Berryessa BART sparks transit village plans at flea market


SAN JOSE — The Berryessa BART station in San Jose has sparked plans for a full-fledged transit village where 10,000 or more office workers could be employed and walk, bicycle, or speed to their jobs on the rapid transit line.

Office towers, a grocery store, restaurants, shops and thousands of homes are being planned next to the BART Berryessa station in northeast San Jose, as part of the Market Park San Jose transit village that is beginning to rise at the Berryessa Flea Market site.

Market Park might even foreshadow a vast transit village that’s being planned by Google and its development partner, Trammell Crow near downtown San Jose’s Diridon transit station and the SAP Center. The Berryessa complex also offers fresh evidence that a growing number of transit villages could sprout adjacent to some future and existing transit hubs around the Bay Area.

The most recent transaction to push forward the transit village effort was the purchase by Western National Group of 6.5 acres from Berryessa Properties, the realty firm controlled by the owners of the flea market, said Ralph Borelli, chairman of realty firm Borelli Investment, which arranged the property deal. The flea market land is being sold off in chunks and the operation might eventually be relocated to another site in San Jose such as the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds.

“The goal is a transit-oriented development at Berryessa,” Borelli said. “When you add it all up, there will be 3,500 housing units, retail, a grocery store, and a couple million square feet of offices at the BART station, with connections to the Coyote Creek trail.”

The BART Berryessa station is due to open by near’s end near the corner of Berryessa Road and Lundy Avenue. When it begins operating, people who use that station would a one-hour train ride away from San Francisco’s Financial District and the array of offices, restaurants and stores in that area.

“We look forward to creating a vibrant, pedestrian-centric urban village by leveraging the Berryessa BART station to spur private investment in retail, housing, and office development surrounding the station,” San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said.

The future BART Berryessa station in San Jose. The BART station in San Jose’s Berryessa district has sparked plans for a full-fledged transit village where 10,000 or more office workers could be employed and walk, bicycle, or speed their jobs on the rapid transit line. BANG staff photo / George Avalos

Five office towers of 10 stories or 12 stories are being planned in a strip along the BART tracks south of Berryessa Road. The offices would total 1.96 million square feet. Depending on how intense the usage is of the offices, 9,800 to 11,000 people could work there and commute to work from virtually any spot on the BART line, including direct links to communities as far away as Pleasanton, Oakland, San Francisco and Pittsburg.

“This is a real mixed-use opportunity and we hope there is a big corporate user out there that recognizes what we are accomplishing here,” Borelli said.

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