Proposed data center spurs North San Jose growth
A building that formerly housed an Olympus service center at 2400 Ringwood Ave. in North San Jose could be demolished to make way for a new data center and manufacturing facility proposed by STACK Infrastructure. Photo by Joseph Geha.

    A massive data center operator plans to expand its footprint even further in North San Jose, following preliminary city approval.

    The San Jose Planning Commission unanimously approved STACK Infrastructure’s proposal last week to demolish two older industrial buildings and put up an advanced manufacturing facility, two data centers, a parking garage and a power substation to run it all. The San Jose City Council will have the final say on the project on May 9.

    The two buildings that would be demolished are at 2400 Ringwood Ave. and 1849 Fortune Drive, next to another of the company’s locations at 2001 Fortune Drive, where STACK has developed nearly 400,000 square feet of facilities in recent years. The company also has a facility in Santa Clara.

    STACK Infrastructure is proposing a new project with a manufacturing facility and data centers at a property neighboring its recently completed data center project at 2001 Fortune Drive in North San Jose. Photo by Joseph Geha.

    Denver-based STACK Infrastructure is proposing to knock down two existing industrial buildings totaling about 135,000 square feet, including a former Olympus service center, on a nearly 10-acre lot. The land is located near the northern edge of the city, a hub for technology and manufacturing jobs.

    Miles Kersten, director of development for STACK, said the new facilities in North San Jose will be “world-class” and aimed at serving Fortune 500 companies.

    “Our next investment includes a four-story, state-of-the-art advanced manufacturing building, two three-story data center buildings, a parking structure, a backup generator facility and all related infrastructure utilities to support the project,” Kersten said.

    This digital rendering shows what a data center proposed by STACK Infrastructure could look like in North San Jose when completed. Image courtesy of San Jose.

    The new manufacturing facility would be about 136,000 square feet, and the two data centers—spread across three buildings—will total about 522,000 square feet, city reports said. The parking structure will be about 150,000 square feet, with 300 spaces.

    In addition to a 100-megavolt electrical substation, the site will have 39 backup power generators. Kersten said the project will use 100% renewable energy from PG&E’s hydroelectric, solar and other renewable sources, but the backup generators will be diesel powered.

    While planning commissioners support the project, some shared concerns about the number of trees that will be removed, but not replaced to make way for the development. The project will require the removal of 156 trees on the land, and city code requires those to be replaced with either 258 24-inch box trees or 515 15-gallon trees. The developer is only planning to replace 47 24-inch box trees.

    To make up for the remainder, the developer will pay $326,275 worth of “in-lieu” fees to the city, to go toward replanting other trees. A recent city audit showed San Jose is ineffectively managing and enforcing its tree replacement program, with only a fraction of collected in-lieu fees are spent to replace trees—while the city canopy cover is shrinking.

    “It seems to me a bit perverse to remove trees and not replace them,” Commissioner Chuck Cantrell said. “I’d love to see the offset be something better than just putting money into a coffer. We all know we don’t manage that program very well.”

    If approved by the council, Kersten said construction could begin as soon as August. The project would be built in phases, with a final completion target of June 2026.

    The project would generate roughly 700 union construction jobs, Kersten said. When complete, the facilities will support nearly 200 new permanent jobs, with 128 at the manufacturing facility and 70 across the data centers.

    Contact Joseph Geha at [email protected] or @josephgeha16 on Twitter.

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