Downtown Real Estate Tour 2018 – Old and New on View

Guest Blogpost by Rick Jensen, Communications Director, San Jose Downtown Association

Four buses took 170 people on a sweltering summer afternoon tour through and around downtown to see and hear firsthand about the new and revitalized projects shaping San Jose.

About a quarter of the group was potential investors new to the San Jose scene; the rest were brokers, agents and developers who already have a piece of the action and were taking the tour for continuing-education purposes.

The message clearly delivered that day:  Invest now because San Jose is the place to be.

Three stops along the way provided an ample representation of the development under way:

Ornate ceiling detail in the lobby of the Bank of Italy building, Downtown San Jose

Bank of Italy Building –  At the corner of First and Santa Clara inside downtown San Jose’s most iconic building, new owners Gary Dillabough and Jeff Arrillaga shared their vision for refurbishing their building and downtown San Jose.  With their Urban Community, LLC, they have invested $215 million the past 18 months on nine different projects, including much of the area around Bank of Italy building.

“We had mentioned Urban Community so much, people were excited to finally meet them. And what they had to say really resonated with the people on the tour, especially once they saw how down to earth both of them are,” said Nate LeBlanc, a tour guide and San Jose Downtown Association business development manager. For more information on Urban Community check the SJDA article about the partnership and their plans.

Coleman Highline, looking south at Downtown.


Coleman Highline  is a large-scale transit-oriented project that spans eight buildings totaling 1.5 million square feet of office plus

retail, two hotels and 1,600 apartments, wedged between the Avaya soccer stadium and San Jose International Airport. The “Wow” factor was the minimalist and natural feel of the project, and the views of the airport mesmerizing takeoffs and landings.

“It was lovely and sharp,” LeBlanc said.


The 808 West Apartments at 808 W. San Carlos St. in mid-town area of San Jose turned out to be a treat for those on the tour who drove by the development during the prior Downtown Tour, when it was a fledgling project still under construction.

808 Apartments social loungs

Now completed and open to new tenants, 808 West, managed by Fairfield residential, epitomizes urban San Jose lifestyle – the walkable setting close to transit and packed with amenities – a social lounge with kitchen, games and televisions; pool area with cabanas, outdoor sofas and chaise longues; dog pampering center; dual-level fitness center; co-working space with state-of-the-art technology; and an Amazon-led package hub with 24/7 access.

Just in time on such a hot day, 808 West provided tour participants cookies, air conditioning and water bottles.

The post-tour reception at District was also a favored attraction.  Attendees snacked on sliders, pizza and arancini (fried risotto bowls) as Mayor Sam Liccardo kept the energy up, thanking the organizers, current investors and future investors for doing their part, also taking the time to pitch his plan to build 25,000 new housing units by 2025.

The next Downtown San Jose Tour in 18-24 months will be the 10th iteration of the tour which continues to be hosted by Hoge Fenton Attorneys and sponsored by San Jose Downtown Association, City of San Jose, Colliers International and SVO.  For more information visit the tour website.