Developers in Redwood City hope to build the largest sports complex between San Francisco and San Jose, and say they could break ground this fall if all goes well.
The proposed 75,000 square-foot complex in North Fair Oak would include a sports bar, café and upscale arcade in addition to the multiple indoor playing fields available to the community, said managing partner Joe Fernando.
Maita Beer Distributors and Fernando, the former owner of billiards and volleyball club The Players in Belmont, teamed up in September to build the complex in the recently emptied former Maita Beer Distribution Plant at 3151 Edison Way.
“We want to build something that will make the community say, ‘wow!’” Fernando said.
But before the Board of Supervisors approves the sports complex, the developers must re-submit an application with a traffic report and more detailed floor-space plan of the building, according to the county’s project administrator Summer Burleson. The current zoning on Edison Way does not allow for sports and recreation facilities, so the county must amend the text before the developers can move forward with the project, she said.
Burleson said the project could be approved this fall if the process goes smoothly. Developers said construction would take another two to three months.
The developers met with the county planning commission in February and neighbors in the North Fair Oaks community, and will host another meeting with the North Fair Oaks council on Thursday, May 19 at 7 p.m. in the North Fair Oaks Community Center.
Once the developer re-submits the application, the county must prepare an environmental impact report to analyze potential effects of the development, required by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA.) The public will have 20 days to comment on the project, input that the county staff will integrate into a report to present to the county planning commission. The planning commission will make a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors, which has the ultimate stamp of approval.
Before this approval, the developers will have to consider community concerns like sufficient parking space and increases in traffic and noise, Fernando said. The current proposal plans for a 150-space parking lot on site.
Fernando also added that the addition of this type of sports complex could increase property value.
Some other residents also had concerns about security issues after 10 p.m.
Fernando said a potential solution to the security issue would be collaboration with the Sheriff’s department. They would also be able to bring many of their community programs like the Sheriff’s Activities League (SAL) and the CARON program (Community Alliance to Revitalize Our Neighborhoods) to the building as well, according to county Community Service Director Barbara Bonilla.
“This would be a huge asset to the kids in our program,” Bonilla said. “But until we really sit down at the table, we don’t know anything for certain. However, they’re very open to us using the facilities.”
Bonilla spouted off several programs like the D.A.R.E. and G.R.E.A.T. drug resistance education programs that could find more permanent homes in the building as well.
“This space is perfect for those who can’t afford to play in private recreation facilities,” Fernando said.
He said these additional indoor playing fields would provide year-round space for adult sports leagues, the Lil’ Kickers soccer program, flag football teams, lacrosse leagues and a slew of other interested teams. The facility could also hold birthday parties and corporate events.
“Marcus Maita, the owner of the building, said no expense will be spared,” Fernando said. “This is an incredible opportunity.”