Shea Properties has bought a large empty lot in San Jose’s Japantown district, where it plans to build 520 apartments and 19,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space.
Japantown is just to the north of downtown San Jose, yet efforts by San Jose officials to create transit-oriented developments near the downtown Diridon Station helped to attract Shea Properties. Google has proposed a transit village near the train station, which has the potential for new BART and high-speed rail connections, along with existing light rail, Caltrain, ACE Train, Amtrak and bus links.
“The demographics of San Jose are very attractive; we have done two other projects there,” Sean McEachern, vice president of development for Shea’s multifamily homes division, said Thursday. “We also are very excited about the potential for Diridon Station.”
Mountain View-based Google’s village plan would construct 6 million to 8 million square feet of offices that could accommodate 15,000 to 20,000 Google workers.
The home builder also was drawn to the Japantown district itself.
“Japantown is a great area, very walkable; it’s a great, lively, small downtown,” McEachern said.
ICS Corporate Yard Multifamily, an enterprise headed by Shea, paid $30 million on Nov. 13 for 3.8 acres that comprise most of a 5.3-acre block bounded by North Sixth, East Taylor, North Seventh and Jackson streets, Santa Clara County property records show. The seller was Jackson Taylor Partners Owner.
Orange County-based Shea Properties, one of California’s top residential builders, has embarked on a joint venture with equity partner Ivanhoe Cambridge, a Montreal-based realty firm, to develop the Japantown complex, Shea said.
A brochure prepared by the prior developers of the site, The Related Cos. and Williams & Dame Development, touted the project’s benefits.
“San Jose’s most vibrant urban neighborhood will soon be home to one of its most ground-breaking developments,” the brochure stated. “It will be a place where residents and visitors can pick up fresh offerings from local farmers and browse an eclectic mix of shops and restaurants.”
One realty expert believes development of the site would bolster Japantown.
“This site is a tremendous opportunity,” said Bob Staedler, principal executive with Silicon Valley Synergy, a development consultancy. “Japantown is a highly sought-after neighborhood. It’s a very attractive area. A project here would be very successful.”
The site of Shea’s Japantown project also would include a creativity and arts center and a public park, along with parking.
“We are confident we will bring together a very nice project for the city of San Jose,” McEachern said.
Reported by The Mercury News (Nov. 17, 2017)
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