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."