There were plenty of smiles in downtown Sunnyvale on May 9 as city leaders and local developers gathered for the topping off ceremony of the latest phase of the Cityline project. The ceremony is steeped in tradition and dates back to 700 AD in Scandinavia.
“The tradition spread throughout Europe and to America were adorned the symbols like the American flag, and the tree that you see before that’s being raised today,” said Josh Rupert, Director of Development at Hunter Properties. “The tree is the most important symbol as it signifies that the building has reached its highest point without the loss of life, and it’s supposed to bode well for future inhabitants of the building.
“The flag was apparently an American addition that, of course, symbolizes our patriotism and love of country,” continued Rupert. “The construction trades are notorious for having a large number of veterans and this inclusion is a natural fit. Regardless of whether you believe in the symbology of today’s event, the outcome is tremendous nonetheless.”
Attendees of the topping off ceremony added a little piece of themselves to the build, signing a 30-foot steel beam before it was lifted into place.
The two seven-story buildings included in the topping off ceremony sit where the old Macy’s department store once stood on Washington Street at the end of historical Murphy Avenue. The new development will extend Murphy Avenue another block to connect it to a planned retail quarter in Redwood Square.
Sunnyvale Mayor Larry Klein was there to take part in the topping off ceremony. He says it’s a culmination of nearly two decades of work that he witnessed firsthand.
“20 years ago, we were looking at replacing a bankrupt mall that was at the center of our downtown with what the future might be,” recalled Klein. “And that future was transportation-oriented development. It was housing; it was retail; it was office space. Trying to make sure that this becomes a draw for residents, for employers, at the heart of Sunnyvale, at the heart of Silicon Valley.
“I started going to council, to outreach meetings as a resident. Then I got involved and decided to get on the planning commission, never thinking I’d get on city council or be ever become the mayor of the city,” said Klein.
The two new office buildings and a nearby 12-story apartment tower that is also near completion are just the latest properties to take shape in the Cityline development. The development has already added new retail and housing to revitalize downtown Sunnyvale.
The office buildings are state of the art. They are LEED Gold certified, meaning environmentally friendly. What’s more, they meet Fitwel standards, which measure the health safety measures in place to keep people safe in a post-COVID-19 environment.
“These new towers really represent the office of the future versus the office of the past,” said Deke Hunter, president of Hunter Partners one of the developers behind the Cityline project. “Tenants are increasingly demanding location and quality, and we have both.”
It was just 18 months ago that the developers demolished the old Macy’s building and broke ground on this construction site. The buildings are expected to be move-in ready by the fall of 2024.