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January 28, 2021
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TriForge Capital Partners Lands $34 Mil in Financing for San Jose Housing Project


TriForge Capital Partners has obtained $34 mil in debt financing for the development of 7EMPIRE, a 97-unit, Class A, art-focused multi-housing community in San Jose. 7EMPIRE is currently under construction at 525 North 7th Street on the only remaining infill site in the city’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 5k sf, publicly accessible sculpture and street art park; approximately 1k sf 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.

Chris Gandy with JLL arranged the 13-year, fixed-rate construction-to-permanent loan through 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.

“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.”

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