March 7, 2021

Real estate: Downtown San Jose movie house revamp is approved

SAN JOSE – A major revamp that would transform the shuttered Camera 12 site in downtown San Jose into a new office and retail complex won final city approval on Wednesday.

Urban Catalyst, a busy local developer, is planning a wide-ranging reconstruction and renovation of the former movie house at 201 S. Second St. in downtown San Jose’s hip and trendy South First Area, or SoFA district.

Acting through an affiliate, Urban Catalyst bought the property in December 2019 from an affiliate led by busy developers Gary Dillabough, Don Imwalle, and Jeff Arrillaga.

The project would consist of as much as 25,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor and about 70,000 square feet of offices in the project, according to city planning documents.

“Urban Catalyst couldn’t be more excited about this approval,” said Erik Hayden, founder of Urban Catalyst. “Construction of this mixed-use property will start in the second quarter of 2021 to further transform downtown San Jose.”

Paseo is the anticipated name of the project, according to Urban Catalyst.

“It’s going to be really cool,” Hayden said of the Paseo project.

Urban Catalyst intends to reconstruct the building interiors including demolition of a portion of the inside, as well as a renovation of the exterior of the building.

The approval of the project came through an administrative decision by the San Jose planning director.

Urban Catalyst was formed to create funds that can capitalize on tax advantages provided by opportunity zones in places such as downtown San Jose.

UC 201 S 2nd Street Owner, the Urban Catalyst affiliate, paid $ 24 million for the property, county documents show. Urban Catalyst also obtained $ 13.6 million in financing from Bridge Bank at the time of the purchase.

The project is located alongside the light rail tracks in downtown San Jose with a station nearby.

“Paseo will bring together people, jobs, and services in an efficient way thanks to its transit-oriented nature,” Hayden said.