Fortbay Proceeds with Plans for Signature Project in West San Jose

Fortbay Colony Capital Santana Row Westfield Valley Fair WRNS Studio KTGY Architecture + Planning HMH Inc Stevens Creek Urban Village San Jose

By Jacob Bourne

On February 17, the City of San Jose issued notice of a 30-day public review period for the draft environmental impact report for a proposed mixed-use project at 4300 Stevens Creek Boulevard. The project’s developer, Fortbay, LLC, purchased the nearly 10-acre property named, Stevens Creek Executive Park, last summer for $53 million as a joint venture with Colony Capital. Located a couple miles from Santana Row and Westfield Valley Fair, the site’s positioning surrounded by commercial with residential in close proximity, is seen as strategic with strong access to employers, workers and shopping options. A community scoping meeting will be held on March 13 regarding the project. WRNS Studio, KTGY Architecture & Planning and HMH, Inc are also involved in the planning process.

“We acquired the property based on the existing office use knowing that the City was looking at this planning area,” said Tom DeRegt, principal, Fortbay. “We’ve identified this as a site that could be a catalyst area. It makes sense to do a signature project incorporating office and residential. We also understand the need for open space and public gathering space and are working with Planning staff on this.”

A rezoning of the site from Commercial General to Planned Development is required to accommodate the mixed-use project. If approved, existing buildings would be demolished to make way for two seven-story residential buildings totaling 500 rental units and 11,500 square feet of retail in one of the buildings. A six-story office building would offer 244,000 square feet of space and be served by a six-story parking garage equipped with 1,089 spaces. The two residential structures have plans for below and at-grade parking levels providing 819 parking spaces for residents and retail patrons. The proposal also outlines plans to modify existing driveways and right-of-way access including the replacement of Lopina Way with a landscaped promenade. The promenade would complement several tree and shrub-lined pedestrian walkways connecting the various structures.

The developer is aiming to complete the application process by the end of Q2. The project could potentially be approved as early as late 2017 or Q1 2018, with a phased construction period to begin in 2019.

The property is located in an area that could officially become designated as the Stevens Creek Urban Village. The area is marked by a stretch of various commercial entities, auto dealerships and retail outlets, bounded by Stevens Creek Boulevard, Lawrence Expressway and Winchester Boulevard. A planning process is currently underway to adopt an Urban Village Plan document, incorporating feedback gathered at a series of community outreach events. Additionally, a Stevens Creek Advisory Group was created to help guide the planning process. DeRegt along with local residents, a business owner, real estate broker, and representatives from Westfield, LLC and the Winchester Orchard Neighborhood Association make up the 15-member group. The most recent event was held on February 23 to solicit public comments and discuss circulation and streetscape designs for the area.

“We’ve been tracking the San Jose Urban Village initiative and saw this as an opportunity site within the Steven’s Creek area and got involved with the Stevens Creek Advisory Group,” said DeRegt. “The advisory group is working with City planners on an Urban Village for Steven’s Creek and I anticipate that it will be adopted sometime between May and July.”

Since Fortbay purchased the property last summer, the existing 137,582 square feet of office and 27,888 square feet of retail have been leased to tenants seeking small suites ranging from 300 to 10,000 square feet. The average rent is $3.54 per square foot and the property is currently 88-percent leased.

West Coast Commercial Real Estate News