The machines were already moving dirt and driving pylons into the ground as the guests were arriving to celebrate the ground breaking of America Center Phase II, a 450,000 square foot, two building office development in North San Jose by SteelWave an USAA Real Estate. Executives of both firms were on site to mark the occasion, as was the mayor of San Jose, Sam Liccardo.
Once the structures are completed, the development will feature two six-story office buildings, an amenity center and parking structure that will sit just north of California State Route 237 and next to a 30-acre open space preserve that forms the very south end of the San Francisco Bay. The site is also next to a 175-room Aloft Hotel and just up the street from Levi’s Stadium and an array of amenities that include restaurants, hotels and recreation facilities.[contextly_sidebar id=”UfR1dfhVEQ7YMgbEvI4lcnS0HKzBRml4″]“That is actually what it’s all about, in the end it is having a really nice project and making sure it’s right for the community and working within that,” said Steve Dunn, senior managing director of SteelWave, who opened the ceremony. He was joined by local executives of USAA Real Estate, Justin Hildebrandt and Nawder Alavi.
The development’s earlier rendition, America Center Phase I was completed in 2009 and today is 88 percent occupied, with the largest tenants being Polycom and Flextronics.
Mayor Liccardo and Dunn underscored the importance of this neighborhood for the city of San Jose as well as the region more broadly. “We recognize that this corridor is becoming so vitally important, as we see headquarters for companies like Polycom here next door. It is clear that this is where the growth opportunity is,” said Liccardo. “San Jose is a place where companies want to come to scale. We know there are plenty of challenges of growing in some of our smaller neighbors to the north.”
“We just happen to be at the center of technology. And that’s what’s exciting about being in the Bay Area, specifically in San Jose,” added Dunn.
The leasing is led by a veteran team of Silicon Valley brokers from Newmark Cornish & Carey, Phil Mahoney, an executive managing director who works out of the firm’s Santa Clara office, and Randy Gabrielson, executive vice president, who is in the company’s Palo Alto office. While no tenants have been signed to the development as of yet, a broad group of companies is looking at the site.
“It’s a wide range. Anything from semi conductor to network storage, networking companies, cyber security. We’re probably not going get Twitter to come down here, this is probably not a social media site, but for hard core Silicon Valley engineering it’s ground zero,” said Mahoney.
Gabrielson pointed out the location of the site and its appeal to many possible tech tenants. “[There is] natural beauty of the site. There’s never going to be anything build in front of us. You’ve got the wetlands and the jogging trails all through the site. It really is a special place,” he said.
The team acknowledged the development cycle, but underscored continued strong interest in the building. “We know we’re going a little bit, what we consider to be late in the cycle, but we know on a long term basis this is going to be a fantastic project,” said Dunn.
“The market is still pretty robust. It’s maybe not as energetic as it was in ’15 or ’14, but that’s almost unsustainable those levels. Neither of us have seen that in 30 years, including ’99 and 2000,” added Mahoney.
The development promises to deliver a number amenities to help spur interest in the location. These will include a sport court, an orchard, a 16,000 square-foot fitness center, a restaurant, and an entertainment venue to name a few things. On top of that, the LEED Gold project developers also announced that View Glass will install 100,000 square feet of dynamic glass on the building, making this the largest installation of electrochromic glass in the world.
“The America Center project is designed to be a leading state of the art campus,” said Dunn in a statement. “View Dynamic Glass has been key in enabling us to realize that goal by providing a technology that improves occupant comfort, wellness, and productivity. Energy efficiency was also a major driver, and View helped us reach ambitious sustainability targets and become pre-certified at the LEED Gold level.”
Construction is planned to last for roughly 16 months, with occupancy anticipated at the end of 2017.