It's all systems go for Samsung's expansion in Mountain View

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TMG Partners has won awards for many projects
including honors for “Best Mixed Use,”
“Best Office,” and “Best Historic Rehabilitation”.

March 26, 2013
Silicon Valley Business Journal
It's all systems go for Samsung's expansion in Mountain View

Samsung Semiconductor's flashy new office campus in North San Jose may have soaked up the limelight lately. But it's hardly the only development that will soon be coming out of the ground for the South Korea-based high-tech juggernaut.

The Mountain View City Council last week gave the green light to TMG Partners' 385,000-square-foot campus at 625-685 Clyde Ave., which will be the new home for Samsung Information Systems America. SISA, which signed a lease agreement with TMG in September 2012, is an R&D subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.

Ken Dupee, a partner with TMG, said the council approval essentially clears the developer to pull building permits following some final housekeeping items. Groundbreaking is tentatively slated for this summer with occupance by the end of 2014. Devcon Construction is the general contractor on the $100 million project, and Studios Architecture is doing the design.

"We can't wait," Dupee said.

The development will consist of two, six-story buildings along with two, six-story parking structures on the 8.9-acre site, which is currently occupied by four 1970s-era buildings totaling 117,918 square feet that will be torn down. The new office buildings will provide room for up to 1,200 workers.

The build-to-suit for Samsung is the first approved under a new Mountain View general plan that allows higher density office developments in targeted areas in return for meeting certain criteria. Those include providing meeting stringent sustainability goals and mitigating traffic impacts. Council members also asked for community benefits in return for approval.

While such agreements are not out of the ordinary, the TMG/Samsung project appears to go further than some. For example, TMG agreed to launch a "transportation management association," a nonprofit organization that would provide shuttle service for multiple companies in the area, not just Samsung. The idea is to provide a more efficient shuttle service than a patchwork of separate systems among different companies. The service could eventually be opened up to companies in the North Bayshore area, including Google. A city staff report pegs the startup cost at $250,000, with annual operational costs of $100,000.

"It will create order out of chaos," Dupee said. "In the current situation, we have a bunch of corporate citizens who operate their own corporate shuttles, but some aren't full."

On the green side, the project will aim for the equivalent of a Leadership in Environmental Engineering and Design, or LEED, Platinum rating. That's thanks to elements such as super-efficient HVAC, solar panels and shading devices.

"It will actually use less energy in the (much larger) new buildings than the existing buildings that are there," Dupee said.

Community benefits will include a big swath of open space, totaling 41 percent of the site area that will be publicly accessible. The shuttle system will also be open to public use.

The project is part of a high-profile and rapid expansion of Samsung's presence in the Valley. Aside from its NBBJ-designed San Jose campus, the company has also been busy establishing innovation centers in Menlo Park and Palo Alto.

"They view having a first-rate campus as an attractive tool for attracting and retaining talent," Dupee said of the Mountain View project.

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