09/28/23 | Silicon Valley Business Journal
Silicon Valley needs two things: more housing, and fewer big, ugly corporate campuses. At a location near the south-central border of Sunnyvale, one new development has satisfied both of those things.
What was once the nearly 35-acre corporate headquarters campus of Advanced Micro Devices Inc. — a semiconductor company better known as AMD that called Sunnyvale home for 47 years — now sits a housing community that when finished next year will have a total of 1,051 rental and for-sale residences. But what sets the development apart from others is its sheer size, which allows for plenty of open space so residents don’t feel like they’re crammed on top of each other, and its preservation of the site’s natural features, like the 115 Coastal Redwood trees that give the project its name.
The road to get from semiconductors to in-unit washer and dryers dates back to at least 2006, when one developer proposed rezoning the area from industrial to residential. It would take another nine years for the City Council to adopt the East Sunnyvale Area Plan, which sought to ensure that future communities would provide homes near natural amenities and jobs.
The Irvine Co., a developer that had done a variety of office, residential and mixed-use projects, bought the campus in 2016 for $175 million. That prompted AMD to rethink its space needs and relocate to Santa Clara three years later.
Irvine decided to sell off a six-acre slice of the property to residential developer Taylor Morrison in 2020 for $75 million. Irvine would build apartments on the portion it retained, while Taylor Morrison would build for-sale townhomes.
Redwood Place was “the result of a great partnership with the city and community of Sunnyvale,” said Todd Keller, president of Irvine’s apartment development division. “This collaboration led to a master-planned community steeped in sustainability, preservation and quality, creating a unique village environment surrounded by preserved coastal redwoods.”
Since the Business Journal created the Structures Milestone Award — an honor intended to recognize a game-changing development that will have a long-lasting impact on the community — this is the first time editors have given the award to a purely residential project.
Address: 1030 Indian Wells Ave., Sunnyvale
Size: 944 apartments and 107 for-sale homes on 34.75 acres
Cost: $175 million for land in 2016; construction costs not disclosed
Status: Under construction. Final phase to be completed in 2024.
Background: Former site of the corporate headquarters of chip giant Advanced Micro Devices Inc.
Challenges: Developer The Irvine Co. promised to preserve 115 of the site’s coastal redwoods. The company kept 70 preserved in place and relocated 45 others, which required two cranes and two flatbeds to move each tree.
Green elements: Community is rated GreenPoint Gold; includes electric car chargers.
Tidbit: A 6.5-acre on-site park is among the largest public parks in Sunnyvale.
Unique features: Irvine worked with the Sunnyvale to create a public perimeter trail among a preserved grove of existing ash trees.
Amenities: Residences have in-home washers and dryers and private patios or balconies. The complex has resort-style saltwater pools, courtyards, EV charging station, a cafe and market, and open spaces.
The Irvine Co. (rental portion)
Taylor Morrison (for sale)
General contractor: Western National Contractors