A new apartment tower is under construction in downtown San Jose

Construction site of the Garden Gate Tower, a 336-unit skyscraper located at 600 S. First St. in downtown San Jose.

SAN JOSE — Construction is underway on a 23-story apartment tower that would bring more than 300 residential units to downtown San Jose.

The Garden Gate Tower is being built at 600 S. First St. in the hip and trendy SoFA neighborhood off Interstate 280.

Boston-based Scape North America, a developer that is a unit of London-based property company Scape, is building 336 units in the tower, including 28 affordable residential units.

This week construction equipment and workers were visible at the development site on the corner of South First Street and East Reed Street.

Workers and construction equipment at the project site of the Garden Gate Tower, a 336-unit high-rise apartment building at 600 S. First St. in the SoFA neighborhood of downtown San Jose.  (George Avalos/Bay Area News Group)
Workers and construction machinery at the project site of Garden Gate Tower, a 336-unit high-rise apartment building at 600 S. First St. in the SoFA neighborhood of downtown San Jose.

Workers and their machines appeared to be mostly busy with excavation work at the site this week. Scape did not disclose a timeline for the project’s completion.

“The trailblazing Scape project shows that residential development is possible” in this area, said Bob Staedler, senior director of Silicon Valley Synergy, a land-use planning consultancy. “The fact that they included affordable units makes this an even bigger achievement.”

The new tower is poised to help create more vitality in this section of downtown San Jose. The SoFA district consists mainly of restaurants, nightclubs, cocktail lounges, entertainment centers and performance theaters.

“The SoFA district is proving to be a downtown that can get funding,” Staedler said.

In fall 2021, Scape North America landed up to $182 million in construction financing from Madison Realty Capital, a New York-based private equity fund, according to documents filed with the county registrar’s office. of Santa Clara.

Steel beams and construction equipment at the development site for Garden Gate Tower, a 336-unit skyscraper located at 600 S. First St. in the SoFA neighborhood of downtown San Jose.  (George Avalos/Bay Area News Group)
Steel beams and construction equipment at the development site for Garden Gate Tower, a 336-unit skyscraper located at 600 S. First St. in the SoFA neighborhood of downtown San Jose.

Initially, Scape planned to develop 290 units in the tower. But during the planning process, the developer decided to build 336 residences.

“Project development would contribute to modern, high-quality urban design downtown,” according to a report by San Jose Planning Department staff.

The ground floor of the tower is expected to feature 5,900 square feet of retail or restaurant space. An underground car park will also be part of the project.

In March 2020, Scape purchased the tower development site, paying $16.5 million for the property, according to county documents. KT Urban, a major local developer, sold the site.

The tower under construction could also serve as a landmark for downtown San Jose.

“The project will serve as the gateway tower to the SoFA arts and entertainment district in downtown San Jose,” C2K Architecture, which designed the new tower, said in a post on its website.

Garden Gate Tower, a residential skyscraper totaling 336 units at 600 S. First St. in the SoFA district of downtown San Jose, concept.  (C2K Architecture)
Garden Gate Tower, a residential skyscraper totaling 336 units at 600 S. First St. in the SoFA district of downtown San Jose, concept.

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