Hello Arjun and thanks for your question and post.
As a Sunnyvale native and current homeowner, I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with my colleagues regarding the area other side of the Caltrain tracks. Depending on the area where you might be interested in buying, some sections are good--some not so good. There are a few "fingerlets" of property on the other side of the tracks that qualify for Homestead High School, and but most are in less than desirable school districts. If your purpose in moving to Sunnyvale is to find a home with good schools, I'd opt for other locations than this area. If, however, you wish are single and want to find a small condo or townhome near the hub of the downtown area, then the decision to choose area and a home that appeals to your specific demographic should be appropriate.
Regarding the downtown center, while the plan is massive, and the buildings impressive, I don't know that this new structure will favorably impact the homes on the "other side" of the train tracks. More likely, the homes between El Camino Real and the train tracks will gain some value from the revitalized downtown, but the homes on the other side will not be as favorably impacted. Keep in mind that this will be Sunnyvale's second attempt to revitalize the downtown area by renovating the area around the Town Center. Initially, the first renovation went well, but--over time--lost value due to the accessibility issues within this section of town, specifically, the roadways are inadequately sized to allow traffic to the site, and this will become even more impacted and difficult to navigate as traffic patterns change with the larger buildings.
If you are truly interested in Sunnyvale and are in a position to purchase now, there is one 3 bedroom 2 bath home on Knickerbocker priced at $550,000 in the Cherry Chase, Sunnyvale Middle School, Homestead High School school districts. If you have been following homes in Sunnyvale, this is one of the first times that a home of this size and in such a desirable school district has been made available.
If you'd like more information, you may view this home at http://www.mlslistings.com.
For more information about Sunnyvale Schools and homes, please feel free to check out my blog at the web address below.
Good luck and happy house hunting!
Grace Morioka, SRES, e-Pro
Area Pro Realty
Tel (408) 426-1616