Applied Materials Sunnyvale property shopping cart: $194 million

SUNNYVALE — Applied Materials has stuffed its real estate shopping basket with another Sunnyvale property, buying a big office and research building that the tech titan could use for future expansion.

The latest Silicon Valley property purchase by Applied Materials means the tech titan has spent well over $190 million in two years to buy a wide array of properties in Sunnyvale.

Applied Materials paid $46.6 million for a one-story building at 545 Oakmead Parkway in Sunnyvale, according to property documents filed on May 5 with Santa Clara County officials.

That purchase came one day after Applied Materials bought two buildings at 955 and 965 E. Arques that together total about 89,000 square feet. That $34.3 million transaction was arranged by commercial real estate firms CBRE and Colliers.

“Applied Materials, a top-tier owner-user in the market, was seeking to expand their Silicon Valley campus,” said Scott Prosser, an executive vice president with CBRE. Prosser added that the tech giant was drawn to the buildings because they are high quality and in choice locations.

Santa Clara-based Applied Materials, starting in 2019, has spent at least $194.5 million to buy Sunnyvale office and research buildings.

In one deal in 2019, through a $100 million purchase of Sunnyvale Research Center on East Arques Avenue, Applied Materials, a semiconductor materials and equipment supplier, became the landlord for another tech behemoth: Apple.

The most recent purchase by Applied Materials involved an Oakmead Parkway building that totals 115,000 square feet, according to a post on the Compstak property website. The building occupies 6.6 acres.

A 115,000-square-foot office and research building a 545 Oakmead Parkway in Sunnyvale. // Google Maps

It makes sense for companies that need to expand in this part of Silicon Valley to seek out properties to purchase when they become available, according to commercial real estate experts.

“In Sunnyvale, space is limited and opportunities to purchase real estate are limited,” said Dave Sandlin, a Colliers International executive vice president.

An array of tech firms have scouted for properties to scoop up in Sunnyvale in recent years.

“Applied Materials, Google, Intuitive Surgical, Fortinet typically will buy in the area so they can control their expansion,” Sandlin said.

The Sunnyvale market has become particularly tight because of the expansions of three companies whose primary initial employment hubs are in cities that border or are near Sunnyvale.

Mountain View-based Google, Cupertino-based Apple, and Menlo Park-based Facebook all occupy huge chunks of property in Sunnyvale. Plus, Seattle-based Amazon has leased several big office buildings in Sunnyvale.

“If you want to own your real estate and control your real estate it’s not as easy as you may think,” Sandlin said. “It takes long-term planning.”