The Sobrato Organization Proposes 560,000 SQFT of Offices in San José’s Block 8

Cupertino, The Sobrato Organization, San José, Market Street Towers, Arquitectonica, Davidson Plaza Towers, Trinity Place, San Francisco,
Image courtesy of The Sobrato Organization

By Meghan Hall

Cupertino, Calif.-based The Sobrato Organization has finally submitted plans to redevelop a highly sought-after piece of property in the downtown portion of San José known as Block 8 in September 2018. The new development, called Market Street Towers, is located at 282 S. Market St. and would rise 17 stories and total 943,372 square feet, according to preliminary design documents submitted to the City of San José. Sobrato purchased the property in October 2010, according to public documents.

Currently, the roughly 1.5-acre lot is developed with a parking lot, which would be demolished to make room for the new development. The building structure would be broken into 19,608 feet of ground floor commercial space and 557,440 square feet of office space. Although the development is a single structure, it will be composed of four connected towers. Two sky gardens on the 16th and 17th floors and parking for 608 cars are also included in the plans, although parking for 1,394 vehicles are required by city’s zoning.

Sobrato plans to compensate for the difference in parking by constructing a separate, eight level, 1,038 car parking structure between S. Second and Third Streets just blocks from the original Market Street Towers project. The roughly 1.4-acre site would also include 12,198 square feet of ground floor commercial space.

Miami-based architecture firm Arquitectonica has been hired to design the project. Preliminary renderings of the building show the exterior of the building dominated by floor to ceiling windows, indicating the structure will be entirely encased by glass. Arquitectonica is also currently designing the Davidson Plaza Towers project, located at 255 W. Julian St. in San José and the Trinity Place project in San Francisco.

The project site is located near Interstate 280 and State Route 87 and is just across the street from the San José McEnery Conference Center. San José State University is also just several blocks away, as is the Tech Museum of Innovation and numerous retailers such as Philz Coffee, Safeway and Loft Bar & Bistro.

The Sobrato Organization has a well-established reputation for building in the Bay Area, and the proposed Market Street Towers development could break ground during a competitive market cycle in which major companies are thinking long-term and seeking to lease or buy up additional space in San José.

In its third quarter 2018 Silicon Valley research report, Colliers International stated that demand for office space continues to outpace supply, particularly for already entitled or under construction properties. Gross absorption for Q3 totaled 2.4 million square feet. Although this is less than half of what was leased in the second quarter of the year, Colliers attributes the slow down to the lack of large blocks of available office space in San José and the Silicon Valley. Only two properties, which totaled 131,000 square feet of space came online during the third quarter of 2018: a 101,000 square foot building at 1 W. Santa Clara St. now owned by Jay Paul, and a 30,000 square foot development at 2555 Park Ave. in Palo Alto.

No tenants have been named as of now, and no timeline for the completion of the project has been established.

San José City Planner Stefanie Farmer said that from an approvals standpoint, a solid timeline is equally as elusive.

“They’re not actually in for an official application yet,” explained Farmer. “They just want to start a dialogue with the City and consider whether this is possible for submitting a real application.”

Farmer says that the City is currently working on reviewing the application by putting together a comprehensive review from other departments such as the Public Works and Transportation Departments. While Farmer admitted that the City like the office space that was proposed, it was too early to tell what other departments would think about the proposed project. Farmer says the City hopes to have its initial review completed by around mid-December.

The Sobrato Organization did not return The Registry’s request for comment.

Image courtesy of The Sobrato Organization