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Old May 21st, 2007, 09:47 PM   #61
metropolismayor
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RAZING OF OLD MALL FOR NEW CITY CENTER BEGINS - FINALLY
By Julie Patel
Mercury News
San Jose Mercury News
Article Launched:05/21/2007 01:36:53 AM PDT


Cranes tore into Sunnyvale's downtown mall last week, sending slabs of concrete and steel crashing to the ground.

Amid the destruction and debris, there also was excitement - Sunnyvale residents have been waiting eight years for their new downtown, and the work was finally under way.

"For years, I've driven by looking for any construction work," said fourth-generation Sunnyvale resident Deborah Olson. As she drove past the mall this week, she said, she was elated: "I said to myself, `Finally, it's getting done.'"

The $400 million project will replace an outdated 1970s mall - which had replaced the city's original downtown - with a more traditional city center that includes more than 1 million square feet of shops, restaurants and office space, and about 300 townhouses and condos.

The redevelopment project started in 1999, but the mall went bankrupt under one developer, and another developer - Forum Development Group - missed about a dozen deadlines. The 25-acre mall was sold last month to the development team of RREEF and Sand Hill Property Management, which hopes to open the new downtown by late 2008 or early 2009.

Demolition started Monday and by Thursday, about half the mall had been bashed and dissected, exposing red beams and insulation. Piles of steel, aluminum and concrete dot the empty space where an underground parking lot will eventually be built; most of those materials will be recycled, city officials say. By next month, the mall should be entirely flattened, with cleanup slated to be complete this summer.

"At this rate, some people were kidding that it might be done by next week," Mayor Otto Lee said Thursday as he inspected the work with other council members, city employees and members of the development team.

Olson, whose family has owned C.J. Olson Cherries since 1931, said given the stop-and-go history of the project, she's trying not to get her hopes too high: "It's not over yet."
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 07:11 AM   #62
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From SV/SJ BusinessJournal:

Office development back in high gear


The development bug has bitten office landlords in Silicon Valley -- again.

After years of practically no new office construction, local stalwarts and a smattering of newcomers are in various stages of completion to develop a combined 18.33 million square feet of new, Class A office and research and development buildings.

According to the new study by Santa Clara brokerage CPS/Corfac International, that sum includes more than 1.4 million square feet already under construction in Palo Alto, Menlo Park and Sunnyvale. Those four projects thus far have no committed tenants and are being built on a speculative basis.

Beyond that are projects where developers have attained all entitlements from the relevant cities and are offering the space to tenants as a build-to-suit opportunity, plus projects that are now going through the planning process but do not yet have their city stamp.

The study looks only at projects measuring 50,000 square feet and up and excludes new corporate campuses that are being undertaken by companies such as VMware Inc. in Palo Alto and Network Appliance Inc. in Sunnyvale. It also limits the study to what might be described as the heart of Silicon Valley, the region beginning at the Peninsula's Menlo Park down through North San Jose into Milpitas.

"It is clear that we are in the early stages of a resurgence of construction and commercial development activity," says Gregory M. Davies, a vice president at CPS who has spearheaded the research. "It will be very interesting to see how many more of these projects break ground on a speculative basis."

San Jose, the largest city by far in the valley and typically the 1,000-pound gorilla in any geography-related measure, has the most prospective construction, at nearly 7.4 million square feet. But Sunnyvale, a much smaller city, is not far behind with more than 5.2 million square feet planned, including the 1.3 million already under construction.

The biggest unanswered question for developers is what factors will drive rent growth in the months ahead, he says. Companies such as Cisco Systems Inc., Apple Inc. and Google Inc. are clearly experiencing spectacular internal growth and consequently leasing and buying more offices and real estate. They are eliminating supply and pushing up rents.

CPS estimates that in the markets it studied, fewer than 35 chunks of Class A offices with 50,000 square feet or more are available to lease.

"Given the timeline it takes to build and net absorption trends over the last two years, and tenants' continued preference for good quality and image buildings, it's apparent why many developers believe it is a good time to build," Davies says.

At the same time, the wholesale ownership transfer that has occurred in the valley over the last several years, with record amounts of investment activity year over year, has also created a new landlord class, many of whom bought on the premise that rents would rise. Those landlords have begun testing new, higher rents to see what the market and tenants will bear.

Existing rents in the valley are just reaching the threshold to justify the cost of construction, depending on a developer's cost basis.

Meanwhile, other developers are eyeballing the largest speculative office development in the valley, Jay Paul Co.'s Moffett Towers, 1.8 million square feet in Sunnyvale, for clues on where the market is headed. A recent move to open the space to tenants needing as little as 70,000 square feet has some wondering if the developer's original plans to lease each building to a single tenant are falling through, indicating weakness in the market. The three buildings now under construction each measure just less than 317,000 square feet.

Broker Phil Mahoney, who is representing Jay Paul in the leasing of the property, says the change does not reflect market softness. "We just decided that we have enough square footage to approach multiple markets, so we can be all things to all people in every sphere of demand."

He also says he is not too afraid of any competition that new development might offer because the steel needed to build the higher-rise buildings generally being discussed continues to be difficult to acquire. Jay Paul not only has ordered his steel but has paid the bill, Mahoney says.

His assessment is not without merit, says Kevin Antonelli, who runs all South Bay operations for Turner Construction Co. Turner is advising developers that it will take 26 weeks to 30 weeks for steel to be delivered from the day an order has been sent. That's up from 16 weeks to 18 weeks a year ago.

The environment definitely favors developers who are willing to make their architectural and thus steel decisions early on, including estimates of the tonnage they'll need, he says. That way they can place their order and, in essence, mark their place in line.

"Owners are going to have to be aggressive and make decisions earlier than they may want," he says. "But the person who can make the fastest decisions is going to be the first in line."

On the plus side, he notes, concrete is no longer in short supply, and prices for commodities such as copper and labor have stabilized.
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Old May 29th, 2007, 01:46 AM   #63
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Here are two projects for Milpitas (these are the tallest, there are a bunch of low rises going up too).

The Californian (BSB)
10-12 Floors


Landmark
16 Floors (2 Retail, 14 Residential)
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Old May 29th, 2007, 07:22 AM   #64
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Nice! Is the Californian all residential?
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Old May 29th, 2007, 08:23 AM   #65
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Quote:
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Nice! Is the Californian all residential?
Yup...
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Old May 29th, 2007, 11:08 PM   #66
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funny how they still manage to look suburban...

good news for milpitas though.
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Old June 5th, 2007, 06:38 PM   #67
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Developer outlines plans for hotel, office space in eastern Menlo Park
By Banks Albach

San Jose Mercury News
Article Launched:06/05/2007 06:44:28 AM PDT


Developer David Bohannon's plans to build a hotel, sprawling fitness center and eight-story office buildings in eastern Menlo Park drew few concerns from the city's planning commission Monday night.

Split between two sites in the 100 blocks of Independence and Constitution avenues near Highway 101, the project includes a 206-room hotel with an adjacent 76,000-square-foot fitness center, three parking structures and nearly 695,000 square feet of office and research development space split into three eight-story buildings.

"This project will be a change in the character of the area," architect Phil Erickson told the commission during the study session.

The commission took no action on the project.

The 15.9 acres of land is in the city's research and development district and falls under general industrial zoning. Bohannon has drafted a request for a custom "mixed-use commercial business park" land-use category. That would require the planning commission and the city council to both pass zoning changes and amendments to Menlo Park's general plan.

Commissioner Vince Bressler said that 140-foot-high buildings should be fine in that area of the city.

"If we're going to do something like this in Menlo Park, that's the right place to do it," Bressler said.

Tucked in between Bayfront Expressway, Marsh Road and U.S. Highway 101, the project will be well-suited to deal with commuter traffic, the developers said. Bohannon also said the market is ripe for more hotel rooms, which will bring in occupancy taxes, and that the demand for the office space is rising.

He said the hotel and fitness club will open first, probably sometime in 2009 if approved, followed by a phased opening of the offices, depending on interest from tenants.

To be profitable, rent for the office space would run about $40 per square foot. Each of the eight floors would be between 25,000 and 30,000 square feet and could be subdivided among as many as four separate firms.

The hotel and fitness club will be operated by the Marriott hotel company, in conjunction with Renaissance ClubSport. Walnut Creek has an almost identical facility, which includes a spa and restaurant.

At least one commissioner thought the project was too big. Melody Pagee said it's inconsistent with two sections of the general plan that encourage industrial use in the city and projects that do not increase traffic.

"This goes against both of those," Pagee said. "I can't see how we can have an eight-story building without traffic. "It just doesn't seem like a good fit."

Bohannon still has to weave through a long approval process that includes hearings, study sessions, applications and an environmental impact report. He will present the project to the city council in a study session set for June 19.

Commissioner Henry Riggs told Bohannon to expect a high level of scrutiny.

"The architecture of the office buildings will be very significant to this commission," Riggs said.

For more information, visit the city's project Web page at http://www.menlopark.org/projects/comdev-iac.htm.
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Old June 11th, 2007, 02:15 AM   #68
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H&M will be opening a store in the Great Mall (in Milpitas):

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Old June 11th, 2007, 08:30 AM   #69
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That'll be their second one in the south bay (Santana Row being the first).
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Old June 15th, 2007, 01:09 AM   #70
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Here's a link to development activity happening in Cupertino, including Cupertino Square (formerly Vallco Mall):

http://cupertino.org/city_government...hase/index.asp

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Old June 15th, 2007, 01:15 AM   #71
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Here are some details on the Downtown Sunnyvale project (including site maps/renderings).

http://www.thomasent.com/properties/ca5-1.asp
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Old June 15th, 2007, 01:22 AM   #72
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Midtown Milpitas plan for a BART/VTA transit oriented development.

http://www.ci.milpitas.ca.gov/midtow...ault.asp?id=15
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Old June 21st, 2007, 10:53 PM   #73
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Santa Clara OKs rezoning farmland for homes

A plan to build homes on 17 acres of farmland near Westfield Valley Fair was approved early Wednesday morning by the Santa Clara City Council.

The council voted 6-0 - with Councilwoman Jamie McLeod abstaining - to rezone the land to housing from agriculture.

Palo Alto-based SummerHill Homes plans to buy 11 acres of the state-owned land to build 110 single-family homes.

The city plans to buy the remaining six acres and to build 160 units of low-income senior housing with Charities Housing, a non-profit housing developer.
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Old June 21st, 2007, 11:29 PM   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshuaSantos View Post
Santa Clara OKs rezoning farmland for homes

A plan to build homes on 17 acres of farmland near Westfield Valley Fair was approved early Wednesday morning by the Santa Clara City Council.

The council voted 6-0 - with Councilwoman Jamie McLeod abstaining - to rezone the land to housing from agriculture.

Palo Alto-based SummerHill Homes plans to buy 11 acres of the state-owned land to build 110 single-family homes.

The city plans to buy the remaining six acres and to build 160 units of low-income senior housing with Charities Housing, a non-profit housing developer.
it seems like a wasted opportunity to increase density near valley fair/santana row. i can see in 5-10 years the vta making an argument to run light rail (hopefully in a subway) from sjdt to valley fair/santana row.
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Old June 22nd, 2007, 10:13 AM   #75
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Subway please... at least by the 280/880/San Carlos/Stevens Creek intersection. I can't imagine the traffic if they remove 2 lanes in that section. I think San Carlos/Stevens Creek makes the most sense for the next lightrail line. Imagine trains going from Downtown SJ through Midtown, past Santana Row/Valley Fair, all the way down to the remodeled Valco in Cupertino. I think it would make a lot of sense if it's financially feasible.
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Old July 17th, 2007, 09:41 PM   #76
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Foster City

Foster City approves plan to develop downtown square, senior housing
By Aaron Kinney
MediaNews
San Jose Mercury News
Article Launched:07/17/2007 07:58:52 AM PDT


Foster City's city council has voted unanimously to have a group led by the Sares Regis Group of Northern California develop 15 acres of public land next to City Hall into a downtown square with senior housing and a high school.

The vote Monday night follows years of debate and came after majority of council members declared that a movie theater complex, the heart of a competing proposal led by Bridge Housing Corp., was not a good fit for Foster City.

There were three finalists for the development deal, but the bid by the Sares Regis team, which included the Jewish Home of San Francisco and Pacific Retirement Services, Inc. was the only one favored by all five council members.

The third bid was submitted by A.F. Evans Co. and Crosspoint Realty Services Inc.

The council had instructed each development team to come up with a proposal that includes senior housing, a downtown square with some retail uses and a public charter high school.

Councilman Rick Wykoff said that a movie theater would have been a dramatic departure for this quiet residential community.

"I'm not sure it's in the best interest of Foster City to change a great deal," he said.

Also at the meeting, Mayor Ron Cox instructed city staff to prepare a report examining how the city could initiate a bond measure to raise money for a public charter high school.

Four of the 11 acres on the parcel that are open for development have been set aside for future use by a charter high school. The next step for the development involves a public planning process, but no timetables were set at Monday's meeting.
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Old July 31st, 2007, 06:12 PM   #77
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Mountain View

See below...
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Old July 31st, 2007, 06:13 PM   #78
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Mountain View/Sunnyvale

Moffett Park looks to greener future
DEVELOPERS CAN INCREASE DENSITY BY FOLLOWING ENVIRONMENTAL RULES
By Katherine Conrad

Mercury News
San Jose Mercury News
Article Launched:07/31/2007 01:39:55 AM PDT


The days of one-story concrete tilt-ups are numbered, especially in Sunnyvale, where the aging denizens of development are being torn down to make way for prime commercial real estate.

Nowhere is that more apparent than in the city's 1,100-acre Moffett Park, home to Yahoo, Ariba and Juniper Networks. The park has lured developers not just for its location - north of Highway 237 and U.S. 101 - but also for the chance to construct taller structures if they agree to build green.

That means construction must follow environmentally friendly guidelines established by the U.S. Green Building Council for energy efficiency, reduced water usage and sustainable building materials. Developers who agree to follow the guidelines can automatically build up to 20 percent more on a site without obtaining a special planning permit.

Not only does that mean demolishing dozens of low-slung structures of yesteryear that barely covered a third of a site, but it raises today's high densities even higher. For example, the developer who agrees to go green can build a 70,000-square-foot building on a 100,000-square-foot lot. Before, the floor-to-area ratio was restricted to a 50,000-square-foot structure.

If Sunnyvale was looking to entice developers to build green, the city - currently in the middle of a construction boom - couldn't have dangled a tastier carrot.

Builders who develop mid-rise campuses are heading there, bypassing neighboring San Jose and Santa Clara, which are months away from adopting similar programs.

Last year, developer Jay Paul Company selected Sunnyvale to build its "green" 1.8-million-square-foot Moffett Towers, the valley's first speculative office development since the tech wreck. Now, ExTerra Realty Partners of Pleasanton is planning to construct an environmentally friendly 390,000-square-foot campus, called Java Metro Center, also in Moffett Park.

Razing the original Lockheed Martin three-building campus built by SCM Properties of Menlo Park in the early 1980s (it later became the headquarters for SanDisk) just started. Eventually, the campus will feature three 4- and 5-story Class-A office structures.

Mike Parker, a principal with ExTerra, said he liked the site's location across the street from a light rail station. But the density bonus to go green was very appealing.

"The ability to capture the additional density piqued our interest," he said.

Parker, who became certified in LEED construction principles three years ago, said he plans to try to achieve a silver level of LEED certification on the project, which is higher than the standard certification required by the city.

"Going green is the wave of the future," he said. "If you're not in step, you will be passed by."

Steve Pace, a principal broker with CPS/CORFAC International of Santa Clara, said the as-yet-unbuilt development has attracted interest from companies needing premium office space. He thinks the green element will give Java Metro Center an edge over similar buildings.

"Companies are more and more cognizant of the environment and the green status and what it means," he said. "They will want to bolster their standings."

Trudi Ryan, Sunnyvale's planning officer, said the city jumped on the green construction bandwagon back in 2000, when it began to consider how to shape Moffett Park. Ryan said city officials happened to attend conferences where the environmentally friendly building standards were discussed, and they decided to incorporate them into the Moffett Park Specific Plan adopted in 2004.

Given the park's ultimate build-out size of 24.3 million square feet of development, the green guidelines pack a wallop.

Before it became Moffett Park, the area was filled with one- and two-story research-and-development structures left over from the days when the region was a bastion of the defense industry. After defense companies left, city officials knew buildings would need to be taller not only to accommodate steeper prices for land, but also the needs of today's information - not manufacturing-based - technology companies.

Another Moffett Park project going green is the Network Appliance campus, Ryan said. The company began work on its 1.4 million-square-foot campus, of five office buildings and three parking structures, several years ago.

Developer California Bavarian, based in Palo Alto, is building two Class-A office structures on speculation, for a total of 118,000 square feet on Bordeaux Drive. They will be built using green guidelines.

"We are going over and above the LEED qualifications because it's the right thing to do," said Mark Mordell, company president.
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Old August 7th, 2007, 08:57 PM   #79
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America Center From Legacy Partners

700,000+ Square Feet of Class A office space to be located off of Great America Pkwy. and Highway 237.

...construction has begun.

http://www.legacypartners.com/legacy...c=c_dev5&div=C

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Old August 7th, 2007, 09:23 PM   #80
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cool, cool. too bad it all takes away from dtsj
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