By Jacob Bourne
America Center, a 70.5-acre office, R&D, and retail complex in Northern San Jose near Highway 237 is up for an expansion from its two existing Class A office buildings and Aloft hotel, which reside on America Center Drive and America Center Court, respectively. Developer SteelWave, LLC already has construction underway for its Phase II project, which will add two more office buildings totaling 457,450 square feet on a 13-acre site. The planning process has just began for Phase III calling for a fifth structure to add another 190,000 square feet of office space to the development.
According to Lea Simvoulaski, City of San Jose Planning project manager, because the original plans for a fifth building had been cancelled, the 190,000 square feet were incorporated elsewhere in the development. Now that plans have been re-ignited, a rezoning is required as the maximum square footage was reached based on the prior rezoning requirements in 1999. The proposed building’s height would remain at 90 feet due to zoning limits and a modification would be made to the development plan area based on the sale of 6.7 acres on the northeastern portion of the property. The current parking garage serving other buildings on the complex will be expanded to serve the fifth building, if approved. The bulk of the square footage is devoted to office-R&D, however up to 10-percent of the total space can be used for retail and personal services.
A community meeting at the Aloft Hotel is scheduled for October 11 to serve as a scoping session for the environmental review process and an opportunity for public commentary on the proposed project. The central focus of the EIR will be analyzing potential impacts for the increased traffic associated with the fifth building. The rezoning will be decided upon by both the Planning Commission and City Council.[contextly_sidebar id=”jT6YxLR9TAxcMKvHZKC0jyI0KvkKrcKW”]“The development is located within the Alviso Master Plan Area,” said Simvoulaski. “It used to be a landfill and was envisioned for office park use. They saw this area as a place for an industrial-office park. It’s helping the City reach one of its goals by creating balance between jobs and housing. The project will add 190,000 square feet of office space and the resulting jobs.”
The America Center Development is nearby an ACE Train Rail route and in close proximity to Caltrain and VTA Light Rail. An AC Shuttle will connect office park riders with Caltrain. America Center amenities include a 14,544 square foot fitness center and cafe topped with a roof deck equipped with miniature golf. The complex also has access to a jogging trail, sports court and bike pathway. The buildings themselves offer panoramic views of the San Fransisco Bay and Silicon Valley. The abundant windows feature Dynamic Glass, which reduces glare and maintains optimal building temperature. Thirty acres of burrowing owl habitat on the property will remain intact and be dedicated to open space. Fully landscaped outdoor collaborative meeting areas are also onsite.
“We are very excited not only about ACII, which features significant amenities such as a sports court, fitness center, cafe and entertainment center and Dynamic View glass — which is midway in construction and has created a lot of buzz in the Valley and a lot of interest from prospective users — We’re seeking ability to move forward on Phase III in order to provide users flexibility with up to 1,100,000 plus square feet,” offered a SteelWave spokesperson.
SteelWave is working alongside LRG Architecture, landscape architect Carducci & Associates Inc, and BKF Engineers for the Phase III project.