Kylli Hosts Series of Design Workshops to Collect Feedback on 50-Story Mega-Project

Residents met with developers Monday as part of an ongoing series of design workshops to discuss a 50-story highrise that would add 6,000 new residential units by Santa Clara’s Levi’s Stadium and enough open space to rival the city’s flagship 52-acre park.

Chinese developer Kylli Inc. in 2019 is two meetings into its second year of community outreach for the proposed 10.5-million mixed-use project, which is set to occupy 46 acres at Tasman Drive and Great America Parkway on the former Yahoo! campus. A third is scheduled for later this month.

“We have this great vision about how we can make these spaces be active,” Kylli-hired spokesman Adam Alberti, of Singer and Associates, said in an interview earlier this week. “Jobs, office space, local job growth, retail and open space.”

According to the Kylli’s zoning application, the mega-development will create almost 15,000 new jobs, a new public elementary school, miles of walking trails and 8 acres of public open space. The open space, which spans the size of about six football fields, was the main focus of the public meeting Monday evening.

“Our open space network will help establish a unique identity for the project and provide gathering places for residents, neighbors, workers, shoppers and visitors,” Randi Gerson, vice president of real estate development for Kylli, said in an announcement of the forum.

The project’s site plan includes public spaces for a range of activities, he said, including a grassy field next to the proposed elementary school for both students and the public.

While the public park components of the Kylli project will come up for further discussion at future hearings and town halls, the thorniest part of the mixed-use proposal is it’s height. At 50 or so stories, it would be the tallest building for miles around.

Also cause for contention: the inevitable increase in traffic, which—combined with its close proximity to Levi’s Stadium—could lead to more headaches for commuters.

“There are concerns about height and [population] density,” Alberti conceded. “We’re hoping we can address those concerns at [future meetings].”

After this latest design workshop, the next installment is set for 6pm March 18 at Mission College, 3000 Mission College Blvd., Santa Clara.

If all goes according to plan, Kylli plans to wrap up environmental review in time to begin construction in the latter half of 2020. “It’s still early,” Alberti told San Jose Inside. “We’re planning to have more workshops ... in the future. We want to build a complete neighborhood, one with an overall community atmosphere.”

A massing image of the project. (Rendering via Kylli/City of Santa Clara)

13 Comments

  1. Wow, look at a satellite view of that space, its lat/long is 37.400617, -121.982393. It’s one huge parking lot right now. No wonder developers are salivating over it. But this project includes a 50 story building(s)? That doesn’t seem suitable for that area.

    • There is a report by the Asia Society done in November 2017 that raises significant national security concerns about Chinese real estate ventures in Silicon Vslley.

      • Thanks for linking to that report. Those concerns are not unlike those that are levied regarding Chinese telecom companies investing in infrastructure in the US and around the world.

        I wonder, though, with all this direct investment in US commercial (and other) real estate: Is it helping to cause the bubble in which we find ourselves now? When it pops, will the Chinese investors find themselves in the same position the Japanese investors did in the late 80s, holding a lot of assets that are worth a fraction of what they paid?

        If that indeed happens, I doubt the Chinese economy will be put into a decades-long recession like Japan, mainly due to their size, but more importantly the backing that they get from their government. This, too, is a concern, because they get to play in the market, but if things go wrong, they have a huge backstop that others don’t have.

  2. > miles of walking trails and 8 acres of public open space.

    The homeless will absolutely LOVE this.

    Plenty of foot traffic for panhandling. Plenty of space to poop and dump used needles. What’s not to like?

    > a 50-story highrise that would add 6,000 new residential units

    And just to make sure the homeless aren’t marginalized, ALL of the residential units should be below market rate.

  3. That’s great a 50 story building just 3 miles from the end of the runway at SJM and only 1200ft of center line of the flight path. They should build a twin on the opposite side and the 49rs should score a field goal every time a plane makes it through the goal posts.
    How long before 6000 angry occupants are signing petitions to shut down the noisy airport?
    How long before the building starts to lean as it sits on unstable bay mud?

    • The Leaning Tower of Santa Clara. That could be a big tourist attraction, just like the one in Pisa.

  4. What about the quality of life for the current residents who will be bombarded by traffic, night lights and the shadows cast by the buildings? Also, what about privacy in the backyards?
    Good one by MT Gunn!

  5. A 50-storey highrise!

    Every Mayor and City Council has told property owners and developers that because the airport exists, no highrises can be built.

    But now a Chinese company comes along… and the local electeds tell ’em, “Hey, hey, hey! That was then, and this is now! OK then: Ready… Set… GO!

    Apparently the Chinese are fast studies. Like the Niners, they’ve learned the finer points of bribing local officials on the QT…

    …unless someone can explain why a FIFTY STOREY highrise is suddenly A-OK with the airliners flight path.

  6. As a lifelong community member with a family and deep roots in the community, as long as labor has a seat at the table and the people who build it are treated fairly, I’ll support it.

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