Find out more about downtown living.

A number of loft-style developments have sprung up in recent years in San Jose’s downtown core and fashionable Santana Rowas well as along the Alameda and in Japantown, offering homebuyers a living experience akin to what one might find in San Francisco or New York City.

One of the more recent developments, Lofts on the Alameda, was built in 2006 and offers 40 units featuring open floor plans and large windows—the classic loft experience. Each of the available plans also features a den/office area. A big draw of this complex is its proximity to public transit (CalTrain and light rail), HP Pavilion and the evolving blocks of cool stores and restaurants along The Alameda. There’s one property on the market, priced at $329,880, featuring one-bedroom/1 1/2 baths and two-story-high walls of windows.

Nearby in downtown is the 62-unit 350 N. Second St., which offers loft townhomes with 17-foot ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows and a separate loft space and private bedroom suite. At the center of the 5-year-old community is a sun deck and pool. Of course, this location brings with it access to downtown dining, nightlife and arts as well as San Jose State University.

The newest of the loft developments is Plant 51, built in 2009 on the site of the Del Monte cannery near downtown San Jose, offering a mix of 265 units split between lofts, townhouses and flats. The hallmark of Plant 51 is its classic brick and mortar, originally part of Del Monte’s Plant 51 (hence the name).

The architectural details include the original brick and steel beams dating to 1912. A sampling of the community’s more unique amenities is its greenscaped walkways, open-air dining and gathering areas including a 15-foot-long outdoor fire pit, the Boiler Room, an original two-story brick warehouse space transformed into a gym, fitness studio and lounge, and an area dubbed the “bicycle kitchen,” a resident bicycle storage and repair area. Property sales are handled by Plant 51’s own marketing team.

In Japantown, the former Mariani packing plant was converted into lofts in 2004, retaining the brick exterior and the hallmark large green water tower. Now known as Mariani Square, this complex features 45 lofts and 114 row townhouses. The lofts are open and airy with wood beamed ceilings and concrete floors. This is prime location on the outskirts of San Jose’s historic Japantown which has been undergoing a revitalization in recent years and is known for its friendliness and excellent restaurants.