real-estate:-judge-backs-downtown-san-jose-hotel-project-preservationists-seek-to-block

SAN JOSE — The development of a downtown San Jose hotel next to the historic Hotel De Anza was approved legally by city officials, stated a judge who signaled he has decided to rule against preservations who had sought to block the project.

At the center of the litigation is a proposed project to develop a hotel tower expected to be a Moxy hotel that would sprout at 8 Almaden Blvd. adjacent to West Santa Clara Street and the Hotel De Anza.

Preservation Action Council in February 2020 filed litigation seeking to block the hotel project, partly on grounds that San Jose city officials had failed to properly prepare and circulate an environmental impact report and that development of the new hotel highrise would crimp the historic aesthetics of the Hotel De Anza.

The group, which is also attempting to block the development of a game-changing tech campus at CityView Plaza just down the street, had argued that the city didn’t properly assess the environmental impacts of the hotel highrise.

The preservation council claimed that the city’s approval ran afoul of the California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA.

Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Sunil Kulkarni disagreed with the preservationists and took the city’s side in the matter.

The judge stated in his tentative order that he had decided to deny the preservation group’s request that San Jose re-do its approval process for the hotel.

If built, the 19-story would have 272 rooms and feature a rooftop restaurant, lounge, and gathering area. it would be several stories taller than the Hotel De Anza.

“The court tentatively denies the petition,” Judge Kulkarni wrote in a Nov. 3 decision. The judge said both the city and the Preservation Action Council could file further briefs with the court prior to a final decision.

  • Downtown San Jose hotel tower with 272 rooms at the corner of North
    Almaden Boulevard and West Santa Clara Street, concept.
    C2K Architecture

  • Rooftop restaurant in a 19-story downtown San Jose hotel that would contain
    272 rooms at the corner of North Almaden Boulevard and West Santa
    Clara Street, concept. A downtown San Jose hotel tower would have many
    more rooms than first proposed, according to new plans being offered by the
    project’s developer.
    C2K Architecture

  • Street-level entrance of a 272-room, 19-story hotel in downtown San Jose
    at the corner of North Almaden Boulevard and West
    Santa Clara Street, visualization. A hotel tower is being planned for
    a prime site in downtown San Jose, a short distance from a future Google
    transit village and a pending expansion of the Adobe Systems campus, one of
    the project’s developers told this news organization.
    C2K Architecture, Inc.

  • A top-floor restaurant for a 19-story, 272-room hotel in downtown San
    Jose at the corner of North Almaden Boulevard and
    West Santa Clara Street, visualization. A hotel tower is being planned
    for a prime site in downtown San Jose, a short distance from a future
    Google transit village and a pending expansion of the Adobe Systems campus,
    one of the project’s developers told this news organization.
    C2K Architecture, Inc.

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Despite ruling against the Preservation Action Council, the judge made it clear that he was aware of the importance of the 90-year-old Hotel De Anza.

“All sides agree that the Hotel De Anza has cultural and aesthetic significance for downtown San Jose,” Judge Kulkarni wrote in his order.

The judge, however, opined that the preservationists had failed to make a convincing argument that the city of San Jose didn’t properly assess the environmental impacts of the proposed hotel and the effect the project would have on the Hotel De Anza, which was built in an art deco style.

At 10 stories in height, the Hotel De Anza would be considerably shorter than the proposed new hotel next door. Despite Hotel De Anza’s historic status and elegant appearance, the new lodging project wouldn’t harm its much older neighbor.

“The project will not have a significant impact on the Hotel De Anza as a historical resource,” Judge Kulkarni wrote in the order. “The project will not have a significant impact on the aesthetics of the Hotel De Anza.”

 

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By Kelley Wheeler

Kelley Wheeler is a Metro reporter covering political issues and general assignments. A second-generation journalist, worked with all major news outlet, she holds a vast expeirience. Kelley is a graduate of USC with degrees in journalism and English literature. She is a recipient of Yale’s Poynter Fellowship in Journalism.

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