Developer Preps Home Sales in Big Downtown San Jose Tower, Eyes Deals to Sell Other Properties

In downtown San Jose, Z & L Properties, a developer with long-stalled projects, is set to begin selling homes in one of its housing towers. This comes as a ray of light amidst the company's...

In downtown San Jose, Z & L Properties, a developer with long-stalled projects, is set to begin selling homes in one of its housing towers. This comes as a ray of light amidst the company's other challenges. The 188 West St. James project will soon launch sales of condominiums, much to the delight of prospective buyers. Additionally, Z & L Properties is evaluating the future of two other key projects it owns, including the possibility of selling the sites or continuing with their development.

A New Era for Downtown San Jose

The developer's optimism is fueled by the potential of downtown San Jose, as major projects like Google's transit-oriented neighborhood take shape. With offices, homes, shops, restaurants, hotels, entertainment centers, and cultural hubs in the works near the Diridon train station, Z & L believes the downtown area will be a hot market, attracting buyers and fostering opportunities.

Uncertain Futures

While 188 West St. James is flourishing, two other Z & L projects downtown face greater uncertainty. The Park View Towers development, which includes 221 residential units, awaits the restoration of the historic First Church of Christ Scientist. The former Greyhound station, where two towers with 708 residential units are proposed, has yet to see construction commence. Concerns about the safety and blight of these sites persist among city officials and real estate executives.

Amenities, pool, and gathering areas at 188 West St. James, a complex of two housing towers with a total of 640 residences in downtown San Jose, concept. Amenities, pool, and gathering areas at 188 West St. James, a complex of two housing towers with a total of 640 residences in downtown San Jose, concept. // (Z&L Properties)

The historic church building near St. James Park currently draped in a tattered and torn tarp has raised concerns about its deterioration and the safety risks it poses. Furthermore, the Greyhound property's condition is a cause for alarm, as it potentially threatens the surrounding buildings. Although Z & L has invested in remediating asbestos in the church building, repairs and rehabilitation remain costly and extensive.

First Church of Christ Scientist, 43 E. St. James St. in downtown San Jose, wrapped in a large tarp. First Church of Christ Scientist, 43 E. St. James St. in downtown San Jose, wrapped in a large tarp. // George Avalos / Bay Area News Group

Z & L Properties is actively considering options for both the Greyhound site and the church site. Development plans are on the table, but the company is also entertaining offers from interested buyers. The fate of these properties will shape the future landscape of downtown San Jose.

Boards and fences are visible at the former Greyhound bus terminal at 70 S. Almaden Ave. in downtown San Jose. Boards and fences are visible at the former Greyhound bus terminal at 70 S. Almaden Ave. in downtown San Jose. // George Avalos / Bay Area News Group

A Ray of Hope

Despite the challenges, Z & L's successful launch of sales at 188 West St. James is a testament to the potential of the downtown San Jose market. As the developer navigates the future of its other projects, the allure of this vibrant city continues to attract attention and opportunity.

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In May, Z & L sold one of its development sites to an alliance led by global developer Westbank. The 1.6-acre property located in the North San Pedro neighborhood was purchased for $11.4 million. As for the Greyhound and church properties, their future remains uncertain, and Z & L is considering various options for their development or sale.

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