Sprouts grocery headed to tech-oriented North San Jose

The quest to transform north San Jose into a technology village complete with high-tech companies, workers, residents and shoppers is getting a boost with a new lease by Sprouts Farmers Market, an organic and natural foods grocer.

Sprouts has signed a lease to become the anchor tenant of a new retail center planned near the intersection of Interstate 880 and Brokaw Road.

“We found that we had a lot of interest in the site and we figured there was room for a grocer as the anchor tenant of our shopping center,” said Damon Scholl, an executive with Dollinger Properties, which owns the shopping center, known as Brokaw Plaza.

The 145,000-square-foot Brokaw Plaza retail complex is at the southwest corner of Brokaw Road and Oakland Road. Sprouts agreed to lease 30,000 square feet of the project.

“This is fabulous news,” said Kim Walesh, San Jose’s director of economic development, when she learned of the new grocer Thursday. “Sprouts is really a great fit. This is the kind of amenity we are looking for in north San Jose. Retailers that cater to a healthy lifestyle and places to socialize.”

Sprouts also fits into San Jose’s long-term plans for the north side of town, where big tech companies such as Samsung are moving into the area with major office centers. Samsung is building a two-tower regional headquarters on North First Street.

“The real opportunity for north San Jose is its transformation into an innovation district with mixed uses,” Walesh said. “North San Jose is becoming a place where people will work, live, shop and play, all in the same area.”

Job growth is already booming, with tech jobs moving into the area. Numerous high-density residential units are being constructed for the area. The primary missing element: retail.

“Grocery markets, stores, and restaurants, those are the amenities that the area is still missing,” Walesh said. “This is great to fill in some of these amenities.”

Dollinger Properties intends to bulldoze a pair of research and office buildings currently on the property and construct the retail center on the site, Scholl said.

This new retail center is across the street from the existing, and fully leased, Brokaw Commons, whose notable anchors are City Sports fitness center, Five Guys hamburgers, Chipotle restaurant and Noah’s Bagels. Dollinger also developed Brokaw Commons, and leasing activity was so robust, the realty firm decided to try its hand on the site where Sprouts will operate.

The target customers for both centers are a hip young crowd of technology engineers living or working in the region.

“About 70 percent of the neighborhood residents are young professionals, aged 25 to 40, starting families, living in their first homes, with great tech jobs,” Scholl said. “This neighborhood is being transformed.”

 

Brokaw Plaza, shown in a conceptual rendering, will total 145,000 square feet and be anchored by a Sprouts Farmers Market. (Image courtesy of Dollinger Properties)

 

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