Mayor Chuck Reed led a ceremony Tuesday for a planned $130 million, 23-story building for high-end rental units in downtown San Jose which the developer said got through the city's approval process in only nine months.
"We have a lot of housing being built in San Jose, but a tower like this is not something you can't build in phases," Reed said.
"This is a big bite," Reed said. "It's over $100 million and that's the risk they are taking in order to build a high rise on this site."
The building, called One South Market at the southwest corner of Market and Santa Clara streets in downtown San Jose, will have 312 rented units and cost $130 million to build, said John Eudy, executive vice president and chief development officer for Palo Alto-based Essex Property Trust.
When completed in about April 2015, the 23-story high rise will offer studio, one- and two-bedroom units averaging about 900 square feet and $2,000 to $3,500 a month to rent, Eudy said.
Eudy said that the firm identified the 1-acre site for sale in August, then he asked Reed and Councilman Sam Liccardo to assist in reducing the time needed to obtain permits and other city building requirements.
"We sat down with the mayor and Councilman Liccardo and expressed our concern that we're a shovel-ready organization of investors," Eudy said.
"It would not have materialized" without their assistance expediting the project, he said.
The firm started the process sometime in September and completed it in March, Eudy said
"We're here after the nine-month process," Eudy said. "It normally takes two to three years. We appreciate all that help."
Palo Alto-based Essex Property Trust, an $8 billion public company traded on the New York Stock Exchange, owns 35,000 residential units in San Jose, Eudy said.
Mike Schall, chief executive officer and vice president of Essex, said the company believes San Jose "will continue to evolve to a place where people want to live, work and enjoy a variety of cultural events."
Schall said the company had studied where in San Jose to invest and concluded that the downtown area was the most promising as a rental market in a city that has led California in recent job growth.
"I think it's going to make a great apartment investment and at the same time addresses the growing housing needs of San Jose," Schall said.