By Darrell Martin, Senior Buyer Specialist
The Heritage District neighborhood of Sunnyvale has been thriving in recent years. This prosperity is thanks to the revitalized downtown area and the sustained popularity of Murphy St. with its many beloved restaurants, bars, and coffee shops. Roughly defined as the area surrounded by Mathilda Ave. to the west, California Ave. to the north, Fair Oaks Blvd. to the east, and Old San Francisco Rd./El Camino Real to the south (excluding the Northrop Grumman complex located at California Ave. and Fair Oaks Blvd.), the Heritage District will continue to thrive for years to come, thanks to the much anticipated completion of the downtown construction project, as well as the addition of many new residential units in the immediate and surrounding neighborhoods.
Sunnyvale Town Center Construction Update
After being on hold for six years (2009-2015) due to litigation, the downtown construction project at the site of the former Sunnyvale Town Center is moving forward again under the guidance of its new owners, STC Venture, a joint venture between J.P. Morgan Asset Management, Hunter Storm, and Sares Regis Group of Northern California. This phase of the project includes the area surrounded by Mathilda Ave., Washington Ave., Sunnyvale Ave., and Iowa Ave. Macy’s, Target, and the two office buildings occupied by Nokia and Apple are complete and will continue to operate status quo.
The balance of the project includes 292 residential units, a multi-screen theater, a grocery store, several retail and dining spaces, and a 200-room hotel. Work has already commenced on the site with the removal of the two-story steel framing that had been surrounding Redwood Square Plaza. The residential buildings are expected to be complete in early 2018 and will include 198 rental units, 25 of which will be for lower income households. Construction of the theater and grocery store, which will be located at Sunnyvale Ave. and Iowa Ave., is expected to begin in 2017 with plans to open in 2019. Another planned change to the downtown area is the extension of Murphy Ave. through the new development from Washington Ave. to Iowa Ave.
Between 2011 and 2016, the average price for a single-family home in the Sunnyvale Heritage District neighborhood increased by 138 percent, going from $602,293 to $1,436,971. One of the recent contributors to this significant increase was the sale of four new homes in the Paloma Place development by Classic Communities, located at the corner of W. Iowa Ave. and S. Taaffe St. These four homes sold for an average price of just over $2 million.
The Heritage District has been popular for buyers thanks to its central location within both Sunnyvale and Silicon Valley, as well as its close proximity to Murphy St. and the greater downtown area. Much of the demand for housing in Sunnyvale for the past several years has been driven primarily by the continued growth of Google, Facebook, and other companies in Mountain View and neighboring Lower Peninsula areas as their employees seek to minimize their commutes. This strong demand for housing in Sunnyvale will most likely be sustained for the next couple of years thanks to the new Apple campuses being constructed nearby at Wolfe Rd. and Homestead Rd. and at Wolfe Rd. and Arques Ave. These two campuses are expected to employ a total of more than 12,000 employees, some of whom may be new employees with a desire to live nearby. For these reasons, Sunnyvale home price appreciation is expected to remain moderate to strong in 2017, with an anticipated increase of five to seven percent.