MILPITAS, CA-Lap Tang Development Co., a San Jose-based developer, has paid $43.9 million for Serra Center, a 16.4-acre mixed-use center here that it plans to partially raze and redevelop with 375 luxury condos and 135,000 sf of for-sale retail shops. The seller was the Piedmont-based Donovan Trust.

Serra Center sits at the confluence of Interstate 880 and Highway 237 in the heart of the Silicon Valley. The center consists of a retail strip center; two free-standing restaurants including a Chili’s; two hotels (Days Inn, Travelodge); a Walgreens; and three undeveloped parcels. Other tenants include Denny’s and Big Lots.

The redevelopment will occur on the easterly 10 acres of the site, which was rezoned from the office overlay of the Redevelopment Agency Midtown Specific Plan to a mixed-use approach. The area can support several hundred thousand square feet of development, says Mike Federle with Grubb & Ellis in San Francisco, who had the disposition assignment for the Trust along with fellow G&E brokers Nicholas Bicardo and Colin Federle. Brian Phumg of AMB Commercial Brokerage represented the buyer.

“The ownership has not been actively leasing the center in order to keep its options open with regard to redevelopment,” Federle told in October , when the property came to market. “The center is 60% vacant but could be leased up very quickly because there is no vacancy in the market.”

Because the property is listed as a “gateway site” in the Midtown Specific Plan, Federle says the new owner should have no problem getting its development approvals. “The City of Milpitas is very interested in seeing the Serra Shopping Center,” Federle said in October. “It will work closely with the sponsors to attain a viable result.”

Located at 200 Serra Way, the land had been owned by the Donovan Trust for over 117 years and is known as the site where Father Junipero Serra held penance for his priests in 1778. Today the intersection of Highways 880 and 237 has a daily car count of 700,000 cars. Cisco Systems’ corporate headquarters campus is directly across the freeway with 10 million sf of office and R&D space.

“The key to maximizing the value of this property was our ability to get the existing zoning changed from the office overlay of the Redevelopment Agency Midtown Specific Plan to a mixed-use approach,” says Federle. “The property had appraised for $22 million before the usage change.”

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?


© 2023 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.


GlobeSt Net Lease Spring 2024Event

This conference brings together the industry's most influential & knowledgeable real estate executives from the net lease sector.

Get More Information


Join GlobeSt

Don't miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed commercial real estate decisions. Join now!

  • Free unlimited access to's trusted and independent team of experts who provide commercial real estate owners, investors, developers, brokers and finance professionals with comprehensive coverage, analysis and best practices necessary to innovate and build business.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and GlobeSt events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join GlobeSt

Copyright © 2023 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.