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The World’s Largest “Green Roof” Coming to the Bay Area

Cupertino will get a brand new 7 million square foot town center with 40 acres of open space
By - posted 3/28/2022 No Comment

The Rise, a brand new mixed-use development, previously known as Vallco Town Center, is coming to Cupertino. The new development features 7 million square feet, designed with years of community input, to provide an iconic, forward-thinking town center at the heart of the city renowned for design and technology and as the home of Apple. With 40 acres of open space and the largest green roof in the world, the introduction of The Rise marks a new defining moment for Silicon Valley and the beginning of a new post-Covid era for urban design.

The project’s new name reflects its dramatic architecture that will rise naturally from the valley floor of the South Bay and become a real reference point in the landscape. The Rise will evoke the sense of positivity and vitality that Cupertino’s new downtown neighborhood will inspire in those who live, work, or visit here – as a place where spirits and prospects will rise.

Featuring expansive valley views afforded from its green roof open spaces and homes, office spaces and retail venues, The Rise’s interconnected design will make it the place ‘where culture, nature and community connect.’ The Rise embraces the natural environment, Cupertino’s cultural and socioeconomic diversity and the city’s residents’ strong desire for a local gathering place to come together as one community.

The approved plan is the result of more than seven years of work with the local community to identify wishes, needs, and priorities for the new development. Popular elements from prior input cycles have been incorporated into the plan, and today residents are getting a first look at the design details that reflect more than three years of refinement since the project’s approval, as well as feedback from a series of surveys conducted over the past six months.

The Rise represents an innovative vision that boldly seeks to meet the needs of the region and community. It includes:

Homes For All Incomes. The Rise will include more than 2,400 homes, half of which are affordable at varying below market rates, representing more than half of Cupertino’s housing planning obligation to the state for the next eight years. By law, only 890 affordable units are required for the project, but with The Rise, Sand Hill Property Company is volunteering an additional 361 affordable units in recognition of California’s housing crisis, especially severe in Cupertino. The Rise will increase Cupertino’s existing BMR rental stock by roughly 8 times and moderate the City’s standing as the least affordable in the County for low-income households; furthermore, as a direct result of input from residents and city planners, The Rise will offer an array of multi-bedroom affordable homes to attract lower-income families to Cupertino. The Rise offers the full spectrum of housing needs, including for rent and for sale, family housing and workforce housing, traditional BMR and affordable alternatives such as co-living units, and tower residences and townhomes that sit atop of – and with yards connected to – The Rise’s signature green roof. Today The Rise is formally launching its housing interest list for all of these homes. Residential buildings feature expansive recreation areas, and all homes will have access to luxury features such as rooftop pools with views overlooking the Valley, fully appointed co-working spaces, state-of-the-art fitness facilities, and indoor-outdoor lounges, all to create an unparalleled sense of community. The Rise represents a welcoming way to live for all lifestyles and life stages.

A Destination Alive with Culture. With 429,000 square feet of retail, dining and entertainment space, arranged in districts defined by distinct experiences to form Cupertino’s new downtown, The Rise is an experiential destination that is both sophisticated and casual, familiar and cutting-edge. The Rise’s retail offering will be composed of flagship stores, a diverse line-up of curated shops and the world’s top socially conscious brands, a thriving arts and entertainment scene, chef-driven restaurants amid grocery and specialty food purveyors, and an array of daily needs conveniences. Design refinements including expanded outdoor space and broader sidewalk areas offer better flexibility space for outdoor dining and walkability.

The Social Heart of Silicon Valley. At a time when convenience and quality of life are prioritized more than ever before, The Rise’s fully connected, at-your-fingertips, 15-minute-city lifestyle is designed to elevate a rich and fulfilling human experience. Center-court at The Rise will be the West Plaza, a unique and highly programmable destination capable of hosting major events, community gatherings, farmers markets, cultural festivals, music performances, and seasonal offerings such as harvest parties and holiday ice-skating. The town center environment will be both a regional and local draw and, for The Rise’s own residents and workers, an extension of the living room and evolution of the office lounge. These spaces have been further designed to include intimate pavilions for seasonal fare and pop-up offerings and direct, central access to the parking and rideshare facilities beneath West Plaza.

An Elevated Sense of Nature and the Environment. The Rise blurs the boundary between green space, architecture and cityscape. Crowned by an astonishing 29-acre green roofthe largest in the world – and over six miles of trails and bike paths, The Rise seamlessly bonds residents and visitors with nature while forming an inspired connection between Bay Area sight-lines and the vibrant plazas and cityscape below. An accomplishment in sustainable design, The Rise transforms a 50-acre impervious heat island into an incredible 40 acres of open space, landscape, and an energy-efficient green roof, while also implementing water conservation and reuse infrastructure for immediate and long-range benefits. Design details introduced today showcase the signature green roof, defined by vista points and plaza overlooks, 4 miles of trails and paths, recreational lawns, family picnic areas, playgrounds, seating areas, an informal amphitheater, and a new open-air, netted playfield over Wolfe Road that also serves as a bridge, providing connectivity between all buildings of the 50-acre site at the green roof level. Among the Covid-driven refinements is the placement of residential and office uses at the green roof level to create not only indoor-outdoor living, but indoor-outdoor working, and a rare sanctuary in the heart of a vibrant downtown.

An Office Worth Returning To. Within the most amenitized office environment in Silicon Valley, The Rise introduces 1,973,000 square feet of office/lab space, with expanded floor plates to allow spacious office layouts (as well as laboratory configurations, in recognition of the massive expansion of the Bay Area’s life sciences market); direct access to outdoor breakout and recreation areas; fresh air circulation; and a general shift to touchless and hygienic features, all to support a platform of wellness and human health for employees more conscious of workplace design than ever.

Cars Optional. Cars are no longer a necessity when living in a 15-minute city. Eminently walkable, The Rise is a grid network of pedestrian connectivity to jobs, homes, daily needs, culture, community activities, and the outdoors. Offering over 6 miles of bike paths and pedestrian trails, The Rise expands the city’s Class I trails by 15 percent and provides a link to existing and future regional bike and hiking trail networks. Bike hubs with storage and service stations will be located throughout The Rise, and mobility hubs will coordinate cyclists with high-quality transit service on Stevens Creek Boulevard and Wolfe Road, including private mobility hubs for office worker shuttle buses. A main arrival ramp down will move cars quickly off arterial streets, and into a central concierge and rideshare hub, and the broader tech-enabled below-grade parking area. Of course, thanks to The Rise, 1,201 lower-income households no longer need to commute hours every day to their Cupertino jobs, reducing both traffic and GHG emissions.  Altogether, The Rise’s transportation strategy will benefit Cupertino’s roadways and the environment.

The Rise is one of California’s first projects approved under the state’s controversial SB 35 legislation, signed into law in 2017 to streamline the approvals process for projects that strictly adhere to all applicable objective standards (such as General Plan and zoning requirements) established by cities that are severely underproducing their fair-share of housing. The Rise will deliver more than half of Cupertino’s Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) obligation for the next eight-year housing element cycle and is central to its compliance strategy.

Read more at The Rise California