Almaden business towers seek approval from San José
Woz Way is getting a makeover in the form of a pair of high rise office towers and the project is right on the city’s height limit.
The Almaden office project, led by developer Boston Properties, will be built on a 3.57-acre parking lot on the corner of South Almaden Boulevard and Woz Way. San José city council voted unanimously on Tuesday to approve the project.
The building will have two 16-story connected office towers at 283 feet, the maximum height allowed by Federal Aviation Administration rules in San Jose.
“Frankly, at first I wasn’t very optimistic about our ability to get here due to the actual narrow footprint in this area,” said board member Raul Peralez, whose district understands the project. “When you look at places like this, those are the ones that make it difficult. It’s a challenge to get something right. I want to thank Boston Properties, our stakeholders and our conservationists. “
There will be more than 2 million square feet of space split between the two connected towers, including 1.42 million square feet of office space, 37,603 square feet of retail and leisure space in the ground floor and 1,279 parking spaces.
Downtown San Jose has seen continued development in an effort to revitalize the neighborhood, including approving a future campus for Google, expanding its Opportunity Zone, and continuing arts programs and installations. This includes offices, which will occupy the site of the former Camera 12 cinema.
This is good news according to unionized workers keen to work on the project, including several members of Carpenters Local 405, Teamsters Local 853, IUPA District 16 and IUPA Local 3. IUOE, who spoke in favor of the project at the meeting.
“After four years of college, I found no passion in everything I studied. But I found it in the trades that the carpenters offered me, ”said Camille Scheffer, a member of the Carpenters Local 405 union. “For me, this project near my home means a load on my shoulders. I can easily take my kids to school, get to work and get home efficiently.
According to Boston Properties, the site will generate 1,919 full-time construction jobs, generate $ 4.3 million per year for the city’s general fund and bring in $ 6.5 million in property taxes per year for the city. San Jose Unified School District.
Boston Properties first explored construction at the Almaden and Woz Way site in 2018. But the project has faced opposition from conservationists such as the Loma Prieta chapter of the Sierra Club and the Santa Clara Valley chapter of the California Native Plant Society who are concerned. the towers will be too close to the Guadalupe River, which they believe could potentially destroy trees and soil near the river.
The developers have pledged to add 13,000 square feet of landscaping to prevent potential erosion of the soil around the river.
“Our advocates have believed for years that the city respects its natural resources and takes care of its waterways,” said James Egers, director of the Loma Prieta section of the Sierra Club. “It has recently become clear that the city is ready to sacrifice the important Guadalupe River and set a new benchmark for irresponsible development.”
Council members also asked about environmental impacts, including possible erosion due to the project’s underground parking lot. Representatives from Boston Properties told council that the underground and above-ground floors of the project, while close to the riverside, would not be of concern.
“This project creates a buffer zone between the Guadalupe River and the building, which is an advantage,” said Pam Foley, board member. “We need to densify our city to change the way people get to one place or another, and this project does. One of the best environmental benefits we can plan for is putting people next to jobs, and this project does that. “
While environmentalists have called for a change in the project’s footprint, city officials say that’s not possible, as Boston Properties and the city have already pushed back the project as much as possible and included safety measures to the birds. Bird disturbance is a frequent concern for projects along the river, including the recently approved Breeze of Innovation project.
“I know the environmental community is very concerned. I can’t help but state the obvious here: this is a paved parking lot. It is not a pastoral paradise, ”said Mayor Sam Liccardo. “I think this developer has taken great care in trying to address a lot of concerns that he had anticipated and heard from the environmental community… Everything about this project is what we want to accomplish through Climate Smart.
Contact Lloyd Alaban at [email protected] or follow @lloydalaban on Twitter.