Bay West Development OK’d for 3.8M sf office campus in San Jose

Development will sit atop former Fry’s headquarters and superstore

Bay West Development's Byron Wolf and a rendering of 550 East Brokaw Road, San Jose
Bay West Development's Byron Wolf and a rendering of 550 East Brokaw Road, San Jose (Bay West Development)

Bay West Development has won final approval to build a 20-acre office campus atop the former Fry’s Electronics headquarters in north San Jose.

The Campbell-based developer was approved by the City Council to build 1.9 million square feet of offices at 550 East Brokaw Road, the San Jose Mercury News reported. The former Fry’s HQ and big box store will be bulldozed along with 274 trees.

The 3.8 million-square-foot project will include seven eight-story buildings, wrapped by curtains of glass, with white and copper accents.

It will also include 1.65 million square feet of parking in two nine- and 10-story garages, to fit 5,385 cars and 410 bicycles.

The Bay West project, designed by Gensler, will span an entire block, connected by greenbelts, a pedestrian walkway, picnic area and plaza. An amphitheater will occupy the northwest corner.

Fry’s, a San Jose-based chain of electronics big-box stores known for their distinctive themes,  closed in early 2021. The North San Jose site was home to its corporate headquarters and a superstore modeled on a Mayan temple.

Bay West hasn’t secured tenants for the Class-A development, which means it will build the project on a speculative basis, according to the San Jose Spotlight.

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Construction was initially expected to start as soon as October, across four phases of 23 months each, with completion expected by 2031. The developer now doesn’t expect to begin construction for more than a year, with completion to take nearly a decade, according to the Mercury News.

The council’s approval of Bay West’s plan comes amid high office vacancy rates in Silicon Valley. 

With many local employees still working remotely in the wake of the pandemic, local companies from Meta Platforms to Alphabet have begun to reevaluate and shed offices.

But Bay West Partner Byron Wolf told the City Council there is interest in premium office projects like the one his firm will build atop the former Fry’s.

“There are not many properties in all of Silicon Valley that can provide this amount of scale to provide a more campus-type feel, than individual buildings,” Wolf said, according to Spotlight.

Bay West Development, founded in 1979 by Bill Poland, has completed $3.9 billion in projects in California, Washington and Texas, according to its website. Its development pipeline includes converting a former Fry’s store in Renton, Washington.

— Dana Bartholomew

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