I found at Plant51 the staff to be particularly helpful, and knew the rentals available plus the rental pricing, and also the staff at The 88 was great also. You may want to try to call frequently, like every week, as when a rental pops up, it can go quickly.
Let me know if you want to tour these spots to ultimately purchase. I love these downtown condos. They each have such a different & bright personality.
You can also search on craigslist for "downtown condos" but I find that kind of frustrating as I don't see rentals for these nice condos that often.
Your best bet is going to be the 360 Residence in downtown SJ. This complex is exclusive for rentals and has plenty inventory left for 2 bedrooms. They are starting at about $2900 per month though for the two bedrooms. Also, I have had clients that prefer the Santana Row rentals, again these are going to be high end rentals in a very nice area. If your interested I actually have helped renters into both these complexes and have been able to help negotiate some move in incentives. Not much but every little bit helps...
I strongly agree with both Pat and Andrea. The property managers here in Santa Clara County are not all using our MLS to advertise their rentals. The 360 in Downtown is the only high-rise I know offering rentals. The client I have under contract on a beautiful condo in the AXIS discovered that with the downtown development funds for first time and lower income buyer his mortgage payment is going to be less than renting.
I digress as your question is to get familiar with the area first. Check out the 360 and do some research on Craigslist. If you want a resource to double check if it is a scam or not, contact me and I may be able to weed some of them out for you.
Isn't it nice to you know can have a local friend in the Real Estate Business?
All the best to you.
Pat Chadwell, Broker
Realty World - Residential Specialists