Urban Catalyst launches projects in downtown San Jose

SAN JOSE – A busy development company, bolstered by a robust round of donations, announced Friday that it will begin building multiple projects in downtown San Jose this year and next.

The first project to be tackled with full-fledged construction is The Paseo, which developer Urban Catalyst sees as a major reconstruction and renovation of the Camera 12 film house with long shutters in downtown San Jose.

Urban Catalyst raised $ 131 million from hundreds of investors in its first fundraiser, which will support the company’s development projects in downtown San Jose.

“We met our goal of $ 105 million and ended up with $ 131 million,” said Erik Hayden, founder of Urban Catalyst.

Paseo would replace the Camera 12 theaters, which have been closed for years, with a new mixed-use office and restaurant complex on 201 S. Second St. in the hip and trendy South First Area or in the SoFA district in downtown San Jose.

“The demolition is in full swing,” said Hayden of the renovation in the old cinema building. He added, “We should have funding and building permits in April or May.”

Urban Catalyst was formed to create funds that could take advantage of the tax breaks offered by opportunity zones in places like downtown San Jose.

The company has purchased numerous properties in downtown San Jose in an effort to revitalize the urban core of the city.

Urban Catalyst intends to start building all of its projects in 2021 or 2022.

“We believe we will translate our projects into a recovering economy in the next twenties of this century,” said Hayden.

Hayden was delighted to complete a successful fundraising despite the economic uncertainties and problems the coronavirus sparked.

“Last year was full of uncertainty,” said Hayden. “The only thing that has remained consistent is that investors still need and want high quality real estate.”

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