San Jose City Council Approves Proposal for 1.9MM SQFT Office Campus

San Jose City Council, San Jose, Silicon Valley, Bay Area, Fry’s Electronics, Bay West Development, San Francisco, Gensler, CBG, San Jose Planning Commission, Bay West Group, Campbell

By Kate Snyder

North San Jose will soon see further development after a proposal to turn the former Fry’s Electronics site into a 1.9 million square foot office campus received the final approval it needed from city officials. During a San Jose City Council meeting on Tuesday, council members voted unanimously in favor of the project, which is slated to consist of seven eight-story buildings.

The project developer is Bay West Development, and the architect is San Francisco-based Gensler. The civil engineer is CBG.

The project site is located at 550 E. Brokaw Road. The site’s existing surface parking lot, office and electronics superstore building – formerly occupied by Fry’s Electronics – would be demolished and 274 trees would be removed to make way for the new project.

According to project plans, the office towers would be configured around a central pedestrian walkway and open space area. Included in the proposal are two parking structures totaling 5,385 vehicle stalls. Private streets, including sidewalks and crosswalks, would also be constructed for vehicles to access the interior portions of the site. The project would incorporate a series of paseos and plaza areas for pedestrians to access the site from both the surrounding public streets and internally. Vehicle access would be established from a signalized intersection at the center of the site and a driveway along East Brokaw Road as well as two driveways along Junction Road. Pedestrian and bicyclist access would be allowed from the sidewalks along East Brokaw Road, Junction Road and the newly constructed private streets within the site.

Earlier this year, the San Jose Planning Commission voted to recommend that the city council adopt resolutions certifying the project’s environmental impact report, approving the subdivision of the 19.7-acre site and approving a site development permit for the construction of the project.

During a short discussion at the most recent meeting, one question from the city council was about the developer’s plans for future occupancy and whether the project has a tenant right now. Bryon Wolf, partner at Bay West Development, said the project does not at this point have a tenant.

“We’re in interesting economic times today, and it’s a constantly moving target,” Wolf said. “We do not have a tenant currently in hand for this project. We started this process almost three years ago now, so even getting through a process that requires an EIR on something that is zoned as-of-right takes a long time in the state of California. It is the facts of what it is and what we deal with on a daily basis. This is the entitlement stage of the project, we still have a number of months of construction documentation work that we would have to do before we’re even ready to break ground. We’ll continue to evaluate the market as time progresses.”

Bay West Development is the real estate acquisition and development affiliate of Bay West Group, which was founded in 1979 and is based in San Francisco, according to the firm’s website. Bay West Development is based in Campbell. The company’s focus is on acquiring and developing multifamily, office, industrial and retail projects. During the meeting, Wolf said the firm has been active in San Jose in the past with multifamily projects.

“There’s been a lot of growth and development in north San Jose in the last decade or so,” Wolf said. “We were a part of that from a housing perspective. We’re excited to continue those efforts to bring additional jobs to north San Jose.”

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