Local TI Leader: What We’ve Learned in 40 Years of Commercial Build Outs

Baidu Office Commercial Build-Outs

Local TI Leader: What We’ve Learned in 40 Years of Commercial Build Outs

Architects, Brokers, CM/PM's, NEWS /

The Bay Area is home to many of the most dynamic and innovative businesses in the world. It’s the nexus where new ideas, technologies, and companies are constantly coming together, launching the next big enterprises, and taking established firms and brands into the future. As companies change and evolve, so do the spaces where their employees work, live, and create.

Tenant improvement (TI) projects are an important part of the professional landscape in the Bay Area — for massive corporations and small startups alike. Technology has developed at unprecedented speeds over the last few decades, and at the same time corporate culture has changed, favoring freedom, collaboration, and flexibility. Companies are under pressure to take their pre-existing spaces and update them in ways that are practical and cost-effective, yet stunning and imaginative through commercial build outs.

Here at South Bay Construction, we excel at transforming spaces for our clients. While some of our processes and the technology we use has changed over the years, the way we treat our relationships with clients, municipalities, and other companies hasn’t. Having strong relationships in the cities where we work can do more than make a project go quickly. It also means that when we need a last minute inspection or approval of a plan, we have contacts who are willing to accommodate our requests as quickly as possible.  

Further, we understand how fast trends and the business environment can change, and how important it is to have a space that is welcoming to all employees and visitors. We keep our finger on the pulse of all elements of a project, from the cost of materials to the schedule of a project, and how we can finish a space in the best way for a client. Often, this means completing a LEED-certified project, as many of our clients want the most environmentally friendly space possible. If we don’t stay up to speed on the latest trends while also meeting a client’s budget, then we have haven’t done our job.  

As of 2018, we’re celebrating 40 years of helping individuals and businesses reinvent their work and living spaces through commercial build outs. We know how essential it is for companies to stay on the cutting edge in terms of their products, technology, and corporate culture; and we can make even the most audacious Silicon Valley projects a huge success.

Here are some of our favorite commercial build outs from years past:

Shopping Mall Commercial Build Outs

We partnered with Irvine Company to create the Santa Clara Square Marketplace — a block of rundown and unusable manufacturing facilities were transformed into seven luxury buildings inspired by Newport Beach’s Fashion Island. It’s now an upscale, mixed-use hub of retail, restaurants, and residences. It’s a similar story at Main Street Cupertino, where we conceived a brand new community-oriented marketplace where shops, services, offices, and apartments converge in the core of the Silicon Valley. We love how walkable and accessible it is, along with its close proximity to many major tech companies.

Office TI projects can be some of the most rewarding projects we complete. Take Baidu, for instance — we were working on their Sunnyvale office before they even signed the lease. One of the top brokers in the area was looking to find a new tenant for the space, and because they know the type of client that works in the Silicon Valley, they wanted to renovate the office first. We expanded the windows, the entrance, and the lobby to make the space more welcoming. In doing this, we also set out to build to LEED Silver standards. Halfway through the project, when we were still building out the shell, Baidu signed on. Over the 20 weeks it took to complete the project, we were able to improve the building up to a higher standard, and then finish it with Baidu’s vision in mind. And because they are such an innovative company, their space now reflects how forward thinking they are.

Companies today need these types of spaces. To stay competitive, they need employees who enjoy both their work and their work environments, who are excited to come into the office every day, and are motivated to do their best. And to optimize their own productivity, people need more multi-use live-work-play spaces. They need open-concept floor plans, great amenities, access to the outdoors, natural light, and a corporate ethic that lets them come and go as they please. Businesses in the Bay Area have been recognizing and embracing this new reality in commercial build outs — both in the present and the future.

Stadium Tech Commercial Build Outs

The Stadium Tech project is an excellent example of this. This landmark building, situated in the heart of the Silicon Valley near Levi’s Stadium, features six stories of sloped, floor-to-ceiling windows. Patrons are treated to 360-degree views, as well as state-of-the-art conference rooms, workout spaces, dining options, and spa facilities.

This is the new normal for the industry. Companies want their headquarters to feel like a destination rather than an obligation — and they want them to look amazing. It’s a huge benefit to the company’s image, and a big thank-you to the hardworking staff whose job it is to stay competitive, innovative, and on-the-ball. That’s why commercial build outs aren’t going anywhere — as companies grow, they continue to choose universal settings for their corporate offices.

This is where the Bay Area is headed, and companies who want to take their success to the next level should consider their tenant improvements now, while they’re still ahead of the curve.

If you are interested in starting a TI project or just want to learn more about our collaborative approach, here at SBC, we’re ready to help you get started.

Architects, Brokers, CM/PM's, NEWS