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Mixed-use downtown San Jose housing tower may sprout on retail site

262-268 East Santa Clara Street, a retail site in downtown San Jose. A Lee’s Sandwiches outlet is at the left of the image and a restaurant is visible on the right. (Google Maps)

SAN JOSE — A high-rise being eyed in downtown San Jose could sprout on part of a retail center site and add several hundred residences to the urban core of the Bay Area’s largest city.

The 28-story tower could be built across the street from San Jose City Hall at the corner of East Santa Clara Street and South Sixth Street, a preliminary proposal on file with municipal planners shows.

262-268 East Santa Clara Street, a downtown San Jose retail site, shown within the outline. Boundaries are approximate.(Google Maps)
262-268 East Santa Clara Street, a downtown San Jose retail site, shown within the outline. Boundaries are approximate. (Google Maps)

The high-rise could produce 529 residences at the location, which has addresses that include 262 East Santa Clara Street, according to the San Jose planning files.

In addition, the high-rise would include 21,000 square feet of retail or restaurant uses, or both; and 12,100 square feet of office space, the preliminary proposal states.

“This is a challenging site,” said Bob Staedler, principal executive with Silicon Valley Synergy, a land-use consultancy. “I’m not sure how you park the development on such a narrow parcel.”

The property totals 0.8 acres, documents on file with a Santa Clara County Assessor’s database show.

The site’s value was $2.5 million as of early 2023, according to files at the county Assessor’s Office.

Bale Properties, located in San Jose, is listed as the owner of the parcel where the project would be built, documents filed with a real estate database show.

Lee’s Sandwiches, Nu Tung Kee Noodle House and Miskarie Hair Salon, along with a surface parking lot, now occupy the site.

A building occupied by Grocery Outlet is not part of the site where the development would occur, the planning documents show.

The project proposal was filed as a way to obtain feedback from San Jose city staffers about the feasibility and viability of a project of this type. The project could be modified or scrapped altogether.

“The most likely scenario is an entitlement then flip” through a sale to a new buyer, Staedler said. He expressed skepticism that the project would be built as proposed.

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