Presbyterian church site changes hands in downtown San Jose

SAN JOSE — A development company affiliated with the legendary
Swenson real estate and construction firm has bought a downtown San
Jose church site that until recently was the home of a 170-year-old
Presbyterian congregation.

MCM Diversified, acting through an affiliate, BCWS, has bought
the property known as the First Presbyterian Church of San

The purchase of the property occurred slightly more than a month
after the congregation held its final services at the old church on
June 30.

The MCM Diversified group paid $4.4 million for the church
property, which is located at 49 N. 4th St., a few doors away from
East Santa Clara Street, according to Santa Clara County public
records that were filed on Aug. 2. The transaction was arranged by
brokers Mark Ritchie and Maggie Bludau of Ritchie Commercial, a
real estate firm.

The acquisition suggests a widening level of interest in
downtown San Jose on the part of developers and real estate
investors amid a surge of activity in the urban core of the Bay
Area’s largest city.

“We are seeing a number of very capable developers that are
getting involved in this part of the downtown,” Ritchie said.

MCM Diversified couldn’t be reached to discuss the company’s
interest or potential development plans for the site.

The Swenson real estate firm, however, could wind up being
involved with any future project on the church site. MCM
Diversified, headed by Martin Menne, is a development partner with
the Swenson company.

The sale of the church occurred on the same day that an
affiliate of Urban Catalyst paid $15.9 million to buy the site of a

Chevron gasoline station
a short distance away at North Fourth
and East Santa Clara streets.

Urban Catalyst says it plans to build a mixed-use residential
and retail tower called The Icon that will create 250 housing

Erik Hayden and Joshua Burroughs, executives with Urban
Catalyst, said they intend to nurture a cooperative development
effort with the MCM venture since the two real estate firms now own
choice sites nearly adjacent to each other.

Ritchie said he was working to arrange the sale of a narrow
parcel between the gas station and the Presbyterian church sites.
If that deal occurs, it’s possible a large project could sprout
along Fourth Street and fronting on East Santa Clara Street.

Besides the gas station site, the corners of Fourth and Santa
Clara streets also feature the under-construction Miro residential
towers that bid to be iconic additions to the downtown skyline; San
Jose City Hall; and bustling 4th Street Pizza.

Adding to the activity at the intersection, Bayview Development,
the developer and the owner of the Miro towers project, has bought
the 4th Street Pizza property and a parcel two doors away on East
Santa Clara Street.

“We are going to see a major activation of this entire
corner,” Ritchie said.




Source: FS – All – Real Estate News 1
Presbyterian church site changes hands in downtown San Jose