The San Jose Mercury News reports that the deal involves the sale of the 264-room southern tower of the 805-room Signia by Hilton hotel; a developer would buy the south tower and then lease rooms to students.
Under this plan, the 541-room north tower would remain a hotel operated by Hilton officials. The San Jose City Council has voted to agree to the sale of the south tower to an affiliate of developer Throckmorton Partners.
Because of weak demand for hotel rooms in the Bay Area, the south tower is empty and hotel guests are being booked only into the northern tower.
If San Jose State winds up leasing the south tower, several hundred students could be living in the building, said Charlie Faas, the university's vice president for administration and finance.
"Filling it up with 800 students on a daily basis and then internships during the summer make a vibrant downtown," Faas said. "All of these empty storefronts that we have get filled. People feel safer. People feel activated. And our students are going to enjoy a cheaper, more affordable place to live."
Faas noted that the walk from the southern tower to the university's Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. library is shorter than the walk from existing university housing to that same library.