By Jon Peterson
The e-commerce operation of Wal-Mart has expanded its presence by signing leases for an additional 127,000 square feet in the Sunnyvale Business Park complex. The company will be taking up space at two buildings located at 680 and 840 West California Avenue.
“I think that the lease shows that Sunnyvale is an attractive market for many tenants to grow their presence in. Companies see that Sunnyvale is a good alternative to other markets in the Silicon Valley like Mountain View and Palo Alto where large tracts of space can be hard to find,” says Dave Sandlin, executive vice president with Colliers International in its San Jose office.
Sandlin, along with Kevin Moul and Susan Gregory of Colliers represented the owners of the property in the lease transaction. Des Moines, Iowa-based Principal Real Estate Investors is the owner of Sunnyvale Business Park. This real estate manager declined to comment when contacted for the story.
Wal-Mart worked on the lease deal through its representative, Luke Wilson, a senior vice president with Colliers International in Redwood City. Wilson declined to comment due to a non-disclosure agreement with the Arkansas retailer.
Wal-Mart’s entry into the Sunnyvale market started last September, when the company took approximately 78,000 square feet of space, followed by another 107,000 square feet in a building at 860 West California Avenue. The location is minutes from the Sunnyvale Caltrain station, which is served by the baby bullet express trains, a key distinction for employers in the area. The tenant is planning to occupy the space with the new lease sometime between September and December of this year.
The business park, which is owned by Principal Real Estate Investors, is also home to a number of technology tenants like Twitter, Inc., which occupies 8,000 square feet at 400 West California Avenue. When the deal was announced last year, Wal-Mart’s spokesman Dan Toporek explained the firm’s vision for the organization in Silicon Valley. “We expect to add about 800 people over the coming years in Sunnyvale and will mostly hire people to work on our global technology platform, which is the backbone for all of our ecommerce sites and operations globally,” he said.
The new space was recently vacated by the Raytheon Company. This tenant is lowering its space in Sunnyvale Business Park from 266,000 square feet down to 69,000 square feet and has moved to a Lane Partners’ development on Walsh Avenue in Santa Clara.
Sunnyvale Business Park is complex that covers 29.3 acres, and as it stands now totals approximately 630,000 square feet. Principal is looking at potentially making some changes to the property in the future. The real estate manager has had some preliminary talks with the city of Sunnyvale about those goals. “One scenario is that the project would be redeveloped into a mixture of buildings that would be one three-story and six six-story buildings,” said Sandlin.