Theater’s future solidified with completion of San Jose property deal downtown

SAN JOSE — The San Jose Stage Company has completed a property purchase that bolsters the rise of downtown San Jose’s emerging arts and nightlife neighborhood, solidifies the theater’s future as the anchor of that district, and paves the path for a new hotel in the area.

The theater company has paid $2.3 million to a government agency to buy the San Jose Stage Company property at 490 S. First St. in San Jose, according to property documents that were filed with Santa Clara County on Tuesday.

Multiple entities chipped in to make the deal a reality, the county documents show. The seller in the deal this week was the Successor Agency to the San Jose Redevelopment Agency.

“It’s vitally important that cornerstone arts organizations like San Jose Stage have a permanent home to be sustainable and competitive,” San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said Wednesday.

Swenson, a development company, provided a mortgage totaling nearly $1.9 million to help finance the purchase, according to public records. Santa Clara County issued a second mortgage totaling $435,000.

And separately, the city of San Jose provided a $1 million grant to the Stage Company to help pay for items the theater will need in the next few years.

“The city and the county are being very much supportive and helpful,” said Jerry Strangis, a Bay Area real estate developer and land consultant and a board member of the San Jose Stage Company. “The city is happy with this and the county is happy.”

At present, the Stage Company operates in a 200-seat theater at South First and East William streets in the South First Arts, or SoFA, district of downtown San Jose. Plans are being studied that would enable a dramatic expansion of the theater’s capacity.

“We are looking at a model that would potentially have a theater with up to 350 seats,” Strangis said.

The current theater is about 6,700 square feet in size, and the expansion would allow a 20,000-square-foot performing arts center.

As part of the project, Swenson would develop a hotel tower on the property, according to an agreement that has been reached in connection with the property purchase and the mortgages for the deal.

A two-level theater would operate on the ground floors of the mixed-use development and the hotel would be eight stories high.

“This is all very preliminary,” Strangis said. “It will take a couple of years before we break ground. We also have to find a place for the theater while the construction is underway.”

The city’s grant of $1 million would finance items such as seats, lighting and sound systems. The Stage Company also intends to launch a fundraiser pay for additional equipment that the San Jose grant isn’t able to cover.

“We look forward to seeing what can emerge with a public-private partnership that would add to downtown San Jose’s growing vibrancy,” Liccardo said.

Source: FS – All – Real Estate News 1
Theater’s future solidified with completion of San Jose property deal downtown