REDWOOD CITY, Calif.— Kaiser Permanente was approved by the Redwood City Planning Commission to begin construction on a four-story medical office building within its downtown campus in February, following over a year of review.
Kaiser currently operates a hospital, four outpatient buildings and three administrative buildings at its 15-acre campus between Veterans Boulevard and Marshall Street, as well as Maple and Walnut streets. The four-story building will house 143 doctors’ offices and 116 exam rooms, merging a hospital and other medical buildings on the health care provider’s campus just southeast of the downtown, according to project plans and a staff report.
Kaiser plans to demolish its outpatient and administrative buildings there, allowing the consolidation of these offices to transform into a four-story, 197,800-square-foot medical office complex, including 454 parking spaces and 81 bicycle spaces in three underground levels, plus 85 surface parking spaces.
Once the new building at the corner of Maple and Marshall streets is complete, two existing office buildings on the campus will be demolished to make way for open space and its surface parking lot, according to a staff report.
The project will be split into two phases since city parking requirements will not be met until one of the existing buildings is razed.
Kaiser Permanente Office Enters First Phase
The first phase involves the construction of a complex that will absorb the operations in Kaiser’s Tower and Oak buildings along Veterans Boulevard. The Tower and Oak buildings will then be demolished to establish its surface parking lot and a centrally located, 1.15-acre open space area with wide walkways and ample seating areas. This open space will include a children’s playground and future farmers market– an idea which planning commissioner Giselle Marie Hale says will help keep children busy before surgeries when they cannot eat food, while also attracting community members.
The report also outlines required street improvements, calling for a wider sidewalk on Maple Street, which will include trees and bikes lanes, with the installment of two crosswalks and a flashing beacon.
One crosswalk will feature a median pedestrian haven island, and the patient drop off has also moved inside the campus, away from Maple Street traffic, according to the report. One of the crosswalks would include a pedestrian island, “a safe place if somebody crossing is a little slow and can’t make it before the light changes,” a Kaiser representative said in a statement.
Several modifications were made to the Maple Street facade to create better depth and dimension, including a metal canopy designed to create a continuous line of windows spanning the building’s corner entrance at the intersection of Maple and Marshall streets, according to the report.
The Kaiser Precise Plan, which was adopted in 2003, initially conceived The 1175 Marshall St. building as the latest addition to Kaiser’s downtown campus. The first phase of construction included the new hospital building located at the southeast corner of Walnut Street and Veterans Boulevard, which was completed in early 2015.
The 1175 Marshall St. building was subject to two different reviews by the city’s Architectural Advisory Committee in March and November of last year. The committee recommended approval of the project at the November review, with several modifications that have been included in the latest version of the plan.
“One of the biggest concerns is that Veterans Boulevard is a gateway to Redwood City and it was extremely important that a building that was going to be there reflected that,” Commissioner Ernie Schmidt said in a statement. “You accomplished that.”
Joel Butler, who owns several buildings near Kaiser, urged the city to approve the project during a February Planning Commission meeting so the healthcare provider won’t consider moving services outside the city.
“It’s nice to see how it has evolved into a better project,” chairwoman Nancy Radcliffe said prior to the commission’s unanimous approval. “We are ecstatic you are still in our community.”
The Kaiser building, once completed, is expected to provide specialty care clinics, conference rooms, a gift shop, a cafe, and health education and support services on the first floor; outpatient surgery and offices on the second floor; as well as more specialty care clinics and offices on the fourth floor.