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Mission Point Gets Scaled Back Again, This Time By the FAA

In April, developer Kylli resubmitted plans for its major Mission Point project to the City of Santa Clara Planning Department, scaling back the originally proposed maximum building height of 600 feet down to 400 feet. During the resubmitting process, Kylli had sent the revised plans to multiple agencies including the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for feedback. Now, the FAA has sent comments to the developer stating that any buildings taller than 61 feet will cause aviation radar interference and called for further reduction in building heights.

“Considering the site’s location, concerns from the aviation community were expected and common in the area, most notably experienced by Levi’s stadium,” wrote Randi Gerson, Vice President of real estate at Kylli, in a letter to the City. “Kylli is working with an aviation consulting firm that will assist us with navigating the FAA process. It is presumed that further analysis and a revised plan will allow for more flexible heights. Kylli will compile all the information necessary to make this request and will be working to establish the extent of this reduction and revising our application accordingly.”

The Kylli team is currently trying to reach a compromise regarding the height issue with the FAA and hopes to release the next iteration of plans by year’s end. Gerson also stated that a height reduction will also cause a density reduction, which could help relieve concerns about the project’s impact on the area’s transportation infrastructure.

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“We have a valuable existing entitlement for office space at 3005 Democracy Way but have always pursued a bolder vision for a mixed-use community that can serve a broader purpose in north Santa Clara,” said Gerson. “Over the last 18 months, we have sought and achieved meaningful dialogue and feedback from our neighbors, community leaders, the City, the FAA, and other regional oversight agencies around this vision. Through this process, it has become clear that our current mixed-use plan needs to be adjusted in order to meet local and regional housing needs, be economically viable, technically achievable and enjoy the full support of the community.”

The project site at 3005 Democracy Way is currently used as overflow parking. The plans submitted in April called for the construction of up to 6,000 residential units, 3.5 million square feet of office space and 400,000 square feet of hotel and office amenity space. Eight acres of public parks are planned for the 46-acre, nine-parcel development site. The plans also feature 6.5 acres of private open space, a network of trails that connect to the streetscape, a public elementary school that can accommodate 600 students and daycare facilities to serve 250 children.

The project is situated nearby Levi’s Stadium, Mission College and the Great America VTA station. Kylli’s vision is to create a high-density, mixed-use project that is a, “a dense yet balanced, diverse and synergistic mix of uses creating a complete community” and provides “a strong harmonious relationship between the development and the surrounding context.”

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