Site preparation is officially underway on a project that will replace the Santa Clara golf course across from Levi’s Stadium with an urban village that could bring up to 25,000 new jobs—but only 1,700 new homes. If all goes according to plan, the 9.2 million-square-foot City Place development will break ground by 2020.
Though the project will force David’s Restaurant, a restaurant and wedding venue on the golf course, to close, it will make way for a host of new dining establishments—including a food hall similar to the San Francisco Ferry Building—as part of a commercial hub that could replace downtown as the center of gravity in Santa Clara.
At build-out, the $8 billion project by Related Companies—a firm perhaps best known for building the 28 million-square-foot Hudson Yards in Manhattan—will include everything from clusters of condos, an open-air market and a million square feet of shops, eateries and entertainment venues at 5155 Stars and Stripes Drive. The first phase of construction comprises a 440,000-square-foot office building, a 430-room hotel and some homes.
All that, atop an old landfill.
“The central part of the development will feature the project’s restaurant, retail, and entertainment space, and will serve as the main gathering area for visitors, shoppers, and workers,” Related Companies explained in a summary of the development.
Mayor Lisa Gillmor said she has high hopes for the project. “We loved the ambition of Related, especially considering their past work,” she said.
The proposal has prompted considerable pushback from neighboring San Jose, which expressed concern about the development inducing a massive influx of car traffic around and along the already congested Highway 101 and State Route 237. And though accessible by light rail, the 240-acre property lies far enough away from BART and Caltrain stations to make it inconvenient enough to encourage car traffic.
San Jose also criticized its neighboring municipality for approving yet another development with far more jobs than homes to accommodate the expanded workforce.
Related Companies has been planning City Place for the past six years, and formally pitched it to city officials in 2016 as a way to revitalize the area around the golf course.
Architectural firm Foster + Partners, which worked on the Apple “spaceship” in Cupertino, has been hired to draft designs for the development alongside Gensler. Newmark Knight Frank’s Executive Vice Chairman Phil Mahoney will look for prospective office tenants.
Though Related will foot the bill for the preliminary work on the development, the company partnered with Oxford Properties Group to garner enough additional investment to bring it across the finish line.
The project is on track to open its first phase by 2023 and expected to eventually generate $17 million in ongoing annual tax revenue for the city.
“We’re a medium-sized city, but we’re doing it big,” Gillmor said. “We have developments such as [Levi’s] Stadium and tech companies that are on the level of larger cities.”