North San Jose Innovation District gets boost from big project

San Jose’s quest to create an “innovation district” on the north side of town is getting a big push from developer Trammell Crow’s decision to start construction this summer on an advanced manufacturing, research, office, and industrial complex totaling nearly 1 million square feet on a large stretch of vacant land near Alviso.

“We’re going ahead with construction on the project,” said Don Little, senior vice president for development with Trammell Crow.

Construction on the 57-acre site, which once was owned by San Jose-based networking giant Cisco Systems,  could start by July or August, said Rob Shannon, a senior vice president with CB Richard Ellis, a commercial realty firm that’s seeking tenants to occupy the project.

“This development definitely fits in with our plans for the innovation district,” said Nanci Klein, deputy director of San Jose’s Economic Development Department. “It’s a very important project for San Jose. The type of jobs that are going in there are very important for the city’s economic ecosystem.”

Advanced manufacturing and cleantech jobs are among the types of work that are expected to materialize at the site once Trammell Crow and CB Richard Ellis land large tenants for the property.

Upon completion and full occupancy of the project, about 2,500 people are expected to be working at the site, Shannon estimated.

“The idea is to keep high-tech manufacturing in San Jose and to attract that kind of tech business from other cities,” Shannon said. “We are seeing strong demand from large corporate users that want big spaces so they can be more efficient in their operations.”

The initial development on the site — now an empty lot next to Alviso — will consist of construction of 564,000 square feet of advanced manufacturing space in three buildings. The project eventually also will have 415,000 square feet of office space in four buildings.

Demand for these kinds of big spaces for advanced manufacturing and research has grown more robust in recent years in Silicon Valley amid the region’s leasing boom. That in turn, has driven the vacancy rate for these sorts of large buildings below 5 percent, Klein estimated.

“We are creating the next generation of manufacturing buildings in San Jose,” Shannon said.

Besides the high-tech companies currently in the area, such as Cisco, TiVo, Polycom and Flextronics, a number of tech companies have begun to build office centers, signed new leases, or are expanding their operations in north San Jose.

On North First Street, Samsung is constructing a pair of office towers for a large regional headquarters totaling 650,000 square feet. Near Interstate 880 and Brokaw Road, Supermicro is laying plans to build 2 million square feet in what the company calls a Green Computing Park.

“We’re seeing major investments in the area,” Klein said.

In addition, according to Klein, Vander-Bend Manufacturing leased 207,000 square feet and Naprotek rented 45,000 square feet.

“It’s coming, we are starting to see the next phase for business expansion in north San Jose,” Klein said.


A site plan for the Midpoint at 237 research, advanced manufacturing, office and industrial project being developed by Trammell Crow shows the development will be located near the corner of North First Street and Nortech Parkway next to Alviso in north San Jose. (Image credit: ARC TEC Inc.)










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