Friday, June 2, 2017

Aviato - New Downtown High-Rise!

NEW DOWNTOWN HIGH-RISE ALERT! On May 17th, a Special Use Permit was filed with the Planning Division to allow the construction of an 18-story multi-family residential tower in downtown San José with 304 residential units and 10,146 square feet of retail on a 0.77 gross acre site (199 Bassett Street). The project includes four levels of underground parking (1 space per unit), 84 bike spaces, a fitness room, and an outdoor terrace with a pool and hot tub. Unit sizes include studios, one bedrooms, and two bedrooms.

The site is sandwiched between Highway 87 and Coleman Avenue, and is located in the northernmost part of downtown. The proposed tower will be somewhat isolated until the vacant land between San Pedro Market and the site is developed; although, this land should not be vacant for long. In the interim, the applicant will need to work on addressing connectivity issues with the rest of downtown so that the residents are not intimidated by or uninterested in walking and biking in the area.

If approved, the proposed tower will be a great addition to the downtown area, as more downtown residents will increase the viability for downtown amenities, retail, and restaurants. Many potential commercial tenants state that the current downtown residential density is too low for them to justify moving into a vacant commercial space, so every new project helps alleviate this concern.

While the top of the tower could have a little more “pizzazz” to diversify the downtown skyline, I’m happy to see that the tower will not be contributing to the “Tan Jose” theme that so many other downtown buildings have embodied. The white stone and glass frame with a pop of orange color is noticeably different from the other residential towers nearby. The applicant also did a great job placing the parking ramp on the east side of the building, leaving the front of the building open solely for pedestrians and active uses.

Because this application is a Special Use Permit, it will go to the Director of Planning, Building, and Code Enforcement for approval and will not need to go to the Planning Commission, unless appealed, or City Council. To stay up-to-date on the development review process, look up File No. SP17-023 on or contact the Project Manager at to be added to the community contact list.

-Kimberly Vacca

Looking northwest
Looking northeast

Looking southwest


  1. Some crisp lines. Too bad this will never get built. FAA will not allow it because planes take off south sometimes and if they loose engine power the top two floors of this high rise will shear off the left wing and engine and part of the fuselage of the plane, killing all on board and causing the biggest disaster in San Jose history.

    I will be frozen like Han Solo in a cryogenic chamber then be thawed back to life 100 years later and this still won't get built.

    1. The height is within the FAA guidelines, and 100 years from now planes will all take off and land vertically ;)

  2. Someone is going to get a letter from Mike Judge on this one.