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Uber co-founder turning historic downtown San Jose building into digital food hall

Uber co-founder turning historic downtown San Jose building into digital food hall
Photo Credit: Preservation Action Council of San Jose
By Wesley Severson - Published on November 05, 2021.

Uber’s co-founder Travis Kalanick is working on a new digital food hall inside a historic downtown San Jose building that used to house a furniture store at East Santa Clara Street and South Third Street. According to the Mercury News, construction of a CloudKitchens location is now underway inside what used to be Hank Coca’s Downtown Furniture, which sits on the first floor of the Odd Fellows Building. The structure dates back to around 1885. Kalanick’s real estate company, City Storage Systems, bought the building three years ago for just over $7 million.

“Renovating this is very expensive and would be out of reach for many," says Mark Ritchie of Ritchie Commercial, speaking to the Mercury News. "It is so good to see this finally happening right as the east side of downtown San Jose rises.”

The first floor of the building will turn into a CloudKitchens venue which houses several different restaurants under one roof. They mainly handle delivery and online to-go orders. As reported previously by Hoodline, this will add to the long list of new, lucrative, delivery-centric digital kitchens popping up all over the Bay Area. 

According to city documents obtained by the Mercury News, the new location will have the label of a public eating establishment, and is expected to have limited counter-style seating along with a few tables and chairs. Customers are expected to use digital kiosks when ordering from inside the building.

Kalanick’s group is also apparently considering big renovations to all three floors of the building and could transform the upper two stories into office space. “Downtown is extremely fortunate to have the financial backing of Kalanick and his partners to bring this very important building back to life,” said Ritchie. 

Goldman Sachs reportedly loaned Kalanick's company $100 million for the project, which means that if most of that money is spent on this new venture you will see massive changes and upgrades. It’s likely they’ll try to restore the building’s unique exterior features like the Italianate cast-iron facades.

So far, there are no timelines set for when this CoudKitchens venue will open.