Contact Us

San Jose "Sports Club Guy" Has New Space

San Jose Office

Entrepreneur Gene Campbell officially opens Glasshouse's doors tomorrow, planting a much-anticipated modern event space in downtown San Jose. He gives us a first look.

Gene inked the 17k SF lease in summer 2013 and says he's behind six to seven months on finally opening—but better now than never. (We say he's just fashionably late to his own party.) With clean lines, marble and LED-type lighting, the finished product is the sleek counterpart to his other San Jose event venue. The historic Corinthian is an old Scottish temple that's been throwing fetes under its 50-foot ceilings for 35 years. Glasshouse's debut also marks a transition in Gene's real estate career; as a "sports club guy" for the last 25 years throughout the Bay Area, he sold his last club—the Silicon Valley Athletic Club—three months ago. 

He originally eyed the 84 West Santa Clara location as a sports club, with lease negotiations dating back two and a half years ago (Ritchie Commercial's Mark Ritchie brokered the deal). The office building, with a sizable chunk left to lease, plans to piggyback on Glasshouse's success, Gene says. The landlord has conceptual plans to build a new facade and grow the building. He has dibs on that 2,000 SF addition, which will likely open in a few years. He could incorporate a Peet's or Starbucks, considering it's on one of San Jose's busiest corners. For now the Glasshouse has the 12k SF ground floor and the 5,000 SF mezzanine.

The phone is ringing off the hook and he's got about 30 events pre-booked—without any marketing so far. The hodgepodge of events range from a Google party to trade shows to an Indian wedding and prom. The Roaring 20s-themed grand opening tomorrow (above, this morning's planning underway) is targeted to event planners, with Today's Bride as the partner. He wants the long-term focus to be on corporate events, however. The capacity is 1,150 inside. He says Glasshouse's "claim to fame" is it's got the largest patio in San Jose, fitting 180.

The idea was to make the design as flexible as possible to match any event. The bars and dance floor are portable, letting event planners come in and lay out their own arrangement. He's on the prowl for his next venue—possibly to own instead of lease—which could be an outdoor space like a winery. Financing's been tough to get but on the real estate acquisition side it's available, he says. Gene's got 20-year leases on his two event spaces, so he says he'll be here a while.