Inside the Deal

By Matthew Marin, Associate EditorSan Jose, Calif.—Ushering in a growing trend toward living in downtown San Jose, Axis, the city’s first luxury high-rise condominium, is expected to meet the demands of an urban living boom coming to the heart of Silicon Valley, where several condo developments are either under construction or proposed.”Axis combines the best features of a sleek, modern high-rise structure with the concierge services and amenities one expects in a luxury residence—all conveniently located in the historic, commercial and cultural heart of San Jose,” says Ken Tersini, principal of KT Properties, a local developer who, along with Spring Capital Group of Eugene, Ore., formed Almaden Tower Venture LCC to develop the project. The Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal recently named Axis “Residential Development of the Year” for Structures 2007. Designed by the Portland, Ore.-based firm of Ankrom Moisan Associated Architects, the 22-story, glass and granite structure features 329 studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom units with luxury services and amenities. The units feature floor-to-ceiling windows, made possible by the first residential use of a unitized curtain wall in San Jose. “We designed Axis with the best of urban living in mind and to take advantage of incredible sights in every direction,” says Kevin Sauser, principal at Ankrom Moisan. “Inside, the fixtures are sumptuous and contemporary. Axis will be a sight to behold, both inside and out.” With prices from the upper $400,000s to $2 million, the condos, ranging from 700 to 1,900 square feet, feature kitchens with high-end stainless steel appliances, granite countertops and hardwood floors. On the third-floor podium level, the outdoor common area offers an urban oasis, featuring a pool, barbecue area and spa. Along with a fitness center, located on the second level overlooking the lobby, these amenities allow residents to enjoy a healthy California lifestyle. The location of Axis at the apex of majestic Almaden Boulevard offers all the advantages of urban living in downtown. Neighboring the historic Hotel De Anza, the luxury high rise gives residents access to street-side cafes and popular night spots at nearby San Pedro Square as well as restaurants and shops, both downtown and in adjacent areas. The San Jose Museum of Art, the Center for the Performing Arts and HP Pavilion are located nearby. Axis also offers convenient access to many forms of public transportation and easy driving via major freeways in all directions as well as proximity to the Mineta San Jose International Airport. In addition to its location, Almaden Tower Venture LCC plans to take advantage of the current housing market in San Jose. Axis joins other new high-rise residences rising throughout downtown, helping to establish a 24/7 urban living experience in San Jose, according to Paul Zeger, president of Pacific Marketing Associates, a Bay Area real estate marketing firm leading the development’s sales activities.Opening in May 2008, Axis is “especially appealing for both empty nesters and young professionals seeking convenience and fun in an urban setting,” says Zeger, who is also representing The 88 and City Heights, both residential high-rise towers in San Jose. “For people tired of the big house and of the big yard, there’s a real movement to simplify your way of living and take advantage of unique attractions only found downtown.” As sales commence early this year, Almaden Tower Venture LCC and Pacific Marketing Associates expect to generate interest from a cross section of buyers, representing the booming economy of Silicon Valley, the capital of the world’s high-tech industry with companies such as Cisco Systems, eBay, Google and Adobe. Each year, about 20,000 to 30,000 people relocate to the area and they are already accustomed to high-density, urban multifamily housing, according to Zeger. The financial structure of the $160-million project came primarily from a mezzanine loan from Arbor Financial and a construction loan from Fremont Investment Bank. “We were very bullish with the positioning of this project,” says Mark Tersini, president of KT Properties. “We’re very familiar with the housing market and comfortable with this development.”To comment on this story, contact