Urban Catalyst launches downtown San Jose projects

Urban Catalyst launches downtown San Jose projects

SAN JOSE — A busy development firm, invigorated by a robust round of fundraising, said Friday it is launching major construction on several downtown San Jose projects this year and next.

The first project that is getting underway with full-fledged construction is The Paseo, which developer Urban Catalyst envisions as a wide-ranging reconstruction and renovation of the long-shuttered Camera 12 movie house in downtown San Jose.

Urban Catalyst has raised $131 million from hundreds of investors in its first fundraising effort, which will bolster the company’s development ventures in San Jose’s downtown.

“We beat our $105 million goal 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 office and restaurant mixed-use complex at 201 S. Second St. in downtown San Jose’s hip and trendy South First Area, or SoFA district.

“Demolition is going full speed ahead,” Hayden said of the revamp underway inside the old movie theater building. He added, “We should have financing in place and building permits in April or May.”

Urban Catalyst was formed to create funds that can capitalize on tax advantages provided by opportunity zones in places such as downtown San Jose.

The company has been purchasing numerous properties in downtown San Jose, aiming to help with efforts to revitalize the city’s urban core.

Urban Catalyst intends to begin construction on all of its projects during 2021 or 2022.

“We believe we will be delivering our projects into a recovering economy, in what could be this century’s Roaring Twenties,” Hayden said.

Hayden was pleased to complete a successful capital raise even in the face of the economic uncertainties and woes unleashed by the coronavirus.

“The past year has been full of uncertainty,” Hayden said. “But the one thing that has remained constant is that investors still need and want to diversify into quality real estate.”




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