Showing posts with label downtown san jose housing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label downtown san jose housing. Show all posts

Monday, June 17, 2024

Google might bring an affordable housing project to Downtown San Jose

Google still has one foot in the door for their ambitious Downtown San Jose plans. A mixed-used project with millions of square feet of office buildings in a neighborhood now dubbed "Downtown West" have been put on hold, but Google has continued some of their projects to build culture and vibrancy around the new district. Now it looks like they might move forward with an affordable housing project where an old Orchard Supply Hardware store once stood (San Jose company btw).

Earlier this year they razed a building at 720 West San Carlos and now they are evaluating building an affordable housing project on this site. If there were to move forward, it would signal that Google is still serious about investing in Downtown San Jose. If they return to the original plan, up to 20,000 employees could be working in of the capital of Silicon Valley. The economic impact and cultural impact would be significant, especially considering Google has some of the highest median salaries of any company on Earth.

Source: The Mercury News


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.

Sunday, December 3, 2023

Santa Clara County building 213-units of affordable housing in Downtown San Jose

A parcel of land at 675 E. Santa Clara St. at outer edge of Downtown San Jose (16th Street) is going to be redeveloped into affordable housing by the Core Companies and Eden Housing. It would include 113 multi-family affordable housing units, 64 units just for senior citizens, and 36 for-sale BMR (below market rate) townhomes.

There is some pushback from local housing advocates on building height... specifically that it is not tall or dense enough for a new project Downtown. Originally there were going to be a couple four-story building and one 13 to 16 story high-rise. The latest plan has been downsized to an eight-story midrise as well as a five and three-story building. Because of this, Catalyze SV, a local nonprofit focused on community engagement, is not supporting the project as is.

It's worth noting that this isn't sitting right on Santa Clara Street, it's on St. John St. 10 blocks away from San Jose City Hall. It's about equal distance to the core of Downtown San Jose as Little Portugal. While it is a bit of a lost opportunity for another high-rise and maximum affordable housing density, there is enough developable land in the area that some affordable housing and density improvement is better than nothing. 

Monday, July 8, 2019

StarCity's "co-living" tower moves forward

StarCity is working on the largest co-living project in the United States and it just received final city approvals. Co-living is like a dorm for adults. You get a small private space which typically includes a bedroom and bathroom and other facilities like the kitchen, living area, and laundry are shared between multiple residents. Generally co-living facilities are much less expensive than a typical newer apartment.

StarCity would like to build an 18-story tower with 803 co-living units at 199 Bassett Street. The location is is just three blocks away from San Pedro Square.

I would assume this will be on the higher-end of the co-living spectrum. The building will have a 5,000 SQFT gym, chef-style kitchens, bike storage, co-working areas. As an added bonus, there will be retail on the ground-floor that might include a cafe, grocery store, or bar.

If this gets built, it will immediately increase the Downtown population by a significant number and hopefully provide a more affordable living option.

Source: SVBJ

Monday, March 28, 2016

New SJSU student apartments are pending City Council approval

A 7-story, 86-unit apartment building has been proposed for the corner of E. Santa Clara St. and 11th St in Downtown San Jose. Given that it is two blocks away from the SJSU campus, it would be an ideal housing situation for college students. If it moves forward, there would a total of 171 beds in the building.

The project would also include 5,560 SQFT of retail on the ground floor and 5,700 SQFT of office space on the second floor. A restaurant was also mentioned as a possibility for the ground floor plaza. There would be a total of 67 parking spaces, far fewer than the number of students that would live in the building (some would say this is a positive--teach those young adults how to take transit, walk, or bike to get around).

The next step in moving the project forward is evaluation and approval by the City Council and the Planning Commission.

Source: TheRegistry, Robertee from The San Jose Development Forum

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Newly Updated Downtown San Jose Development Map!

Our good friend Mark from Think Bigger San Jose has done something awesome. He's gone and updated a map with all known development projects in Downtown San Jose, both those under construction and proposed. He has even aggregated the total number of residential, hotel, office, and retail units that will come online over the next few years. If all currently proposed projects come to fruition, Downtown San Jose will get another 7,062 residential units, 328 hotel rooms, almost 2 million SQFT of office space, 348k SQFT of Retail, and two new public parks/plazas.

Here is the link to the new Downtown San Jose Development Map! I have also replaced the link on the right in the "San Jose Development" section with the new map for easy access.

Monday, September 28, 2015

New Tech Campus Coming to Downtown San Jose!!!

Downtown San Jose is growing by leaps and bounds when it comes to residential development and retail, but has not been getting a lot of love from commercial developers. That is going to change with a very exciting project on Santa Clara street near Diridon station and the SAP Center.

Trammel Crow is a developer that acquired an 8.5 acre plot of land from Adobe for $58.5 million. Adobe was planning to build an expansion of their headquarters in this area, but instead reconfigured their existing three towers to support a larger number of employees (no more private offices for every employee). I think it was actually for the better. While I'm a huge fan of Adobe and believe they play a vital role Downtown, if they were to build out their expansion it would likely not have been very inclusive to the whole community. Trammel Crow on the other hand is planning the exact opposite.

I'm going to start with the quote from the developer that Nathan ended his SVBJ article with:

"We’ve committed ourselves to making it iconic," he said. "We think it will be a landmark in the South Bay."

Iconic sounds right. Trammel Crow want to build 800,000 SQFT of office space across two buildings 10-12 stories tall. This would be a 10% expansion of all the office space currently in Downtown San Jose today and the first major office project to break ground since 2010. 400,000 SQFT of the project would be built speculatively without requiring a signed tenant. This would also be Class A++ premium office space with huge 40,000 SQFT floor plates and soaring ceilings popular with tech companies.

There would be 325 apartment units in a separate nine-story building. The whole site would be sprinkled with shops and restaurants and even feature a large public plaza along West Santa Clara Street. The beautiful and historic San Jose Water Company building would be renovated and repurposed. 2,400 parking spaces would be built to support the whole project, mostly underground... but hopefully most people won't be driving here.

A big attraction to this spot for the developer is the access to transit at Diridon Station. They are even tentatively calling the project #Diridon. With Caltrain, Light Rail, Capital Corridor, ACE, and a VTA bus hub, this is already one of the most important transit hubs in California. In the future Diridon will also be getting multiple Bus Rapid Transit lines, BART, and California High-Speed Rail. Even the $2 billion Transbay Terminal will not be as well connected as Diridon.

Trammel is expecting to get their building permits in Q1 2016, start construction in the summer, and have the first office building ready for occupancy by the end of 2017. The apartments are slated for 2018. They are also promising a signature look that will make the project a South Bay landmark. I cant's wait to see the first drawings for this!

Source: SVBJ, Hat tip to Josh Russell for sending this in!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Rent Controls in San Jose

I usually try to avoid doing very controversial or polarizing posts, but in this case I can't resist. A couple weeks ago there was an article posting in the Silicon Valley Business Journal about rent controls. San Jose District 3 (Downtown San Jose) Councilman Raul Peralez is proposing to strengthen rent controls in San Jose, specifically by cutting maximum rent increases to 4% and extending rent control to all buildings constructed before 1995 (right now only buildings built before 1979 are rent controlled and the maximum increase is 8% a year). It sounds good on paper, right?

As an econ major, I can't stress how terrible this idea is. Rent controls do not make escalating rent problems better, they make them worse. Sometimes far worse.

Long story short, rent control is a manipulation of the market where demand exceeds supply (see image below). This isn't a guess or assumption, it's a science. With rent controls, there will be fewer rental options available and a greater amount of demand for those remaining units. The stronger the controls, the greater this effect. If you have ever wondered why 50-100 people are all applying for one rent-controlled apartment in SF, this is it.

You may think that if you are already in an apartment, that this will not effect you in a negative way. That couldn't be further from the truth. The stronger the gap between the market and the current rental price, the more likely your landlord will be doing everything possible to get you out of the building. Likely this will include include minimizing maintenance, refusing to do any improvements, trying to convert multi-family rentals to condos, and a variety of other items that I won't even go into. As soon as your are out of the apartment, you will be hit with far higher rents for lower quality units that more people are competing to get (again, SF). Many people will resort to "black market" apartments or tenement housing. Some will become homeless.

The damage does not end there. Rent controls will reduce the market value of all apartments affected. That means lower property taxes for the City of San Jose, and less revenue for services--including the already strapped SJPD and SJFD departments. Landlords will have less incentive to maintain their properties (in fact the opposite when trying to kick people out), leading to substandard housing and blight in both urban and suburban areas.

Thankfully, it seems like Mayor Sam Liccardo does not share the same sentiment on rent control as Raul Peralez. It's a very difficult topic to stand up to, because most voters will not understand economics and the topic of rent control is completely counter-intuitive. Sorry for the soapbox moment, but I really believe this will cause substantial damage to the rental market as can be seen in every single city around the world with strict rent controls (especially SF and New York).

Source: SVBJ

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Donner Lofts Affordable Housing Community Breaks Ground

MidPen Housing recently broke ground on a 102-unit housing complex at 156 E. St. John Street. The six-story project is on the former site of the Donner-Houghton estate, which was the home of a Donner Party survivor. Unfortunately, the home was destroyed in a 2007 fire.

The apartment complex includes 2,500 SQFT of retail on the ground floor as well as a community gathering space, computer lab, and exercise facilities. In order to lease an apartment, you cannot earn more than $37,700 as the units are designed for low-income workers and formerly homeless people in the Downtown area. The total cost of the project will be $30.8 million and it is expected to be completed by Summer 2016.

Source: SVBJ

Monday, December 1, 2014

New Live-Work Project in Downtown San Jose

Barry Swenson Building is finally moving forward on a half-acre parcel that was acquired almost 15 years ago. The empty parking lot at the corner of N. 4th St. and E. Julian St. will be transformed into a modern and unique 13-unit live-work project. These types of projects are very rare in Silicon Valley. The ground floor is setup to accommodate small businesses such as an office or store while the owners of the business would live upstairs. There is also the option to do nothing on the ground floor and live in it as a 3-story townhome.

It's a great concept that I hope we'll see more of in San Jose. In other areas these types of projects have helped transform neighborhoods. With one the highest rates of entrepreneurship in the country, this seems like an ideal time for live-work units in San Jose.

Barry Swenson Builder is going to self-fund the project, which means it can start construction immediately after getting all of the entitlements (targeted for summer).

Source: SVBJ

Monday, October 13, 2014

More Apartments Planned for SoFA!

SoFA is on fire lately when it comes to new projects. Just as construction for The Pierce is getting into full swing, Core Development Co. is proposing a 105-unit apartment project on 598 S. First Street right across the street. This is an important corner at the intersection of South First and Reed Streets and is currently being occupied by an Enterprise Rent-a-Car (will be relocated).

The building will be either five or six stories--five based on the source link and six based on the rendering--and include 2,170 SQFT of retail on the ground floor. The site of the project is only 2/3 of an acre, making the project quite dense for a building this size. This will be a very nice expansion of the SoFA district, which is quickly becoming the next big hotspot Downtown after San Pedro Square.

Source: SVBJ

Monday, July 14, 2014

SJSU Starting Construction on $126M Student Housing Project!

We're going to have another crane in the air before long and this one will be on the SJSU campus. The University has broken ground on a student housing project with 850 beds. The building will be 10 floors, a bit shy of the 15 floor high-rise a stones-throw away.

This project is Phase 2 of the Campus Village project and will cost a cool $126M. Phase 1 was completed in 2005 and added a total of 2,275 beds.

As Nathan Donato-Weinstein mentions in the source link below, this will be a major step in moving SJSU from a commuter school to a more urban university. The building should be done by Summer 2016.

Source: SVBJ

Monday, January 6, 2014

Student Apartment Project Groundbreaking in June

While not as impressive as Centerra or One South, Symphony Development is planning a dense infill project targeting SJSU students at 51 N. Sixth Street. The site is a parking lot for the First United Methodist Church right behind the 12-story Art Deco Vintage Tower. The building will consist of 119 market-rate apartments spread across seven stories on a one-acre lot (the first two floors will be parking). The total price tag will be around $40 million.

I don't believe this project has a retail component, but the sketch below does look like it has a couple sections that would make ideal retail spots. They could simply be communal areas. There is some retail right in front of this building in the Vintage Tower, as well as tons of places to eat within a few blocks such as Ike's, ISO: Beers, Cafe Pomegranate, 4th Street Pizza, Punjab Cafe, and popular SJSU hangout spot SmokeEaters. There will also be a BRT station within a block or two. I think this will be a great addition to the neighborhood!

Source: SVBJ
An elevation of Symphony Development's seven-story project tucked behind Vintage Tower. Construction should start in June.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Virginia Terrace Apartment Project

A brand new 238-unit apartment projects is going to be built in the area bound by East Virginia Street, Martha Street, South 5th Street, and South 6th Street. All of those units are going on a site that is less than 4 acres, so it is even more dense than it looks from the photos below. The project is just outside the Downtown core, but is close enough so that most of the residents will be utilizing Downtown's amenities. This looks like a great project for the area!

Source: Mark (from Think Bigger San Jose and Content Magazine)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

South First Friday Trifecta this Friday!

We have another triple event going on this Friday!

Downtown San Jose Open House - 5:30-7:30pm. You can check out all 4 of the high-rise condo buildings downtown in one shot: The 88, Three Sixty Residences, Axis, and City Heights. Free cocktails, appetizers, arts experiences (not sure what they mean by that), and tours of the model homes! Click here for more info.

South First Fridays Art Walk - 8pm to however late you want. This is the event that keeps getting better month after month. For the full lineup of whats going down tonight, click here. Or if you're like me, don't click here and enjoy the surprise. By the way, during South First Fridays you can get free pedicab rides from one venue to another!

Cinequest - All day long. One of the top film festivals in the world right in your back yard, what more could you want! A lot of the shows sell out--especially on the weekends--so get your tickets early on the Cinequest Website.