Downtown San Jose movie theater gets green light for transformation

Downtown San Jose movie theater gets green light for transformation
Photo Credit: Urban Catalyst
By Wesley Severson - Published on September 09, 2021.

A project that is set to transform an old downtown San Jose movie theater into a mixed-use project has cleared another hurdle and is now closer to being built. The three-story former Camera 12 movie theater building at the corner of South 2nd Street and Paseo de San Antonio is set to become a mix of office space and retail that will house stores and restaurants. It equates to around 100,000 square feet of space, 75,000 of which is slated for office space on the top two floors, with the remaining 25,000 square feet dedicated to ground-floor retail. 

Urban Catalyst, the Bay Area development firm that bought the property in 2019, has received the permit needed to get the project, called “Paseo,” underway.

The theater closed in 2016. Urban Catalyst said in a blog post, “It’s an exciting revamp of an iconic downtown structure — urban revitalization at its best. We anticipate several full-service bars and restaurants as tenants, adding to the ‘restaurant row’ that’s developing along the Paseo de San Antonio.”

Urban Catalyst says the inside of the building will be loaded with unique features once it is finished including floating conference rooms, mezzanine levels, and catwalks. City officials are happy to see the project finally moving forward after long delays due to the coronavirus pandemic. “The city was part of the groundbreaking for the project just before COVID hit, and we’re looking forward to the ribbon-cutting,” San Jose Downtown Manager Blage Zelalich told San Jose Spotlight. Construction is expected to be complete by July of next year. 

Urban Catalyst says Paseo is one of the first of half a dozen projects that it will start building this year in around San Jose. Since the developments sit in a so-called “opportunity zone,” they allow for big federal tax incentives because the areas are considered economically challenged. Urban Catalyst also says it has closed on its senior construction loan of $56.2 million dollars through Rialto Captial. It’s unclear when construction on the Paseo Project will begin.