Hotel Planned for Downtown Redwood City Heads to Environmental Review
By Meghan Hall
Redwood City’s 17-room Garden Motel, located at 1690 Broadway near Peninsula city’s downtown core is slated to be replaced by a new, 112-key Holiday Inn Express & Suites. After owning the property for nearly forty years, the Patel Family has decided to redevelop the site to better accommodate guests and bring their business into the modern era.
“The intention was always there since day one, but the stars aligned,” explained Viren Patel, the project applicant and contact for his family’s business, San Mateo, Calif.-based RWC Hospitality, LP. “The economy for hotels is at its highest, and the land value has skyrocketed.”
California — and the San Francisco Bay Area — hotel market has been heating up in recent years. 2017 saw a record-high number of deliveries and openings, with 66 hotels opening throughout the state in 2017, and another 52 in 2018, according to Atlas Hospitality Group’s California Hotel Development 2018 Year-End Survey. Across San Mateo County, 28 hotels and 3,540 rooms were in planning at the end of the year, an 11 percent increase over the year before. Four hotels, totaling 718 rooms, were under construction.
Patel said that his hotel will aim to service those in the tech and medical industries visiting the area’s major employers such as Stanford — which is expanding across the street — Kaiser, Google and Facebook.
The Patel family began the formal application process several years ago, when they submitted plans to build a four-story, 90-key hotel. The original plans were approved by the City in 2017, but the Patels re-submitted an application for a revised project in April 2018. The new 77,057 square foot hotel includes an increase in rooms, and 94 on-site vehicle and 12 bicycle parking spaces. The expansion would make the hotel the third largest in Redwood City, behind Pullman San Francisco, which has 421 rooms, and Marriott Redwood City, which has 177 rooms.
According to Patel, the change in plans was in large part due to the fact that excavating for a subterranean garage proved to be costly and difficult due to the site’s location in a flood zone. The original plans would have added six months to construction and cost millions of dollars, so the Patels changed the plans at the recommendation of their general contractor.
The lack of a subterranean garage means that parking will now be on the first floor of the new hotel, and that a 24-hour valet would be added in order to mitigate parking concerns. Adding a fifth floor to the hotel would generate the revenue needed to pay the operational costs for running the valet, Patel said.
The new hotel will be a Holiday Inn Express & Suites, a decision that the Patels made because their partnership with Holiday inn would allow them to manage the hotel.
“Compared to other brands, where they demand the use of a management company, Holiday Inn Express allows the ownership to run their own hotel,” he said. Whether or not the Patels will continue to manage the hotel after its completion will be based on financing.
“We haven’t gotten our financing yet, and that will dictate the arrangement of who runs it,” said Patel. “We’re second generation hoteliers, and so we want to expand and produce a better product.”
The new building will be designed by Walnut Creek, Calif.-based SKLA Associates, Inc. Patel said the project is expected to cost between $15 and $17 million, and that construction will take approximately 15 months. The development team plans to begin demolition and site remediation as the approvals process wraps up. For Patel, the project will continue to build upon the legacy his parents started when they bought the property decades ago.
“This was my parents’ first income-producing property after moving from India in the 1970s,” said Patel. “It helped us invest in growing a portfolio of real estate in the Bay Area over the last forty years.”