Pro­posed San Jose of­fice park could al­ter down­town sky­line

De­sign to look like four tow­ers near Fair­mont Ho­tel

The Mercury News - - Business + Technology - By George Ava­los gava­los@ba­yare­anews­

SAN JOSE >> An iconic of­fice tower to be crowned with rooftop gar­dens would rise in down­town San Jose, a strik­ing project that bids to dra­mat­i­cally re­shape the sky­line of the Bay Area’s largest city and could at­tract a big tech com­pany, ac­cord­ing to a new pro­posal on file with city plan­ners.

The 17-story of­fice tower is de­signed to give the ap­pear­ance of four sep­a­rate tow­ers and up to 2,900 peo­ple could work in the of­fice por­tion of the com­plex, be­ing planned on the site of a sur­face park­ing lot near the Fair­mont Ho­tel, the pro­posal from vet­eran de­vel­oper

So­brato Or­ga­ni­za­tion shows.

“This is unique,” said Chase Ly­man, vice pres­i­dent of leas­ing and ac­qui­si­tions with Cupertino-based So­brato. “Down­town San Jose has never seen an of­fice project like this be­fore. It will be an iconic head­quar­ters lo­ca­tion.”

The of­fice tower would

to­tal 581,000 square feet, in­clude 20,000 square feet of ground floor re­tail, and would fea­ture floor sizes of up to 54,000 square feet. That type of wide-open space is de­signed to ap­peal to Sil­i­con Val­ley tech com­pa­nies.

“Any day is a good day that a prop­erty owner tells us that they’re ready to in­vest hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars into trans­form­ing a down­town park­ing lot into a high-rise home for an in­no­va­tive em­ployer,” San Jose Mayor Sam Lic­cardo said Thurs­day in an in­ter­view with this news or­ga­ni­za­tion.

The project would front on South Mar­ket, West

San Car­los and South First streets.

“We are go­ing to call this Mar­ket Street Tow­ers,” Ly­man said. The of­fice com­plex was de­signed by Arquitectonica, a famed Mi­amibased ar­chi­tec­ture, ur­ban plan­ning and de­sign firm.

So­brato ex­ec­u­tives in­tend to con­struct the new tower even if the de­vel­oper hasn’t signed up a ten­ant for the of­fice and re­tail com­plex.

“The plan is to build this project,” Ly­man said. “We are not just putting pretty pic­tures to­gether for the fun of it. We are go­ing to de­velop it.”

The pro­posal by a topflight de­vel­oper such as So­brato

sug­gests that mo­men­tum has built dra­mat­i­cally for the city’s ur­ban core.

“The wind is truly be­hind down­town San Jose now,” said Nick God­dard, se­nior vice pres­i­dent with Col­liers In­ter­na­tional, a com­mer­cial realty bro­ker­age. “The clever money is here, more and more in­vestors are com­ing in.”

So­brato hopes to en­tice a wide ar­ray of prospec­tive ten­ants — or a sin­gle huge user that could bring thou­sands of jobs into down­town San Jose.

“What is unique about this block is that this is an acre and a half in size,” Ly­man said. “That al­lows for the big floor plates. It could be a sin­gle-com­pany type head­quar­ters. Or there could be mul­ti­ple users. The build­ing is de­signed to ap­peal

to a wide range of users, in­clud­ing tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies.”

Among the unique fea­tures of the tower: Two of the sec­tions boast rooftop gar­dens with multi-level ter­races. The gar­dens could be ex­clu­sive to dif­fer­ent ten­ants, or they could be used by a sin­gle ten­ant, ac­cord­ing to Ly­man.

Down­town San Jose, hol­lowed out for decades by the flight of re­tail­ers to sub­ur­ban malls such as West­field Val­ley Fair and San­tana Row, ap­pears to fi­nally be turn­ing a corner in its jour­ney to be­com­ing a des­ti­na­tion ur­ban core.

“You have cen­tral­ized trans­porta­tion, tremen­dous en­ter­tain­ment, sports, restau­rants, ho­tels, nightlife, places to live, all of this makes it a fun place to be,”

Google plans a tran­si­to­ri­ented com­mu­nity of of­fices, restau­rants, shops, homes, and open spa­ces where 15,000 to 20,000 of the search gi­ant’s em­ploy­ees would work near the Diri­don train sta­tion and SAP Cen­ter.

San Jose-based Adobe Sys­tems says it in­tends to “dou­ble down on down­town San Jose” with plans for a dra­matic ex­pan­sion of its three-build­ing head­quar­ters cam­pus by adding fourth of­fice tower at an ad­ja­cent par­cel.

“We look for­ward to work­ing with the So­brato team to bring an at­trac­tive ad­di­tion to down­town San Jose’s sky­line,” Mayor Lic­cardo said.


Mar­ket Street Tow­ers in down­town San Jose would in­clude 20,000 square feet of re­tail space on the ground floor.

A new 17-story of­fice tower in down­town San Jose could at­tract a big tech com­pany, ac­cord­ing to a new pro­posal.


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