SAN JOSE (KCBS) – The landmark Sainte Claire Hotel has been sold to real estate developer Lew Wolff, a purchase other developers and local officials see as emblematic of the growing vitality of downtown San Jose.

Wolff Urban Development will pay between $17 million and $18 million for the boutique hotel built in 1926.

KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

Despite the Sainte Claire’s proximity to the parcel where San Jose hopes to build a 32,000-seat baseball stadium, officials said the purchase probably had little to do with efforts to move the team to the South Bay.

Rumors that the hotel could be used by visiting Major League Baseball teams if MLB allows the A’s to move to San Jose are “highly speculative,” said Santa Clara County Assessor Larry Stone.

“He’s got 3 other hotels that could provide the same option,” Stone said, adding that the purchase should nevertheless signal to city officials that Wolff is committed to help bring people and business to downtown San Jose.

The hexagonal design of the Sainte Claire came from the San Francisco architecture firm Weeks and Day. The 6-story brick building has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

“The hotel is one of the gems of downtown San Jose,” said Ron Heckman, a spokesman for the 88 San Jose condominium high rise.

Heckman said the once sleepy city center has been steadily growing now that more technology professionals are buying homes close to their Silicon Valley jobs.

“As more and more people are living downtown, they’re spreading the word,” he said, adding that more than 70 percent of the condos in the 88 have now sold and most of the occupants work in the tech sector.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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