Despite concerns raised by some environmentalists, a paved parking lot along the banks of the Guadalupe River in downtown San Jose will be supplanted with a massive new office campus where nearly 10,000 people could work.

The project, which was approved unanimously by San Jose City Council Tuesday evening, will be located on a narrow 3.75-acre property on the southwest corner of Almaden Boulevard and Woz Way, across the river from the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose.

Designed by Boston Properties, the campus will feature two 16-story towers with 1.4 million square feet of office space, 37,603 square feet of ground-floor retail, 15 condominium units and three levels of underground parking. Two outdoor paseos will be incorporated in the middle of the campus to provide employees and community members with direct access between South Almaden Boulevard and the Guadalupe River Trail.

Mayor Sam Liccardo called the project an “incredible addition to our downtown skyline” and a “superior alternative to a paved parking lot.”

Some conservationists and environmental advocates, on the other hand, raised concerns that the office towers would be built too close to the Guadalupe River, potentially damaging the trees, soil and wildlife habitats along the river bank. They urged the council to request that the developer shift the towers further away from the river.

“We should not knowingly sacrifice the Guadalupe River and erode environmental protections,” said Dashiell Leeds. “We should instead protect the Guadalupe River for the living entity that it is, for the biodiversity that it sustains and for the community benefits that a healthy ecosystem provides us.”

Due to the site’s uniquely narrow footprint, city officials said pushing the project back any further would not be feasible. The city’s municipal code generally calls for a 100-foot buffer between a project and vegetation near rivers or creeks but it provides city …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

      

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