By Meghan Hall
Federal Realty, the developer behind Santana Row, one of San Jose’s most iconic mixed-use developments, is continuing with its efforts to expand the urban village in one of Silicon Valley’s most dynamic markets. The Rockville, MD.-based developer submitted a planning application to construct up to 850,000 square feet of commercial, office, retail and research and development space at 3161 Olsen Drive in San Jose. The plans, submitted in October 2018, would allow for up to three buildings on the 13-gross acre site. An above-ground parking garage is also part of the preliminary plans.
3161 Olsen Dr. is just across the street from Santana Row, a highly strategic location in San Jose, which was completed in 2002. Today, Santana Row offers 2.1 million square feet of retail, office, hotel and residential space. More than 50 shops, 30 restaurants and a movie theater are part of the fabric of Santana Row, located in a growing part of San Jose about ten minutes outside of the City’s downtown.
Santana Row and 3161 Olsen Dr. is adjacent to the Winchester Mystery House and is easily accessible via freeway, sitting at the junction of Interstate 880 and Interstate 280. Westfield Valley Fair Mall is also located nearby.
Currently, the project site is developed with 90,000 square feet of commercial space. It is unclear as to whether or not that building would be demolished or incorporated into Federal Realty’s plans for the site. However, 3161 Olsen Dr. is part of greater efforts on the part of Federal Realty to expand Santana Row and capitalize on the development’s success.
In November 2018, the City of San Jose issued an addendum to an Environmental Impact Report for Lot 17 — located at the southwest corner of Winchester Blvd. and Stevens Creek Blvd. — which outlines Federal Realty’s plans to increase the existing Santana Row site by 1.91-acres. City documents show that Federal Realty plans to demolish the three apartment buildings, totaling 47 units, on the site. The lot is now entitled for a five-story, 112-unit residential building. The addendum would also increase allowable office entitlements by 510,000 square feet and retail entitlements by 55,641 square feet.
Federal Realty’s plans don’t stop at Lot 17, however. In June of last year, Federal Realty also submitted a preliminary planning application to construct nearly 300 residential units at 358 Hatton St., further expanding Santana Row into the existing neighborhood. Original plans for the Hatton St. site indicated Federal Realty had planned on constructing 258 units.
The San Jose City Council adopted the Santana Row/Valley Fair Urban Village Plan in August 2017, laying the groundwork for Santana Row’s expansion and for increasing density in what is primarily a single-family neighborhood in San Jose. Progress toward the expansion of Santana Row has coincided with waves of development occurring downtown and in Northern San Jose, near the City’s airport, as builders strive to keep up with demand for office and residential space driven by employment. When built out, it is expected that the Santana Row/Valley Fair Urban Village plan will accommodate roughly 8,500 jobs.
Federal Realty declined to comment, stating that it was too early in the planning process to appropriately elaborate on the project.