Locally Grown San Jose Sandwich Brand Signs Lease at The Grad San Jose

San Jose, The Grad, Newmark Knight Frank, AMCAL, SWENSON

February 12, 2020, San Jose, CA  AMCAL San Jose I, LLC, is pleased to announce that Lee’s Sandwiches International Inc. has signed a lease to open one of its legendary banh mi sandwich shops at The Grad San Jose, a 1,039-bed student housing project under construction in San Jose, making Lee’s Sandwiches the first retail partner to sign on at The Grad.

The Grad San Jose is an off-campus, high-rise apartment community being built steps away from the San Jose State University (SJSU) campus, and is intended to serve residents with student-oriented programming and amenities.

“Lee’s Sandwiches, the world’s largest banh mi chain of restaurants, is excited to collaborate with The Grad San Jose in the opening of its brand new store at 88 E. San Carlos Street, located in the heart of San Jose, only one block from SJSU,” said Thang Le, a family member and co-owner of Lee’s Sandwiches. “Students of SJSU will be excited to hear that a brand new and improved Lee’s Sandwiches will be joining The Grad SJ as a premier tenant bringing our version of traditional and modern Vietnamese banh mi and our famous iced coffee adjacent to campus on Third and San Carlos Streets.”

Lee’s Sandwiches opened its original store on nearby Santa Clara Street in San Jose more than 30 years ago, and is now a national chain with 60 stores across the U.S. Owned by the Le family, and operated by SJSU alumni, Lee’s Sandwiches’ new home at The Grad will serve more than 1,000 students who will reside at The Grad, in addition to the 33,000 students plus staff and faculty in the greater SJSU community. Visitors will enjoy street-level access to Lee’s Sandwiches which plans to be open from 6 am – 9 pm on weekdays and 8 am – 11pm on weekends.

While paying homage to the traditions of how their parents started the business more than 30 years ago, the Le family children have adapted, updated and elevated their sandwich shop’s menu to include food that today’s students crave, with exceptional ingredients and fair prices.“It is an ideal addition to The Grad and the local community,” says SWENSON president Case Swenson.

Mirroring the upscale vibe of The Grad, the design and aesthetic of Lee’s Sandwiches’ shop will be hi-tech, ultra-modern and created to appeal to SJSU students. “We’re going to pack as much modern design into the space as possible,” says Le. “It’s going to be a small shop packed with tons of flavor and attitude,” said Le, whose family-owned sandwich business will be the first anchoring client to reserve space in The Grad’s retail area which has nearly15,000 square feet of overall customizable space.

“The Grad is committed to curating the best merchandising mix for our student residents,” said Percy Vaz, AMCAL Equities’ CEO. “We’re so proud to say that Lee’s Sandwiches is our first commercial tenant. We look forward to welcoming other top-notch brands interested in having a retail home at The Grad.”

In 2019, The Silicon Valley Business Journal recognized The Grad – AMCAL’s first student housing project in partnership with San Jose-based SWENSON, a leading Northern California real estate development company – with an award for best Market-Rate Residential project in Silicon Valley, more than a year before its completion. The award, along with The Grad’s high-profile, prominent footprint, has generated buzz and anticipation for The Grad’s grand opening in August 2020.

About AMCAL San Jose I, LLC
Since 1978, AMCAL has developed more than $2.5 billion in high-quality multifamily housing projects consisting of more than 7,000 units throughout California, Texas and Washington. AMCAL has been consistently recognized for its solid financial performance and strong, conservative balance sheet which has enabled it to partner with some of the world’s leading financial institutions. The Grad is AMCAL’s fifth student housing project in California.


For over one hundred years, the Swenson family has been a dynamic partner in building Northern California. Four generations of expertise, along with a proven Design-Develop-Build platform, deliver unparalleled level of creative design, quality developments and efficient construction practices. Throughout the Golden State, the wide range of real estate services by SWENSON is backed by decades of resources, referrals and sound business practices that have made the storied company a respected leader. 

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