New Veterans Memorial Senior Center And YMCA Center Project Update

Next Steps Include June 27 City Council Meeting To Consider Approval Of An Exclusive Negotiating Agreement

Conceptual Sketch of the new Veterans Memorial Senior Center and YMCA Center

An important upcoming project to help enhance the community’s fitness, wellness and recreation resources is the proposed construction of a new Veterans Memorial Senior Center in conjunction with a new YMCA center. Redwood City has partnered with the YMCA of Silicon Valley to consider development of a shared inter-generational community center to serve current and future residents, ensuring the vitality and livability of our city as we continue to grow.

The anticipated project includes a campus of buildings and spaces including Veterans Memorial Senior Center Building, Herkner Pool, Wellness Center (Old 49er Building), Resource Building (City Administration and Senior Center Gift Shop), and the NFL Alumni Building.


On December 14, 2011, PRCS staff and YMCA staff presented to the City Council the idea of entering into a partnership agreement to consider building a joint-use inter-generational health, wellness, and recreational facility. Council authorized moving forward with the exploration of this concept and appointed three Council Members to the “City-Y Partnership Task Force” to provide input and feedback to regarding process, analysis, communication points, best practices, the development of a Letter of Intent (LOI) and any future agreements.

After numerous Partnership Task Force meetings, stakeholder engagement meetings, staff retreats, and community and members surveys, the City Council approved the LOI with the YMCA of Silicon Valley on December 8, 2014.

In the first half of 2015, the City and the YMCA worked together to developing a Request for Qualifications/Proposal for Phase I of architectural services which included a full site analysis, building massing, constraints analysis, and the development of a Project Description. The City and the YMCA collectively selected ELS Architecture to perform this work along with conducting the first community meeting for input about the project and specifically if there was community interest in preserving the Veterans Memorial Senior Center (VMSC) or rebuilding the VMSC as part of the overall project.

On October 5, 2015, the Community Workshop allowed Staff to understand any concerns about the project along with the reflections of the VMSC specifically. Over 150 community members attended and the vast majority indicated support for construction of a brand new facility.


At the June 27th City Council meeting, the Council will consider directing the City Manager to execute an exclusive negotiating agreement to solidify the City/YMCA partnership.

The purpose of the Exclusive Negotiating Agreement (ENA) sets forth the procedures and standards for the negotiation of a prospective YMCA of Silicon Valley and City partnership that would establish the following:

1. Development of the Project as it moves through the predevelopment, entitlement, design, and construction processes.

2. Sharing of Project costs/expenses (or be reimbursed, as the case may be).

3. Parameters by which future legal arrangements could be structured for the mutual benefit of the Parties.

The ENA allows the City and YMCA of Silicon Valley to exclusively negotiate the details of the Project but does not obligate the City to approve any Project. If the ENA is approved by City Council, then a CEQA review will be necessary to study the “Preferred Project”, which is to build all new facilities on the Project Site as shown in “Exhibit A” of the ENA. Further, CEQA will provide meaningful alternatives to the Project, including the option of “not to proceed” with the Project.

The ENA also defines the terms; identifies Project teams; clarifies that the CEQA consultant will be selected solely by the City but that the YMCA-SV will provide fifty percent reimbursement of the costs to the City if the Project proceeds; provides for design and construction processes; and makes funding commitments.

Future agreements would need to be negotiated and approved, if there is a Project, and would include a Ground Lease; Development Agreement; Rights of Access Agreement; and Operating Agreement.

In addition, there is $5M set aside in the recommended FY 2016–2017 CIP to begin a number of project milestones including launching the CEQA process, which will include community workshops , design charrettes, traffic and noise studies, parking analysis, and other studies that might be needed.

Through the future California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) process, there will be further study on a number of areas including traffic, parking, and the historical assessment of the VMSC.


Join the conversation and stay informed on the proposed City/YMCA project and other topics through a variety of ways. The City of Redwood City sends weekly and monthly email newsletters on a variety of topics to keep the community up-to-date on the latest news and upcoming events! Sign up here to receive updates.

You can also sign up to receive email updates about the City/YMCA project by emailing The City/YMCA project webpage can be found here.

Just a reminder that if you can’t get to City Council meetings in person, you can live-stream them from the City of Redwood City’s website. The website also features City Council meeting agendas and staff reports that you can read in advance of the meetings.

You can also follow us on Twitter for live tweets from every Council meeting.