An aerial view shows the Alfred E. Alquist Building on the right across from the Hammer Theatre Center.

An aerial view shows the Alfred E. Alquist Building on the right across from the Hammer Theatre Center.

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Christine Hutchins

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Redevelopment of Alquist Building May Provide Affordable Housing for San Jose State University Campus Community and Revitalize Downtown Paseo Area

San Jose, CA–San Jose State University thanks Senator Jim Beall, ’74 Political Science, and Assemblymember Ash Kalra for their vision and recommendation that the State of California relinquish control of the Alfred E. Alquist Building and make it available to San Jose State University for future campus community housing and revitalization of the downtown Paseo area.  

Their request to allocate initial planning capital from the state’s general fund to begin planning for a mixed-use housing initiative on the Alquist site is a significant contribution to jump-starting the project.

Alfred E. Alquist Building

Alfred E. Alquist Building

“SJSU is eager and open to this opportunity as one possible solution to provide much-needed affordable housing for our campus community and revitalization of the Paseo area in downtown San Jose. We thank Senator Beall, Assemblymember Kalra and Mayor Liccardo for their support and future vision that aligns with our commitment to this important initiative,” said Mary A. Papazian, president of San Jose State University.

The 130,000-square-foot Alfred E. Alquist building, located at 100 Paseo de San Antonio, is just one block from the San Jose State University campus and sits directly across from the Hammer Theatre, which SJSU operates in partnership with the city of San Jose. Paseo de San Antonio is one of the main corridors between San Jose State and Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority light rail and bus lines.

The three-story building, dedicated in 1983 is named after Alfred E. Alquist, a long-serving state legislator, who passed away in 2006. His wife Elaine succeeded him in office and served in California’s 13th Senate District for 6 years. The site currently houses multiple state government offices. If San Jose State acquires the building, the university will honor the Alquist legacy with a memorial on the building site.

Senator Beall and Assemblymember Kalra’s work on the Alfred E. Alquist building is the first step for San Jose State to move forward on a mixed-use housing project that will provide much-needed affordable housing in downtown San Jose, expedite revitalization of the Paseo de San Antonio and help to re-energize downtown San Jose.

Read a Mercury News story about the proposed project.


The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San Jose State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 250 areas of study offered through its eight colleges. With more than 35,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San Jose State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing 10,000 graduates to the workforce. The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 260,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.