with large open laboratories filled with natural light,” and will have clear height open ceilings of 18 to 23 feet.
The building’s exterior, which you can see in the above rendering, will largely be made up of “dynamic view glass” that can automatically control the amount of sunlight (and to some extent, heat) it allows to pass through. As for the roof, that will sport 20,000 square feet of photovoltaic panels, helping to offset the building’s load on our power grid.
For more information on this new addition to Redwood City’s growing portfolio of life science lab and office spaces, check out the project’s website at https://www.3150bay.com.
The other site I had to be prodded to pay a visit to this week is located on E. Bayshore Road, a short distance south of Seaport Boulevard:
Sandwiched between Hayward Lumber and a Public Storage facility, the lot was recently torn up and apparently is in the process of being configured by Meta (parent company of Facebook) as a shuttle bus parking area and charging lot — which implies that they’ll soon be using some number of electric buses, presumably to shuttle their employees around. It may seem like a strange spot for Meta to have their bus parking area, but the main campus is actually quite close, and easily accessible via E. Bayshore Road (which, when you head south, becomes Haven Avenue, and then Bayfront Expressway, along which the Meta buildings are arrayed).
This week I also noted some activity along Hopkins Avenue, where the traffic calming project is finally getting underway. That particular project may be a bit more than just reconfiguring some curbs, building center islands, and repaving the street, if what I saw on the island at Hopkins Avenue and Alameda de las Pulgas is any indication:
Assuming that these concrete castings are for the Hopkins Avenue project (which seems an awfully safe bet), it appears that the contractor will be redoing some or all of the access points to the storm drains and/or sanitary sewer lines that run beneath the street while they’re at it.
As for the proposed project that the City Council will be presented with on Monday, that would be the Harbor View project. Harbor View, as you may know, would be located on Blomquist Street where the old Malibu entertainment complex was once located, and has been designed with three six- or seven-story office buildings totaling 765,000 square feet, a 35,000-square-foot “amenities building,” and parking for about 2,600 vehicles in a combination of a parking garage and surface parking. At their regular meeting on Monday, July 25 (which starts at 6 p.m.), among other things the council will hold a “study session” on the Harbor View project. Being a study session, the council will hear a description of the project and will hear from any members of the public who wish to comment on it. The individual council members will then discuss and provide their own comments on the project, but they will not make any decisions as to the project’s fate: those would come in an as yet to be determined future meeting.
One of the main community benefits that would accompany this project is 66 renovated and ready-for-occupancy apartments for extremely low income residents. Because these apartments would end up being owned and managed by St. Francis Center, that organization has already put out the call for people to advocate for project approval (which, again, is not something that will even be considered during Monday’s meeting) and to counter the city’s anti-growth faction. Not only will the Center’s advocates be rallying outside City Hall prior to the meeting, they will be attending the meeting and many will presumably be speaking during the allotted time. Since others not associated with St. Francis Center will likely also be speaking for or against the project during that portion of the meeting, I think it’s safe to say that Monday’s meeting will be a long one, with a large chunk of the meeting being taken up by public comment on the Harbor View project. Which is wonderful, I should note: this is how democracy works. But be prepared. I for one will be watching with interest on my computer, from the relative safety (COVID-wise) of my home.
Since I’m on the subject, if anyone reading this wants to tune in but has not ever done so before, head to the website for Redwood City Council meetings (https://www.redwoodcity.org/departments/city-clerk/city-council-meetings-agendas-and-minutes) and look for the “In Progress” link for the July 25 meeting under “Upcoming Events.” Depending upon how you receive television signals you may also be have the option of watching it on your TV: meetings are broadcast on Astound Broadband cable Channel 26, Comcast cable Channel 27, and AT&T U-verse Channel 99. Finally, you can always watch the meeting after the fact by clicking on the “Video” link to the right of the meeting date under “City Council Meetings.”
However you watch, I do recommend that you do so. I find these meetings interesting, and especially given our upcoming election at which we’ll be electing three new councilmembers, it behooves all of us to understand how our local government actually works. (Although District 4 councilmember Michael Smith recently announced that he’ll be resigning his seat almost immediately, in the middle of his term, someone will likely be appointed to fill that seat for the remainder of his term) Perhaps enough watching of City Council meetings will even encourage some new candidates to throw their hats into the ring…