Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Two Key Downtown Blocks Sold to Sobrato

Last week the San Jose Business Journal released the news that the San Jose Redevelopment Agency is finalizing the deal to sell 2 key downtown blocks to Sobrato for $20M (known as Block 2 on San Fernando and Block 8 on Market St.). Block 2 was originally allocated for a mixed use museum/high-rise hotel/housing project between Living Tomorrow and Mesa Development. That deal unfortunately fell through a while ago. Block 8 was supposed to become 2 high-rise condo towers developed by Urban West... this deal went south a bit more recently.

Personally, I think Sobrato gaining ownership of these 2 blocks is the best thing to ever happen to them. Sobrato has a vested interest in Silicon Valley--especially downtown--and has the resources to actually build something even while the market is recovering. Block 2 and 8 are gaping holes downtown, creating incongruent retail in the downtown core. Those areas badly need to be developed in order in increase activity along the "anchor" corridors downtown east of Santa Clara St.

So far, there is no indication of what Sobrato plans to build in either Block 2 or Block 8, but there's a rumor that something better that what Urban West was planning is in the hopper for Block 8. As for Block 2, I'm really hoping for mixed-use development with retail along the ground floor. If anyone gets any news on either of these blocks, please send it in!

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