Boom City — Downtown development proposals pour in

Development proposals continue to descend upon downtown San Jose at record pace and now record size. Unlike the previous cycle of growth that focused on high-rise housing, downtown is clicking on all four cylinders: housing, office, hotel and retail.

How many of the proposals will garner approvals and investor funding and result in completed buildings is anyone’s guess. Several of the developments that first appeared in the mid-2000s are back with new plans. Given the current strength of the Silicon Valley market, many developers are fast-tracking projects with hopes to begin construction this cycle. If downtown’s development record is any indication of its future, more than half the proposals outlined below will happen over the next decade, altering downtown’s landscape for the next century.


Downtown San Jose has less than 9 million square feet of office space. Three new proposals for downtown San Jose would more than double the amount of office space:

• Google has several parcels in the area around the Diridon Station and SAP Center, and is negotiating with the city for 11 more parcels (See lists at end of story.)

Google is interested in working with the city to bring 8 million-10 million square feet of office space to the area, plus housing, retail and amenities, the amount of which is unspecified. Community groups have started meeting to prioritize requests of the internet giant relative to the massive development.

• The 2.5-acre property owned by Lew Wolff and Phil DiNapoli at 333 W. San Fernando adjacent to Highway 87 is being purchased by Adobe, which announced plans to build a fourth headquarters tower that would add capacity for another 3,000 employees. The company will start to work on design in early 2018.

• Bay Area developers Valley Oak Partners and TMG Partners proposed a 1 million-square-foot campus that stretches along the new Autumn Parkway between San Jose MarketCenter and the arena.

The City Council on May 17, 2016, approved the 850,000-square-foot office development by Trammell Crow and Bentall Kennedy along Guadalupe River at the former San Jose Water Company site near the arena. The mixed-use development could redefine the west side of downtown, with two distinct buildings, a third “connector” structure that allows for larger floor plates to match tech tenant needs, plus generous plaza and commercial spaces fronting 402 W. Santa Clara St.

The City Council granted a construction tax waiver to Trammell Crow for getting its first building permit by spring 2017. The $4 million incentive will happen if the developer completes its project on the SJ Water site by Dec. 31, 2019. However, ground has not yet broken on construction.

Other office buildings with plans submitted includ e:

• Railyard Place by Insight Realty, off Highway 87 and Coleman Avenue, 250,000 square feet.
• River Center by Sobrato, off Julian Street, 190,000 square feet.
• Fourth and Santa Clara Street tower by SJSC Properties across from City Hall, 25,000 square feet of office.

• As of Aug. 29, The Museum Place project at Park and Almaden avenues has a timeline, with the city and developer Insight King Wah LLC agreeing to complete the mixed-use office (263,676 square feet of office), residential, hotel, Tech museum expansion and parking project by 2023.

• The Family Justice Center opened for business Aug. 15, 2016 at Market and St. James streets. The building is 234,000 square feet.

Until the Family Justice Center opened, the last office building completed downtown was the RiverPark II Tower, 318,000 square feet, at 300 Park Ave., in 2010. It is now 85 percent occupied.


The total number of hotel rooms downtown could spike 30 percent if several projects are built out. Khanna Enterprises, which owns the Sheraton Four Points on First Street, wants to construct a 21-story, cantilevered tower over the original 1911 Montgomery Hotel frame. The plans by TCA Architects submitted in May call for an additional 280 guest rooms rising 245 feet, with a roof-top bar, pool and fitness center. The unusual design suggests that the first six floors form the base and floors 7-21 extend slightly over the existing historic structure.

The new part of the future Tribute hotel would face south and be covered in glass. The old 86-room hotel is 187 feet south of its original location. The city’s Redevelopment Agency paid $8.6 million to move the structure in 2000 to make way for the Fairmont Hotel annex. Khanna obtained the property from Joie de Vivre Hotels in 2008.


• Owner Nimish Patel of the vacant parcel at South Second and Reed streets propose a six-story, 76-room hotel in SoFA;

• A 210-room AC Hotel opened at Santa Clara Street and Highway 87 in early 2017.

• Hotel Clariana also opened in 2017. The 44-room boutique-style hotel was renovated from a former YMCA at Second and Santa Clara streets. Owner RSTP Investments, LLC, plans to add another 60 rooms, plus pool and new lobby on the parking lot it owns adjacent to the hotel between Third and Fourth streets

• The Museum Place property next to The Tech will host a Kimpton Hotel of up to five floors, 184 rooms and 203,207 square feet. The City Council reached agreement with developer Insight King Wah, LLC in August 2017.

• Kade Development has reported intentions to build a hotel at Stockton and Julian near the arena and Google development. Details are not yet available.

If built, the total uptick of about 700 rooms would bring the number of rooms available in downtown San Jose to more than 2,850.


Residential development is still a hot sector with 10,485 homes proposed, under construction or recently completed for 31 different sites downtown – most of them high-rises.

In December 2016, the City Council extended the 50 percent reduction in construction taxes and parkland fees to developers who begin construction before July 2018. The City Council will consider four projects – SJSC Towers, ParkView Towers, North San Pedro Tower and The Graduate for the housing incentive on Oct. 3.

Housing that has been entitled or is in process:

• 225 W. Julian St. by DAL Properties near Highway 87, 910 units, two 20-story towers.
Platinum Towers/Greyhound site by KT Urban, 708 units, two towers, 24 and 23 stories. Interior work has begun demolishing the former bus terminal.
• Railyard Place by Insight Realty, 650 units.
SJSC Towers, by SJSC Properties, at Fourth and Santa Clara streets, 610 units on twin 28-story frames. The car wash on the site is closed and demolition is expected this fall.
• Block 3 by Sobrato, next to the Hammer Theatre, 399 units;
• SJ Water Co. site by Trammell Crow and Bentall Kennedy, 325 units. City incentive to complete construction by Dec. 31, 2019, is on the table.
• 27 S. First St, by Alterra International, 324 units. Local Color has temporarily filled the space. Anticipating development of the property, Local Color seeks a new home.
• Gateway Tower by CORE Companies, at South First and William streets, 276 units;
• The Graduate, 300 S. Second St. (student housing) by Barry Swenson Builder and Amcal, 260 units. Set to break ground in October.
• Parkview Towers by Full Power Properties on the north side of St. James Park, 220 units. Construction fences are up on the site.
• Sixth Street flats by owner, 195 units;
• Museum Place by Insight King Wah, 306 units. The City and Insight reached agreement on the development timeline in August 2017.
• Post and San Pedro Tower, by Simeon Residential Properties and Kinship Capital, 182 units;
• 439 S. Fourth St., by property owner, 108 units;
SparQ, 598 S. First St., by CORE Companies, 105 units. Enterprise car sales/rentals has moved from the site, demolition and site clearing to commence Sept. 11.
Villas on the Park, 278 N. Second Street (at Devine), by PATH, 75 units. Interior demolition under way on previous structures on site.
• Plaza Hotel housing by the City of San Jose, at San Fernando Street and Almaden Avenue, 55 units. Opening in September 2017.

Newly proposed in 2017:

• Garden Gate, 600 S. First St. (on the current Garden City Construction Co. location), by KT Urban, 285 units
• Aviato @ North San Pedro, 199 Bassett St., by KT Urban, 302 units. This development would be in addition to the other North San Pedro projects already entitled.
• 100 N. Fourth St. at St. John, by ECI2 North Third, LLC, 400 units.
• CityView Plaza expansion by Equus Capital Partners at 170 Park Ave., 264 units.

The 3,176 units under construction or recently complete includ e:

• Brandenburg/North San Pedro housing by Barry Swenson Builder, First Community Housing, and Intracorp Companies off Julian and San Pedro streets, 856 units. Infrastructure work and realignment of streets ongoing.
• Silvery Towers by Full Power Properties LLC, St. James and San Pedro streets, 643 units.
Campus Village Phase II at San Jose State University, 425 double rooms, opened for the fall 2016 semester.
• North San Pedro Tower 3 by Full Power Properties LLC, 323 Terraine St., 305 units.
• The Pierce, 60 Pierce St., by Sares Regis, 232 units, opened February 2017.
• Marshall Square at North First and St. John streets, by Fairfield Residential, 190 units.
• 27 North Sixth St. (student housing) by Symphony Development, 119 units, is now open.
• Donner Lofts by MidPeninsula Housing, at Fourth and St. John streets, 102 units, opened March 2017.
• 180 Balbach condominiums, by Silicon Sage, 100 units.
Modera by Mill Creek at San Pedro Square, 204 units.

Ten years ago, plans were unveiled for 18 properties totaling 3,598 units. Of those proposed, nine properties were built, including four high rises, and smaller developments on Balbach Street, North Second Street and Julian Street. Five locations dedicated to housing a decade ago still have plans on them, including North San Pedro, Marshall Square, Parkview Towers, 200 Park Ave. and Donner Lofts. Ten years ago, developers proposed 1,455 dwellings units on these sites – now 1,948 units are planned on them.


Most new housing and office buildings proposed includ e retail components on the ground floors. Retail square footage proposed for all development is more than 250,000 square feet (sf).

Size varies. For example: SJ Water Company site, 30,000 sf; SJSC building, 21,000 sf; Museum Place, 21,000 sf; Silvery Towers and North San Pedro area 20,000 sf; Parkview Towers, 18,500 sf; 27 S. First, 17,268 sf; SJSC site, 15,000 sf; Greyhound site, 14,000 sf; Marshall Square, 11,000 sf; Aviato, 10,146 sf; Gateway Tower, 10,000 sf, Modera, 9,200 sf; Post-San Pedro Tower, 9,000 sf; 100 N. Fourth, 8,500 sf; Garden Gate, 6,105 sf; Gateway Tower, 6,000 sf; 27 S. First St., 5,000 sf; The Pierce and 439 S. Fourth, 4,300 sf; SparQ, 3,000 sf; Donner Lofts, 2,700 sf; North San Pedro Tower, 2,000 sf; CityView Plaza expansion, 1,500 sf.