By Kate Snyder
Santa Clara’s industrial market recently saw a large sales transaction involving one of the city’s more prominent sites. The former Owens Corning plant and surrounding acreage was sold to an affiliate of Amazon for $237.8 million in an all-cash deal, according to a report by The Mercury News. The buyer was Amazon.com Services, which is Amazon’s commerce and delivery arm, and the seller was Owens Corning Insulating Systems, an entity affiliated with Owens Corning.
Located at 960 Central Expressway, the former plant was built in 1947 and sits on 41.1 acres. City records show that the buildings on the site total 747,424 square feet with about 130,000 square feet of covered truck loading docks and surface parking. The property is south of the 101 and east of the San Tomas Expressway. Nearby businesses include First Solar, NVIDIA Corporation offices and Roche Diagnostics Santa Clara. Both the San Tomas Commerce Park and the Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport are also in close proximity to the site.
Owens Corning specializes in producing insulation and building supplies, such as fiberglass materials and roofing products. Industry reports show that the firm closed its Santa Clara plant last year, laying off 225 employees in the process.
The site is slated for potential development, according to Santa Clara city records. Officials are reviewing the possibility of three scenarios for the site’s redevelopment. In general, the proposal is to demolish the existing structures to construct three Class “A” speculative buildings totaling up to 890,000 square feet for warehousing and/or data center uses. Plans also include associated parking, on- and off-site improvements and landscaping.
The project is currently undergoing review by the City’s Project Clearance Committee, records show. The applicant is an entity that shares an address with Panattoni, a commercial real estate development company that specializes in industrial, office and build-to-suit projects, according to the firm’s website.
Amazon has been involved in other recent sales transaction activity in Santa Clara County. Earlier this year, the firm was also reportedly planning to sell a 395,335 square foot commercial office property in Milpitas that was entitled for a 490,000 square foot industrial development, according to The Registry’s previous reporting. The sale price has not been disclosed, but the buyer was reported to be Dermody Properties LLC.