COVID Woes Plague Downtown San Jose, But Google Village Fuels Hope

SAN JOSE — Economic illnesses spawned by the coronavirus are still plaguing downtown San Jose, where sales taxes have risen, city officials said. But Google’s Transit Village could help alleviate the ailments of the urban core.

Citywide sales taxes are nearly back to pre-COVID levels and are down just 1%, San Jose economic development manager Nanci Klein said at a meeting. Wednesday by the law firm Hoge Fenton to discuss real estate in the city.

By contrast, sales taxes in downtown San Jose plunged 38.5% below their pre-COVID levels, Klein said.

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“There are areas downtown that are really struggling,” Klein said at the meeting Wednesday.

However, other high-profile areas of the city, such as the areas around the two major shopping malls west of downtown – Santana Row and Westfield Valley Fair – enjoy heavy activity.

“You go to Santana Row and it’s booming, you see people everywhere,” said Rosalynn Hughey, assistant city manager of San Jose. “You go downtown, it’s quiet. »

Work-from-home policies encouraged by government-ordered business closures to fight the coronavirus have had a stark impact on the city centre, officials said.

“You have to get workers back to the office,” Hughey said at the meeting.

While no project can be a panacea, Google’s proposed neighborhood near Diridon Station and the SAP Center, called Downtown West, is poised to help alleviate some of San Jose’s downtown afflictions. .

And in addition to the search giant’s proposed neighborhood of offices, homes, shops and more, there are several office projects underway that could provide an additional boost, although two would need to land tenants to succeed.

Large office projects totaling over 2 million combined square feet are currently under construction in downtown San Jose.

Here are the main major office complexes under construction in the city center:

— 200 Park Avenue, 965,300 square feet, 19-story tower at the corner of Park Avenue and Almaden Boulevard being developed by Jay Paul Co. Potentially 4,800 people could work in the historic tower.

— The first phase of the 390,000 square foot Platform 16 is the start of a technology campus that could eventually total 1.1 million square feet at 440 W. Julian St. currently under construction. development by Boston Properties. It is estimated that 1,900 people could work in this initial building.

Adobe’s fourth office tower at 333 W. San Fernando St. would be a dramatic expansion of the tech titan’s current three-building headquarters. The new 18-story North Tower, as Adobe describes it, totals 700,000 square feet and would allow the company to double its downtown workforce. The tower could accommodate 3,000 people. Adobe plans to move into the tower in the first half of 2023.

More office space could come into the pipeline once Westbank resumes construction of its eye-catching office tower called Park Habitat, where people could work in a garden setting. This skyscraper located at 180 Park Avenue would total 1.2 million square feet.

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