Downtown San Jose hotel could be expanded, homes added next door

SAN JOSE — The owner of a hotel in downtown San Jose has proposed an expansion of the hotel and the development of dozens of condominiums on an adjacent site.

The Hotel Clariana, located at the corner of East Santa Clara Street and South Third Street in downtown San Jose, could be expanded and residential units would be developed next to the hotel on a parcel that fronts on South Fourth Street, according to a very preliminary proposal on file with city planners.

“We’re not completely sure when we are going to develop the extension of the hotel, but we are sure that this area needs more housing,” said Tina Phan, a principal owner of the hotel property and the adjacent parcel.

The residential portion of the proposal could consist of a seven-story building with 36 condominium units, Phan said.

The condos would be units for sale and not rentals, Phan said. The sizes of the condominiums would range from about 1,030 square feet to about 1,155 square feet, the city documents show.

“People need a place to live and to be able to work from home,” Phan said.

The existing 44-room hotel could be expanded with an extension consisting of roughly 30 rooms.

“We aren’t sure about the future of the hotel extension,” Phan said. “It depends on the demand for hotel rooms.”

In addition to the condominiums and the potential extension of the hotel, Phan is planning the development of several amenities for the property. The amenities would be available for both hotel guests and the future owners of the condominiums.

“We have some preliminary plans for a restaurant on the ground floor, a swimming pool and a big courtyard,” Phan said.

The outbreak of the coronavirus devastated the lodging and travel industries, both worldwide and locally. The Hotel Clariana was no exception.

“The hotel was almost empty for a year,” Phan said. “When the coronavirus started, demand disappeared.”

Occupancy tumbled into the single digits through much of 2020, she estimated.

So far this year, matters have improved somewhat. Weekends are busier, but weekdays remain a struggle for the hotel.

“They might be coming here on weekends for football games or other sporting events, or for travel,” Phan said.

Business travel, however, has yet to rebound, a problem that will persist while offices remain largely unoccupied in downtown San Jose. Plus, the convention center has to get back into full swing.

“More offices have to reopen,” Phan said. “The convention business has to pick up.”