City of Redwood City
August 2014
Issue No. 1
In This Issue

Downtown Events
Now through August 29th

Sequoia High School
8/16, 8/17, 8/23, 8/24

Now through September 25th

August 22nd

September 14th

September 27th

October 11th

New Businesses
2480 Middlefield Road 
Brick Monkey Squared
816 Middlefield Road
Pomegranate Seeds
2301 Broadway Street
Sakura Teppanyaki 2
373 Main Street 

University Art
2550 El Camino Real

Coming This Fall
Howie's Artisan Pizza
837 Jefferson Avenue
(formerly Tarboosh)
Philz Coffee
2114 Broadway
(across from Cinemark
Top 25 Sales Tax Generators

(In alphabetical order)


Airport Home Appliance*

Boardwalk Auto Center

Boardwalk Chevrolet

Carlsen Porsche

Carlsen Subaru

Central Concrete Supply*

Chevron Service Stations

Costco Wholesale

Enterprise Car Sales

Ferrari Silicon Valley

Granite Rock Company

Honda Redwood City

Hopkins Acura

Land Rover

Lyngso Garden Materials

Oracle Corp.

Peninsula Infiniti

Putnam Lexus

Roberts & Brune Company

Safeway Stores

Target Stores

Thompson Toyota

Towne Ford Sales

Towne Mazda*


*New to Top 25

University Art Moves to Redwood City
In the midst of all the construction in Redwood City, residents will be able to find a new art store located just south of Downtown, at 2550 El Camino Real, across the street from Target.

University Art is a family-owned business managed by Cornelia Pendleton, Charlie Affrunti, and Todd Ayers, and has been operating for 66 years in the greater Bay Area. This art store has recently moved its headquarters to Redwood City from Palo Alto. Patrons accustomed to the previous location will only need to travel 4 miles north to visit the new store. With a new building that houses 11,000 square feet of space, University Art in Redwood City is the peninsula source for a wide array of art products and services.

Upon entry to the store, visitors will pass by the gift shop commonly known as The Annex. As a beloved aspect of the store, new customers will be delighted to discover this unique and tasteful blend of handmade goods, fine jewelry, and fun gifts for family, friends, and co-workers.

If this "go-to" gift store wasn't reason enough to warrant a visit, readers should note that University Art is known for its custom framing, professional art products, and excellent customer service. Management has remained consistent throughout this transition and Pendleton says that new customers will notice the University Art difference: attentive, knowledgeable, and friendly staff, and only the best products and services. University Art's personal touch creates a warm and inviting shopping experience.

You don't need to be an artist to visit University Art! Customers can sign up for interactive classes, workshops, and free demos located at the Learning Center inside the store. Information for these services is available on their website, where you can also sign up for their online mailing list.

Redwood City is very excited to welcome University Art. Residents can expect to see this store involved in the community and a formal grand opening soon.
Current City Projects

Redwood City is experiencing a remarkable surge in construction Downtown, with over ten major projects under development this year alone. The new construction will bring eight new multi-family housing complexes that will add 1,700 residential units. The Crossing 900 project located near the Redwood City Caltrain Station will encompass over 300,000 square feet of office space, 5,000 square feet of retail/restaurant space, and over 900 covered parking spaces. Details here.

Click here or on the image to view a larger graphic showing many of the City's ongoing projects.
Redwood City Entrepreneurship 
Boot Camp
The City of Redwood City is partnering with the Stanford Graduate School of Business to present an Entrepreneurship Boot Camp for Redwood City entrepreneurs. The program is taught by world-renowned faculty from Stanford and will be delivered over three two-day modules. Participants in this program will gain skills to bring innovative leadership to their organizations while advancing their personal and professional growth. Thirty-three applicants were chosen to participate in this program, which will commence in late August 2014.

Market Updates
The Peninsula remains a bright spot in the overall Bay Area economy largely attributable to growth in technology, biotech, and auto sales. Locally, Redwood City (and its Redwood Shores area) is at the nexus of these industries, and its economy continues to move in an upward trajectory.

According to Cassidy Turley's Second Quarter 2014 Market Report, overall industrial vacancies within San Mateo County fell from 6.4% in Q2 '13 to 5.8% in Q2 '14 while average asking rents rose from $0.71 psf to $0.78 for the same period. In comparison, Redwood City, which has an industrial base of approximately 3.5 million square feet, has an industrial vacancy rate of 5.0% and an average asking rent rate of $0.90. These numbers are encouraging but the real challenge moving forward will be the lack of available quality space. The majority of product that is still available is dated and in some cases considered functionally obsolescent. However, the City's industrial market appears to be performing quite well.

R & D
Overall R&D vacancies within the County decreased from 12.9% in Q2 '13 to 9.7% in Q2 '14 while average asking rents increased from $2.24 to $2.28 during the same period. Redwood City, which has an R&D base of approximately 2.75 million square feet, has a vacancy rate of 9.58% and an average asking rent rate of $2.29. One of the key lease transactions in Q2 was a 24,448 sf lease renewal for Calibra Medical at 200 Saginaw Drive. The City is excited to have this medical device company here!

Boasting a vacancy rate of 2.9%, the San Mateo County retail market is one of the tightest in the Bay Area. Terranomics Retail Services summed up this point in their Second Quarter 2014 Retail Market Summary with the subheading "Nowhere to Grow." There were a few recent transactions in Redwood City that indicate how well the retail sector is performing. On the lease side, American Tire Company renewed their lease at 1610 Broadway for their 6,817sf space. On the investment front, Sakura Restaurant recently purchased the 4,555sf building at 373 Main Street for $2.5 million, where they have opened their second restaurant in Redwood City. Downtown Redwood City is also reaching new heights in occupancy levels as the market continues at its rapid growth rate.

The overall vacancy rate for the San Mateo County Office Market decreased from 14.9% in Q2 '13 to 13.8% in Q2 '14. The following table illustrates the Redwood City office market as it is divided between Redwood Shores and greater Redwood City (i.e. anything outside of Redwood Shores):

Building Base
Vacancy Rate
Avg. Asking Rent
Redwood Shores
Redwood City

This is truly a bifurcated market as office inventory that is part of a central business district, close to a downtown, and/or nearby transit typically performs better. For instance, the vacancy rate for office in DT RWC is currently 5.24% thus indicating that people want to work in environments that are vibrant and accessible by public transportation. The future for more offices in Downtown Redwood City appears even more promising with Crossing 900 scheduled to deliver next summer.

(click for larger image of graph)

Revenue Row
Property Tax
Property Tax comprises nearly 40% of the City's FY 2013-14 budgeted general fund revenues. By far the largest single source of property taxes is the "secured" property taxes at $25.2 million or 72% of the total property taxes of $35.1 million. This represents a 3.8% increase from FY 2012-13 secured property taxes which were $24.3 million. Property tax is a vital part of the City budget, but you may be surprised that of the 1 percent property tax bill that property owners receive each year, Redwood City receives only approximately 18% of that small percentage. The other portion of your property taxes goes to the County, local schools, and other taxing agencies. Real estate activity has been strong, thus property tax revenue is on the increase.

Sales Tax
The most recent quarter for which sales tax receipts and information is available is the fourth calendar quarter of 2013 (October - December). During Q4 '13, the City received approximately $5.987 million in cash receipts from sales tax, (17.3% more than Q4 '12, which was $5.103 million). Sales tax is the second largest source of general fund revenue right behind property tax. Five of the six economic categories (general retail, food products, transportation, construction, business-to-business, and miscellaneous) registered increases in locally generated sales tax from the previous year, with the construction category posting the largest increase at 17.0% due to increases in building material sales. All those cranes popping up Downtown are a clear indicator!

Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT)
For FY 2013-14, TOT (at 12% of a hotel's room rate) represents about 5.5% of the budgeted general fund revenue. TOT in the first quarter of 2014 was $1.293 million compared to the first quarter of 2013 of $1.014 million, which represented a 22% increase over the same period in the prior year. TOT is a key ingredient of the City's overall fiscal mix and we look forward to welcoming more hospitality usages such as the One Marina Hotel that is currently in the development phase.

One Marina Hotel
Downtown Redwood City may be experiencing a construction boom, but that's not the only part of town where residents will be seeing new buildings. Along Highway 101, adjacent to East Bayshore Road and Bair Island Road, lies the future site of One Marina Hotel. This 5-story, 177-room hotel will include typical hotel amenities including a café, pool, and fitness center. The hotel will be operated by Marriott Courtyard and has been designed by Architectural Dimensions. Design plans for this hotel are in the final phases and construction is expected to begin fall, 2014.

Chef's Corner
Owning a restaurant in the Bay Area is no easy feat, especially where residents have high expectations regarding food. However, Chef Manuel Martinez owns not just one, but two restaurants in Redwood City: 
Both of his restaurants specialize in serving Latin American dishes with seafood ingredients. Chef Manuel's artistic skills combined with his passion for creating dishes from scratch led him to pursue a career in gastronomy.
With over fifteen years of experience working in restaurants, Chef Manuel's vision is to create a place where visitors will not only have a satisfying meal but will enjoy the ambiance of his restaurant. As a business owner, he says that he has a responsibility to keep his business sustainable in terms of the environment. At LV Mar and La Viga, Chef Manuel carefully selects local and sustainable ingredients for his guests. If you are planning on dining at LV Mar, Chef Manuel recommends his specialty, the Ceviche Mixto