Exclusive: Microsoft buys north San Jose land, large complex eyed – The Mercury News
SAN JOSE — Microsoft, poised for expansion into north San Jose, has bought 65 acres of empty land along State Route 237 between Alviso and Milpitas, signaling that the site fits into its plans to widen its reach in cloud and internet technologies.
“We continuously explore opportunities to meet the needs of a future based on cloud computing and internet services, so we’re thrilled to find a great one in the heart of Silicon Valley,” said Christian Belady, general manager of Microsoft Cloud Infrastructure and Operations, referring to Microsoft’s north San Jose land purchase.
The site is being planned as a light industrial center that would include a data center complex, according to planning documents on file with the city of San Jose.
The project is expected to bring hundreds of jobs into the north side of the city, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said Friday.
“We welcome Microsoft’s substantial investment in San Jose, as it seeks to meet the world’s burgeoning demand for cloud capacity,” Mayor Liccardo said.
Two development options are on file with the city, which both would allow development of more than 1 million square feet on the site. The project is called “237 Industrial Center.”
One option would allow development of up to 1.2 million square feet of light industrial facilities. The other option would permit development of a data center totaling up to 437,000 square feet and as much as 728,000 square feet of light industrial facilities, the city documents show.
The sellers in the Sept. 27 transaction were a group of families affiliated with San Jose-based Cilker Orchards.
Not far from this new Microsoft site, KLA Tencor, SanDisk, Brocade Communications, Polycom, Harmonic, Tivo, Global Foundry, ST Electronics and Marvell Semiconductor operate in big office complexes.
Amenities also have emerged in the area in recent years, with more on the way. Hotels have sprouted nearby on both sides of Highway 237. Target is the anchor of a shopping center alongside the highway. Top Golf is planning a “golf-tainment” center in north San Jose, although Alviso residents have sued in an attempt to block the project.
Microsoft already occupies a Silicon Valley campus, consisting of a multi-building office complex on La Avenida Street in Mountain View, near the intersection of U.S. 101 and North Shoreline Boulevard, not far from the Googleplex headquarters of Alphabet and Google.
For decades, many technology companies bypassed San Jose in favor of expansions in Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Menlo Park, Cupertino and even San Francisco. But within the last year, San Jose has become a magnet for major tech companies’ new outposts.
Apple has bought and leased buildings and vacant land that it intends to use as a future north San Jose campus, which could rival the size of its spaceship campus in Cupertino.
Adobe has laid plans for a major expansion of its downtown San Jose headquarters with at least one new office tower.
Amazon’s Lab 126 has leased one or more floors in a downtown San Jose office tower, the digital commerce site’s first foray into San Jose.
City officials said that no final decision has been made on which option Microsoft would select.
“I especially appreciate Microsoft’s sensitivity to the surrounding environment, and its continued commitment to sustainable construction and operations,” Mayor Liccardo said.