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SOUTH SAN JOSE, CA-Developer Legacy Partners is leaping into one of Silicon Valley’s burgeoning commercial markets–South San Jose. Legacy’s Highlands Corporate Center is proceeding along on schedule, with work on utilities and nearby streets expected to begin as early as next month.

Legacy bought its 121-acre site in October from Orchard Properties for an undisclosed amount. It plans to build 1.8 million sf of mixed-use space on the site’s 88 developable acres, including office and R&D uses.

When the sale took place, the property wasn’t even explicitly for sale. But Legacy, with the help of major Valley broker Commercial Property Services, made an offer and the deal was done. And current area wisdom says it was a smart deal, since South San Jose is one of the hottest areas for commercial development.

Perhaps the most well-publicized example of current South San Jose development is software titan Cisco Systems’ planned Coyote Valley Research Park, located 11 miles south of Downtown San Jose. The 20,000-worker campus will create a miniature city in the middle of the now-rural Coyote Valley, sprawling over 688 acres. And San Jose planning officials say Coyote Valley has for years been envisioned as a high-tech, light-industrial area.

Some proposed South San Jose projects have been shot down, however, including the Calpine Corp.’s proposed power plant in Coyote Valley. Cisco and other critics said the project was incongruent with long-range visions for Coyote Valley.

According to Legacy estimates, its Highlands Corporate Center should be ready for occupancy by 2002. Its 178,000-sf Hellyer Oaks Technology Park in South San Jose’s Edenvale area is already fully leased.

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