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Old Posted May 4, 2017, 3:35 AM
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cardinal2007 cardinal2007 is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: San Jose
Posts: 179
Museum Place | 23 Floors | 82M / 270ft

Old renders:
Courtesy Insight Realty Company

Courtesy Silicon Valley Business Journal

A local development firm, operating with Chinese backing, has been selected to acquire a key, city-owned parcel in downtown San Jose — a deal that could lead to a soaring modern tower that combines homes, offices, a hotel and new expansion space for the Tech Museum of Innovation.

City officials chose Insight Realty Co. for the development deal at 180 Park Ave., better known as Parkside Hall, officials confirmed on Thursday. The firm headed by real estate veteran Dennis Randall beat out three other hopefuls for the site, located near one of downtown’s best corners at Park Avenue and Almaden Boulevard.

Insight would still need to come to financial terms with the city, a process that could take six months and would require city council approval. If a deal is ultimately inked, it could lead to an iconic new element in the city’s skyline — a 270-foot tower punctuated by landscaped outdoor terrace steps wrapped in an undulating glass skin. The project — dubbed Museum Place — would include:

60,000 square feet of expansion space for the Tech Museum on the ground floor;

210,000 square feet of “creative office” on five stories above the Tech space;
Twelve stories of condos;

Three stories at the top for a “upscale nationally branded boutique hotel, with luxury penthouse residences on the highest floor,” according to a copy of Insight’s proposal.

The city has already approved them for the process, and now Insight has a few months to get everything squared away and apply for permits.

The San Jose City Council on Tuesday formally agreed to enter into talks with Insight King Wah, a joint venture of Insight Realty and King Wah Development, to acquire the city-owned site. The partnership is being backed in the deal by China New Era, a global real estate investor, for the $250 million project.

My hope is that this would lead to making the area east of Market (South of San Fernando) to be more pedestrian friendly, especially if they add residential and hotel, as currently everything in that part, especially Almaden is seriously lacking in that regard.

New Render:

Museum Place: Complex SJ project
The city is struggling to draw the strands of Museum Place together.

The fundamental question about Museum Place, the massive 24-story project planned behind the Tech Museum of Innovation, is whether it is too complex for San Jose.

Don’t get me wrong: If city officials and the developer, Insight Realty, build this project, it will be a huge victory for a downtown that has struggled to fulfill its ambitions.

A project that includes a hotel, condos, office space, shops and a Tech Museum expansion defines urbanity in a way San Jose has never really seen.

But that’s part of the issue: We are fundamentally a suburban town, with suburban codes and ordinances. The council is divided between pro-business and pro-union factions.
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