Domed Century 21 theater site tapped for big San Jose office campus

SAN JOSE — A big office complex is planned for San Jose’s iconic domed theater site, according to new plans that suggest the property’s owner is pushing ahead with efforts to transform the choice location into a tech campus.

Three office buildings and a parking garage would be constructed adjacent to the site of a prominent domed theater near the corner of Winchester Boulevard and Olsen Drive. The theater dome structure would be preserved as part of the development.

The new campus, dubbed Santana West, is across the street from the bustling Santana Row mixed-use complex, according to a proposal that developer Federal Realty has filed with San Jose planners.

The offices would total 850,000 square feet, the city planning document show. Potentially, more than 4,000 people could work at a modern office campus of this size.

“This would be a high-quality office development at a great location,” said Dave Sandlin, a senior vice president and principal executive with Colliers International, a commercial realty brokerage.

In addition to its proximity to Santana Row, the development would be a short distance from Westfield Valley Fair mall and the busy intersection of Winchester and Stevens Creek boulevards.

“The real question is the traffic impact,” Sandlin said.

Commenting about the early stage filing with the city, Federal Realty said its ongoing plans to eventually develop the site remain in place.

The 13.4-acre site includes a domed theater that opened in 1964 and is known for showings of an array of films, including blockbusters such as “Star Wars: A New Hope” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” The movie operation, once known as the Century 21 movie theater, closed in 2014.

Two of the office buildings would each total 350,000 square feet, while the third would be 150,000 square feet. The two larger buildings would each be eight stories, while the smaller office structure would be five stories. The parking garage would be four stories.

“Federal Realty has done a good job of developing Santana Row into a destination with mixed uses, and people and businesses want to be there,” said Chad Leiker, a first vice president with commercial realty brokerage Kidder Mathews.

The existing Santana Row complex contains the 215-room Hotel Valencia, more than 70 shops, 20 restaurants and nine spa salons. Santana Row also has 834 residential units, of which 219 are privately owned condos and 615 are apartments for rent, according to a brochure circulated in 2016.

Santana Row has 300,000 square feet of existing offices, including 65,000 square feet at 300 Santana Row and 235,000 square feet at 500 Santana Row. Plus, Federal Realty is building a 260,000-square-foot office complex along with 30,000 square feet of retail at the 700 Santana Row site. The existing offices at 500 Santana Row have attracted tenants such as tech firm Splunk.

Big office complexes are attracting plenty of attention these days from digital giants.

Facebook, Apple, Google and Amazon are among the tech titans that, through a combination of leases or property purchases, or both, have dramatically and steadily widened their respective footprints in recent years through a head-spinning quest for office spaces to accommodate their fast-growing operations.

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“This new project is across from Santana Row and I’m sure they anticipate having the same type of success as they have had with what they have developed so far,” Leiker said.

Source: FS – All – Real Estate News 1
Domed Century 21 theater site tapped for big San Jose office campus