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CityLine Sunnyvale Gains Momentum With City National Bank Lease Signed, Whole Foods Open

After years of attempts to invigorate downtown Sunnyvale with a town center, efforts to move CityLine Sunnyvale from concept to reality further materialized with retail spaces gaining occupancy and more construction ahead.

STC Venture LLC, the joint venture between affiliates of Hunter Storm and Sares Regis Group of Northern California, is executing the major mixed-use project. The development team is working on wrapping up Phase 1, which began construction in 2016 with 198 rental housing units called The Flats located along Washington Avenue and McKinley Avenue, delivered in 2018, and another 75 under construction.

Additionally, about 100K SF of retail has been delivered to the ground floor of The Flats and below a Target in Phase 1’s Building N, according to Hunter Properties Inc. Director of Development Josh Rupert, who said that approximately 50K SF has either been leased or opened.

The most recent lease signed was with City National Bank for over 3K SF at 301 West McKinley Ave., according to Rupert. CityLine’s major anchors, the 52K SF AMC Dine-In Sunnyvale 12 and the 52K SF Whole Foods Market located in the heart of the project, are both open for business. 

Whole Foods Market and AMC Dine-In Sunnyvale 12 are open at CityLine Sunnyvale.

“We’re very excited to bring a tenant of City National Bank’s caliber into Phase 1 of CityLine Sunnyvale,” Hunter Storm Managing Member Deke Hunter said in a press release. “Our lease with this tenant, executed during a global pandemic, is a testament to the attraction of Downtown Sunnyvale and its promising future, as City National Bank just completed the opening of a flagship location in Manhattan’s Hudson Yards. Our teams are moving quickly through the design and permitting process so that we can begin construction soon, with the goal of having them open and operating this year.”

Other leasing activities include a Kid’s Care Dental that will open this month; Urban Plates, Pacific Catch and Ulta, all with leases in hand; and Salon Republic, which just began occupancy of 19K SF. Additionally, AT&T and Xfinity stores are open.

“We're always on the lookout for attractive restaurants,” Rupert said. “What we're looking for in the other spaces are dynamic tenants that will help drive activity to the center. So we're not just plugging and playing whichever tenant comes to the table — we’re very selective.”

The coronavirus pandemic has extended the time frame for CityLine Sunnyvale's full delivery, which includes a Phase 2 with about 650K SF of office, 792 residential units, 182K SF of retail and a Redwood Square plaza. However, Rupert said that the project is positioned to be one of the most successful shopping centers in Silicon Valley, in part due to its prime downtown location.

“We do have a great location — we're piggybacking off of the already successful Murphy Avenue, and we're right next to a train station, so our entire development benefits from the location,” Hunter Properties Development Manager Curtis Leigh said.

In addition to the proximity to the Sunnyvale Caltrain station, Rupert said that the project’s position near major vehicular arteries of El Camino Real, Mathilda Avenue, and Highways 280 and 101 will make it a regional destination along with the presence of the three major anchors of Target, Whole Foods and AMC.

The first Phase 2 project is Block 3 at the site of a former Macy’s, of which the southern portion is geared for two residential towers approved in January. Two seven-story office buildings with ground-floor retail planned for the site will go to the planning commission on March 22 for approval, Rupert said. If approved, demolition work could begin this spring.