Two Sunnyvale hotels that have sat vacant for more than a year are slated for demolition and will be replaced with a private parking lot.
Zoning Administrator George Schroeder approved plans at a hearing last week for San Francisco-based Prologis to build a ground level, 90-space surface parking lot for commercial fleets at 331 and 385 Weddell Drive. Prologis, a multibillion real estate investment trust, purchased the two hotels last year, which occupy about one acre combined.
Both hotels, Silicon Way Inn and Americas Best Value Inn, closed in May 2022 due to financial losses from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Online leasing sites advertise the space as a prime location for a truck terminal and its proximity to Highway 101 and State Route 237. Prologis also owns two adjacent parcels for lease at 327 Weddell Drive and 925 Morse Ave., which feature space for parking and warehouses. The four parcels combined are about five acres.
Several residents in the area said a parking lot would be a “waste.” Resident Jesus Valencia said building a supermarket or other similar business would be more beneficial for the community.
“It’d be nice to have something in walking distance,” Valencia told San José Spotlight. “They should build something convenient for the neighbors, there are a lot of thriving communities here.”
Across the block is a series of apartment and townhouse complexes, along with Sunnyvale’s Seven Seas Park and the John W. Christian Greenbelt walking trail.
The plans were first introduced in July at a Zoning Administrator Hearing, after which city officials worked with Prologis to clarify the site’s usage. Prologis Vice President Investment Officer Samidha Thakral said at the meeting that there is no tenant for the site yet, and that the specific uses would be determined by the occupant. She said Prologis has erected fleet parking sites in other cities, which can range from company cars to private delivery truck services to autonomous vehicle charging locations.
At the July meeting, Schroeder and other city employees voiced concerns about the lack of clarity on how this lot would affect local neighborhoods. The area is zoned for industrial and places of assembly use. Previous versions of the plan included the possibility that the space could be used for autonomous vehicles testing, but that was struck from the final approved plans.
“We’re really looking forward to move forward and revitalize this site because it is a vacant hotel right now, not being used,” Thakral said at last week’s hearing.
The zoning decision will accept appeals until Oct. 26. If there are none, then Prologis can submit applications for demolition and building permits, according to Sunnyvale spokesperson Jennifer Garnett.