The City of San Jose has approved plans for a 30-story residential tower to rise at 605 South Second Street in Downtown San Jose. With a rooftop height of 285 feet, the building will be among the tallest in a city whose height limit is heavily regulated by the FAA. Roygbiv Real Estate, a low-profile firm with high ambitions, is responsible for the project.
Since SFYIMBY’s last coverage of the tower in September of 2020, the developer has shifted gears. Initial plans were for at least 70% of the units to be affordable housing. Now, project architect Kurt Anderson shares with SFYIMBY that the plan “is 100% affordable with community room, fitness area, expanded bike storage and additional other community spaces.” Once complete, the tower will contribute significantly to the downtown residential market. Units will be made available for residents earning between 70-80% of the Area Median Income.
The development will receive assistance thanks to state law. ROYGBIV has applied for protection by California Senate Bill 35, legislation that streamlines housing construction to address the state’s housing crisis. In addition to SB35, the 50% State Density Bonus program makes available incentives and waivers that increase the residential capacity available for 605 South Second in exchange for creating affordable housing.
The 285-foot tall structure will yield 289,420 square feet with 273,940 square feet for residential use, 6,400 square feet for amenities, and 7,440 square feet for the lobby and other utility functions, according to updated plans. A garage will be included for 91 vehicles, using stackers across three levels below-ground, spanning 12,830 square feet.
Of the 345 new units, there will be 183 studios, 81 one-bedrooms, 27 two-bedrooms, and 54 three-bedrooms. Amenities will be included with a community-oriented second floor and a roof deck with panoramic views of the South Bay. Parking for bicycles will be included on-site, with 74 long-term spaces and 40 short-term spaces.
Anderson Architects will design the building. The tower will be wrapped with curtain wall glass, articulated by the white-painted balconies that offer open air space for residents, and a bright orange highlight as an aesthetic focal point. With SFYIMBY’s last coverage, the firm principal, Kurt Anderson, shared that 605 South Second Street will include “architectural lighting that will contribute to the nighttime skyline of San Jose.”
The base-level will be highlighted with a two-story lobby with dramatic white columns and curtain-wall. Landscaping planters will surround the building and short-term bicycle parking immediately next to the entrance. Light rail and bus lines will be within walking distance for future residents.
The property is bound by South Second Street, East Read Street, South Market Street, and I-280. With approval from the city, construction is expected to begin by mid-2023, reshaping the vacant 0.3-acre property with housing, parking, and amenities. The estimated construction cost has not yet been announced.
The proposal has also been well reviewed by Catalyze SV, a South Bay housing and development advocacy organization. Reviewing the highrise plans, Catalyze SV writes, “605 South Second Street scored 4.25 out of 5 overall from our Project Advocacy Committee members.” For more information, visit the building scorecard.