SAN JOSE -- Samsung Semiconductor Inc.'s plans to expand the company's north San Jose research and development site, which Gov. Jerry Brown announced in August at City Hall, are taking shape with submitted designs depicting a cube-like building with open, plant-filled floors and extensive greenery around the campus.
The 680,000-square-foot building will replace the 200,000 square feet of company offices now on the site at North First Street and Tasman Drive. Planning Director Joe Horwedel said the new building will have 10 floors of office space with two floors that allow employees to be outdoors within the building.
"It's kind of an interesting concept that we haven't seen before," Horwedel said. "It allows workers to take advantage of the great weather we have here most of the year. It allows them to do that both at the ground level as well as spaces up in the building. You not only get open air, but great views. We haven't seen anybody do something like that."
Brown, who had made his first trip to City Hall since his 2010 election for the announcement where he was joined by Mayor Chuck Reed and Santa Clara County Supervisor George Shirakawa Jr., had hailed the San Jose expansion as proof that California remains competitive in attracting and keeping businesses and jobs.
The announcement came as Brown was campaigning for new taxes, which voters have since approved, and facing criticism from San Jose and other cities for eliminating
Samsung's expansion is part of a deal between the company, city and state calling for substantial subsidies. A memorandum of understanding signed by Brown, Reed, Shirakawa Jr. and Jong Joon Kim, president of device solutions for Samsung Electronics, calls for the state to provide unspecified reimbursement for employee training plus a research and development tax credit. The state offered the subsidies through the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development, or Go-Biz.
San Jose will reduce traffic impact fees by more than half, construction taxes by more than three quarters, rebate up to half of utility taxes for 10 years and provide a $500,000 economic development incentive.
City and state officials said they will hash out details of the agreement later as the project takes shape.
Samsung expects to secure necessary permits by the end of June and to begin demolition and construction later this year.
Samsung Semiconductor spokeswoman Chris Goodhart said the 170-foot tall building will be certified to meet the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standard.
The company has been at the site for more than three decades. Goodhart said Samsung plans to begin moving the 330 employees there now in April "to another close by location." They expect to move back in 2015. Goodhart would not say how many employees the expanded facility is expected to house.
The building will have an eight-story parking garage for up to 1,545 cars with a solar panel array on the roof. The campus will include a star-shaped cafeteria with vegetated roof, rain gardens, a lawn garden and courts for basketball and badminton.
"It's going to be eco-friendly," Goodhart said. "We plan to have something like a small park on the campus, quite different from what's there now."
Contact John Woolfolk at 408-975-9346. Follow him on Twitter at Twitter.com/johnwoolfolk1.