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Three big downtown San Jose projects advance, adding hundreds of homes

SAN JOSE — Three big downtown San Jose projects have gained final city approval in a decision that allows more than 900 homes and hundreds of thousands of square feet of offices to be built.

The City Council has approved the Icon/Echo office and residential towers complex, the Bo Town residential tower and the SuZaCo office and retail project. If any or all are built, the projects are poised to greatly revamp key sections of downtown San Jose.

Together, the projects would add an estimated 929 residential and an estimated 607,800 square feet of office, retail and restaurant space to downtown San Jose, according to documents and agendas on file with city officials.

Upper levels of Orchard Residential tower at 409 S. Second St. in downtown San Jose, concept. The housing highrise is being developed next to the long-time Bo Town restaurant site. (JKMC Architects + Steinberg Hart) 

Here’s what each of the projects could produce:

  • Icon/Echo would consist of two towers. The 26-story Echo tower would accommodate 389 residential units and the 20-story Icon office tower would total 525,000 square feet. This project would front on East Santa Clara Street, North Fourth Street and East St. John Street. Urban Catalyst is the developer.
  • The Orchard Residential, a 30-story residential tower with 540 housing units and 7,500 square feet of ground-floor retail, would be built at 409 S. Second St. next to the site of the old Bo Town restaurant. The Bo Town property will be preserved as part of the project. An alliance of mega-developer Westbank and local developer Urban Community, which is headed up by Gary Dillabough and Jeff Arrillaga, heads up the project.
  • SuZaCo, a mixed-use mixed-use complex at 130 through 150 E. Santa Clara St. and 17 S. Fourth St., would total 75,300 square feet in a four- and six-story office and retail building. The project will partly demolish yet preserve the facade of the historic State Meat Building. Bayview Development is building the complex.
Suzaco, a mixed-use development consisting of office and retail buildings proposed for the corner of South Fourth Street and East Santa Clara Street in downtown San Jose, concept. The facade of the former State Meat Market building is visible.
Suzaco, a mixed-use development consisting of office and retail buildings proposed for the corner of South Fourth Street and East Santa Clara Street in downtown San Jose, concept. The facade of the former State Meat Market building is visible. 

The approval of the projects raises hopes of revitalization and more vibrancy in downtown San Jose.

Plus, tech titan Adobe is busy preparing a new tower at its downtown San Jose headquarters campus where thousands would work.

On the western edges of downtown San Jose, Google is pushing ahead with demolition work so it can begin infrastructure improvements ahead of the development of the first phase of the search giant’s new transit village.

Google’s new neighborhood, known as Downtown West, would add office buildings, homes, shops, restaurants, entertainment and cultural hubs, open spaces and hotel rooms near the Diridon train station and the SAP Center.

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