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Huge San Jose housing development could sprout near Google tech sites

800-plus homes may be built on empty San Jose land

SAN JOSE — A huge housing development that could produce several hundred residences might sprout on empty land near Google-owned sites and tech job hubs in San Jose, preliminary plans on file at City Hall show.

More than 800 apartments are being eyed on 3.2 acres of land at 7 Topgolf Drive in San Jose’s Alviso district, according to the filing with city planners.

At one point, a 200-room hotel was envisioned for the site, a project that seemed like a good bet when the proposal was floated before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and the start of business shutdowns in March 2020.

Once the deadly virus arrived and began to batter the lodging and travel industries worldwide, the hotel project’s prospects deteriorated.

The North San Jose hotel was never constructed. Instead, the project encountered severe financial woes.

The property’s loan fell into default. Ultimately, the loan was foreclosed and the lender seized the property.

Pine Tree Investment & Management, a South Korea-based real estate firm that is an affiliate of the lender, took ownership of the empty land in May 2022, documents on file with the Santa Clara County Recorder’s Office show.

Through a trustee’s deed, Pine Tree Investment paid $27.6 million to buy the land in the wake of the foreclosure.

Now, a unit of Genesis Commercial Capital, a company that provides financing for real estate investments, has filed a proposal for the development of housing at the site.

The proposal calls for the development of 804 apartments on a site that’s bounded by Topgolf Drive, Anderson Alley, North First Street and Bay Vista Drive, the city planning documents show.

KnD Co., the Genesis Commercial Capital unit, wants to develop the eight-building housing project next to the bustling Topgolf sports, entertainment and dining venue.

The developers seek an expedited city planning review of the proposal via the SB 330 state law. Developers can employ provisions in SB 330 to limit roadblocks that local government agencies can place in a project’s path.

A housing development on a one-time site for a hotel project serves as a fresh example of a fast-shifting economic and real estate landscape in San Jose and the Bay Area more broadly.

Before the outbreak of the coronavirus, office and hotel projects were very much a popular notion.

Why? Tech companies were in big-time expansion mode in the Bay Area and nationwide before COVID hit.

Developers rushed to meet the demand directly with new office projects and indirectly with hotel sites.

But remote-work mandates altered how tech companies organize their workplaces.

Even after business shutdowns officially ended, tech companies still shed office space, chopped jobs and shrank their workplace footprints. Companies curtailed business trips, which reduced demand for hotel rooms.

As a result, developers have launched a new kind of stampede. This time, developers are racing to seek approvals for new housing projects, frequently on existing or proposed office, hotel or retail sites.


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