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New housing tower begins construction in downtown San Jose

Construction site of Garden Gate Tower, a 336-unit housing highrise at 600 S. First St. in downtown San Jose. 

SAN JOSE — Construction is underway on a 23-story housing tower that would bring more than 300 residential units to downtown San Jose.

Garden Gate Tower is being built at 600 S. First St. in San Jose site that’s in downtown’s hip and trendy SoFA district and near Interstate 280.

Boston-based Scape North America, a developer that is a unit of London-based real estate firm Scape, is building 336 units through the project.

This week, construction equipment and workers were visible on the development site at the corner of South First Street and East Reed Street, this news organization’s direct observation of the property showed.

Workers and construction machinery at the project site of Garden Gate Tower, a housing highrise totaling 336 units at 600 S. First St. in downtown San Jose's SoFA district.(George Avalos/Bay Area News Group)
Workers and construction machinery at the project site of Garden Gate Tower, a housing highrise totaling 336 units at 600 S. First St. in downtown San Jose’s SoFA district. 

The workers and the machinery appeared to be engaged primarily in excavation work on the site this week. Scape hasn’t disclosed a timeline for the completion of the project.

The new tower is poised to help create more vitality in this section of downtown San Jose. The SoFA district consists primarily of restaurants, nightclubs, cocktail lounges, entertainment hubs and live-performance theaters.

In the fall of 2021, Scape North America landed up to $182 million in construction financing from New York City-based Madison Realty Capital, a private equity fund, according to documents filed with the Santa Clara County Recorder’s Office.

Initially, Scape had planned to develop 290 units in the tower. But during the planning process, the developer decided to build 336 residences. The tower also will include 28 affordable residential units.

“The development of the project would contribute a modern, high-quality urban design to the downtown,” according to a San Jose Planning Department staff report.

Steel beams and construction equipment at the development site of Garden Gate Tower, a 336-unit housing highrise at 600 S. First St. in downtown San Jose's SoFA district.(George Avalos/Bay Area News Group)
Steel beams and construction equipment at the development site of Garden Gate Tower, a 336-unit housing highrise at 600 S. First St. in downtown San Jose’s SoFA district. 

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