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SAN FRANCISCO-Plans to replace a light industrial park in Santa Clara, CA, with a 1.9-million-square-foot headquarters campus for computer graphics firm Nvidia Corp. were approved unanimously Tuesday evening by the Santa Clara City Council, which followed an earlier recommendation of approval by the planning commission. Nvidia’s current headquarters building, which is leased, is located across the street from the development site.

As proposed, the plan calls for the existing low-rise flex-industrial buildings to be razed in favor of three eight-story buildings built out for high-tech lab and office uses that would be LEED-certified by the US Green Building Council. The design includes glass- and aluminum paneled buildings with large atriums, projecting canopies and elevated bridges connecting them to one another. There also would be a pedestrian bridge over the San Tomas Aquino Creek, which divides the development site.

The street addresses involved are 2600 and 2800 San Tomas Expressway and 2400 Condensa Street. In approving the project, the City Council certified the EIS, approved a rezone from light industrial and approved the phased development agreement, which includes approximately $5 million in traffic mitigation fees.

Nvidia acquired the property, San Tomas Business Park, in February for $149.5 million. The seller was Harvest Properties and Blackrock Realty Advisors, which paid less than $100 million for the 25-acre, 10-building, 475,000-square-foot campus in 2006 Harvest was the applicant for the development. A Nvidia source told GlobeSt.com on Monday that Harvest Properties will develop the campus.

The developers could not be reached this week for comment on their development timeline and did not discuss it at the Tuesday evening hearing, though a city staff member did describe Nvidia and Harvest as “ready to move forward.” Steve Van Dorn, head of the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce, told council members before the vote that this was the type of projects chambers of commerce “dream about.”

“It wasn’t too long ago we were talking about [Nvidia] perhaps moving to another city,” he said.

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