Irvine’s Big Spec Project Pays Off
By Nathan Donato-Weinstein
Real Estate Reporter, Silicon Valley Business Journal
Winner: Best Speculative Project
The Santa Clara Gateway II, at Great America Parkway and Highway 237.
Developer: The Irvine Company
Architect: Pei Cobb Freed & Partners Architects LLP
Contractor: Hathaway Dinwiddie Construction Co.
Listing agents: Mike Schmidt and Christian Marent of CBRE
After signing two full-building users to its Santa Clara Gateway campus in 2012, the Irvine Company kept the momentum going in 2013.
March saw the addition of GlobalFoundries to Phase 2 of the 911,000-square-foot project, joining Phase I tenants Dell and Arista at the 41-acre site located at the corner of Great America Parkway and Highway 237. That deal, for 165,000 square feet, brought the project to roughly 50 percent leased.
The continued activity helps validate the Los Angeles-based company’s decision to move forward on the campus — one of the largest speculative projects in the Valley in years — in 2011, even before the economy had fully recovered.
“It was a big decision on our part” to build both phases, said Andrew Goodman, regional vice president of leasing for Irvine in the South Bay. “But we’ve been very fortunate with our success in Phase I. We’re staying the course from where we started.”
Ruth Shikada, economic development officer for the city of Santa Clara, said Irvine was part of a wave of office development bringing life to this part of the city. The first tenants at Gateway are expected to move in later this fall.
Irvine is also looking to broaden its appeal beyond heavyweight users. It’s now bringing its “spec suite” model — which the company calls “ReadyNow” to accommodate tenants from 7,000 square feet and up.
Listing agent Mark Schmidt of CBRE said the strategy helps in a competitive environment.
“There seems to be more activity right now in the smaller deal market, so this is a good idea,” he said, adding that touring activity from larger users continues to be pretty good. “Our mission is to go chase everyone.”
Construction on the project is now about 80 percent complete.