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Assembly at North First Phase I Nears Completion


Dan Kingsley of SKS pointing out exterior features

One of San Jose’s most interesting real estate projects is nearing completion in North San Jose, next to the bustling @First retail center.

Phase 1 of Assembly at North First featuring three completely revamped, high-roof buildings that once constituted a Lam Research facility. Designed to meet the needs of today’s technology tenants, Assembly’s buildings provide for flexible office and R&D workspaces, while the project as a whole offers excellent transit and freeway access and The Grove, a one-acre amenity-rich environment designed to maximize workforce productivity.

Phase I of Assembly at First

A group from the City’s economic development team recently toured the campus, exploring the interesting architectural details that speak to the “Ag-Tech” aesthetic developed by Gensler, the project architects. Interiors and exteriors feature panels of decorative siding made of strips of garapa, a sustainable, South American hardwood, along with exposed beams and struts and polished concrete floors. Each of the three buildings offers about 100,000 sf of space, with features like soaring roofs with gently curved exposed wooden beams, suspended mezzanines,  and clerestory windows to provide ample natural light. The buildings, originally built in the 1980s and 1990s, now have a completely contemporary vibe, will be LEED Gold, and would be unrecognizable to the previous tenants.

The tour was conducted by the developers, Daniel Kingsley, Managing Partner, SKS Partners, and Gambhir Kaushek, principal of ProspectHill Group. Both exuded enthusiasm for the transformation of this campus into a thoughtfully designed transit-oriented project that can accommodate several smaller companies or a single organization requiring multiple buildings.

“Not every company can or even wants to locate in new high rise, so our idea was to turn the R&D campuses of the Valley’s past into lifestyle-enhancing places where people actually want to come to work,” Kingsley said.

Assembly features that speak to today’s workers include a huge indoor-outdoor fitness center with locker rooms and showers; and The Grove, a full acre of outdoor living and working space complete with wood-fired pizza ovens, comfortable seating areas, games and a fire pit. The campus layout is designed to face outwards as well as inwards, offering easy visual and walkable access to First Street light rail and to the shops and restaurants of North San Jose’s leading retail center, @First.

Gensler is the project architect and XL Construction Corp. is the general contractor. Hart Howerton is the landscape architect. Colliers International Executive Vice President Craig Fordyce and Director Michael Rosendin and Vice President Shane Minnis will market the office space.

“Really simply, it’s a complete renovation, laminating new space on to the existing buildings and adding connections between the buildings to create a true campus,” Kingsley summed up. “In fact, we can produce Assembly at a cost basis and rent that’s lower than new construction, while offering a product that is equal to new construction. The result is a unique campus that is not buildings surrounded by a sea of parking, and that’s different from anything else on the market.”

The official opening ceremony for Assembly’s Phase I is scheduled for October 17, and we will publish a post with a look at the event and updates on the project.