Thursday, January 4, 2024

Iconic San Jose tower will be converting offices to homes

Demand for office space is low and housing is high, which will likely lead to several office to housing conversions throughout San Jose. One of the most interesting proposals is by the owners of the historic "Bank of Italy" tower in Downtown San Jose. The building was San Jose's original high rise, and the company that built it eventually became Bank of America. It was actually the tallest building between Los Angeles and San Francisco between 1926 and 1970... 44 years.

The latest proposal is to convert the 13-story office building to between 125 and 150 homes across at least 11 of the floors, in addition to doing significant interior and exterior renovations. The attic below the spire and cupola would also be used to support the residential component (perhaps as amenity space). The plan also references a 1,400 SQFT lower penthouse and 900 SQFT upper penthouse. It's not clear exactly where those would be--if they are part of the tower component above the attic or the terraces along the side.

Dining and retail spaces are also earmarked for the project, including one with a 2nd floor terrace which you can see in the 2nd and last images below. I'm reminded of the old Scott's Seafood location. This could be a really unique spot for a restaurant overlooking Fountain Alley and First Street!

It also looks like they want to add some dynamic lighting elements to the top of the tower, which would be a nice bonus for the project. Hopefully they can get this completed before the market shifts again.

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