Mountain View Fields Long List of Development Proposals

Mountain View, Silicon Valley, National Avenue Partners, Lamb Partners, Calvano Development, Prometheus, Pillar Group, real estate, Bay Area news
Rendering of the 600 National Ave. office project in Mountain View
Rendering of the 600 National Ave. office project in Mountain View
Rendering of the 600 National Ave. office project in Mountain View

By Nancy Amdur

Mountain View’s list of more than 75 major development projects on the city’s planning division’s docket is a clear indicator that the South Bay town is a hotspot for growth. But this buildup is causing some residents to advocate for smart planning as they voice concerns about a job-housing imbalance and traffic congestion.

[contextly_sidebar id=”jI1hjoOaNniagglf7MyqjW2PNiG4OAY8″]“We are experiencing a boom. Four years ago, we didn’t have nearly as many projects,” said Scott Plambaeck, a senior planner for the city.

Mountain View is home to many high-tech companies, including rapidly expanding Google and LinkedIn, and developers are heading into the city to fill the need for more—and updated—office space.

Among Mountain View’s planned office projects is a four-story, approximately 140,000-square-foot Class A development slated for 600 National Ave. National Avenue Partners, led by developer Randy Lamb of Menlo Park-based Lamb Partners, LLC, in May received city approval for the project, located in the East Whisman development area. Tech firms Google, Audience and Symantec all have offices nearby.

“We really like the City of Mountain View itself,” Lamb said, adding that city officials have been “great” to work with.

Plans call for razing four existing 1960s and 1970s single-story industrial buildings to create a 4.8-acre office campus. Construction is scheduled to begin in late August with project completion expected by early 2016, Lamb said.

The building will aim for LEED Gold certification and is expected to attract tech tenants with design features such as large, 33,000- to 36,000-square-foot floor plates, abundant natural light and an outside patio and amenities area. The property is convenient to the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority’s Middlefield Station light rail stop and the Mountain View Caltrain station.

The medium-sized office development fits into the area as “there are not many new buildings this size,” said Lindsay Hagan, an associate planner for the city.

Other partners in the project are Vic Fracaro, Mark Nicholson, Justin Reilly and Lowry Pendley. Steve Horton, Gregory Davies, David Schley and Justin Reilly from commercial real estate firm Cassidy Turley in San Jose are marketing the property.

Private investment and development firm Calvano Development is proposing to build a four-story Class A office building at the edge of the Whisman area at 1001 N. Shoreline Blvd. The firm is seeking city approval to construct an approximately 111,000-square-foot project with a surface parking lot on a 7.3-acre site, according to Mark Calvano, principal of the San Francisco-based company.

The company likes the Mountain View market in part due to its low office supply, Calvano said, adding that tech tenants likely will be interested in the space. The project targets LEED Gold certification and will include energy efficient heating, cooling and lighting systems. Plans call for an open floor plan and amenities such as high ceilings; floor-to-ceiling glass; outdoor patios; and extensive landscaping, according to Calvano’s Web site. The property is six minutes from the Evelyn Caltrain Station, via the Shoreline Shuttle.

On the residential side, San Mateo-based Prometheus Real Estate Group, Inc. in March gained approval to start constructing a 66-unit, four-story apartment building at 1616 El Camino Real West at Mariposa Avenue. The building will replace two existing retail buildings totaling about 6,100 square feet, according to the city’s planning division. Last year, Prometheus gained city approval for a 162-unit apartment project at 1720 and 1730 El Camino Real.

Mountain View also is considering a proposal from the Pillar Group to construct a four-story apartment building with 373 one- and two-bedroom units and 10,000 square feet of ground-floor retail at 420 San Antonio Road, Plambaeck said. The project would replace seven existing retail, office and industrial buildings on a 5.7-acre site. The Environmental Impact Report for the project started and commission and council hearings will be held by early 2015, according to the planning division’s July update.

In fiscal year 2013-14, Mountain View received planning applications for more than 500 new housing units and 570,000 square feet of office space, which is a hike from the previous fiscal year when it fielded applications for 586 new residential units and 480,000 square feet of office space, according to Terry Blount, the city’s assistant community development director.

As proposals trend toward more office space yet fewer residential units, some community members are speaking out.

Mountain View resident Lenny Siegel in March spearheaded the Campaign for a Balanced Mountain View, a citizens group advocating a better balance of jobs and housing in the city.

“We already have a significant imbalance between jobs and housing, and we don’t want it to get worse. We believe we can achieve a better balance—restrict growth of office building and [build] less unaffordable housing,” said Siegel, who also is the executive director of the Center for Public Environmental Oversight, which encourages public participation in the oversight of environmental activities. Siegel also notes that heavy traffic in Mountain View is contributing to a “decline [in the] quality of life.”

“We’re getting a lot of input on the housing situation,” Blount said, adding that city officials are taking that “into consideration” when reviewing projects.

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