Construction charges through Redwood City

Unless you work at Peet’s Coffee, you might be excited to hear a new Starbucks is planned for downtown Redwood City.

Of the 36 planned projects, half are residential, while 14 are commercial. The old Century 12 Theatre across from 101 may be replaced by Villa Sport, an athletic club, and a residential complex.

Two new schools are also in the works: an elementary school called Rocketship Charter and a permanent location for Oracle Design Tech High School.

“The [building projects] range from from residential apartment or condominiums to commercial office spaces and retail, within downtown,” Senior Civil Engineer Kevin Fehr said.

Two projects have been completed. Eight are under construction. By the end of the year, four will be completed, and two new ones will begin, according to Redwood City Principal Planner Karen Vaughn.

Some construction causes obstruction for students.

“When [my friend] drives to school, she has to go other ways because traffic builds up since some of the roads are shut down for a couple of days,” freshman Landon Pierce said.

There have also been nine infrastructure projects, including one sewer project, two pavement, and two water projects and four projects fixing transportation.

“Most of the time the [builders] don’t close off the road, they’ll just tear it up when nobody’s using it, and then when people need it they pave over it,” sophomore Ben Kazemi said.

According to Vaughn, the amount of construction has increased in the past five-ten years.

“There’s a significant increase [in building in the area.] That started back before Theater Way existed. Those kicked off the redevelopment of downtown,” Vaughn said. “[This all] corresponding at the same time as when the market and economy is doing better, is why people are developing again.”

Students have been affected by the constant construction, and had to change their daily routines to adapt to the new projects.

“At first when they were [doing construction], it was kind of annoying because your parents would [have to] pick you up in a [different] location,” Pierce said.

Even before school, construction can get in the way of students coming to Sequoia.

“It’s just because big trucks have to move dirt and stuff, remodeling roads. They’ve closed off roads [so] I’ve had to go around them,” Kazemi said.

Whatever students’ opinions on the construction are, the city department believes the result will lift negative opinions.

“The buildings in downtown will be the most interesting to students because it’s really in a transformational period right now,” Fehr said. “We [currently] have a traditional downtown core; a lot of historic resources [like] the Courthouse square, where we do a lot of events.”

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