Monday, October 29, 2012

21-Story Residential High-Rise Will Break Ground in Downtown San Jose!!!

This is news I have been eagerly anticipating for years. Finally, there will be cranes in the air and the next generation of residential towers will rise Downtown!

KT Properties (Axis) and Essex Property Trust have filed a site permit for 285 apartment units in a quarter million sqft, 21 floor tower. There will be 6,000 sqft of retail on the ground floor and potentially more on the second floor. Amenities include a swimming pool and Jacuzzi on the 4th floor, a fitness room, community kitchen, and terraces on the 4th and 17th floors. The building will have 420 parking spaces, half of which will be underground.

Location wise, it could not be more central in Downtown. The tower will be on the corner of Santa Clara Street and Market Street, right across from San Pedro Square, 5-7 minutes from the HP Pavilion and Diridon Station, and a couple blocks away from Plaza de Cesar Chavez. The future BART station will be no more than a few blocks away. This is an uber-prime location that has been a parking lot for way too long. The impact will be dramatic.

If our rental market continues to stay hot over the next two years, you can expect the entire building to be leased within 3 months of opening. We all saw what the last 4 residential towers did for Downtown, imagine what these next ones will do. And yes, I did say ones with an s.

Barry Swenson Builder is also working on a 21-story tower of their own called The Carlysle. This building will be across the street from the San Pedro Square Market and be even larger at 347 units. In fact, I just saw an advertisement last week from Barry Swenson that featured the Carlysle with the caption "First downtown San Jose tower out of the ground since the great recession." They haven't filed their site permit yet, but that quote is definitely a good sign that it is going to happen soon.

As soon as either of these break ground, we'll have to have a celebratory meet-up at The SPSM.



Sources: SJBJ, The Registry

37 comments:

  1. Dubai, Dubai, Dubai, Why is the future of hi-rise architecture in the Middle east???? and why does San Jose feel like Stockton in that realm. I would hope the Capitol of Silicon Valley could do better .

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  2. Calm Phil, one thing at a time. At least SJ didn't go near bankrupt like Dubai did during the recession, and had to be rescued by their more boring neighbor Abu Dhabi's money *wink*

    Josh, this building design sucks :( Original design was a gazillion ton better.


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    1. I agree regarding the design, and a friend started a petition to get the design changed:

      http://www.change.org/petitions/kt-essex-properties-and-the-city-of-san-jose-planning-dept-change-the-building-design-on-1-s-market?utm_campaign=petition_created_email&utm_medium=email&utm_source=guides

      However, I'll say that I would rather take it as is than have nothing at all.

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    2. I'll take it! Don't worry about the designs or haggle over it. I'd rather have this highrise going up rather than a louy surface parking lot. Who wants a parking lot? Fast forward this project for a January groundbreaking!

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  3. Because San Jose airport is so close,and the runway is in direct line with our downtown the buildings are restricted to a height of approximately 18 stories. This new building is 21 stories which means if you live there you'll be able to wave at the pilots as they fly by............. and in a winter storm when the wind changes direction airplanes will be taking off under full power right over the top of this building ... Live there? no thanks.

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    1. Good - stay away then.

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  4. Sizz, I work in downtown. I have a friend who work in the Market Post building right next to the proposed KT site. We see and hear planes all the time. But you know what our solution is? We go inside the building, no more airplane noise, problem solved. *wink*

    Don't worry about the height or the plane issue. The 1000 or so new residents of the other 4 high-rise towers didn't have any problems signing their $2000/month rent :)

    What we need to worry about is the building design, and frankly, this building's design leaves a lot to be desired.

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  5. Can people afford to live here? I hear Axis isn't even at capacity. I'd rather they build what the people need and not what looks good.

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    1. Axis is a condo building, slightly different market. The closest comp to this would be 360 Residences, and it went up to 97% capacity almost instantly. This is in a better location, but I'll have to agree that the design leaves a bit to be desired compared to 360.

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  6. Beggar can't be chooser! Because of the FAA building height restriction, downtown is left with this design that packs as many units it can at 21 story. If it weren't for the restrictions, the developer would be building towers even prettier than Dubai. Let this building move forward and bring more people downtown.

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  7. Bob, I actually live downtown in the Axis building and the noise pollution caused by the planes is simply insane. You may not pay attention to jet noise when you are working in an office building, but if you actually live here, they will drive you crazy, even if you are inside the building. SJC starts operating at 6:30am every single day and sometimes I could swear the planes could land on the top of Axis... I don't understand why developers want to build residential buildings in downtown SJ (other than land being cheaper here than anywhere else, of course) -- this location would be much better for a commercial development than residential.

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    1. I agree. I also live downtown...in one of the four buildings around julian/1st street, and the planes do drive us crazy. R

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  8. Actually Good News Boy, that area of downtown can build straight up to 300 ft, and the original design for 1 S Market reflected that. They're capping it at 216 ft with the new design, which is lame, in my opinion.

    Ngoc, they can build what people need AND make it look good. Why not have both? If it's possible to have both, why not do so? And trust me, there are a lot of money in the South Bay, so yes, people can afford those high-rises. Just like all those single homes going for $600-700k in San Jose. They're priced that way for a reason--because there are people that can afford it (more people than houses, in fact)

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    1. I think they're capping it at 216 ft even though they're allowed to go 300 ft to play it safe and not deal with airline height issues at all like they did with Axis, which FAA guideline allowed it then, but dealt with several disgruntle pilots constesting it. Also, they want to save costs and please the extremely reluntant lender who would easily would not back this project. Take whatever you can because it's extremely difficult to get funding!

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  9. Hey Ted,

    Is that with the windows open? I was always under the impression that once inside, the plane noise should dissipate. I'm on one of the higher floors of one of the office buildings here (10th and up) and I can't hear a thing when the plane pass by.

    Or the Axis's specific location could simply be THAT bad :(

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    1. Inside the Axis on a high floor the airplane noise is barely noticeable inside, and outside the highway is more of a nuisance. But it's location is ideal in many ways.

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    2. What exactly makes its location ideal? It's under a fairly busy flight path, next to a major freeway, and in a somewhat rough neighborhood that's basically dead at night and during the weekends. Don't get me wrong, the building itself is great, it's just the location that could be better.

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    3. It's ideal because it is within a 5min walk to most attractions Downtown, it is less in the flight path than Axis, and having the freeway close is more of a convenience than a nuisance in this case. It is really close to San Pedro Square which does have quite a bit of activity and nightlife, and in the future you can expect similar activity down Santa Clara Street.

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    4. Josh: yeah, I agree that the location of the proposed building is much better, but I was referring to Axis in my comment above :) Anyhow, I hope that it will get built, we definitely need more people living downtown.

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    5. Anon, Josh IS referring to Axis :D

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    6. Oh wait, apologies Anon. I just re-read and Josh is referring to the proposed KT location. Though, pretty much what he said (except for the flight path part) can be applied to the Axis as well. It's even closer to San Pedro Square than the proposed KT site.

      The Carlysle will be right across the street from San Pedro Square. The design, if they still hold fast to it, should look much better than KT's.

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  10. The fact that so many people are complacent about this new design boggles my mind. I've heard some even say, "Well its better than a parking lot." Come on San Jose! Don't you care how your represented in your buildings? We have a dull bleak downtown BECAUSE we allow it to be dull. If more people spoke out and showed that they care, developers would be forced to make better designs. As for airplane noise, I live practically under the final decent and I'm completely used to it. It's a matter of opinion. If you want your voice heard on the design issue sign my petition please! http://www.change.org/petitions/kt-essex-properties-and-the-city-of-san-jose-planning-dept-change-the-building-design-on-1-s-market?share_id=OiwwCyOcFZ&utm_campaign=petition_creator_email&utm_medium=email&utm_source=share_petition

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  11. Bob, I can't open any of the windows (just the balcony door) in my condo so the noise level is pretty bad as-is :) My balcony is pretty much unusable because of the noise and all the dirt caused by the planes... I'm on the 9th floor and I think the problem is that the Axis building is *directly* under the flight path, so the location couldn't really get any worse then this.

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  12. I've been told that the reason that downtown San Jose buildings look so plain is because someone within city government has decreed minimalism to be our official style. That seems rediculous to me, but I trust my friend, who's in a position to know. I forgot what department this decree comes from.

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    1. City Hall looks phenomenal, and I don't think I would call it minimalist. Also, the BSB tower (The Carlysle) actually looks much better than this at least in the renderings.

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  13. Plain and simple: airport needs to be moved out of downtown after 2030, either to Moffett or SE Gilroy. In the meantime, we have no choice but to live with a noisy, height restricting downtown airport :(
    BTW, older renderings were of a night time view of "high"-rise with lights on. Could be the same design, just a day view this time. Also, height limit of 300 ft. Might be above sea level, not street level.

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    1. Is 2030 when some contract is up? It's going to take huge public support to make a move happen.

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  14. Not every unit in AXIS is unduly affected by SJC traffic noise. As a resident, I can tell you that the West side is quite reasonable (for being directly under an active airline approach corridor). The Eastern exposure receives more noise from arrivals on runway 30R.

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  15. Although I think highrises are beautiful, we don't need them. Downtown has 50 blocks to fill. What we need is continuity and flow. We need to fill surface parking lots, empty spaces like behind Billy Berks and get rid of eye sore buildings like the state building behind The 88. If you can keep people's attention they will come downtown. With the size of Santa Clara st we could compete with the famous Melrose of LA.

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  16. Welp, as Mark have mentioned before in his blog: Fine, we can't build high, but at least the buildings should be interesting. This KT property one doesn't have any panache to it, not even a TINY bit. Axis, 360, 88, and even City Heights have interesting styling to them. And this KT property is by the same folks who designed Axis, have no idea what went wrong...

    Thanks Ted for the description of your plight :) I feel ya.

    Anthony, 300ft is street level I'm sure. By the way, here are the old renderings for the original design in daytime:
    http://www.amaa.com/portfolio/project/?category=housing&project=129&redir=L3BvcnRmb2xpby8/Y2F0ZWdvcnk9aG91c2luZyMx
    I found it on this blog back in 2009, during the first month. Probably one of the very first entries that Josh put up :)

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  17. we already have 88, axis, and city heights, none of which are full. 360 residences was such a fiasco they had to to convert it to apartments because too many buyers backed out (myself included).

    what good can possibly come of another empty high rise? is this a way for barry swenson to launder money?

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    1. 360 Residences is at least 97% leased, and at very high rents. After the conversion it became a huge success, which is why these next 2 residential towers will be rentals instead of condos.

      City Heights is 95% full, The 88 is at least 75%, and Axis is in that range as well. They are not doing too bad at all, but I think we will be seeing many more rental buildings before another condo one rises.

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    2. Correction: 88 is 85% full, if not 90%.

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  18. I think a lot about how tall we really need to have skyline. What do you guys think? 30 floors at a minimum? Anyone know how far away from the airport a building would have to be to get that tall?

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  19. Wow, that is one uninspired design. How about some setbacks? Some varied materials? Something...anything to show some thought was put into it. Horrible.

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