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5 Trends That Brought Unmatched Growth, New Capital To Silicon Valley

In Silicon Valley, last year was all about growth, with both office space and housing in high demand and low supply. Here are some highlights from the year.

1. Big Office Buys


Office properties saw big transactions in Silicon Valley during 2015.

Morgan Stanley Real Estate bought Tibco Software's 292k SF office in Palo Alto for $330M.

In Santa Clara, a JV of Clarion Partners and the Oregon Public Employees Retirement System bought three buildings totaling 450k SF, Phase 1 of Menlo Equities' The Campus @ 3333 (shown), for $305.1M. Clarion also paid $1,120/SF for 490 California Ave in Palo Alto in a $27.75M purchase from Invesco in 2015.

2. Jay Paul Goes Big in Sunnyvale


Jay Paul Co made some big buys in Sunnyvale in 2015.

At the beginning of the year, the firm moved to buy 47 acres from Lockheed Martin—two parcels with five Lockheed buildings. In the end, the company paid nearly $200M for the parcels, where it will develop Moffett Towers 2, a 1.65M SF campus.

The site adds to the company's already strong Sunnyvale presence with its 1.8M SF Moffett Towers and 1.9M SF Moffett Place.

At the end of the year, Jay Paul bought the future Sunnyvale Apple campus site (shown) from Landbank Investments for $177.5M.

3. North San Jose Booming


North San Jose drew a lot of activity in 2015.

In September, Samsung opened its new headquarters building.

The area also got a big boost in cred when Apple started to scoop up a large amount of space. Now, it looks like the tech giant, already planning a new 2.8M SF spaceship campus in Cupertino, could create a 4.15M SF campus in North San Jose.

Trammell Crow announced it would build 1M SF of industrial and office space on spec in North San Jose. Broadcom agreed to buy Innovation Place for $207M from Boston Properties.

South Bay Development Co broke ground on its 237@First office park, a four-building project with up to 615k SF. South Bay Development bought the site in 2012, which was entitled by Cisco back in the late 1990s.

4. Multifamily on the Move


There were some big multifamily deals in Silicon Valley, where the housing market remains tight, in 2015.

In Menlo Park, Maximus Real Estate Partners and Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management purchased the Sharon Green Apartments for $245M or $828k/unit.

Other deals included JB Matteson's purchase of the luxury Ilara Apartments (shown) in Milpitas for $102M; AIMCO's $118.4M deal for Saybrook Pointe Apartment Homes in San Jose; and Grosvenor Americas' $160M purchase of Waterstone Apartment Homes in San Jose.

Mapletree Group picked up two Silicon Valley properties that will be operated by JV partner Oakwood Worldwide as corporate housing. Mapletree purchased apartment complexes in Redwood City and Mountain View in 2015 after having bought a complex in Sunnyvale in 2014.

Multifamily expansions (such as the one planned by Irvine Co at its Hamptons apartment complex near Apple's headquarters) and new projects (including UDR-Domain Mountain View, which broke ground in June) also worked to meet housing needs in Silicon Valley, while St. Anton Communities announced it would build more than 1,000 transit-oriented development units in Silicon Valley during the next two years.

5. Mixed-Use Fueling Growth


Mixed-use is of growing interest in Silicon Valley as it becomes more important to offer a more urban, transit-oriented setting for the area's tech firm employees. Hence, several of the projects in play right now are mixed-use developments that seek to offer housing, office space and retail all in a pedestrian- and transit-friendly setup.

Lyon Communities broke ground on a Milpitas mixed-use project last year, and Sares Regis Group of Northern California and Resmark Apartment Living started the demolition of San Bruno Plaza for a new mixed-use project.

Big mixed-use projects proposed or underway include Irvine Co's Santa Clara Square (above, where we'll be holding our next Silicon Valley event!); Insight Realty's Museum Place and Rail Yard Place in San JoseVolar, a mixed-use tower near Santana Row; and Federal Realty's proposal for San Antonio Center in Mountain View.

After 2015, what does 2016 hold for Silicon Valley? Join us for Bisnow's Future of Silicon Valley: Hot Projects event on Feb. 25 to find out what's going on! Info and registration here!