Housing emerges near downtown San Jose Google village sites

SAN JOSE — In plans that underscore the potential Google effect on downtown San Jose, developers are pushing ahead with a residential and retail complex virtually next door to where Google wants to build a village of office towers for its employees.

A seven-story residential complex with roughly 250 housing units that would be built near the corner of Julian and Stockton streets in downtown San Jose is moving forward, according to Erik Schoennauer, a San Jose-based land use and property consultant who is leading the development effort for the project.

“This is really an ideal urban village project,” Schoennauer said.

The complex would consist of 249 residential units and 27,000 square feet of ground-floor retail. San Jose officials recently cleared the way for the project to move forward with a approval of a permit to develop the site.

“Ample ground-floor retail, a publicly-accessible plaza on the corner, high-density residential, and dramatic architecture” are among the features of the proposed development, Schoennauer said.

The project is located near the Diridon train station, a transit hub that today is a nexus of light rail, bus lines, Amtrak, Caltrain and ACE Train connections. Even more mass transit is expected at the Diridon Station in the next few years when BART and high-speed rail lines connect to the transportation hub.

All of this transportation potential has heightened interest in developing properties near Diridon Station.

“This is exactly what the Diridon Station Area Plan calls for,” Schoennauer said, referring to the 715 W. Julian complex.

A short distance from the Julian and Stockton development site, Google has begun to fashion plans for a massive transit-oriented community consisting of 6 million to 8 million square feet of offices where 15,000 to 20,000 of the company’s employees could work.

That has led to what some observers call “The Google Effect” that they believe has triggered an array of development proposals and investment efforts in downtown San Jose.

Next to the Google site, two different developers have proposed construction of 2 million square feet of offices that could accommodate 10,000 workers, including, potentially, technology employees.

“The 715 West Julian development fits in with the city of San Jose’s long-term goal of housing near jobs,” said Bob Staedler, principal executive with Silicon Valley Synergy, a San Jose-based land-use planning consultancy. “The best way to get people out of their cars is to put houses near jobs.”

Plans approved by the city call for the demolition of five buildings at 715 W. Julian St. to clear the way for the project. A development timeline wasn’t immediately available.

In addition to this, developers have proposed, or are building, thousands more residential units in and near downtown San Jose. Many of those projects are towers with ground-floor retail.

“These kinds of projects show that San Jose is evolving into an urban-oriented and transit-friendly city,” Staedler said.



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