These Silicon Valley Mayors Want More Mixed-Use Development
Silicon Valley city staff are busy these days. Cities like Milpitas and Sunnyvale have several multifamily, mixed-use and office developments in the works.
Milpitas Mayor Richard Tran and Sunnyvale Mayor Glenn Hendricks spoke at a recent Bisnow event at Irvine Co.’s Santa Clara Square about how developments are impacting their cities.
Milpitas has upward of 7,000 residential units approved, being developed or on the market, according to Tran. Lyon Communities is working on a residential development by the Great Mall, the site of a former Ford plant. The city also created a transit-area specific plan, The Fields, and a Virgin Hotel is in the works.
Tran said Milpitas is very welcoming of development that makes good use of the land and gets the most out of the land and provides tax revenue. He said buildings in the city are old. Tran has a passion for mixed-use development, though the city also welcomes more commercial and industrial.
“You want folks to live where they work and this is going to be a trend going forward,” Tran said.
In Sunnyvale, Hendricks is excited about the downtown redevelopment underway. The city also has its Perry Park Specific Plan and the Lawrence Area Plan where development is cropping up.
Both mayors emphasized the importance of transportation demand management and the need for infrastructure improvements, including those under Measure B. Hendricks said Measure B will be crucial for the extension of BART into San Jose and Santa Clara, improving Caltrain and repairing roadways.
Hendricks said if developers want to come into Sunnyvale, the city wants to know how the company will deal with traffic demand management. He said it is critical to find a way to provide jobs and economic vitality and minimize the impact of traffic. More transit-oriented developments are being built along major transit lines. Thinking green also is important to residents and to the long-term management of a project.
“We love development just as much as Milpitas does, but we want to find ways to have a balanced growth between what happens with jobs and housing and how it impacts transit,” Hendricks said.