UC Berkeley, SKS Plan $2B Research Hub in San Jose

The 36-acre campus will feature 1.4 million square feet of office and R&D space.

Berkeley Space Center

Berkeley Space Center will encompass office and laboratory space, along with academic and retail facilities. Image courtesy of UC Berkeley

A joint venture of UC Berkeley and SKS Partners will develop Berkeley Space Center at NASA Research Park, a master-planned innovation hub spanning 36 acres in San Jose, Calif., within NASA‘s Ames Research Center.

The $2 billion project is slated to comprise some 1.4 million square feet of Class A office and R&D space. It is currently going through the environmental entitlement process, and construction is expected to begin in 2026.

The development team also includes architecture firm HOK, as well as Field Operations which will handle urban design and landscape architecture. CBRE has been appointed as exclusive leasing agent for the project and is discussing built-to-suit opportunities with tentative tenants. The firm’s Senior Vice Presidents Bob Steinbock and Michael Domanico and Executive Vice President Ben Knight, along with Vice Chairman Gregg Domanico and Associate Matt Gutierrez will market the lab and R&D space.

Plans include research facilities for astronautics, quantum computing, climate studies and social sciences. Berkeley Space Center is estimated to generate more than 6,000 jobs in advanced R&D positions once complete. It will comprise wet and dry labs, conference space, along with academic and retail facilities. It will also feature some 18 acres of open spaces, featuring outdoor working yards. Subsequent phases of the project will include student and faculty housing.

Developers are aiming for a strong sustainability focus, with LEED certification, among others. It plans to use photovoltaic panels for energy generation along with storm water retention systems to use recycled water for landscaping and within the buildings. The campus will also offer multiple modes of transportation.

Tech and life sciences driving Bay Area development

Rendering of green spaces at Berkeley Space Center

Plans include a central green area which will serve as a platform for gatherings, exhibitions and other activities. Rendering courtesy of Field Operations and HOK

The project will take shape within the expansive NASA Research Park, located in Mountain View, Calif., off Highway 191, some 13 miles from San Jose and 38 miles from San Francisco. It will be in close proximity to many of NASA’s research facilities, such as the world’s largest wind tunnel, the NASA Advanced Supercomputing Division and the Arc Jet Complex.

As of August, the Bay Area had 3.9 million square feet of office space under construction, still driven by tech and life sciences activity, according to CommercialEdge data. One of the largest projects in San Jose is Google’s 135-acre master-planned neighborhood, slated to feature 3.1 million square feet of office space, along retail and residential components.

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