August 20, 2019 – JLL announced today that it has arranged $34 million in debt financing for the development of 7EMPIRE, a 97-unit, Class A, art-focused multi-housing community in the Silicon Valley core.
JLL worked on behalf of the developer, TriForge Capital Partners, to secure the 13-year, fixed-rate construction-to-permanent loan with Guardian Life Insurance Company of America. TriForge Capital Partners is led by development groups LandForge and developURBAN. The JLL Capital Markets team previously coordinated venture equity on behalf of the developer.
7EMPIRE is currently under construction at 525 North 7th Street on the only remaining infill site in San Jose’s burgeoning Japantown neighborhood. The Japantown location provides direct connections to VTA light rail, bus and bike-share transit modes linked to nearby Silicon Valley employment centers. The 7EMPIRE site notably has immediate access to Jackson Street shops, grocers and restaurants as well as local artists, vendors and design studios, which comprise the Jtown Art Walk.
Due for completion in 2021, the USGBC LEED-designed property will encompass a mix of modish, forward-thinking residential dwellings; a 5,000-square-foot publicly accessible sculpture and street art park; approximately 1,000 square feet of entry plaza retail and 131 parking spaces. An artist-in-residence program is currently planned, and the integral art park has been designed alongside the famed Empire Seven Studios to include community engagement activities. 7EMPIRE’s comprehensive art focus is born organically from the site’s prior use as a studio gallery and as a home base for Pow Wow San Jose since 2017. The 7EMPIRE development will build on the tremendous art culture that already thrives in Japantown and will provide additional venue space for organized activities.
Residential floor plans will include a mix of junior suites, flexible flat-style residences and multi-story urban townhomes ranging from one to three bedrooms. 7EMPIRE’s lobby areas will function as complementary coworking spaces and art galleries curated in part by local artists. Additional amenities include a rooftop lounge area; a functional movement gym; yoga and meditation studios; an outdoor community kitchen with multiple contemplation zones; mechanical valet parking; and a smart home concierge app experience. As an homage to the site’s diverse cultural heritage, historical markers and sculptures will also be present throughout the site to tell part of the backstory of one of San Jose’s most up-to-the-minute neighborhoods.
“The TriForge team appreciates the contributed value and insightful perspective provided by JLL,” echoed Derek Allen of LandForge and Neal Yung of developURBAN. “As a trusted partner, they’ve helped us kick off a meaningful and sustainable development, which integrates local community spirit into a boutique-sized, design-forward offering.”
“We set out to develop a community that fuses the way discerning residents want to live within spaces that world-class artists want to create,” added partner Collin Eckles, former president of Rose Rock Group, a Rockefeller company. “This effort will forge an inspiring exposé of youthful vigor and some of the best street art the world has ever seen, on par even with the Wynwood Walls murals of Miami, all within the aesthetic of Jtown.”
LandForge partner JIG Holding acknowledges the transaction as a good cultural fit for them as well, noting that, “Along with strong submarket fundamentals and a competent development team, it was the right time to enter the U.S. market after being active on multiple continents for the past 70 years.”
The JLL debt placement team representing the developer was led by Senior Director Chris Gandy.
“The TriForge team has the local depth and market perspective lending partners like Guardian are seeking,” Gandy said. “With its forward-thinking design and authentic art component, we are confident the 7EMPIRE development will be well-received.”