SAN JOSE – The development of a downtown San Jose hotel next to the historic Hotel De Anza has been legally approved by city officials, according to a judge who signaled he had decided to rule against protective measures that tried to block the project.
At the center of the litigation is a project to develop a hotel tower on 8 Almaden Blvd. next to West Santa Clara Street and the Hotel De Anza. It is expected to be a Moxy hotel.
The Preservation Action Council filed a lawsuit in February 2020 to block the hotel project, on the grounds, in part, that San Jose City officials failed to properly prepare and disseminate an environmental impact report and that the development of the new hotel high-rise reflected the historic aesthetic of the hotel would affect De Anza.
The group, which is also trying to block the development of a groundbreaking technology campus at CityView Plaza just down the street, had argued that the city had not properly assessed the environmental impact of the hotel tower.
The Conservation Council claimed that the city’s permit violated the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
Santa Clara District Supreme Court Justice Sunil Kulkarni disagreed with the preservation authorities and took the city’s side on the matter.
The judge stated in his preliminary order that he had decided to reject the conservation group’s request for San Jose to repeat the approval process for the hotel.
If the 19-story hotel were built, it would have 272 rooms and a rooftop restaurant, lounge, and meeting area. It would be several floors higher than Hotel De Anza. The development site is currently a parking lot.
“The court has provisionally rejected the petition,” wrote Judge Kulkarni in a November 3 ruling. The judge said both the city and the Preservation Action Council could file additional pleadings with the court before a final decision.
C2K Architecture, Inc.
C2K Architecture, Inc.
Susan Brandt-Hawley, an attorney with the Preservation Action Council in San Jose, declined to comment. However, she said she was preparing an assignment to respond to the judge’s preliminary decision.
The San Jose Attorney’s Office did not respond to a request for comment.
Despite the ruling against the Preservation Action Council, the judge made it clear that he was aware of the importance of the 90 year old Hotel De Anza.
“All sides agree that the Hotel De Anza has a cultural and aesthetic significance for downtown San Jose,” wrote Judge Kulkarni on his behalf.
However, the judge said the conservationists had failed to come up with a convincing argument that the city of San Jose had not properly assessed the environmental impact of the proposed hotel and the impact the project would have on the Art Deco-style Hotel De Anza being built.
At 10 floors, Hotel De Anza would be considerably shorter than the proposed new hotel next door. Despite the historic status and elegant appearance of Hotel De Anza, the new accommodation project would do no harm to its much older neighbor.
Amid the collapse of the accommodation industry due to widespread uncertainties sparked by the coronavirus, it was not immediately clear what a potential schedule for the development and construction of the proposed hotel could be.
“The project will have no significant impact on Hotel De Anza as a historical resource,” wrote Richter Kulkarni on behalf of the company. “The project will not have a significant impact on the aesthetics of Hotel De Anza.”