Campaigners appeal decision of ‘brutalist’ San Jose – Silicon Valley construction court


SAN JOSE – Activists have decided to appeal a court ruling that paved the way for the bulldozing of a “brutalist” building in downtown San Jose – even though demolition is underway and the structure cannot be saved.

At the heart of the dispute is a building designed in the ‘brutalism’ architectural style that occupies part of a large campus of offices, shops and restaurants proposed for a key section of downtown San José.

In 2020, the Preservation Action Council of San Jose filed a lawsuit to force the city of San Jose to re-do an environmental impact report for the campus project, litigation that was part of a quest to preserve the building at 199 Park Ave.

On November 1, a Santa Clara County judge ruled against the preservation group and dismissed the petition to redo the EIR, a decision which also said there was no reason to delay the demolition of the building.

CityView Plaza office complex on a downtown San Jose site bounded by West San Fernando Street, South Almaden Boulevard, Park Avenue and South Market Street, concept.

Project developer Jay Paul Co. proceeded last week, a few days after the court ruling, to initiate a partial demolition of the building.

“We are very disappointed with both the decision and the decision of the developer to pursue an accelerated demolition,” said Ben Leech, executive director of the Preservation Action Council of San Jose.

Excavators drilled holes in the structure and tore off part of the roof line, the news agency‘s visual observation of the site showed.

“It appears to be an attempt to rush a demolition to render an appeal moot,” Leech said.

The group’s attempt to overturn the ruling is expected to be filed with the California Court of Appeals, Leech said, following a vote by the board’s board of directors.

“We’re going to appeal,” Leech said. “We have to defend our rights.

The Conservatives are aware that the building will not be saved and that it will eventually be bulldozed.

“It’s obvious at this point that he’s no longer in the cards to save the building,” Leech said. “We are realists. We realize the building is lost. The promoter succeeded in rendering the condition of the building irreparable.

Once this appeal is filed, it would be the second such petition that the Preservation Action Council has pending before the state appeals court.

The group lost a case in Santa Clara County Court in December 2020, in which Tories sought to block development of a hotel tower next to the historic De Anza Hotel in downtown San Jose. .

In March, the group appealed the county judge’s decision. Documents released to the state’s court of appeals show the superior court must dismiss the hotel-related appeal this month, as the preservation group has yet to file a legal brief with court of Appeal.

In the brutalist construction litigation, the conservatives believe it is worth appealing even if it is no longer possible to save the structure.

“There are important issues at play here that need to be addressed,” Leech said.

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