Coffee (and other scents) in the air
Based on the construction and openings going on, I suspect Redwood City must have crossed some critical threshold in terms of average income or population. We’ve gone from one Starbucks and one Starbucks counter (at Safeway) to three standalone stores and two counters (one in Target). (I suspect that there’s a law of Starbucks to be formulated here.) Whole Foods has started renovating the former Albertson’s at El Camino Real and Jefferson Avenue, while Trader Joe’s is building a new store just north of the Redwood City–San Carlos border. Pasta Pomodoro and T-Mobile have opened new sites as well.
It looks like everything should be ready by mid-fall. A year past that, the downtown cinemas should open (which will be one of the few Peninsula theatre complexes within easy walking distance of the San Francisco–San Jose Caltrain line). If there is restaurant development to match, Redwood City could be a very interesting small downtown in two years. But right now it’s changing enough that I’ll be driving to Menlo Park a lot less often.