City OKs 14-story office building for downtown San Jose

Pair of developers plan to connect new building to existing Charles Davidson building

San Francisco /
Nov.November 29, 2021 01:59 PM
Chris Burton (Director, Planning, Building & Code Enforcement at City of San Jose) and render of Arbor building (Aesthetica Studio, LinkedIn)

City officials from San Jose have greenlit plans for a 14-story office tower in the downtown area.

San Jose Planning Director Chris Burton approved the project, which has been dubbed The Arbor, the Silicon Valley Business Journal reported. Urban Community and Westbank Corp. are developing the project and hope to begin construction as soon as possible.

The developers designed the office tower to connect to the existing Charles Davidson building at 255 West Julian Street. The new structure will replace a parking lot just north of the existing building. Once completed, The Arbor will yield 452,000 square feet of office space, 13,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor and 35,000 square feet of terraces and a rooftop garden.

The pair also plans to renovate the 56,000-square-foot, six-story Davidson building. The upgrades, which will make the old building match the new addition’s aesthetic, will also add 17,000 square feet of outdoor patios, balconies and a rooftop garden. Plans show the two buildings will be connected by a skybridge. A 6,000-square-foot food hall is also planned for the first floor of the Davidson building. The developers hope it will bring in more people from nearby residential buildings.

The project will include four underground parking levels that will be built before construction on the tower begins. The project site is relatively small at about two acres across more than five parcels.

Instead of demolishing the standing building, the developers chose to work with the namesake owner of the Davidson building, Charles Davidson, and struck a renovation deal with him before he died earlier this year.

The San Jose City Council has already approved a formal development plan for the area around the Davidson building, meaning the development team didn’t have to go before the planning commission or city council for the project. The city’s planning director has the authority to approve projects that comply with the original development plan once it’s been reviewed by the planning department. The planning commission does have the ability to appeal any decision the director makes though.

[SVBJ] — Victoria Pruitt





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