It’s unclear if the group plans to appeal the ruling. In a statement shared by the San Jose Spotlight, Sand Hill expressed enthusiasm with moving forward despite the legal challenges and community uproar the project has faced over the past several years. “We can now put our full focus on moving the project forward for the future of the city of Cupertino, including how best to do so considering the complex challenges that COVID-19 has brought on all of us,” said Reed Moulds, managing director for Sand Hil. “It is time to set aside our past disagreements and come together in cooperation of building a better and more sustainable future for Cupertino.” Speaking to the Mercury News, J.R. Fruen, a pro-growth advocate with the group Cupertino For All, referred to the ruling, one of the first major legal challenges regarding SB-35, as a “gigantic win for housing advocates specifically, and a huge win for proponents of development in general.”
BREAKING: ANOTHER HUGE WIN FOR HOUSING: Cupertino opponents of housing, including a sitting Planning Commissioner, lost their legal bid to kill the Vallco SB 35 project. @MarisaKendall @HansenLouis @JaniceBitters @SJSpotlight @sanjoseinside @anniefryman https://t.co/fSzRTw0xnj— Cupertino For All (@Cupertino4All) May 6, 2020
Posts tagged with "Cupertino":
After a delay of more than a month due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Helen Williams issued a ruling last week in a hot-button case that has divided residents of the Northern California city of Cupertino, pitting pro-development YIMBY-ists against grassroots local activists attempting to halt work on a massive redevelopment project in their backyard. In her ruling, Williams sided against the activists and with the city, which had green-lit developer Sand Hill Property Company to move forward with the redevelopment of the old Vallco Shopping Mall site in 2018. The 58-acre parcel, home to a once-bustling regional shopping center built in 1975 that now currently exists as a dead-as-a-doornail mall in the shadow of Apple’s intergalactic corporate campus, is slated to be the future home of the so-called Vallco Town Center (formerly the Hills at Vallco). The mixed-use enclave, designed by Rafael Viñoly Architects with the Philadelphia-based OLIN serving as landscape architects, is set to include 2,400 residential units, nearly 2 million square feet of commercial office space, and 400,000 square feet set aside for retail and entertainment. Early iterations of the project, unveiled a year after Sand Hill acquired the (then) mostly pulse-less mall in 2014, envisioned blanketing remnants of the old shopping center with what was described as the world’s largest green roof, which would have doubled as an undulating city park. The initial design has subsequently changed, although “an unprecedented rooftop community park with accessible walking and jogging trails” remains a key part of the master plan. As reported by the Mercury News, Cupertino residents opposing the project, concerned about the development’s scope and the detrimental impact it could have on the community with regard to traffic and other aspects, believed the project should not have been fast-tracked by the city under California Senate Bill 35, which streamlines certain qualifying housing developments in the housing-strapped state. Residents banded together as Friends of Better Cupertino and argued that various components of the redevelopment should have prevented it from moving forward as an SB-35 project. Judge Williams, however, dismissed those arguments in her 62-page ruling. Per the Mercury News, that decision, which states that Friends of Better Cupertino “multiple times misinterpreted the law and made convoluted arguments” in their case, came as a “major blow” to community members rallying against the plus-sized project. Among the reasons Friends of Better Cupertino claimed that Vallco Town Center should have not received special status as an SB-35 project: the development included too little housing, violated city height limits, and would be located on a “hazardous waste site.” All of these arguments were taken apart and disregarded by Williams. The group’s argument that Vallco Town Center does not include a proper park because it happens to largely be on a rooftop was also dismantled by Williams, who wrote: “Petitioners also use emphatic typography to make a circular argument that Developer’s proposed public spaces are not parkland because they are not parkland.” Although demolition is well underway at the site, Williams could have ultimately halted it if she had sided with Friends of Better Cupertino. In addition to finding that the development fell snugly within the scope of requirements put forth by SB-35, Williams noted that even if it hadn’t, state law would have not mandated that Cupertino, or any other city, deny such projects from proceeding.
Sometimes you just have to go for broke and hope for the best. At least, that seems to be the route the developers behind a massive Rafael Viñoly Architects-designed project slated for the dying Vallco mall in Cupertino, California have in mind, as they push forward with a new, denser version of their long-stalled Vallco Town Center project. Developer Sand Hill Property Company unveiled a new vision for the 55-acre site yesterday that invokes the recently-passed SB-35 state law, a measure that allows developers to override local opposition and certain environmental controls for projects that meet local zoning code and set aside a specified percentage of their proposed housing units as affordable homes. In the case of Vallco Town Center, Sand Hill Property Company is proposing a total of 2,402 units, with 1,201 of those set aside for extremely low- and low-income residents. The eye-catching project proposes replacing the city’s cratered mall with a sprawling mixed-use town square-style district containing 400,000 square feet of retail and entertainment functions, 1.81 million square feet of offices, as well as the aforementioned housing element. The entire thing, according to new renderings unveiled in tandem with the SB-35 plan, will be capped by a parabolic, publicly-accessible rooftop garden. According to a project website, the community park will feature walking and jogging trails, playing fields, picnic areas, orchards and organic gardens, children’s play zones as well as a “refuge for native species of plants and birds.” A series of public squares will also populate the retail areas, while super-sized entry portals will demarcate the development from adjacent, single-family home areas. Regarding the decision to take the SB-35 path, Reed Moulds, managing director of Sand Hill, told The Mercury News, “It has now gotten to a point where we do not have any confidence that this process can come to a conclusion in a timely manner,” adding, “This housing crisis needs to be resolved in a manner that actually provides near-term solutions, and sites like this have an opportunity to do a lot of good for the housing situation.” Under the latest plan, the Vallco development would help Cupertino surpass a state-mandated affordable housing production goal set of building 1,064 affordable units by 2022, The San Francisco Chronicle reports. The city has so far approved just over 800 affordable units via other projects. The developers have been working with community stakeholders and municipal authorities since 2015 on various versions of a proposed redevelopment plan, with the most recent reboot prior to the latest effort occurring in late-2016. Although the developers are pushing for aggressive expansion and a faster timeline with their latest version of the project, Sand Hill “does not intend for its SB-35 application to upset the ongoing planning process,” according to the project website. Under the new SB-35 regulations, local authorities have between 90 and 180 days to approve compliant projects. That gives the municipality three to six months to hammer out a compromise with Sand Hill, a prospect that is unlikely given the strong anti-housing bias city residents and officials have taken to this and similar projects. An updated construction timeline has not been provided.
Late last month, Apple’s 12,000 employee workforce began to move into the technology company’s new 2.8-million-square-foot headquarters in Cupertino, California designed by architects Foster + Partners, according to a press release. The move-in process will take a full six months to complete, capping off the over eight-year long saga involved in transforming an old parking lot into the so-called “Apple Park” complex, which Apple has dubbed as founder Steve Jobs’s “last product launch,” according to Wired. Jobs initiated the quest to build the new headquarters in 2008, a project that consumed him until his death in 2011. In a statement, Apple CEO Tim Cook praised Jobs’s vision and said, “[Jobs] intended Apple Park to be the home of innovation for generations to come. The workspaces and parklands are designed to inspire our team as well as benefit the environment. We’ve achieved one of the most energy-efficient buildings in the world and the campus will run entirely on renewable energy.” To commemorate the end of construction for the $5 billion project, Apple has released several images of the completed complex, a building that contains the largest operable glass walls in the world, among its other superlative qualities. The donut-shaped office complex is located at the center of a 175-acre wooded site that has been reengineered by a series of earthworks and has been re-planted with over 9,000 specimens of drought-tolerant flora, including fruit trees. As if the building were a spaceship that had landed on its site, the highly-constructed landscape finds its way into the building’s donut hole-shaped courtyard, where it is accessible from the office spaces. The site arrangement comes from Jobs’s penchant for taking country walks in nearby areas; the office’s grounds contain over two miles’ worth of walking paths, among other features.
The main, four-story building is topped by slightly-gabled roof containing an 805,000-square-foot solar array that provides much of the power for the complex. The arrays are interrupted by a continuous, protruding light monitor that facilitates the building’s passive ventilation strategies. The building is not mechanically ventilated, but instead relies on a combination of convection cooling and thermal massing provided by radiant heating and cooling systems to regulate its internal climate. On one end, the building is punctuated by two pairs of four-story-tall hangar doors—each of which weighing 440,000 pounds—that are controlled by silent mechanical equipment embedded underground. Those apertures convert an interior, two-level yoga studio and cafeteria area into a massive outdoor room. The glass doors—and the curved glass curtain walls along the exteriors of the project—were fabricated by German fabricator Seele Group. The yoga studio and its attendant 100,000-square-foot wellness center will offer healthcare and dental services for Apple’s employees.
The complex also contains a 1,000-seat performancetheatere that will be named for Jobs. The theater is capped by a 20-foot tall, 165-foot wide glass cylinder and by a carbon-fiber roof. Designs for the theater were reportedly heavily influenced by Jobs’s sensitivities and will be used for the company’s future product launches. Construction and landscaping improvements will continue to wrap up on the complex as the employees slowly filter in over the following months.
This dying mall in Silicon Valley will be reborn with a 30-acre blanket of green roofs including a vineyard, orchard, and walking trails
Green roofs these days are the new blacktops. And just when you thought they couldn't get any bigger, there are now plans to build a 30-acre park blanketing a mixed-use, $3 billion development in Cupertino, California. Right now, the site is the dying Vallco Shopping Mall. Developers Sand Hill Property bought the mall last year and hired Rafael Viñoly and Olin Landscape Architects to redevelop the 50 acre site. "[Sand Hill] didn’t quite know what they would get when Viñoly traveled to their offices in Menlo Park last April for a first-round presentation," wrote the Silicon Valley Business Journal. "While other architects came armed with reams of site plans and renderings, Viñoly had a suitcase. In it was a model of his concept, which he assembled piece by piece, topping it off with the roof park." Renderings show a rolling lush carpet of green capping a 15-block grid of buildings below. But that green is not just a lawn. The rooftop park will feature quite an unusual mix of amenities: a vineyard, close to four miles of trails, an orchard, a playground, as well as lots of oak trees. Plans also include 800 apartments and over 250,000 square feet of retail. There are multiple plazas, a market hall, 2 million square feet of offices, and parking mostly below ground. The highest point in the development would top out at seven stories. "To secure the community buy-in, the developer is going all-out, promising to contribute more than $40 million to build a new K-5 elementary school, replace portable classrooms and provide an “innovation center” to the Fremont Union High School District, among other goodies," reported the SVBJ.
Apple is planning to build a viewing platform and visitors center so you can gaze upon its Foster-designed headquarters
Apple's upcoming doughnut-shaped flying saucer of a headquarters is steadily taking shape in Cupertino, California. The Norman Foster–designed, $5 billion complex obviously strays from the typical office park setup of clusters of boxy, generic buildings, but despite its starchitect design, it has attracted plenty of criticism for how little it engages with the community and the non-Apple employees who walk among us. But apparently that's not the whole story. The Silicon Business Journal went digging through city documents and uncovered plans for a visitor's center at the headquarters which includes a viewing platform where civilians can look out on the campus and imagine what's happening inside the curved walls. (Hopefully it includes boosting iPhone battery life.) "The plans show a super-modern glass-walled structure topped by a carbon-fiber roof with extended eaves, punctuated by large skylights," reported the site. "On the ground floor: A 2,386-square-foot cafe and 10,114-square-foot store 'which allows visitors to view and purchase the newest Apple products.' Stairs and elevators take visitors to the roof level, about 23 feet up." The campus is expected to be completed in late 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eB6_XkUFpAc
The excitement over Apple's new mega-campus in Silicon Valley continues to build. First, we got an aerial drones-eye-view of the under-construction Apple Campus 2 in Cupertino, California (check it out after the jump!). And now, we get to see the corporate auditorium where the company will show off its new products once complete in 2016. Renderings released by the Contract Division of Poltrona Frau Group (PFG Contract) depict Foster + Partner's theater. PFG Contract will supply and install 660 custom chairs and 250 lounge armchairs. A grass walkway will lead visitors and employees to a glass pavilion marked by a saucer-shaped roof, making way to the underground stage. Forbes reported there will be a secret subterranean passage to the auditorium, allowing speakers or other employees to move between the 4-story main building and the stage privately, away from the press and other visitors. Auditorium completion is expected by spring/summer 2016. In 2007 PFG Contract worked with the Apple Design Team to create seating for theater spaces in Apple retail sites worldwide. The company's first commission was for armchairs for the ocean liner, Rex, in the 1930s, and they moved into designing seating systems for theaters and auditoriums in the 1980s. This past February, Dezeen reported that furniture company Haworth had bought PFG Contract. The 2.8 million square feet circular extension of Apple's headquarters, led by Foster + Partners, will sit in an over-100-acre forest designed by landscape architecture firm OLIN. Apple's forest will be an orchard of sorts, able to supply its own food, with plum, apple, cherry, persimmon, and apricot trees on site. The new campus will hold 13,000 employees, with an underground auditorium built during the first phase of construction.
Like many major tech companies in Silicon Valley, Apple provides free transportation for its employees living in the Bay Area. About 28 percent of Apple employees do not drive to work, instead taking employer-owned biodiesel shuttles, biking, or walking. In an effort to bring that percentage up to 34 percent (a figure that will help get their new Norman Foster–designed campus in Cupertino approved), the company is expanding its fleet of buses and building a dedicated transportation center. With an annual budget of $35 million—that's approximately $21,000 per employee—the Transportation Demand Management program, as it is formally called, provides an average of 1,600 employees a free ride to work each day. Shuttles owned and operated by companies such as Google and Apple have sparked recent protests, prompting the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency to approve a new plan: company shuttle buses will have to pay $1 for every stop made, every day. The proposal is set to go into effect this July and raise $1.5 million over the first year and a half. More info at the Los Angeles Times.
Apple's spaceship-like campus plans, designed by Foster and Partners, have been criticized for—among other other things— a lack of pedestrian friendly design. It appears the company has listened. New documents presented to the city of Cupertino show extended bike paths, winding walkways and private roads both circling the grounds and running through the center of the campus. The bike lanes would have buffer lanes to protect them from cars, pedestrian walkways would have increased lighting, a transit center would be the focal point for buses, and the plans also make room for public art projects. Not all the changes are eco/pedestrian friendly. The new design calls for an increase in parking spaces from 10,500 to 10,980. Slated for completion in 2016, the campus has also been in the news for budget overruns and delays, with Bloomberg Businessweek reporting its cost ballooning from $3 billion to $5 billion. The first phase of the campus is scheduled to be complete by 2016.The original date was 2015.
The world learned last night of the untimely death of Apple mastermind Steve Jobs, who succumbed to a rare cancer he had been fighting for some time. Jobs' architect, Norman Foster, was slow to acknowledge the commission of Apple's new Cupertino, CA headquarters, but he was appropriately quick to offer his condolences. Below, read Foster's tribute to the innovator who helped push the boundaries of both technology and industrial design.
With my colleagues I would like to pay tribute to Steve Jobs. Like so many millions our lives have been profoundly and positively influenced by the innovations pioneered by Steve and Apple, names which are inseparable. We were greatly privileged to know Steve as a person, as a friend and in every way so much more than a client. Steve was an inspiration and a role model. He encouraged us to develop new ways of looking at design to reflect his unique ability to weave backwards and forwards between brand strategy and the minutiae of the tiniest of internal fittings. For him no detail was small in its significance and he would be simultaneously questioning the headlines of our project together whilst he delved into its fine print. He was the ultimate perfectionist and demanded of himself as he demanded of others. We are better as individuals and certainly wiser as architects through the experience of the last two years and more of working for him. His participation was so intense and creative that our memory will be that of working with one of the truly great designers and mentors. Norman Foster Architect Chairman + Founder of Foster + Partners
The official Foster + Partners design has (finally) been released for the new Apple campus in Cupertino. At a recent Cupertino City Council meeting Steve Jobs said he was excited to centralize his campus with a building for 12,000 employees on a site currently dominated by parking lots. In the time since the Cupertino meeting, the not-so-secret news that Foster & Partners designed the giant ring has also been confirmed. The low-lying complex, described as being built at a "human scale" and largely off the grid, is expected to open in 2015. In reference to the overall design and the building's glass curvature Jobs noted, "It’s a little like a spaceship landed."
Behold! The unveiling of Apple's next product... the iBuilding. Okay, so it's not a product, but it is their highly-anticipated new campus in Cupertino, California. Steve Jobs, wearing his trademark mock turtleneck and jeans, revealed the plans—with fancy, although somewhat grainy renderings—at yesterday's Cupertino City Council meeting (watch the video after the jump). According to several reports, the architect of the new complex, whose land Apple bought from Hewlett Packard, will be Norman Foster, but that hasn't been formally announced. A few highlights of the new design: Apple's new HQ is shaped like a doughnut, a spaceship, or an iPod trackwheel. It's clad in curved glass with a giant courtyard in the middle. While Apple plans to increase it's employees from 9,500 to 13,000, it will reduce its surface parking by 90% (from 9,800 to 1,200) and most of the parking will be underground. The vast majority of campus is set aside for landscaping (with an estimated 6,000 trees). According to Jobs, the building will generate its own clean energy using the grid as backup. Given how the council treated Jobs like a visiting god, it looks like the company should get the project passed. If it moves forward, the new campus is expected to be complete by 2015.