Making Way for the New
When San Mateo County wanted to construct a new County Government Center campus and parking structure in downtown Redwood City, the EIR needed to address two controversial issues in addition to standard concerns: relocating a historic building and traffic impacts from 400 County employees being relocated to the new administrative buildings.
The new campus includes nine buildings and an existing parking structure on eight city blocks, consolidating dispersed, related department functions that had been located in aged and leased spaces throughout San Mateo County. Key components are a new office building (5- to 7-story, 156,000 SF), a parking structure (5-level, 420,000 SF, 850-1200 parking stalls), and a public plaza. The project involved demolishing two existing buildings, temporarily relocating juror parking, and permanently closing two street segments adjacent to the County buildings.
The historic building, Lathrop House, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the California Register of Historical Resources. But it had to be relocated to the rear of the County History Museum (the historic County Courthouse) before construction could begin on the new buildings. We worked with the County’s architectural historian to obtain project support from the Office of Historic Preservation, evaluating three potential impacts: 1) the effect on the San Mateo County Courthouse from receiving Lathrop House on its site; 2) effects on Lathrop House from moving it to the receiver site; and 3) the impacts on surrounding historic resources from project development.
To address the traffic issue, we worked with the County’s traffic consultant to identify the commute paths of its relocated employees, accurately identify affected intersections and create vehicle trip reduction measures to reduce traffic impacts.