Another problem is that many larger tenants already have stores in Palo Alto, Burlingame, and a few malls in San Mateo and Foster City. They really don't have the need to put more stores on the peninsula...especially since most of these locations are right on the caltrain route and are a 10-15 minute train ride away.
Any increase in shopping in RWC and San Mateo will most likely be of the boutique variety...small individual or family owned retail shops. These types of shops bring a lot of character to these areas but lack a specific use.
I did hear that downtown San Carlos is about to get a Peet's Coffee, Jamba Juice and Cold Stone...not really anchor stores that you are talking about. However these types of places help create a sense of community. They provide a destination for city residents to mingle and meet each other and create a closeness in a community that does not exist without places like this. I know I can walk along Laurel Street in San Carlos at almost any time and run into people I know and meet new people. It really does make a big difference in providing the small town feel in the middle of our metropolitan bay area.
If I hear of anything, I will be happy to pass it along. My wife works in downtown RWC so she hears things from time time.
If you are planning to move somewhere on the peninsula, it would be worth your while to talk to someone you know...or me :-)...about the lifestyles each city provides...and the lifestyle you are looking for. This will save you a lot of time in the long run and allow you to identify and focus your time and energy on the specific areas that truly meet your needs.
Let me know if I can be of any further assistance.
I recently moved to Redwood City, and bought a house in the Mt Carmel area. Our daughter goes to John Gill Elementary (K) and we are very happy living here. We chose RWC becuase:
- downtown is undergoing re-development (and we believe in the growth potential - based on what's happened in past few years and what's planned - see the city's website)
- good schools (in our neighborhood)
- proximity to downtown and mass transit (caltrain)
- best prices on south peninsula for all the above
We're very happy here! Hope this helps!
San Carlos is probably a more lively place to go during the day if you are looking for downtown weekend shopping. It has been rated by a couple newspapers of having the best antique shops in the bay area. San Carlos also has a summer concert series in Burton Park, and a Farmers Market on downtown Laurel street on Thursday evenings in the summer.
Burlingame and Palo Alto have very nice downtown shopping areas, but are much more expensive places to live. Both are an easy train ride from RWC.
However it is still a bit early in the spring to get a lot of people outside doing things. The best weather on the peninsula is July through October. That is when you will see the most activity in the downtown areas.
To the south of Redwood City are the towns of Menlo Park and the Palo Alto. The average prices for 3/2's in those cities are approximately $1.5--$1.6M. Each has excellent school systems and are considered upscale communities.
To the immediate north of Redwood City are the towns of San Carlos and Belmont. Both are smaller towns of about 28K residents that have highly rated schools. Both are very popular for families with children. Because of this, you will get an average price of a 3/2 of about $1.1M...a little less in Belmont mostly because it does not have a local downtown area.
I would recommend that you seek the advice of a local agent that can help you become familiar with these areas so you can make an informed purchase. If you would like some on-line resources, drop me an e-mail and I will forward you some more information.
Those are good observations. If you have any other information or links to what is supposed to pop up at Redwood City downtown, please pass them along. It is funny: San Mateo downtown has lots of restaurants and (bad) bars.. but very little shopping as well. It seems that it is hard to bring in the anchors to these spots.
Redwood City is a great city with some of the best weather anywhere. They have revitalized their whole downtown and now it is quite a happening place to be with great restaurants, movie theatre, shops, etc. I have a listing right near the one you are looking at 1099 Haven in RWC and it is a nice neighborhood, quiet and quaint. It is close to 101 and shops and very centrally located. I hope this helps.