The site of a future downtown San Jose tech campus planned by two veteran realty developers has captured the interest of Google’s development ally, a possible hint that Google’s areas of interest may expand in the Bay Area’s largest city.
TMG Partners and Valley Oak Partners have crafted a purchase and sales agreement with Mike Akatiff, the principal owner of the parcels, located in an aging industrial district along the banks of the Guadalupe River, near the corner of West Julian Street and Autumn Park.
But, according to Akatiff, TMG and Valley Oak haven’t been the only builders interested in what’s suddenly become a hot property in downtown San Jose.
“Trammell Crow was one of the companies that approached us,” Akatiff said Monday. “There was also another party interested.” He wouldn’t identify this party.
Trammell Crow, however, is Google’s development partner in the tech giant’s quest to build a vast, transit-oriented campus near Diridon Station that some have dubbed a Google village.
That interest peaked during the final three months of 2016, which was about the time when Google and Trammell Crow began striking purchase deals with property owners along Autumn and Montgomery streets, as well as adjacent streets, near the Diridon transit station and the SAP Center entertainment complex.“There was a lot of interest in late 2016 in our property.” Akatiff said. “It seems like a lot of light bulbs kind of went off at the same time.”
The future TMG and Valley Oak tech campus would emerge on the northeast border of Google’s primary areas of interest in downtown San Jose.
Mountain View-based Google and San Francisco-based Trammell Crow, acting through affiliates they control, have spent $141.7 million collecting industrial, retail and residential sites, as well as vacant lots, in downtown San Jose.
In addition, the city of San Jose and Google have launched negotiations over whether the city would sell 16 city-controlled parcels to the digital titan. Those properties would be part of the land assembly that Google seeks to complete for its future transit-oriented campus.
The Google village, if built, would total 8 million to 10 million square feet and could potentially accommodate 15,000 to 20,000 Google employees.
The TMG and Valley Oak site would bring about 1 million square feet of offices to the market. Although the two developers haven’t completed an official purchase of the property, Akatiff said the sales of the properties would be concluded by no later than December 2018.
“It would not be surprising at all if Google is interested in this property,” said Bob Staedler, a principal executive with Silicon Valley Synergy, a property development and consulting firm.
Separately, Trammell Crow has secured city approval for a 1.1 million-square-foot office campus on the eastern edges of the Google village site.
So that means TMG Partners and Trammell Crow are pursuing separate projects that could eventually land the same occupant: Google.
“These projects mean that there could be 2 million square feet right out of the box and ready to bake for Google,” Staedler said.
Trammell Crow didn’t respond to a request for comment on the matter.
Akatiff believes that TMG and Valley Oak are serious about getting their project off the drawing boards and under construction. He is confident the two developers will officially buy his property, which he assembled over a 28-year period.