SAN  JOSE — A housing tower with rooftop amenities that may include an infinity pool is slated to sprout at the -choice site of the old Bo Town restaurant in downtown San Jose, a highrise that could be an eye-catching addition to the city’s skyline.

The residential highrise would add several hundred residential units, ground-floor retail, and offer an array of rooftop amenities that seem in keeping with the hip and trendy South First Area, or SoFA district, of downtown San Jose.

The 29-story tower near the corner of South Second Street and East San Salvador Street is one of a crop of new proposals from the real estate alliance of mega-developer Westbank and local developer Gary Dillabough, who heads up San Jose-based development firm Urban Community.

For the first time, plan sets have emerged at San Jose City Hall for the Bo Town development at 409 S. Second St., showing very preliminary concepts for what appears to be a striking building with plenty of amenities to dangle before prospective residents.

All told, 520 residential units would be included in the project proposed by the Westbank and Urban Community endeavor, the plan sets show.

“Adding a high-rise of this quality in the SoFA district will help all developments in this area,” said Bob Staedler, principal executive with Silicon Valley Synergy, a land-use and planning consultancy.

In addition to the housing, the tower would include retail space totaling 6,400 square feet on the ground floor. An underground parking garage would accommodate 194 parking spaces, according to the plan sets.

The ground-floor retail would likely include a restaurant, the current plans show.

Along with the lobby for the residences, the ground floor is expected to accommodate a coffee shop as well as a potential fitness area such as a cycling club.

The second floor could include a billiard lounge, library, general lounge, and meeting rooms.

The residences begin on the third floor, the plan sets show. Sizes would range from about 530 square feet to about 1,100 square feet. The homes would have balconies or decks.

The floors with residences would typically accommodate 20 units on each level, according to the plan sets.

The venture of Westbank and Dillabough’s Urban Community has offered several proposals that even taken separately would add a significant development to downtown San Jose.

If they are all built, they could usher in profound changes in the urban core of the Bay Area’s largest city. Westbank has achieved world acclaim as a developer under the leadership of its founder Gillespie. Dillabough has become one of the most active developers in downtown San Jose.

One of the projects is a revamp of the historic Bank of Italy office tower at 12 S. First St.

The brand-new developments would occur at the Fountain Alley surface parking lot at 35 S. Second St., the Davidson office building site near the interchange of State Route 87 and West Julian Street, and the Bo Town property, city files show.

Plus, Westbank and Urban Community also co-own the choice Valley Title lot near the corner of South Second Street and East San Carlos Street, which means another major proposal is likely in the works for that large property in downtown San Jose.

The BoTown Residential tower’s rooftop is expected to feature several amenities that could entice prospective residents.

Among the potential amenities shown in the plan sets:

— an “infinity edge pool”

— gym

— amenity deck

— four outdoor barbeque rooms

— party room

— party deck

— pet relief area

— changing room

“This is exactly the type of development needed for a healthy and vibrant downtown,” Staedler said.







By Arlene Huff

Arlene Huff is the founding member of Golden State Online. Before that She was a general assignment reporter. A native Californian, she graduated from the University of California with a degree in medical anthropology and global health. She currently lives in Los Angeles.

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