North San Jose office campus concept totaling 2 million square feet at 550 East Brokaw Road.
SAN JOSE — A technology company in expansion mode has officially acquired a San Jose property that was once the location of a Mayan-themed Fry’s Electronics store and now has the potential to become a huge office campus.
A just-purchased property north of San Jose could serve as the latest hiring hub for the site’s new owner, Super Microcomputer.
Super Microcomputer paid $80 million for the property at 550 East Brokaw Road, according to documents filed Feb. 9 with the Santa Clara County Recorder’s Office.
San Jose-based Supermicro Inc. purchased the 19.7-acre property near the Interstate 880 and Brokaw Road interchange in an all-cash transaction, according to county documents.
The company currently owns a selected site that San Jose city officials have approved for a large seven-building office campus. The city’s approval envisions a phased development of the tech campus.
Supermicrocomputer is well aware of the development potential of the property, according to regulatory filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
“The seller has previously acquired, and the company has acquired, a discretionary right to the potential redevelopment of the property under the purchase agreement,” Supermicrocomputer said in an SEC filing.
Campbell-based Bay West Development, acting through its affiliate Caracol Property Owners, sold the property to Super Micro. BayWest had previously acquired development rights to the site.
Over the past two years, speculative office campus developments in the Bay Area have become unviable, despite city approval.
That’s because some serious post-coronavirus economic ills are plaguing the Bay Area office market.
The most serious problem: Many tech companies are drastically curbing their demand for office space as they plan widespread layoffs.
However, office campuses purchased by potential users such as technology companies may suddenly become viable.
Super microcomputers are in expansion mode, seemingly bucking the trend of cutbacks and layoffs in high-tech industries in the Bay Area.
In 2013, the technology company purchased the former San Jose Mercury News headquarters campus, now located in downtown San Jose. In 2018, the technology company bulldozed the newspaper’s former newsroom building.
Super Micro then began redeveloping the former newspaper site on Ridder Park Drive near Brokaw Road. The redevelopment will include several new office and research buildings. The Ridder Park site is known as the company’s green computing campus.
At the recently acquired East Brokaw site, the approved project will allow for the phased construction of seven office buildings totaling approximately 1.92 million square feet and two parking structures totaling approximately 1.65 million square feet.
The project would involve demolishing the former Fry’s store, office and warehouse buildings on the site. The existing space totals 293,900 square feet, according to purchase documents. Super Micro happens to be renting a warehouse on the site.
Fry’s Electronics store operations ended approximately three years ago in February 2021. The iconic retailer suddenly went out of business because it could no longer survive in an economy dominated by the relentless expansion of online commerce, where purchases of computers and other electronic products are often made.
If Supermicro turns the East Brokaw site into a new technology campus, it will become a third major hub for the technology company, creating an employment triangle with all points within a mile of each other.
The company’s current headquarters are located at 980 Rock Avenue in San Jose.
Super Micro’s purchase of the East Brokaw property comes at a time when the company’s sales are skyrocketing and profits are skyrocketing.
In the 12 months to December, Super Micro had revenue of $732.4 million on revenue of $9.25 billion. In his year to June 2023, the company earned him $640 million on revenue of $7.12 billion.