Downtown ‘mega’ sites gaining traction

Another “mega” downtown development proposal has emerged – this one on the Valley Title parking lot site at 300 S. First St. in the SoFA District, by Urban Community.

The 1.25 million-square-foot mixed use project would include office space for 6,000 downtown employees, 330 residential units, 50,000 square feet of retail space and 645 parking spaces.  

Slade Architecture of New York and Rojkind Arquitectos of Mexico City are working on designs that would represent the northern gateway to SoFA and are respectful of the district’s stature as San Jose’s arts center.

The project would build around the homes of Anno Domini gallery, Café Stritch, Metro newspaper and The Studio climbing gym fronting First Street.  Urban Community acquired the 2.8-acre site in August for $61.5 million.

Meanwhile, three other proposed “mega” developments in downtown recently took steps forward:

  • In January, Boston Properties proposed a development of 1.8 million square feet on its long-held property at Almaden Boulevard and Woz Way. As many as 9,000 employees could be hosted on the property.  The project could rise to 18 stories, and initial plans left open the possibility of including retail on the ground floor. The latest proposal doubles the size of Boston Properties’ original plan for the 3.6-acre site, which showed three buildings utilizing 860,000 square feet.  Boston Properties has managed a parking lot on the site since 2003. As part of its 2010 acquisition from the Redevelopment Agency, Boston Properties has until June 2019 to apply for a building permit. The Successor Agency has the right to extend its timeline or repurchase the property if that and other conditions are not met.

  • Adobe’s plans for its fourth tower near the intersection of San Fernando Street and Guadalupe River Park grew by one-fourth.  Originally planned to hold an additional 3,000 employees, the new design accommodates 4,000 additional Adobe employees. The 18-story, 700,000 square-foot tower would link to the other three Adobe buildings bordered by Park Avenue, Almaden Boulevard and San Fernando Street via pedestrian bridge.  Unlike its other three towers, this new one would include 8,100 square feet of retail. The tower could be completed by 2022.

  • Boston Properties entered into agreement to co-develop the 1,023,000-square-foot office project called Platform 16 with Bay Area developers TMG Partners and Valley Oak Partners.  The three-building campus stretches along the new Autumn Parkway between San Jose MarketCenter and the arena a couple blocks from Diridon Station. The city has approved the plans and construction is expected 2019-2021.  Platform 16 could add another 7,000 workers.

Forty-two project proposals downtown are summarized at