By Evan Lipa, Juan Lona and Michael Wynne
Summit Prep junior Robert Lopez is one of Redwood City’s weekly shoppers at Safeway located in the south center of Sequoia Station, routinely shopping there for food and resources needed to support his family. Sequoia Station is a shopping center in downtown Redwood City, frequently used by people throughout the city since 1992, with connecting transit routes such as Caltrain and SamTrans together making it a reliable station to commute to. Some residents consider the station outdated and highly car-centric, but others approve of how it is currently in light of the fact that they have been shopping at Sequoia Station their whole lives.
As for the view on how the station is outdated, the town center has agreed to have the station go through a future redevelopment starting off with Caltrain expanding their tracks from two to four tracks. This poses a significant possibility for the removal of CVS and Safeway altogether, raising concerns with citizens who frequent the two stores.
However, this simultaneously appeals to those who desire retail because this ultimate remodel will replace these stores with retail shops, reinventing the retail atmosphere of the area.
The changes proposed are especially important to locals who shop at Sequoia Station on a regular basis. Summit Prep history teacher Chris Kelly is a frequent shopper in the Sequoia Station area, Mr. Kelly gave his stance on the remodeling.
“It would definitely affect shopping patterns. You know you think about Safeway, it’s fresh fruit, it’s fresh food.” Mr. Kelly said, “CVS is fresh food and other stuff, so something to really think about would be where their Plan B’s are, for those who shop there on a regular basis.”
There are shops nearby Safeway, including Whole Foods and Target that can be possible Plan B’s for regular Safeway shoppers if the store were to be removed. Both stores each have similar have products and similar jobs, but because of the huge change in routines and the possibility that the jobs of employees at Sequoia Station are not guaranteed is a big issue for locals who love shopping or working at the station.
Summit Prep junior Robert Lopez argued that the proposal isn’t all bad. Lopez explained that the redevelopment plans could establish new assets and create new opportunities in the area.
“Even though they’re taking away the current jobs there at the station, they’re simultaneously adding office spaces and replacing it with other jobs,” Lopez said
On top of that, those who frequently shop there and like working at Safeway or CVS can seek similar jobs at the proposed retail stores.
Nonetheless, this still doesn’t appeal to those who favor how the station looks currently and to other businesses in the area as it may cause a huge change to consumer and inflation rates in the future, affecting normal shopping patterns. It also doesn’t change the fact that many of the shops around the area are going to shut down or perhaps get demolished for good.
Dean of Expeditions at Summit Public Schools, Angel Barragan gave his thoughts on the issue as a fifteen-year Redwood City resident.
“One of the things that worries me is, what’s going to happen to the people that are imploding in those different companies?” Mr. Barragan went on to say, “You know for companies like Safeway or Starbucks, considering they’re going to cut down seven different shops including the Supercuts and whatnot.”
Mr. Barragan continued raising concerns for the employees who “make a living” working at Sequoia Station stores, wondering what we can do for those people if the plans were approved.
It is quite evident that a future remodeling for Sequoia Station would drastically change today’s environment around the station, so addressing all the effects that this potential redevelopment may have on the surrounding community is the most important opinion to consider.
Featured Image at the top of the post:
Sequoia Station in Redwood City, CA PHOTO CREDIT: Juan Lona