Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Urban Catalyst, a San Jose Opportunity Zone investor, plans to create largest rooftop bar in Silicon Valley

San Jose-based Urban Catalyst plans to create a 5,000-square-foot rooftop bar — the largest in Silicon Valley — in the city's downtown.

Urban Catalyst, a firm focused on developments in the federally approved Opportunity Zone that covers downtown, intends for the bar to be a signature element at what it's calling the Fountain Alley Building — a new construction with office, restaurant and retail space.

The building is designed to occupy three contiguous parcels: a 30-space parking lot, the site of the former downtown nightclub known colloquially as the Lido Building at 30 S. 1st St., and a historical building known as the 1889 Building at 34 S. 1st. St.

On Monday, Urban Catalyst submitted a site development permit to the San Jose planning department that proposes redeveloping the Lido Building into a six-story building with 73,000 square feet of office space and 14,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space on the building's ground floor. A water fountain would be built on the corner of South First Street and Fountain Alley, which runs adjacent to the Lido Building. Studio Current is the project architect and designer.

Erik Hayden, founder and managing partner of Urban Catalyst, said he doesn't have any prospective tenants for up to 3,500 square feet of dedicated restaurant space and that the remaining space on the ground level would be for either retail or restaurants.

If approved, the Fountain Alley Building would have floor plates totaling 13,500 square feet and would include a rooftop bar totaling more than 5,000 square feet, he said.

"Here in San Jose, in Silicon Valley, we have 300 days a year of sunshine," Hayden said. "We wanted to design a space that really takes advantage of that."

A glass elevator will be added to the side of the building that will be separate from the elevators in the lobby of the 1889 Building to take patrons from Fountain Alley to the rooftop lounge, he said. The 1889 Building will be used as the main entrance and lobby area for the office space on the second through sixth floors of the Fountain Alley building. Urban Catalyst will be renovating the exit stairwells of the 1889 Building as part of the project.