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Downtown San Jose transit village near Google proposal steams ahead

George Avalos, The Mercury News on

Published in Home and Consumer News

SAN JOSE -- A big tech village in downtown San Jose is moving forward, an ambitious project that could bring 5,000 jobs to a site that's adjacent to a separately proposed Google transit-oriented community.

The development by TMG Partners and Valley Oak Partners would create more than 1 million square feet of offices and is bounded roughly by West Julian Street on the south, North Autumn Street on the west, some train tracks on the north and Autumn Parkway on the east. The site is perched near the banks of the Guadalupe River.

"This part of San Jose has the potential to serve as the new focal point of Silicon Valley," said Matt Field, chief investment officer with San Francisco-based TMG Partners.

Wide-ranging plans for major office developments, tech campus expansions, new residential projects and retail are among the reasons some experts believe this could happen.

What's more, the existing Diridion train station already has light rail, Amtrak, Caltrain, ACE Train and bus connections serving the downtown transit nexus. Plus, plans have been approved for BART lines and high-speed rail that could create one of the busiest mass transportation hubs.

"Our belief is that Diridon Station, in particular, will activate this historically industrial part of downtown San Jose into a bustling, inclusive, economic powerhouse," said Steve Fisher, principal executive with San Jose-based Valley Oak Partners.

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The site totals 5.5 acres and is within what's known as the Diridon Station Planning Area. The site of the development at present consists primarily of offices, shops, equipment yards, older industrial buildings, empty lots and surface parking sites.

"This is a great site," said Bob Staedler, principal executive with Silicon Valley Synergy, a San Jose-based land use planning consultancy. "It's walkable to the train station and has great vehicle access."

The respective sizes of the office buildings will be 499,000 square feet, 367,000 square feet and 157,000 square feet. Together those could be enough space for 5,000 employees.

Separately, Mountain View-based Google plans a big transit-oriented village that would consist of 6 million to 8 million square feet of offices, enough space to accommodate 15,000 to 20,000 Google workers.

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