SAN JOSE -- Super Micro Computer, a fast-growing networking and communications company, intends to build a 1.6 million-square-foot complex at the Mercury News' current site in North San Jose that could have 2,800 or more employees and will include something rare for the Bay Area: manufacturing activities.

The company has submitted to the city preliminary plans for the project, which will include light manufacturing, offices and warehouse space. The plans include 2,800 parking spaces, which suggests a major employment boost for San Jose.

The proposed complex, which will be built on 36 acres near the interchange of Interstate 880 and Brokaw Road, would rise near the current Super Micro headquarters and engineering operations.

Super Micro bought the site from Digital First Media, the parent company of the Mercury News, for about $30.5 million in September. The newspaper is expected to relocate to downtown San Jose, where it will move about 300 editorial, advertising and administration employees.

Super Micro officials couldn't be immediately reached for comment, but city officials said the company will retain its current facilities and that its new complex will be an expansion of its operations.

"Super Micro has told us they are growing and they need to expand, particularly in warehousing and light manufacturing and assembly," said Nanci Klein, San Jose's deputy economic development director. "We are very excited to see them moving forward on this."

Over its most recent 12 months, Super Micro earned $36 million on revenue of $1.27 billion.

"Super Micro is doing very well, their financials are strong and they are a market leader," said Rob Enderle, a San Jose-based analyst who tracks the tech sector. "They are one of the up-and-comers."

Although new manufacturing operations are rare in the Bay Area, analysts say it makes sense for Super Micro to build this sort of operation close to its current headquarters and engineering operations, which would be minutes away from the future site.

"Silicon Valley has some of the best skilled talent in the world," said Tim Bajarin, principal analyst with Campbell-based Creative Strategies, a market researcher. "That is true both for engineering and for manufacturing."

While the Bay Area is burdened by high construction and development costs, and is expensive for businesses to operate, Super Micro could nevertheless benefit from a clustered operation, Bajarin said.

"They are in a multibillion-dollar market -- networking and communications devices -- that is moving very quickly," he noted. "So it may be worth it to Super Micro to trade higher operating costs for being able to move things to market much more quickly than their competitors." Gigamon, Lantronix and Silliconix are among the company's chief rivals.

San Jose officials said that the proposed development shows that the city can offer more than office space to expanding companies.

"The beauty of San Jose is that it can offer everything to companies, including manufacturing sites," said Kim Walesh, the city's economic development director.

Contact George Avalos at 408-859-5167. Follow him at Twitter.com/georgeavalos.