Monday, August 3, 2015

August 2015 Downtown Dimension Highlights

Here are my notes from the latest edition of Downtown Dimension:
  • The Knight Foundation provided the San Jose Downtown Association with a $625,000 grant spread over five years to to develop projects that contribute to the city's beauty, vitality, and livability. Some of the projects currently underway are:
    • Street improvements such as an interactive exercise loop, a new Almaden Boulevard median, and a new light installation on the Circle of Palms
    • Four new Murals
    • Prototyping and Research projects
    • Increasing SJDA programming from 110 days a year to 121 days
  • The Downtown Homeless Jobs and Training program is expanding for 2015-2016.This project placed 28 homeless with Groundwerx for training last year. In exchange for their work, participants earned food vouchers and housing assistance. Of the 28, 10 found employment and 11 gained housing. The extra hands also led to Downtown being cleaner and better Groundwerx response times.
  • Some of the city's $2.9 billion 2015-16 budget will be used for several Downtown projects:
    • $68,000 will go to rehabilitating the carousel across from the SAP Center and putting it back in operations.
    • $210,000 for a canopy/band shell to replace the current rented canopy at Plaza de Cesar Chavez
    • $100,000 for events and programs around the US Gymnastics Trials
    • $100,000 for events and programs around Super Bowl 50
    • $70,000 to enhance the San Jose Veterans' Parade
    • $12,500 for a Downtown homeless drop-in center at First Presbyterian
  • Tech Startup Skinnyprice have moved to 111 W. St. John
  • The San Pedro Square Market has several new tenants:
    • Oni Mexicantessan: a new gourmet Mexican sandwich spot
    • Pasta Fresca: homemade Italian cuising with sauces made from scratch
    • Lou's Beach Shack: seafood such as clam chowder, calamari, fish sandwiches, as well as shave ice and cotton candy
  • Insight Realty pans to develop 10.6 acres between Highway 87 and Coleman Avenue it purchased from the Union Pacific with 250,000 SQFT of office space, 650 urban homes, and neighborhood-serving retail. The total investment will be around $360 million.
To read the full newsletter, click here!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Historic Photo: Downtown San Jose at 1st and San Antonio

Check out this photo that is nearly 100 years old! Cardinal2007 from the San Jose Development Forum gives a great description below of what you see in this image and what exists today.

"1st St, and San Antonio. The Montgomery Hotel on the left was moved south to make way for the Fairmont Annex, currently Muji is at that location. The entire block to San Fernando was redeveloped on both sides, the Fairmont Hotel is on the south end, and the building that says Pacific was replace by the Knight Ridder Building. On the right is a 2 story office/data center with retail on the first floor, a reuse of the failed Pavilion Mall. The building to the right south of San Antonio is still there, currently apartments, the movie theater wraps around it. Between San Fernando and Santa Clara on the right is most of the same buildings on the left some where redeveloped, one burned down, and is now an empty lot owned by the Archdiocese. 

The light rail tracks are roughly between the tracks and where the cars are parked on the right. The old tracks are long gone."

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Saturday Stats - San Jose Ranks as the #2 Swim City in America

The San Jose Metro ranked as the second best city in the US for swimming according to a study commissioned by USA Swimming and Speedo. They noted that the South Bay has the most swimming pools per capita in the country. With 63 pools, the San Jose area has more places to swim than any other city with a population less than 2 million.

There is also a long heritage of swim champions that came from the San Jose area. The Santa Clara Swim Club has produced a whopping 51 Olympic gold medals, 17 silver medals, and 12 bronze medals. The club is gearing up for an impressive overhaul as you can see below. The end result should be one of the most advanced international swim centers in the world.

Anne Arbor, Michigan took the top spot in the study and the San Francisco-Oakland Metro came in third. We'll see how the new swim center impacts the rankings a few years from now.

Source: The Merc

Friday, July 31, 2015

San Jose Indie Band "A Yawn Worth Yelling" Releases New Single

One of our local indie rock bands called A Yawn Worth Yelling has just released their latest single and it is getting some national attention. The song is called Lonely Prisoner and you can hear it for free right over here. The band sounds great! Below is some additional information:

The San Jose, CA-based four piece formed in 2011, and have since shared the stage with prominent artists including Saint Motel and Relient K. They also recently played an exclusive showcase at E3 in Los Angeles, and have received praise from notable outlets including Examiner, Impose Magazine and PopMatters. The latter called their style, "upbeat, youthful, and sun-drenched pop...these guys know how to capture the summertime vibe with aplomb."

You can follow the A Yawn Worth Yelling website here.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Playful People Productions Presents: Disney's Alice in Wonderland

Disney’s Alice in Wonderland JR

Join Alice’s madcap adventures in Wonderland as she chases the White Rabbit, races the Dodo Bird, Gets tied up with the Tweedles, raps with the bubble-blowing Caterpillar, goes to the craziest tea-party ever, and beats the Queen of Hearts at her own Game!

Alice boogies down the rabbit hole into a Wonderland of adventures and music with familiar favorites from the original animated Disney classic including “The Unbirthday Song” and “Painting the Roses Red,” along with additional gems like “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah.” Alice in Wonderland is a musical feast for the entire family!

Our shows often sell out prior to the show weekend. Be sure to buy your tickets early, you won’t want to miss out on this fantastic production.

Show Times:
Friday, July 31st-  10am, 1pm, 7pm
Saturday, August 1st - 10am, 1pm, 4pm

Alice in La La Land

Join Playful People for another original mash-up show, Alice in La La Land. Meet Alice, an Indiana girl swept into a madcap Los Angeles adventure. She mingles with Hollywood royalty, appears on a reality show, finds her center with the aid of a yoga-practicing Caterpillar, and matches wits with Orange County Tea Party activists. In her showdown with #TheRedQueen, Alice discovers who she is and sings it for all the world to hear. Another Playful People original, with music by the artists you love to sing along with in the car! Our shows often sell out prior to the show weekend. Be sure to buy your tickets early, you won’t want to miss out on this fantastic production.

Show Times:
Thursday, July 30th - 7pm
Saturday, August 1st - 7pm

Tickets available at
$12 attendees 12 and up, $8 children 11 and under,  and $6 Children’s floor seating

Tickets at the door (30 minutes prior to curtain)
$15 attendees 12 and up, $10 children 11 and under, and $6 Children’s floor seating

All Shows at the Historic Hoover Theatre, 1635 Park Ave  San Jose, CA 95126

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

SoFA Sundays

This new event somehow snuck under my radar. Several SoFA arts groups have come up with a monthly "SoFA Sundays" event centered around Gore Park. The event includes food trucks, performances, music, and a variety of community activities. Participating venues are ICA, MACLA, SJQT, the San Jose Stage, City Lights Theater Company, the SoFA Market, Cafe Stritch, and the Continental.

The first event was on July 26, 2015 and you can get a recap over here. Below is the full schedule for the rest of 2015.

SoFA Sundays Schedule

  • August 9, 12pm-5pm
  • September 13, 12pm-5pm
  • October 4, 12pm-5pm
  • November 15, 12pm-5pm
  • December 13, 12pm-5pm

Source: The Merc

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Updated Renders for the Post & San Pedro Tower!

The proposed Post & San Pedro Tower has a brand new design that looks even better than the previous render (the last photo down below). The new owners of the project--Simeon Residential Properties and Kinship Capital--wanted something more dynamic and lively. They used a wider variety of materials and now there are tons of setbacks and balconies, which makes perfect sense in a city that has 300 sunny days each year.

The design isn't the only change. They have added 20 more units to bring it to a total of 202, while keeping the height and footprint of the building the same. Also added: an outdoor pool, spa, and dog park on the fourth floor. Parking is three levels below ground and two above ground, with no separate exterior garage.

There will be two retail pads: 1,500 SQFT on San Pedro, which would be ideal for a cafe or deli, and 3,200 SQFT on Post Street that is being earmarked for a boutique gym. Given that Post Street does not have a significant retail presence, Simeon is considering offering a moderate discount on rent to bring someone into the space (makes perfect sense, which more Downtown developers would do the same).

It looks like this is really coming together nicely. If the Post & San Pedro Tower comes to fruition, it will be another great asset for Downtown San Jose!

Source: SVBJ

New Render

New Render

Previous Render

Monday, July 27, 2015

SJSU Campus Village Phase II

San Jose State University's newest student housing building is now well under construction. The $126 million building will be next to Campus Village Phase I and have 850 beds across 10 floors. This will allow SJSU to move further away from it's prior reputation as a commuter school and attract more students from out of state or the country.

Check out the latest construction photos below courtesy of Robertee from the San Jose Development Forum.