Alquist Redevelopment Project Gets CSU Approval to Advance

by | Jan 25, 2023 | Campus Life

The current Alfred E. Alquist state office building is located two blocks from SJSU’s campus. 

On Wednesday, January 25, the California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees approved San José State University’s efforts to seek a public-private partnership with qualified developers to explore redeveloping the Alfred E. Alquist state office building site in downtown San José. SJSU will explore housing on the site in addition to other options.

“Thanks to close coordination by the CSU and conceptual approval by the Board of Trustees, SJSU will begin work on what we hope will be Silicon Valley’s largest workforce housing project,” said SJSU President Cynthia Teniente-Matson. “The possibility of keeping faculty, staff, and graduate students closer to campus eliminates long commutes, stabilizes housing for our people while providing an attractive amenity to prospective Spartans, and contributes to the vibrancy of downtown San José. This redevelopment project can be a major first step to growing our urban footprint in a way that helps invest in the community. ”

“San José State University is well-equipped to lead this partnership that will greatly increase transit-oriented housing options for both students and faculty. This is yet another way San José State and the CSU Board of Trustees is making it easier for students to access higher education. This is a win-win – a huge blessing for downtown San José as well as a great opportunity for SJSU,” said Senator Dave Cortese who represents California’s 15th district, which encompasses most of San José.

The project, initially referred to as the “Alquist Redevelopment,” will undergo a contracting process to identify a qualified development team to partner with SJSU. Through the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) process, the developer would explore the feasibility of transforming a 1.6-acre state office complex in San José into a viable mixed-use residential building in addition to other options. A new name will be determined later in the development process. SJSU’s initial plans for the site anticipate up to 1,000 new construction rental units. 

“We believe that this housing will go a long way towards providing affordable housing for university staff and graduate students in one of the highest housing cost areas in the nation. I am overjoyed to see this project succeed in passing this important approval milestone,” said former Senator Jim Beall, ‘74 Political Science, who represented San José in the state Senate from 2012 to 2020.

Located one block west of campus, along San José’s core pedestrian boulevard the Paseo de San Antonio, the project site is at the nexus of the main SJSU campus, downtown amenities and expanding job centers.

“When Senator Jim Beall and I recommended that the state make the Alfred E. Alquist state office building available to San José State University, we recognized that the site has the potential to address critical faculty and graduate student housing needs and to re-energize the area around campus. I’m excited that the project has been approved by the Board of Trustees and is moving forward,” said Assemblymember Ash Kalra, who represents California’s 25th district.

Legislation championed by former state Senator Beall and Assemblymember Kalra and signed by Governor Gavin Newsom in 2021 included authorization to grant the Alquist site from the Department of General Services to the CSU. With this approval, SJSU can move forward the CEQA process and advance the project’s timeline. The building and land will transfer to SJSU’s control this April and will be securely maintained, without occupancy, until construction can begin. The university will soon issue a request for qualifications to development teams followed by a request for proposal this summer. The project would then return to the CSU Trustees for development plan approval later in the summer. Design for a new building would be completed early next year. Construction would begin in late 2024 and complete in 2027.

More information can be found at