Draft EIR Published for Bay West’s Seven-Building Commercial Development in North San Jose

San Jose, Bay West Development, Gensler, Campbell, Fry’s Electronics, CBG, Diridon Station, Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport
Rendering courtesy of Bay West Development

By Jack Stubbs

The City of San Jose has seen no shortage of commercial projects advance through the city’s approval process over the last several quarters. One large-scale development recently took one more step towards being given the green light.

On May 11,  the city published a draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for a multiphase development located in north San Jose at 550 East Brokaw Road.

As the CEQA lead entity for the project, the city is required to consider the information included in the EIR, specifically pertaining to potential environmental impacts, mitigation measures and potential alternatives. It is not the intent of an EIR to recommend either approval or denial of a project, the report states.

The project, developed by Campbell, Calif-based Bay West Development and San Francisco-based architecture firm Gensler, will ultimately consist of seven new eight-story buildings totaling just over 1.9 million square feet, according to the draft EIR on the city’s website. The towers would be configured around a central pedestrian walkway and open space area, and the development would also include two parking garages (one nine-story and one ten-story garage), providing 5,385 parking spaces.

The applicant proposes to demolish the existing surface parking lot, office and electronics superstore building (formerly occupied by Fry’s Electronics) at the development site to make way for the new project.

More specifically, the office campus – the civil engineer for which is CBG – will include various open space features and amenities, as detailed in the Draft EIR. The ground level of the office campus would be oriented around two east-west green belts running through the interior of the office campus development, and amenities would include two large open spaces, paved office patios, miniature plazas and outdoor work and meeting pods.

In terms of next steps, the publication of the Draft EIR marks the beginning of a 45-day public review period, during which time public, local, state and federal agencies can provide comment and feedback about the project.

If the project is approved, the City of San José will file a Notice of Determination (NOD), which will be available for public inspection and posted within 24 hours of receipt at the County Clerk’s Office, the report states.  

The development occupies a relatively central location in North San Jose, sitting about two miles from the Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport, with convenient access to Interstate-880 and Highway 101.

Although it has seen a significant step forward with the publishing of the Draft EIR, the timeline for the proposed development is a relatively extensive one, the report details. Construction of the proposed project is expected to occur in four phases beginning in October 2023. Each phase is anticipated to last 23 months for a combined duration of 92 months, with construction projected to end in June 2031.

Bay West Development’s undertaking is roughly six miles north of Diridon Station, an area of San Jose that has several projects in the works as of the last couple quarters.  In mid-May, The San Jose City Council voted in favor of a 689-unit development – located at 254 McEvoy Street — which is a collaboration between Los Angeles-based real estate investment firm Miramar Capital; Corvallis, Oregon-based Pinion Property Company; and Pacific West, a division of Idaho-based multifamily developer Pacific Companies.

In late April, the transportation agency Caltrain released renderings for a two-tower project at 33 Montgomery Street, which came at a time when Caltrain continues to look for a development partner for the site, according to The Registry’s reporting.

Combined, the two towers would total more than 1.09 million square feet of office and retail space. 1.05 million square feet would be allocated towards office uses, while the remaining 46,000 square feet will be “ground-floor active” and retail-related uses. The northern tower will contain about 570,000 square feet, while the southern tower will contain 530,000 square feet, according to public documents. A plaza will connect the two buildings and will create more than 1.1 acres of public open space.

West Coast Commercial Real Estate News