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Downtown Sunnyvale Redevelopment Enters Final Phase

Downtown Sunnyvale’s redevelopment is entering its final phase, in spite of COVID-19. The Sunnyvale City Council approved the plans for the final phase in mid-August. Dave Hopkins, Chief Operating Officer at Sares Regis Group of Northern California (SRGNC), says while COVID-19 is a factor now, he does believe that things will get better.

“We’re watching the local economy like everybody is,” said Hopkins. “The fact is, this is a situation where we’ve got people reacting to an immediate set of circumstances around a pandemic and the pandemic’s going to, in a slow manner, organized way, work itself out. This economic impact will start to go away, it’s just a matter of when.”

While the pandemic will not ultimately stop the redevelopment project, it has slowed things down. Retail shops that were supposed to open in the spring and summer have not been able to. Both the AMC movie theater and Whole Foods were supposed to open in the spring and are still not open today.

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“The movie theater, it was going to open back in March. It was all ready,” said Hopkins. “Obviously, that didn’t happen because the shelter in place orders came down in mid-March. We’ve just been in a holding pattern, waiting for the county to get to the point where they can allow movie theaters to open and we’re not quite there.”

The Whole Foods is now set to open in October. Its opening was delayed because construction could not be done during the initial shelter in place. Once the county orders were eased, construction started back up.

SRGNC and Hunter Storm, the developers behind the Downtown Sunnyvale redevelopment project, say now that the plans are approved, work will soon start at the site of the old Macy’s building.

“Our most likely groundbreaking is just the demolition of the Macy’s building which has been empty for about a year and a half,” said Hopkins. “[It] represents the site of the future office development, which will have two office buildings and retail on the ground floor. That demolition will kind of get everything going on that block.”

The ability to acquire the Macy’s building a few years ago added the final pieces to the project. Adding that piece of land has allowed the developers to create a one-acre public plaza at the heart of the development. The plaza will center around the already existing redwood trees.

“We did get the approval with our plan to remove one redwood tree,” said Hopkins. “That one will be replaced by two new ones, which are going to be planted in the grove where the majority of the trees are right now. The reason is, it’s the tree that’s a bit on its own, and just impacts the usability of the site.”

The final phase will add a maximum of 792 new residential units along Murphy and McKinley Avenues. It will also include approximately 182,000 square feet of ground floor retail and 650,000 square feet of office space. It is scheduled to be completed in 2023-24.

Hunter Storm and SRGNC took over the CityLine Sunnyvale redevelopment project in late 2015 after nearly eight years of starts and stops by the previous development group. So far, the redevelopment project has delivered nearly 200 apartment units and 100,000 square feet of retail space.

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8 Comments
  1. Susan 3 weeks ago
    Reply

    Where are all these people supposed to park?

    • Richard F Mehlinger 2 weeks ago
      Reply

      There is ample unused parking in the downtown area, and the new buildings will include underground parking garages. But also: this location is next to the Caltrain station, and is easily accessible on foot or by bicycle. We need to be encouraging greener transportation choices, and putting housing near transportation is one of the best ways to do that.

  2. Lauren 3 weeks ago
    Reply

    So excited for this to open! As for parking, I will be walking or biking downtown with my family. No need to drive when everything is close by. Bus and train connections are good, so a lot of new residents will be able to live car-lite and commuters can take transit to work. Really increases the livability and quality of life for downtown-adjacent neighborhoods.

  3. Rick 3 weeks ago
    Reply

    So unless it is something like 1000 square feet of office space per employee, this development is heavily skewed towards office, not even achieving a fifty-fifty split with housing and so promoting even more commuting.

  4. Sure Susan 3 weeks ago
    Reply

    There are more than 2300 parking spaces already in the area. Parking is not an issue.

  5. Gala 3 weeks ago
    Reply

    Got a min.
    Welcome to Sunnyvales Money Pit…Downtown Redevelopment! Where our city tax dollars have been wasted with this project, (including the tactical tanks svpd acquired…for what purpose???). Those funds could of went to other city enrichment programs needed, to many to list that got short changed. Target twice, parking structures twice to name a few. Instead the elected continued with the ill planned project, gutted the heart and history of downtown. Oh we get to keep the redwoods barely and a patch of grass with buildings of empty offices/limited retail and more high end rentals. When 5 no 7 or more of these mega 5 story communities have been built within 5 miles from downtown if you can afford to live in them.
    As for the theaters, the city had those but lost them to valco due tp delays didnt save the place. Did we really need another high end food market when Trader Joes is right down the street along with Sprouts already. Do the elected actually live in Sunnyvale. We had a nice mall with places to shop, could of extended murphy street with its historic facades joining the two ends revamped the mall tying it all together and brought back new retail. Now we have to take our dollars elsewhere out of sunnyvale. Now with covid and all the at home working people can live anywhere and choosing to leave the area. Housing markets already showing that. Traffic……just wait…
    Sunnyvale has heart just no place for it to beat.

  6. Jay 2 days ago
    Reply

    I’m really excited for this project, can’t wait! Downtown Sunnyvale is gonna be super nice once this project is finished! Really looking forward to all the new restaurants, and especially the whole foods within walking distance!

  7. Jlt 2 days ago
    Reply

    I’m saddened to read they are taking one f the redwoods down because “ thetree that’s a bit on its own, and just impacts the usability of the site.” Nothing like cutting down a tree that is been there longer than most of us to put in another office building and taking a piece of our history and heart. Darn Larry Klein And those on the council approving this.
    Don’t vote for Larry Klein continue to be Mayor, until you find out who is paying for his campaign., or you could also be seeing Mathilda trees and those over by the library are in danger as well.
    Amazing how staying in politics entices ego to balloon and to stamp their name on something, yet citizens continue to lose. Think of that when voting on November 3rd.
    Progress can be made without killing of community’s heart and spirit.

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