The Mercury News
Downtown San Jose Hotel Eyed Near Google Village, SAP Center, Henry’s
By George Avalos
SAN JOSE — A new hotel could sprout in downtown San Jose near Google’s proposed transit village, the SAP Center, and Henry’s World Famous Hi-Life restaurant, according to preliminary proposals being shown to city officials.
The proposal for a hotel on West St. John Street near North Almaden Boulevard is being circulated by BPR Properties, a family-run company founded in 1973 that develops and manages hotels.
Palo Alto-based BPR Properties envisions the development of a six-story hotel that would replace three houses located in the River Street Historic District in downtown San Jose.
“The hotel would have 105 guest rooms and 41 parking spaces utilizing mechanical parking lifts to maximize the number of parking spaces,” BPR Properties stated in a document that was submitted for the city staff’s for early review and initial assessments.
It’s possible that the project would require a historical preservation permit and a historic report, according to Laura Meiners, a San Jose city planner.
A hotel at this location would appear to be well-suited for guests who want to visit nearby downtown magnets such as San Pedro Square, the SAP Center, theaters, and museums.
In addition, major new tech campuses are being constructed, or are being planned, in the vicinity.
Google has proposed a transit-oriented community called Downtown West consisting of office buildings, homes, hotels, shops, restaurants, cultural hubs, and entertainment centers where the search giant would employ 25,000 people near the Diridon train station.
Adobe has launched a dramatic expansion of its downtown San Jose three-building headquarters campus with the construction of a fourth office tower.
Jay Paul Co. and Boston Properties have broken ground on major office projects that both are poised to become major tech hubs in downtown San Jose.
The project site would include three houses with addresses, respectively, of 324, 328, and 338 W. St. John St., as well as a vacant lot that runs behind the residences, the city planning documents show.
“The three single-family houses are City of San Jose listed historic resources,” BRP Properties stated in the preliminary planning documents. The development would “dismantle” or potentially “relocate if feasible” the three existing residences, the development documents said.
A San Jose city manager’s report circulated in 2000 detailed some of the reasons the River Street Historic District is deemed to be important.
“The neighborhood is significant due to its social, cultural and architectural context,” the report stated. “It is the only intact example of a neighborhood of ‘workingmen’ and their families who immigrated to San Jose from Europe during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It represents one of the largest concentrations of Italian immigrants in California during the period of 1900-1925.”
At least one well-known building in the River Street area is well over a century old, the city report stated.
“The neighborhood originally consisted of 43 structures, mostly residences,” according to the city report. “It included three commercial buildings, most notably the Torino Hotel, built in 1900 and now the home of Henry’s Hi-Life Restaurant.”
The West St. John Street proposal arrives on the heels of a report by Atlas Hospitality Group that points to a boom in hotel development throughout California and particularly in Silicon Valley.
“Santa Clara County had 12 hotels with 1,919 rooms open in 2019, the most of any county in California,” according to an Atlas Hospitality report that surveyed hotel development in California.