A developer has scaled back plans for a massive high-rise office building in Santa Clara after residents and the City Council voiced concerns the project would be too tall.
Kylli Inc., a subsidiary of Chinese developer Genzon, originally submitted plans for an expansive mixed-use community that included a 600 foot high-rise building, which is about 50 stories tall. It would have been the tallest buildings in the South Bay—by far.
“When you said 50 stories, I just couldn’t imagine that in Santa Clara, to be honest with you,” Councilwoman Debi Davis told Kylli representatives at a public meeting last year, according to the Silicon Valley Business Journal.
The developer’s new plans for the property at 3005 Democracy Way have reduced the height of the building by 30 percent. Now, the office building will only be 400 feet tall. The adjustment came after local residents and city officials were concerned the height of the building wouldn’t fit well with the city.
“We heard that the height was the topmost concern,” Randi Gerson, vice president of real estate for Kylli, told San Jose Inside. “Through careful reconfiguration, we were able to address that concern in a significant way—more than 30 percent reduction in height—while still retaining the amenities that the community was asking for, like a grocery store, cafes and shops, a public school and daycare centers.”
The new plans also have shorter blocks, which make the site more walkable, she added.
The rest of the project, called Mission Point, is an expansive development that includes 3.65 million square feet of office space, 400,000 square feet of retail, eight acres of parks and open space, a new hotel, daycare facilities, a public school and 6,000 housing units. Fifteen percent of the housing units will be affordable, a spokesperson for Kylli said.
Andrew Crabtree, Santa Clara’s director of community development, said it’s the largest project in the city’s pipeline, and its effect on traffic and transportation still need to be evaluated. Also, he said, the city is going to scrutinize the building height even further.
“We are looking at building height in terms of compatibility,” he said. “As we think about adding development in the northern part of the city, we do think about public facilities and infrastructure to support all that.”
The project is still in its initial stages. An environmental impact report still has to be completed and ultimately, the City Council will have to approve it.