SAN JOSE — A tech mega-campus has entered its early stages of construction, now that equipment has begun to bulldoze some old buildings and clear the site for a development start no later than this fall.

Known as Platform 16, the tech campus that’s planned near the corner of Autumn Parkway and West Julian Street in downtown San Jose near the banks of the Guadalupe River would total 1.1 million square feet of offices and represent a striking new addition to the Diridon Station and SAP Center area.

Construction equipment and piles of debris and rubble have been visible at the site, which is bounded by Autumn Parkway, West Julian Street, North Autumn Street, and a railroad line.

Among the potential amenities: Platform 16 is just south of a Target store that’s part of the bustling San Jose Market Center, and is within walking distance of San Pedro Square and Little Italy.

The property also is on the edge of neighborhoods where Google has collected numerous properties for a future transit-oriented development near the Diridon train station and SAP Center.

The developers of the site are a veteran group of realty firms: Boston Properties, TMG Partners, and Valley Oak Partners. CBRE brokers Sherman Chan, Mark Schmidt, Mike Charters, and Will Schmidt are seeking tenants for the site.

As many as 7,000 people could work at the new tech campus, once all three buildings in the development are complete, according to CBRE.

“We’ve begun demolition of the old obsolete buildings and are prepping the site for construction in late summer or early fall,” said Chan, a senior vice president with CBRE.

In what appears to be an effort to make the development pedestrian friendly and to integrate the complex with the nearby neighborhoods, two interior courtyards will be connected by walkways to adjacent streets. Potentially, that could give the campus a less isolated feel.

The project developers and CBRE brokers also noted the buildings themselves will feature a series of terraces as a way to make the complex more attractive to potential tenants.

“The 16 outdoor terraces, integrated with every level of the buildings, provide unobstructed views out and allow daylight into the building courtyards and interiors of the large open floor plates,” according to a CBRE web site for the Platform 16 complex.

The site preparation at Platform 16 has emerged at the same time that Adobe has launched a far-reaching expansion of its three-building downtown headquarters campus by constructing a fourth office tower that’s expected to become a gateway for San Jose’s urban core.

Plus, Jay Paul Co. has indicated it plans to develop a new office tower near the corner of South Almaden Boulevard and Park Avenue, with the construction of that high rise due to begin sometime in the fall.

“If you look at what is breaking ground during this economic cycle, you are looking at doubling the size of downtown San Jose,” said Nick Goddard, a senior vice president with Colliers International, a commercial real estate firm.

Roughly 40,000 people are working in downtown San Jose, which now has an estimated 10 million square feet of office space. Another 10 million square feet of offices, based on today’s standard ratios for employees per square foot of modern offices, could enable 50,000 more workers to be based downtown.

Adobe’s new fourth office tower, slated to be complete in 2022, would be large enough to accommodate 4,000 workers of the cloud services company. Adobe now has 3,500 workers in downtown San Jose, the tech titan estimated this week.

The prospect of the new office towers and campuses has also banished a decade-long office development drought in downtown San Jose, a stretch during which no new office towers were built in the urban core of the Bay Area’s largest city.

“Doubling the size of the downtown is transformational, it changes the whole fabric of what is going on,” Goddard said. “Downtown also may add another 8,000 residents, and that creates demand for just about everything you could possibly think of. This can change downtown San Jose from a sleepy market to a vibrant, energetic place.”

Source: San Jose Mercury News, June 27, 2019