SAN JOSE (KCBS) — Two developers agreed on Friday to build two high-rise apartment buildings in Downtown San Jose, where the demand for rental housing and desire for an urban lifestyle has grown.

The agreement between the city and developers was a direct result of a decision in May by city leaders to reduce fees and give tax breaks for residential construction.

San Jose City Councilman Sam Liccardo said it was a decision that has already paid off.

KCBS’ Mike Colgan Reports:

“We recognized that banks are extremely reluctant to lend and everybody is very nervous in the financial sector, so in order to get any kind of shovel in the ground for high-rise towers we needed to cut the fees,” Liccardo said.

“Rather than get 100 percent of nothing we decided to get 50 percent of something,” he added.

Liccardo also said that timing of the agreement couldn’t have come at a better time due to the growing trend of urban living.

Rather than drive to the mall, the councilman said a growing number prefer to shop at markets or attend festivals and other activities that are within walking distance from where they live.

“It’s the kind of convenience that has become increasingly appealing to both empty nesters and young twenty or thirtysomethings,” Liccardo said.

With construction to begin as early as next year, one 21-story apartment building will rise up on the corner of Santa Clara and Market streets while the other will be near San Pedro Square.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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