SAN JOSE -- Samsung Semiconductor intends to build a large new campus of two office towers that would triple the size of its existing office center and bring hundreds of new jobs to North San Jose.
The pair of 10-story high-rises would usher in a new type of dense development for San Jose's north side, currently a suburban landscape dotted by low-slung offices. The towers would offer a more urban look and feel for the tech hub of North San Jose.
"We are outgrowing the buildings that we have," said Chris Goodhart, a spokeswoman for Samsung Semiconductor. "We are going to tear down the buildings on the site. During the construction, we will move to a temporary location for a couple of years."
Samsung has about 300 employees at North First Street and West Tasman Drive. The new campus would total 650,000 square feet, creating the potential for 600 or more additional employees to work at the site.
When the new campus is complete, Samsung intends to move its local research and development operations to the site, which currently houses sales operations.
City officials have attempted to encourage development in North San Jose by slashing certain fees it normally would charge for new projects.
"Samsung wanted to be able to expand in North San Jose," Mayor Chuck Reed told this newspaper. "Developers have been responding to the development fee change, and Samsung also was motivated by the fees."
City officials are looking over
"This is a very significant investment by Samsung," said Kim Walesh, San Jose's economic development director. "It signals the potential for dense development in North San Jose. It will make the area more interesting."
If developers and companies construct higher-density projects along the light-rail corridor in the area, that could spur increased ridership for the South Bay transit system.
"This is part of a trend nationally and internationally, of transforming the first-generation high-tech industrial parks into more of a mixed-use innovation district," Walesh said.
Developers have been buying existing buildings and vacant land in North San Jose with an eye to renovating the properties and creating state-of-the-art offices to attract technology companies.
Tech firms in recent months have gobbled up millions of square feet of offices in Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Mountain View, Menlo Park and Santa Clara, making North San Jose the next area to be built out.
"San Jose is very much looking forward to more density in development," said Nanci Klein, a deputy director in the city's Economic Development Department. "The Samsung campus and the other activity are signs that development is moving our way."
Contact George Avalos at 925-977-8477. Follow him at twitter.com/george_avalos.