Cool New Attractions on the Horizon for Redwood City Harbor

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Big changes appear to be on the horizon for the Port of Redwood City as the push for waterfront development kicks into high gear. A new project might include a cool new museum or aquarium that rivals the Monterey Bay Aquarium or the San Francisco Exploratorium. For the past three decades, the port has focused on its day-to-day activities of loading and unloading cargo. But over the past two years, subtle changes like the addition of the popular Pioneer Seafoods fishing boat which sells fresh fish to the public, or drive-in movies at the port, have made it a destination for people who want be immersed in the maritime atmosphere.

Now officials at the port of Redwood City seem poised to ride the wave, pushing for even additions that would make it a more consumer-friendly destination. The Mercury News reports that over the next few months, the port will “seek proposals from developers for a new restaurant and community center to complement the port-based Institute of Marine Science.” The institute has been a staple of the port, teaching local students about local wildlife and taking them on excursions around the bay since 1978.

The Marine Science Institute told Mercury News it has hired San Francisco architecture firm EHDD, which designed the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Exploratorium, to “propose concepts for a new museum that blends exterior and interior and would include space for exhibitions”. , an aquarium, docks and a park for visitors. “We’re really trying to attract new people and new uses,” Port of Redwood City executive director Kristine Zortman told the Daily Journal.

Photo credit: EHDD Architecture

All of these ideas are at this stage, but officials seem confident they will have a solid plan to present to city council in the coming months. “We are throwing general ideas at the moment. We researched how we can offer other types of uses here at the port that really bring our community here and provide unique benefits,” Zortman told Mercury News.


Photo credit: EHDD Architecture

However, one piece of the puzzle might be a challenge to figure out. The land the institute wants to use for the museum-like facility belongs to healthcare giant Abbott Labs, which has apparently been tight-lipped about its future intentions with the land. “The bottom line for Abbott is that they don’t want to clutter up the property by giving away part of it until they decide what they want to do. But we hope the community can step in,” said Marilou Seiff, executive director of the Marine Science Institute.

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