The Sunnyvale campus has been in the hands of W.P. Carey, a NY-based real estate investment trust, since 1995 when AMD sold the property for $95 million in a sale-and-leaseback deal. Multiple real estate sources claim te Irvine Company plans to transform the site into hundreds of apartments to meet demand for housing in the region. The asking rent for a one bedroom apartment in Santa Clara County soared 72 percent since 2009 due to the combination of tremendous job growth and lack of building in the last decade.
AMD's lease ends in December 2018, with two 10-year renewal options, but instead of extending it looks like the chip designer is planning to downsize its footprint. BizJournals claims the chip designer is in the market to lease between 175,000 and 225,000 square feet of space elsewhere in Silicon Valley, a 30 to 45 reduction in footprint.
The AMD campus is an attractive target for a residential builder. It is massive, thanks to spacious surface parking lots. It's also near strong employment centers and zoned for residential, taking away much of the risk associated with buying a commercial property in hopes of converting it to housing. Irvine is also well familiar with the area, having built Stewart Village, a 259-unit project on 8.6 acres located immediately adjacent to the AMD campus.