San Jose project brings apartments, “speakeasy” to trendy downtown

ByShannon J. Cortes

Sep 28, 2022

SAN JOSE — A new apartment complex brings more than 100 residences, an eye-catching speakeasy-style restaurant and a spectacular rooftop gathering area to downtown San Jose.

The mixed-use Taft skyscraper has sprung up in downtown’s hip and trendy SoFA neighborhood and its owners and developers have begun bringing in tenants to rent units in the complex.

“It opened in August and it’s 20% leased,” said John Pringle, managing director of Acquity Realty, the lead developer of The Taft based in San Jose. “We got off to a good start.”

The project consists of 130 apartments and the building will be six floors. It is located in the SoFA neighborhood which features a bustling scene of restaurants, night clubs, entertainment centers, performance venues, art galleries and craft shops.

Entrance to a “speakeasy” restaurant located on the ground floor of The Taft mixed-use residential complex at 477 S. Market St. in the SoFA neighborhood of downtown San Jose.

An unusual element of the complex is a restaurant located on the ground floor and below street level.

“It will be like a speakeasy,” said Dennis Randall, president of Acquity Realty. “It’s kind of a cool concept.”

The restaurant totals 5,000 square feet, according to developers.

Another prominent feature is a rooftop staging area with an elevator to the top.

Gardens and a barbecue should be installed on the roof terrace, as well as a community garden.

Rooftop terrace and gathering areas at The Taft mixed-use residential, retail and dining complex at 477 S. Market St. in the SoFA neighborhood of downtown San Jose.  (The Taft)
Rooftop terrace and gathering areas at The Taft mixed-use residential, retail and dining complex at 477 S. Market St. in the SoFA neighborhood of downtown San Jose.

“It’s great to hear The Taft is opening,” said Richard Berg, a real estate investor who owns multiple properties in the SoFA neighborhood. “Everything will contribute to creating more activity in the city centre.

These are prices as of Tuesday for units in the new apartment complex, according to postings on The Taft’s website that list rental rates for available units:

— Studios start at $2,525 per month.

— One-bedroom units had a starting price of $2,750.

— Two-bedroom units start at $3,600 per month.

— The most expensive unit listed was a two-bedroom residence totaling 916 square feet offered at $4,150 per month.

The restaurant space on the ground floor is being actively commercialized, according to Pringle. Several parties are interested in leasing the site of the catering establishment.

Business closures ordered by state and local government agencies to curb the spread of the coronavirus have devastated business in downtown neighborhoods across the country.

Downtown San Jose is no exception and has been slow to recover. To complicate matters further: Employers have not fully returned to their offices, removing a once-reliable clientele from the central business district.

Pringle, however, says he has begun to see a thaw in the freezing economic conditions that have chilled downtown.

“Demand and activity are improving in downtown San Jose,” Pringle said. “More and more companies have employees returning to work in person.”