Exclusive: Microsoft buys north San Jose land, campus eyed – The Mercury News

SAN JOSE — Microsoft, poised for expansion into north San Jose, has bought 65 acres of empty land along State Route 237 between Alviso and Milpitas, signaling that the site fits into its plans to widen its reach in cloud and internet technologies.

SJM-MICROSOFT-0930-webThe Redmond, Washington-based tech titan paid $73.2 million for the land on the western banks of the Coyote River, in a location where some tech campuses have begun to sprout.

“We continuously explore opportunities to meet the needs of a future based on cloud computing and internet services, so we’re thrilled to find a great one in the heart of Silicon Valley,” said Christian Belady, general manager of Microsoft Cloud Infrastructure and Operations, referring to Microsoft’s north San Jose land purchase.

Potentially 2,000 or more Microsoft employees could work at the site, based on a sign at the property that detailed proposals on file at San Jose City Hall.

The site is being planned as a data center complex and is expected to bring 200 jobs into the north side of the cit, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said Friday.

“We welcome Microsoft’s substantial investment in San Jose, as it seeks to meet the world’s burgeoning demand for cloud capacity,” Mayor Liccardo said.

The sellers in the Sept. 27 transaction were a group of families affiliated with San Jose-based Cilker Orchards.

Not far from this new Microsoft site, KLA Tencor, SanDisk, Brocade Communications, Polycom, Harmonic, Tivo, Global Foundry, ST Electronics and Marvell Semiconductor operate in big office complexes.

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A bicyclist speeds along a frontage road near State Route 237 next to land that Microsoft has bought for a major expansion in north San Jose BANG Staff Photo / George Avalos

Amenities also have emerged in the area in recent years, with more on the way. Hotels have sprouted nearby on both sides of Highway 237. Target is the anchor of a shopping center alongside the highway. Top Golf is planning a “golf-tainment” center in north San Jose, although Alviso residents have sued in an attempt to block the project.

Microsoft already occupies a Silicon Valley campus, consisting of a multi-building office complex on La Avenida Street in Mountain View, near the intersection of U.S. 101 and North Shoreline Boulevard, not far from the Googleplex headquarters of Alphabet and Google.

For decades, many technology companies bypassed San Jose in favor of expansions in Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Menlo Park, Cupertino and even San Francisco. But within the last year, San Jose has become a magnet for major tech companies’ new outposts.

Google and a development ally are collecting properties for a huge, transit-oriented development in downtown San Jose that could accommodate 15,000 to 20,000 Google workers.

Apple has bought and leased buildings and vacant land that it intends to use as a future north San Jose campus, which could rival the size of its spaceship campus in Cupertino.

Adobe has laid plans for a major expansion of its downtown San Jose headquarters with at least one new office tower. Amazon’s Lab 126 has leased one or more floors in a downtown San Jose office tower, the digital commerce site’s first foray into San Jose.

A sign at the property that Microsoft is buying indicates proposals have been submitted to the city for constructing four buildings, which could total 437,000 square feet.

“I especially appreciate Microsoft’s sensitivity to the surrounding environment, and its continued commitment to sustainable construction and operations,” Mayor Liccardo said.

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