Redwood City campus remains undeveloped

July 29, 2010, 12:39 a.m.

In September 2005, Stanford purchased a 35-acre portion of land at MidPoint Technology Park in Redwood City, intending to use the MidPoint facilities for administrative offices that did not need to be housed on the Palo Alto campus.

But five years later, the Redwood City campus remains undeveloped.

(JOSHUA FALK/The Stanford Daily)

Since the Stanford University General Use Permit limits building and development on the main University campus, the Redwood City campus was intended to provide the University with additional space, “thus reserving core campus space for Stanford’s highest academic priorities and objectives,” read the Stanford University 2007-08 budget.

Phase 1 of the proposed development was also included in the 2008-09 Capital Plan, with a projected cost of $379 million, according to Randy Livingston, vice president for business affairs and CFO.

“However, as the financial crisis unfolded during that year, this was one of the projects that was suspended,” wrote Livingston in an e-mail to The Daily. “This project remains on the suspended list today.”

No groundbreaking date is set, but the University has submitted an application to the city of Redwood City requesting approval to redevelop the property, said Lucy Wicks, assistant director of community relations.

“We’re in the process now of putting together a proposal into the city,” Wicks said. “We’re looking to draft environmental impact reports that will come out later this fall.”

However, the economic crisis has left the University with decreased demand for administrative office space, according to Livingston.

“While we hope to build out the campus at some point after the entitlements are completed, the University faces less pressure to do so than was the case a few years ago,” Livingston said. “In the aftermath of the financial downturn, many administrative positions were eliminated, and future staff growth is anticipated to be slower than in the years leading to the downturn.”

The 48-acre MidPoint park, formerly an Ampex research and manufacturing site, also houses the eight-acre Stanford Medicine Outpatient Center, part of Stanford Hospital & Clinics.

The Outpatient Center hosts all outpatient services for orthopaedic surgery and sports medicine, dermatology, sleep medicine and pain management.

65 percent of the property purchased by the University in September 2005 is currently being leased. Tenants include the social network services company RockYou, energy efficiency firm Silverspring Networks, Big Band Networks, a multinational digital video and data processing platforms and services provider, and MokaFive, a software firm founded by Stanford computer science Professor Monica Lam and several of her Ph.D. students.

Some buildings are vacant, while others are being used by the University for storage, according to Wicks and Steven Elliott, managing director of real estate development.

Stanford’s cash flow from the properties is positive and operation costs are paid by the tenants, they added.

The University purchased its 35-acre portion of MidPoint Technology Park for $78.5 million in September 2005.

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