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Downtown San Jose office tower awaits city approval amid tech downturn

SAN JOSE — The eye-catching office tower, proposed as a prime location in downtown San Jose near the future footprint of Google’s Transit Village, will be the final destination despite a technological downturn plaguing the area. Awaiting city approval.

The 15-story office skyscraper will emerge on the edge of a new neighborhood Google is eyeing near the SAP Center and Diridon train station in downtown San Jose.

The planned site for the tower is located at 250 Stockton Avenue between Julian Street and West Santa Clara Street, city planning documents show.

Imwalle Properties has proposed a high-rise office building and has moved the project through the city’s approval process. The city plans to hold hearings with the planning director next week so that final approval can be obtained for the development.

The uncertainty over the pace of tech layoffs and employees returning to work due to COVID-19 has raised the question of how much office space the Bay Area will need in the next year or two. I’m here.

Imwalle Properties principal executive Donald Imwalle is well aware that the tower’s city approval is just one of the major hurdles that the project must clear before construction can begin. He provided a candid assessment of the development schedule.

“With the current economic conditions, this building will not be completed anytime soon,” Imwalle said.

The project envisions an office tower totaling 910,000 square feet. The development will demolish an existing commercial building on a total site of 94,000 square feet.

The building is not only close to the Google Village Site, SAP Center and Diridon Station, but also very close to the bustling Whole Foods supermarket.

However, Google recently revealed that it has begun reassessing timelines for when to begin and complete the first phase of the new transportation-oriented district.

Search giant Transit Village’s currently uncertain timeline could have knock-on effects on prospects for downtown San Jose’s return from the economic depths where coronavirus has plunged the city’s core.

Downtown San Jose is facing a tough recovery as it tries to recover from the economic morbidity unleashed by the coronavirus and simultaneous government-ordered business shutdowns to combat the spread of deadly bugs.

San Jose officials told the joint venture Silicon Valley that sales tax revenues, especially in the downtown area of ​​the Bay Area’s largest city, were only about 35% of pre-pandemic revenues, according to President Russell Hancock. think tank.

A report, part of the newly released 2023 Silicon Valley Index, found that the rise of remote work and the departure of employees from their regular offices are eroding the economic bases of San Jose, Oakland and San Francisco’s downtown districts. is being eroded.

In many downtown offices, many office workers simply no longer exist.

“We’re seeing the downtown impact,” Hancock said in a recent presentation discussing the index. “Downtown is where we see the crisis.”

Yet even in the current difficult economic climate in the Bay Area, which could bode well for the prospects of the 250 Stockton Avenue site, many signs of hope are beginning to emerge.

“Every day it seems like there are more cars on the road,” said Imwalle. “When more people come back to the office, it helps our projects.”

Furthermore, Imwalle believes the current wave of tech layoffs won’t change Silicon Valley’s narrative as an economic powerhouse.

“The tech layoffs are terrible, but the Silicon Valley fundamentals are still there,” Imwalle said. “We need more AI[artificial intelligence]and other technologies that come out of this space. Don’t bet on Silicon Valley.”

https://www.siliconvalley.com/2023/02/17/san-jose-downtown-office-tower-real-estate-build-tech-job-economy/ Downtown San Jose office tower awaits city approval amid tech downturn

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