By Meghan Hall
Caltrain is moving forward with plans for a significant mixed-use project that will add to the already much-changing Diridon Station neighborhood of downtown San Jose. At the end of April, the transportation organization released renderings for a two-tower project at 33 Montgomery Street. The release came as Caltrain continues to look for a development partner for the site.
Combined, the two towers would total more than 1.09 million square feet of office and retail space. 1.05 million square feet would be allocated towards office uses, while the remaining 46,000 square feet will be “ground-floor active” and retail-related uses. The northern tower will contain about 570,000 square feet, while the southern tower will contain 530,000 square feet, according to public documents.
A plaza will connect the two buildings and will create more than 1.1 acres of public open space. A fourth floor terrace is also laid out in the plans and will also be publicly accessible. Currently, the site is underutilized, and it’s developed with just surface parking lots and a grass promenade. The property totals about three acres.
The project will be designed by Chicago-based Perkins & Will. Renderings show the buildings will be modern in nature, with transparent podium levels and offset levels. The development has been dubbed “Diridon Station Towers.”
Caltrain hopes to execute a ground-lease agreement with its new development partners; as part of the deal, Caltrain would maintain ownership of the land beneath the buildings, while its partner would spearhead the development of the two towers.
The project is adjacent to San Jose’s Diridon Station, which will see an explosion of development in the coming years as Google works to redevelop nearly 80 acres in the area. Google’s plans will cover about one-sixth of the 240-acre area surrounding Diridon Station. In its August 2019 proposal, Google aimed to develop between 3,000 to 5,000 residential units, as well as 5.5 million square feet of newly-proposed office space, 15 acres of green space and 500,000 square feet of retail, cultural, arts education and hotel space. Google has upped its allocations for residential and office space, now proposing up to 5,900 residential units and 7.3 million square feet of space.
As of this writing, Caltrain has not yet returned The Registry’s request for comment.