Anton Development Project Promises Affordability Relief for Downtown Redwood City

screen-shot-2016-09-22-at-10-43-59-amBy Jacob Bourne

A residential project is underway in the planning process to add 250 units of housing at 801 Brewster Avenue in Redwood City. Foster City-based Anton Development Co. has submitted a formal application and is working with Architecture Design Collaborative, civil engineer Kier & Wright, and MJS Landscape Architecture to provide an amenity-filled housing complex that also features 50 units of very affordable rental homes. The project, named Anton Redwood, is situated within walking distance of the Redwood City Caltrain Station, retail, services and parks, and falls within the Downtown Precise Plan. The project’s 200 market-rate units are the last units allocated by the Downtown Precise Plan for the plan area.

“The notable thing about this project is the affordability,” said Seth Adams, associate planner, Redwood City. “The developer is proposing twice what the City would require. Our affordable housing requirement is 10-percent of the units if they are reserved for the very low income level. The 801 Brewster proposal [will provide] 20 percent of the units at that level. They are developing a significant number of affordable units, which is purely voluntary.”

If the project is approved by the Planning Commission, an existing two-story office building would be demolished to make way for the new development. According to Adams, as the site is adjacent to a registered historic property, public hearings with the Architectural Advisory Committee and Historic Resources Advisory Committee are required prior to the Planning Commission hearing.

Current plan iterations call for an up to six-story building totaling 379,502 square feet on a 1.64-acre lot. At and below-grade parking will offer 320 spaces; well above City requirements. The studio, one and two-bedroom rental units will be complemented by 9,000 square feet of amenity spaces. All residents will have access to parking and featured amenities such as a leasing office, residential lobbies, clubroom, fitness center, two rooftop decks, pool with spa, outdoor terrace, and a zen garden.

“In Redwood City there are job openings for all service positions in the Downtown area,” commented Andrew Baker, senior vice president, development and acquisitions, Anton Development. “It’s a problem because people can’t afford to live near these jobs. So people who make below the average median income of $50,000 or less will be able to afford these units. In Redwood City the average median income is $100,000 or more.”

Anton Redwood will have a traditional craftsman design to blend with the surrounding area including historic buildings. Each residential unit will be marked by an open floor plan, high-end finishes and gas stoves. The mixed-income community, including the 50 low income residences, will be fully integrated into all aspects of the development.

“The allocation of the 200 market-rate units within the Downtown Precise Plan creates economics that allow Anton to provide 50 affordable units with no City subsidy,” explained Baker. “City staff and leadership are streamlining our entitlement process in order to deliver these desperately needed affordable housing units as quickly as possible.”

Baker anticipates the project to go before the Planning Commission later this year for approval and that construction will begin during the summer of 2017. The first units could be available as early as winter 2019.

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