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Coronavirus economy: Construction sprouts in Silicon Valley after shutdowns cease – The Mercury News


SAN JOSE — Construction activity has resumed at several key Silicon Valley projects, raising hopes that a fledgling economic rebound has begun to sprout in the wake of coronavirus-linked business shutdowns.

Plus, a striking office building, One Santana West, is slated to resume construction on Wednesday in San Jose, across the street from the iconic Santana Row mixed-use complex, according to Federal Realty, owner and developer of the center and the office project.

A restart of active work at multiple major projects is underway at high-profile development sites in San Jose as well as a project near the Googleplex in Mountain View, on-site observations by this news organization show.

Among the projects that have resumed: Adobe’s new office tower on West San Fernando Street in downtown San Jose; another downtown office tower being developed by Jay Paul Co. at 200 Park Ave.; two Jay Paul Co. projects in Sunnyvale; a Peery Arrillaga tech campus in north San Jose at the corner of North First Street and Brokaw Road; The Miro, a two-tower residential complex near the corner of East Santa Clara and North Fourth streets; a large residential project near downtown San Jose’s San Pedro Square; and a canopied campus being built by Google near the search giant’s headquarters in Mountain View.

The resumption of construction is a welcome economic counterpoint to the forbidding landscape of shuttered stores, hotels, restaurants and other places of commerce in the Bay Area.

Construction was halted on a wide scale in the Bay Area and California as a result of state and local government shutdowns to combat the coronavirus.

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However, in recent days, Bay Area officials and government entities throughout the state have authorized a resumption of all construction activities, as long as social distancing and several other health measures are instituted at the work sites.

Edin Gonzalez, a San Jose resident who is among many construction workers helping to build a vast tech campus that Peery Arrillaga is developing at First and Brokaw, said he and others on the project were happy to be getting back to the job site.

“We’ve been back for about a week,” Gonzalez said. “We have a full crew on the job. We’re working on all of the buildings. Everyone is glad to be working again.”

Four office buildings are under construction or nearly complete at the north San Jose site. Google has leased all of the existing office buildings from Peery Arrillaga in a deal totaling 728,000 square feet.

“We are pleased Santa Clara County has given the green light for construction to proceed under the new safety rules,” said Ted McMahon, chief investment officer with Bayview Development Group, the developer of the Miro project in downtown San Jose. “The city has been supportive in getting projects back up and running.”

Jay Paul Co. has about 1.2 million square feet of office space being developed and back under construction in the Bay Area. The three Jay Paul projects are its 937,000-square-foot office tower in downtown San Jose and two modern office complexes in Sunnyvale.

“The good news is this week they are back on the job,” Matthew Lituchy, chief investment officer with Jay Paul Co., said during a conference call on Tuesday hosted by The Silicon Valley Organization to discuss the future of real estate amid the coronavirus outbreak.

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Officials with cities have been checking one or more sites in the region, Lituchy said during the call. In one case, work was stopped for two days on one Jay Paul Co. site due to workers running afoul of minimum distance rules. In another instance, a worker was told not to share donuts with colleagues at the site.

“The cities are out there monitoring this stuff on the first week,” Lituchy said.



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