Stalled Sunnyvale Town Center Project Back On Track
Excavators are back at Sunnyvale Town Center and the long-stalled project is well underway. STC Venture, a JV of Hunter Storm and Sares Regis Group, and the City of Sunnyvale celebrated the start of redevelopment last week.
Sunnyvale City Council, above, including council member Larry Klein, Vice Mayor Gustav Larsson, Mayor Glenn Hendricks, council member Jim Griffith, council member Tara Martin-Milius and council member Jim Davis, accepted ceremonial sledge hammers from the JV.
The 36-acre mixed-use project will revitalize downtown Sunnyvale, provide 198 residential units and add retail, a grocery store and a theater. A partial structure at Redwood Square will be demolished and temporary parking and landscaping will be installed.
Sares Regis Group SVP Dave Hopkins, above, tells us this development hits the company's “sweet spot.” It’s near transit and jobs and the downtown location will offer amenities to tenants and Sunnyvale residents. Sares' history includes infill housing communities with its focus over the last five years more on pioneering high-density housing within the urban core of suburban markets, similar to Downtown Sunnyvale.
Hunter Storm president Deke Hunter, above, says his company also focuses on infill transit-oriented development. This project was a “natural fit” because of its proximity to transit, office and retail.
Deke and Dave both say this project will help bring people into the downtown area.
“Having a place where the community will gather is what all these towns like Mountain View and San Jose want. Sunnyvale is no different,” Deke says. “We worked hard with urban planning to create a fabric that is unique to them and a fabric that holds the city together from a housing and cultural standpoint.”
Dave says this project gives the JV an “opportunity to look forward and plan for the future,” especially since the market and region have changed a lot since the project started in 2007, with people seeking walkable lifestyles in proximity to a downtown social hub.
The challenges of the site, which has sat unfinished since 2009, will be to “take what was a good event and to morph it to reflect what we learned as developers with community participants and make it reflect the need and requirements of today’s demand versus what was demanded in 2007,” Deke says.
Dave says this downtown location will be suitable for both of today’s largest generations—Baby Boomers and Millennials. Sunnyvale has demand from both of these demographics in the job market.
First up on the project’s agenda: to complete the three mixed-use buildings to about 89% completion in 12 to 18 months. The project will have 198 households and retail at the base of the buildings. Work will begin next month.
The JV will finish building for 248k SF of retail and develop a lifestyle grocery and multiplex theater as well as infrastructure in and around the property, Deke says. The developers will raze the partially constructed Redwood Square and reconceive the project to best fit the community.
Hunter Storm director of development Curtis Leigh will talk more at our Annual Silicon Valley Construction & Development Forum on Dec. 7 in Santa Clara.