Gold shovels in hand, officials broke ground last week on what they called a modernized, state-of-the-art headquarters for the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office.
Occupying the old site of the Maguire Correctional Facility at 330 Bradford St. in downtown Redwood City, the project is a major upgrade for the sheriff’s office, which has been in its current location—across the street in the Hall of Justice—for more than 60 years. In addition to providing more modern facilities, Sheriff Carlos Bolanos said the renovations will make the office “more convenient and accessible” to the public.
“This is an exciting and historic day for everyone here at the Sheriff’s Office,” Bolanos said on Wednesday, April 13. “This new building will allow the Sheriff’s Office to house our major units and bureaus under one roof and will allow us to accommodate future growth to better serve the public as we move forward.”
Though the footprint and general structure of the building will remain intact, a fifth story will be added for a total of 50,000-square feet of floor space. Renovations, which include new locker rooms and up-to-date shower facilities, are expected to be completed by early summer of 2023. The new John Arrillaga Sr. Headquarters Center will house the Sheriff’s records, civil enforcement, investigations bureau and the Sheriff’s executive staff, among other departments.
“This is really a transformative period for the county in terms of renovation and building of facilities. And the Sheriff’s Office is really long past due to have a modern environment,” said Board of Supervisors Vice President Dave Pine. “We take law enforcement and public safety very seriously as a Board of Supervisors and we want to make sure that they have the tools and environment that they need to be a great success.”
The development of the project was estimated to cost $50 million, according to the Sheriff’s Office. However, San Mateo County is responsible for only about half of the cost of the project—$25 million, with $15 million coming from non-departmental reserves and $10 million from sheriff’s office reserves, according to a board memo.
The rest of funding would come from billionaire philanthropist John Arrillaga Sr., who died earlier this year at the age of 84.
But Arrillaga’s donation comes with a catch.
The county had to tap developer Vance Brown Inc. to lead the construction of the project, meaning the project was exempt from the request for proposals and the bidding process. In a board memo, the county stated, “requests for competitive proposals would be futile, unavailing and produce no public advantage, as the project could not be completed for a lower price to the County.”
More than 75 people were in attendance at the event, including four of the five supervisors, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe, Redwood City Police Chief Dan Mulholland, County Counsel John Nibbelin and Sheriff’s Operations Captain Christina Corpus who is running for county sheriff against Bolanos in this year’s election.