By Darin Moriki, East Bay Times
SAN LEANDRO — The ground settled just seven months ago at the new OSISoft world headquarters building next to the San Leandro BART station, but construction is already taking place next door.
Work began several weeks ago on the second San Leandro Tech Campus phase that will feature a six-story, 132,000-square-foot building next to the San Leandro BART station and the 55-foot-tall “Truth Is Beauty” sculpture by Bay Area artist Marco Cochrane. The building is scheduled to be finished by September 2018.
“At this stage, I think it just continues to show the transformation of the city and our partnership in wanting to grow, bring technology and bring innovative thinking here,” San Leandro City Councilman Lee Thomas said in an interview at the May 25 groundbreaking ceremony.
“On top of that, if you look at this building and you look at how pretty it is, I think it shows that we’re a city that is really investing in art. But when you look at the artwork that’s here and the design of these buildings, they’re like hand-in-hand,” he said.
The building will be a carbon copy of one next door that was finished in October. It serves as home base for OSISoft, a worldwide private tech company specializing in data infrastructure systems.
It is the second of three planned for the 750,000-square-foot, technology-focused development along Martinez Street between West Estudillo Avenue and Thornton Street, which is owned jointly by Westlake Urban of San Mateo and OSISoft-affiliate RSPK.
“Today’s groundbreaking is the culmination of decades of work: lots of paperwork, emails and phone calls,” Westlake Urban Assistant Development Manager Donovan Cole said.
“We went through the Great Recession, and this was all going to be a residential project, and it ended up being an office project right next to a BART station. It’s a lot of work from us, at Westlake, and the city of San Leandro going through the entitlements of the (railroad) crossings and then to watch the economy kind of melt down. It was very worrying times, but we were glad to come out of it, and we’re happy to have what we have now,” he said.
Perhaps the most crucial selling point for the San Leandro Tech Campus is its close proximity to the San Leandro BART station, as a transit-oriented development, OSISoft CEO Patrick Kennedy said.
“My business is 80 percent people, so if I built a nice building out in the middle of Castro Valley hills, it might be nice for the view, but how do the people get there? Well, they’d now have to drive through the roads,” Kennedy said in an interview.
“The BART is very useful because it extends the urban areas linearly down the tracks. If I wanted to go to San Francisco, I can get on the train, and in 22 minutes, I’d come out onto the sidewalk by the Hyatt Regency, so I’d never drive,” he said.