Tech Giants Keep Silicon Valley Strong For Jobs, Housing
Silicon Valley could remain a vibrant market beyond the next decade, says Alex Waterbury, Northern California president for Lennar Multifamily Communities. That's why we're excited to have Alex and our other esteemed panelists share their insights on Silicon Valley at Bisnow's Future of Silicon Valley: Hot Projects event Feb. 25 at Santa Clara Square.
We caught up with Alex (that's him with his youngest son on a ski trip) to find out what he's seeing in Silicon Valley. While San Francisco has seen impressive technology growth, it's hard to ignore the stability and established position of Silicon Valley, Alex tells us.
"The profitability and cash positions of Valley-based companies like Google, Apple and Cisco is pretty tough to ignore," he says. "These three firms alone have created tens of thousands of jobs at smaller, less sexy companies that in turn provide a lot of the back-end infrastructure that supports all of the bigger consumer-facing companies, both in the Valley and beyond."
That creates an environment where, as long as the power players remain stable, the Valley as a whole should remain stable relative to other parts of the Bay Area in the near term, he says.
He cites job growth numbers for the San Jose MSA (Santa Clara County), which added about 40% of the Bay Area's jobs in 2015 (an impressive feat for one of the area's nine counties). So Alex expects stable, steady growth for Silicon Valley this year, though not at the peak rates seen in the past two years.
Continued success for Silicon Valley's tech giants creates a good outlook for Lennar Multifamily's Silicon Valley projects, all of which are likely to be long-term holds.
The company's Milpitas project, 450 Montague (above), is scheduled to break ground next month, and will add 351 apartment homes across the street from the new BART station and existing VTA line, Alex tells us. The site is near Cisco, as well as Samsung and Apple's future R&D campus in North San Jose, he says, and Google is a short ride away on the VTA.
The Transit Area Specific Plan put in place by the City of Milpitas at the beginning of this cycle is really starting to create critical mass and the area is filling out with an attractive mix of for-sale homes, parks, ground-level retail, and an impressive array of multifamily housing, Alex says.
Lennar Multifamily's 200-unit El Camino Real project in Mountain View sits just a few miles away from the Google campus off San Antonio, he says. The location also benefits from proximity to Palo Alto with its built-in job centers at Stanford University, he says.
His team expects to break ground late this year or early next year, and while there will be competition from other projects, 200 new units in Mountain View doesn't begin to address the severe jobs-housing imbalance in that submarket, he tells us.
Finally, Alex says his team is excited to be breaking ground early next year on Phase 1 of its Fremont mixed-use community at the new Warm Springs BART station. The location in southern Fremont puts it very close to the North San Jose/Milpitas job market and thousands of innovative jobs within Fremont at companies like Tesla, Thermo Fisher and Boston Scientific, Alex says. The first phase will be about 302 units, followed by more than 650 apartment units in phases 2 and 3. The development is a partnership with the Bay Area Division of Lennar Homes, which will add more than 1,000 homes, a new elementary school, and more than 30 acres for Class-A office and R&D.