San Jose Improv downtown site bought, comedy club will stay


SAN JOSE — Two realty entrepreneurs have completed the purchase of the historic Jose Theater site, home of a local comedy club and improv, saying they intend to retain the downtown entertainment venture as a tenant.

Pointing to ongoing strong interest in the urban core of the Bay Area’s largest city, Gary Dillabough and Don Imwalle, acting through a partnership,  teamed up to buy the Jose Theatre property at 62 S. Second St., the location of the San Jose Improv, according to Santa Clara County property documents.

“We really like the Improv as a tenant,” said Don Imwalle, president of Imwalle Properties. “When we learned more about their model in the entertainment industry, it seems like they will bring more good acts into downtown San Jose.”

The developers paid $2.14 million for the two-story building in a deal completed Dec. 27, county documents show.

“We have no plans to make changes to the building or the tenancy in the immediate term,” Imwalle said.

There are two big reasons for the rising interest in downtown San Jose: major projects being planned in the central core by tech titans Adobe Systems and Google, plus a sharply rising quest by investors to buy properties in the city’s urban heart.

San Jose-based Adobe, whose headquarters are now in a downtown campus of three office buildings, is planning to build a fourth office tower adjacent to its existing complex. That would enable the company to double its downtown workforce and add thousands of jobs.

Mountain View-based Google has proposed a transit-oriented development near the Diridon train station downtown where 25,000 people work, including 15,000 to 20,000 of the search giant’s employees, in a community of office buildings, residences, shops, restaurants and open spaces.

Over the 12 months that ended in September, numerous investors unleashed a shopping spree for downtown properties that totaled at least $1.43 billion, this news organization’s survey of county documents determined.

Besides Google and Adobe Systems, an array of developers, up-and-coming realty entrepreneurs, and overseas investors from as far away as Asia were among those that bought properties downtown during that one-year period.

The buying binge over the past 12 months is nearly three times as much as the $484 million that buyers spent on downtown properties over the prior one-year period that ended in September 2017.

Dillabough has collected numerous properties in downtown San Jose and has begun renovations of several, including the iconic Bank of Italy office tower at the corner of South First and East Santa Clara streets.

The proximity to the Jose Theatre of several Dillabough-owned properties is among the reasons Dillabough became interested in the Jose Theatre property, according to Imwalle.

“Gary Dillabough was interested in making sure that we continue to have a good operator in the building because of his long-term vision for that part of town,” Imwalle said.

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