By David Goll
San Jose planners have signed off on a proposed agreement between the city and tech giant Apple to develop an 86-acre site in North San Jose. Next stop are hearings scheduled before the city’s Planning Commission Jan. 13 and then the City Council Jan 26.
“We are very excited Apple is moving forward on this very significant development site,” said Kim Walesh, San Jose’s deputy city manager and director of economic development, on Tuesday.
San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo has echoed those comments, saying he believes the Apple development—which would be built in phases over a number of years and could eventually employ up to 20,000 people—will help improve his city’s famed jobs/housing imbalance. With a population of 1 million, the Bay Area’s largest city has a significantly lower jobs-per-employed-resident ratio than such smaller neighboring high-tech employer powerhouses as Santa Clara, Mountain View and Palo Alto.
Walesh said while the Apple agreement going before the city’s governing bodies will be in four different parts, the most significant issue before the Planning Commission and City Council will be a draft amended and restated development agreement covering the entire parcel. The city had a previous development agreement on part of the site with BEA Systems Inc. dating back to 2004.
The various parcels assembled by Apple through earlier purchases are just north of Highway 101, across the busy freeway corridor from Mineta San Jose International Airport. The site is bordered by Guadalupe Parkway, Orchard Parkway and Component Drive. The agreement to be considered by city officials would entitle Apple to develop up to more than 4.1 million square feet of space over the next 15 years. It could include industrial, office, manufacturing and research and development activities.
The high-tech giant, which is also currently building its famed 2.8 million-square-foot “spaceship” corporate headquarters in Cupertino at an estimated cost of $5 billion, has purchased both vacant land and existing structures on the North San Jose parcels. Apple spent just over $300 million in August and September to purchase the n1 campus from Lowe Enterprises and Five Mile Capital Partners as well as the 101 Tech Center campus from Ellis Partners.
The city of San Jose has been placing extra efforts to attract tech companies and raise its profile in Silicon Valley. Besides Apple’s latest push into San Jose, a few others already call the city home, Samsung and Cisco Systems Inc. among others.