KT Urban’s Plan for Downtown San Jose Hotel Grows to 330 Rooms
By Meghan Hall
Cupertino, Calif.-based KT Urban’s original plans for its proposed luxury hotel at 8 North Almaden Blvd. have gotten an update, according to City of San Jose planning documents. The hotel, called Almaden Corner, was originally proposed in the spring of 2018 and was slated to include 220 rooms. While the building’s height will remain the same at 225 feet, planning documents indicate that the room count has now been upped to 330, and the project’s 77 parking spots would be completely eliminated.
The 0.39-acre project site is currently a private parking lot, which would be removed prior to construction. Guest rooms would be located on floors three through 18, while a restaurant and bar are proposed for both the ground and 19th floors. The second floor would be reserved for guest amenities and hotel administration. Parking for patrons would be provided off-site via a valet located on Almaden Boulevard.
According to Atlas Hospitality Group’s 2018 Year-End California Hotel Sales Survey, while the number of hotel transactions in Santa Clara County decreased sharply from 12 to four between 2017 and 2018, other hotel fundamentals remained strong. The average price per room that sellers could garner rose by 18 percent, while the average median price increased by 32 percent.
“The market is recognizing that San Jose is becoming a destination for global business travelers. Many of the brands looking to get into the market want their customers to have an entry point into this market,” said Mark Tersini, principal at KT Urban to The Registry when the investment and development firm first submitted its plans. “The investment being made by Google, Adobe and Apple in and around downtown has definitely raised people’s awareness of the role that downtown San Jose will play in the future of Silicon Valley.”
The Almaden Corner Hotel project is in a prime location, at the edge of downtown San Jose, next to State Route 87 and within walking distance of the SAP Center and San Jose’s Diridon Station. The San Jose McEnery Convention Center is also nearby, and the site is easily accessible from Adobe’s campus. KT Urban and Tersini have been involved with the site for many years, but only recently decided that a hotel was the best use for the property. KT Urban submitted its plans shortly after Apple and Google announced their plans to build campuses in San Jose. The flurry of planned development activity has made San Jose an attractive market for developers in the hotel industry, who are eager to keep up with demand for hotel rooms in the Bay Area’s largest city.
Currently, there is only one other downtown hotel in the pipeline. In addition to Almaden Corner, the Tribute Hotel is currently under review. The project is an expansion of the historic Montgomery Hotel and will build upon the existing structure with a 24-story tower on 1st St.
KT Urban had been hoping to secure approvals for the initial project by the end of last year, with the hopes of breaking ground during the first quarter of 2019. The project, before its revision, had a construction timeline of approximately 24 months. However, KT Urban will have to wait a bit longer before construction can begin. The City is preparing an environmental impact report for the project over the course of the next several months, but in the immediate future city officials have planned a community and environmental public scoping meeting, set for February 4th. Before it can break ground, KT Urban will need to obtain both a site development permit and building permit, among other approvals.