Downtown San Jose office towers push ahead with revamp of big block

SAN JOSE — An ambitious project to construct two office towers to replace a parking lot and old building at a choice downtown San Jose site could get underway in 2023, a city document being circulated to the public shows.

The two office highrises are slated to be constructed on what’s known as the Valley Title site, which consists of most of a downtown San Jose block bounded by South First Street, East San Carlos Street, South Second Street and East San Salvador Street.

The towers would be built in the heart of the SoFA district, a hip and trendy neighborhood of restaurants, nightspots, theaters, clubs and art outlets. The project addresses include 300 S. First St. and 345 S. Second St., San Jose planning records show.

The Orchard, as the project is called, would total 1.39 million square feet and is being built by a real estate alliance of Westbank, a developer with a worldwide reach, and Urban Community, a local development firm headed up Gary Dillabough and Jeff Arrillaga.

Office and retail towers in The Orchard, a proposed mixed-use project in downtown San Jose at 300 S. First St., concept. (James KM Cheng Architects/Westbank)

The site of the future towers is deemed to be in a key section of downtown San Jose and can also serve to connect different parts of the city’s urban core, according to a vision book that Westbank has circulated to real estate brokers.

“300 S. First St. is adjacent to the convention center, bridging a neighborhood activated by students and a vibrant arts and culture district,” Westbank stated in the vision book.

The two towers each would be 20 stories high and might be connected by a sky bridge.

The proposed development would demolish the existing three-story office structure commonly known as the Valley Title building along with the approximately 2.2-acre surface parking lot and kiosk.

“The project would be constructed over an approximately 42-month period, beginning in April 2023,” a draft city environmental report states. That means it could be completed by late 2026.

The Dot, a section of The Orchard, a mixed-use development in downtown San Jose at 300 S. First St., view towards the west and the California Theater, concept. (Westbank)


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