Adobe Breaks Ground on New Downtown San Jose Tower

Adobe broke ground on its North Tower on Monday, kicking off construction of the 700,000-square-foot all-electric addition to its downtown campus. At build-out, the company expects the structure to accommodate another 4,000 workers.

“This isn’t only a commitment to San Jose, it is also a commitment to the San Jose community as well as a commitment to sustainability,” Shantanu Narayen, CEO of Adobe said during the morning ceremony.

Mayor Sam Liccardo applauded Adobe’s efforts to become more sustainable, saying it aligns with San Jose’s Climate Smart Plan to reduce carbon emissions.

“The decision to have an entirely electric powered building is critically important to our city,” Liccardo said. “Since the city of San Jose launched San Jose Clean Energy this year—a minimum 45 percent of energy provided to our residents will be renewable.”

In February, San Jose switched electricity provider from PG&E to San Jose Clean Energy to increase users’ access to emission-free electricity. And Liccardo hopes that the North Tower will inspire other business leaders to recognize the importance of clean power.

Councilman Raul Peralez Mayor Sam Liccardo joined Adobe execs for the ceremony. (Photo by Nicholas Chan)

Liccardo said Adobe has special standing in San Jose by helping transform downtown into an urban center. When it moved into the heart of the city in the mid 1990s, he said the company broke the mold of the closed-off office campus typical in Silicon Valley at the time. “Adobe has led the way for other companies,” Liccardo said. “We now have more than 180 tech companies here in downtown San Jose. Who would have thought that would have been possible a decade ago or two decades ago?”

Adobe officials waxed nostalgic Monday about how far the company has come since its humble beginnings when co founders John Warnock and Charles Geschke launched it out of Warnock’s garage. “Our first office in Mountain View was 3,000 square feet, and we had about a dozen employees in that office,” Warnock said.

Adobe grew exponentially with the launch of flagship products like Photoshop, PDFs and Illustrator, outgrowing its office in Mountain View. When Warnock and Geschke set their eyes on relocating to San Jose, Adobe became the first major tech company to invest in San Jose’s real estate. “It was Jon and Chuck’s vision that put Adobe on the map in the business world,” Narayen said. “It was also their vision that put Adobe in San Jose.”

Adobe plans to complete the construction of the North Tower by 2022. A pedestrian bridge will connect the new building with the existing campus.

Nicholas Chan is a journalist who covers politics, culture and current events in Silicon Valley. Follow him on Twitter at @nicholaschanhk.


    • Don’t worry, Liccardo has a plan – everyone is going to build granny units in their backyards and then he will lead the world in song singing kumbaya over his great achievement…

  1. Note to City officials. Do something about the westbound bike lane situation in front of this construction site. We’re now forced directly into traffic because the construction fence is pushed so far out toward the street. No sidewalk now. No bike lane.

    The irony is…the City puts all of this planning and effort into the San Fernando to Diridon Station bike route, and then just as it nears completion immediately allows one section of the route to revert to a safety state worse than ever! This is like a chain. If a link is broken the benefit of the entire effort is compromised.

  2. The “Hong Kong-ization” of the Downtown continues.

    I can’t wait to see huge aircraft on a glide slope to the airport between tall buildings.

    “Dump” the Housing Department and the associated “Non-profits.”

    David S. Wall

    • > The “Hong Kong-ization” of the Downtown continues.

      Hopefully, a synthesis of irony and prescience.

      The people of Hong Kong are in full riot, sending a message to the commie overlords saying they’re sick of totalitarianism and corruption.

  3. All electric building suppled by San Jose Clean Energy. Question ; How does the energy get to that building?
    When PG&E cuts the power to prevent a forest fire, how does San Jose Clean Energy get power to your all electric building? Do they have a battery back up?

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