By Jacob Bourne
The Sobrato Organization is working on developing the last phase of its River Corporate Center at 353 West Julian Street in San Jose that began in 2000. The first two phases delivered two five-story office buildings occupied by Santa Clara County offices, and Phase III is geared to provide 191,400 square feet of speculative Class A office space in a six-story building reaching up to 92.8 feet along with parking and amenities. It’s on a 12.34-acre site bounded by Bassett Street, Highway 87, West Julian Street and the Guadalupe River Trail. Arc Tec Inc. is the project’s architect.[contextly_sidebar id=”bY0PX3LNc8YtLwfzDjIzVOCVoe73hGHT”]“It had been approved by the Redevelopment Agency under the Julian-Stockton Redevelopment Plan EIR but with the RDA dissolved, the General Plan supersedes the RDA’s plan,” said Lea Simvoulakis, Planning project manager. “The last submittal was for an increase of about 20,000 square feet for the building, so it had to come back around for approval.”
The site development permit has received recommendation by Planning staff and the project will go before a Planning Director’s hearing on February 1 for a final decision. In addition to increased square footage, the new plans show a new parking configuration and six instead of seven floors as was previously planned. Amenities include landscaping with multiple tree species, a rooftop garden, office suites, balconies and outdoor areas for dining and socializing. Many details of the project’s design and floor plan layout have been modified since the vision in 2000 to appeal to contemporary demands. According to Simvoulakis, there were no public concerns raised about the project and the developer is preparing to submit for building permits.
“We’re going through the process with the City to amend the entitlements and are hoping to pull building permits in the near future,” offered Chase Lyman, vice president of leasing & acquisitions at Sobrato.
The building meets CALGreen requirements and may receive LEED Gold certification. Reflective roof materials and efficient HVAC are designed to reduce the overall carbon footprint while extensive bike storage options and preferred parking for fuel efficient cars aim to mitigate traffic impacts. A waste management system is in place to keep 75-percent of construction waste from ending up in landfills and the development team is focusing on obtaining a portion of building materials from local sources.
River Corporate Center is located within a half-mile of Diridon Station and in close proximity to the San Pedro Square Market, retail, grocery stores and housing. The project is just on the outskirts of Downtown with good access to Highway 87, 101 and Interstate 280. Scott Knies, executive director of the San Jose Downtown Association commented that the project’s location is advantageous in that it’s positioned near high growth areas while also having impressive scenic views of the Guadalupe River and access to the park and recreational trail that runs parallel.
“Sobrato has a lot of properties Downtown including a number of surface parking lots that were sold off before RDA was dissolved,” Knies said. “We like the attention to architecture and detail that they bring to their projects.”
“This has been a successful project so far. The County is a major tenant with government offices, court and professional services utilizing space in the buildings. It’s nestled in the Northwest corner of Downtown — just across 87 there are about 1,000 housing units by Swenson and partners. The real key is to get the building tenanted. We’re confident that’s going to happen. That’s what happened with the first two phases and we’re confident The Sobrato Organization knows that what they’re doing.”