“Considered perfection for many a tech worker, Whisman offers an abundance of nature comingled with is its post-war dwellings and the cutting edge transit-oriented planned development community of Whisman Station.”
Whisman (MLS #200) is a neighborhood unlike many of its surrounding districts. It is an eclectic compilation of residential, commercial and recreational regions that coexist seamlessly.
Not too far in the distant past, ground-breaking technology companies Raytheon, GTE Sylvania and Fairchild called this borough home. Once they moved onward, the property underwent residential development yet much of the district remains commercial.
The suburb is punctuated by multiple parks and green space, including the woodlands, tidal marshes and 4.8 miles of trails offered up by the Stevens Creek Trail. Mountain View’s last functioning fruit plantation, the Francia Apricot Orchard, is also located within Whisman’s boundaries.
In 1999, the VTA (Valley Transportation Authority) established Whisman Light Rail Station on the former 55-acre campus of GTE Sylvania, sparking a transformation of the neighborhood that resulted in the city’s most impressive transit-oriented development (TOD). This masterfully designed community, also called Whisman Station, includes over 500 townhomes, condominiums and apartments that were completed in multiple phases.
The three separate boroughs within Whisman are Central Park, an apartment community, Bedford Square, a large condominium project that was completed in 2007, and the single community that contains California Station, Town Square and Whisman Park, the first developments constructed in 1998 and 1999. Whisman Station offers abundant green space and its 1,000 to 2,000 square foot, 2-4 bedroom dwellings are nestled along tree-lined streets with community amenities such as clubhouses and swimming. Within walking distance to downtown Mountain View and the VTA station, and less than a mile to key freeways, Whisman Station is quite popular among Silicon Valley tech workers.
North Whisman is the other sub-division of Whisman proper. The housing here varies in style, leaning toward more modest single-family homes situated alongside condos and apartment buildings. Price-wise, it is considered entry to mid-level, with some higher priced homes having undergone renovation and expansion while others have been completely rebuilt.
- Numerous parks and green space, including access to the Stevens Creek Trail
- An eclectic accumulation of residential, commercial and recreational areas
- Includes last functioning fruit plantation, Francia Apricot Orchard
- Blend of multi and single-family housing options
- Variety of price points, from entry level to high-end
- The transit-oriented Whisman Station development is within walking distance to downtown and local VTA station
History of Whisman, Mountain View
It can be argued that Whisman is where the United States concentrated many of its most critical Cold War efforts and the Silicon Valley was born. From 1952 to 1983, Sylvania Corporation occupied a large parcel of land bordering Moffett Field. The facility was used for electrical and communications manufacturing and testing, was at one time Mountain View’s biggest employer when, in 1959, General Telephone & Electric (GTE) acquired Sylvania.
A portion of the GTE Sylvania land was used as an ‘antenna farm’. Aerial transmitters that underwent testing for the military were covered with the “GTE Sylvania Bubble”, a city landmark until 1963.
In 1985, after two years of unsuccessfully attempting to sell it for commercial purposes, GTE Sylvania changed tactics and began the lengthy process of selling the land for residential use. Eleven years later, the area was officially rezoned, paving the way for the “transit-oriented development” of Whisman Station.