Sunday, May 29, 2011

Future Vision for North San Jose

Below is an excerpt from the San Jose Department of Planning regarding the future vision for North San Jose. I really hope this comes to fruition soon as San Jose commercial development needs to catch up to residential (we have more employable residents than jobs at the moment within the city limits). For the full page, click here.

North San Jose Now
Above and Below: Images of North San Jose today and in its potential future
North San Jose Future
Images courtesy of Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) & Silicon Valley Action Network

Key Vision North San Jose Goals
Vision North San Jose is a long-range planning effort, addressing future potential growth and development needs. The key goals for the effort are to:
  • Proactively plan for growth to allow more industrial development in a way that benefits current San Jose residents.
  • Allow up to an additional 27 million square feet of research and development and office space in North San Jose.
  • Bring up to 83,000 new jobs to San Jose, providing additional job opportunities for San Jose residents.
  • Concentrate up to 16 million square feet of the new research and development and office space in a 600 acre Urban Corporate Center core area along the North First Street light rail corridor, between Brokaw Road and Montague Expressway.
  • Develop an average 1.2 FAR in the core area with typical buildings of 6-10 stories.
  • Focus on high-tech and corporate headquarters development.
  • Create a rich pedestrian environment within the core area to encourage use of the transit system.
  • Generate approximately $520 million in funding for the construction of local and regional transportation improvements.
  • Provide new high-density residential development (up to 32,000 units) in close proximity to employment centers.


  1. there are too many cars in these pictures.... wheres the bikes?

  2. I counted 3 bikes and 5 cars, not a bad ratio =)

    It might also be nice to have pedicabs at some point if there is enough development along the corridor.

  3. What's the city's vision for downtown?

  4. Just curious, at what point do you expect the delusions to stop?

    Why don't you talk about things that are really affecting SJ today? Like the budget crisis and how we can help to solve it? This is supposed to be the San Jose blog isn't it? Or is it just the I-will-only-talk-about-possibly-positive-and-premature-developments-in-SJ-blog?

  5. I just don't get the fascination with "North San Jose" when our downtown core is a big, disappointing mess. It's so difficult find a forum where its possible to have a sunstantive, realistic discussion about San Jose. Does anyone who writes or reads this blog live downtown? Just curious.

  6. Anonymous #1: While it may not always seem this way, Downtown is the city's top priority. You should have a look at the Diridon area plans, which include new commercial space specifically for startup companies, new residential, retail, a riverside park, and potentially a ballpark. You also have the San Pedro Square Market, a Convention Center expansion, and half a dozen high-rises that will break ground at some point in the future.

    Anonymous #2: This blog focuses on the positive things happening in San Jose... you know, things to look forward to. If you want to discuss budgets and politics, I highly recommend checking out San Jose Inside ( That is a great place for those types of discussions.

    Eric: I usually spend 2 days a week Downtown (all parts, I like to discover some place new each week) and know of many readers that live downtown and enjoy it. I agree that things are not perfect, and am thinking about starting an online forum for downtown san jose residents. Making downtown vibrant is a team effort, we can't blame everything on the city or the police. I'm hoping that a forum will help bring issues to light and make it easier to create an action plan.

  7. Um, I'm Anonymous #1. If San Jose can't get downtown right, we don't deserve North San Jose. Come on.

  8. I live downtown, and read this blog daily!! In regards to only looking at positive things, everyone knows the negative things of San Jose and its downtown. Why reiterate the perception that is out there? If people like Josh and myself (who also writes a San Jose blog) continue to focus on the good of downtown and future development we can change perception and also highlight the reasons to go downtown if you don't already live here. I see these blogs as a marketing tool to bring people in instead of discouraging them away with negative preconceived notions.

  9. This story is really old. I remember this from the Mercury news about maybe four years ago. Looks the same except now they have a Target at the end of it..Even Lew Wolff has said himself that San Jose needs to finish there first downtown before trying to make another.

  10. Thanks for the pointer to san jose inside - will check it out.

    While its good to be positive and use this as a marketing tool etc, you have tread carefully. Too much fluff with little substance or results will have the opposite effect - will drive people away. Just my 2 cents.

    And I think I was a little out of line with my first comment - I apologize. Sometimes frustration takes over.

  11. Unfortunately, whether preconceived notions or not, downtown consists of low budget, club-going drunk losers, public urination, angry cops, and blocks of vacant storefronts interspersed with mostly lame, under-performing businesses. That may sound harsh, but I live in the core of downtown and it's the unfortunate reality.

    Until concerned citizens and more talented, committed elected officials start having a more realistic dialogue, the things that hold San Jose back are going to linger or even snowball.

    Seriously, let's speak in real terms.

  12. It's not so much a "fascination" with North San Jose as an acknowledgment that the type of companies that are located here - either now or hopefully in the future - simply do not want to be in downtown.

    How many high tech companies are located in DTSJ? Adobe...who else?

    Oracle owned that impressive building (they used to call it the Sobrato building) at one time after buying BEA Systems, but immediately put it back on the market.

    It's not just SJ that these companies avoid...Cisco, Google, Facebook, Apple, Oracle, eBay, HP, etc...they all want campus style offices away from the DT.

    That is what this "vision" is all about. Jobs and locating people near those jobs to utilize public transport, have shopping close to home, etc.

  13. Acer and PWC's Technology Division (going in the Sobrato building) are two other big players downtown. There are also many smaller tech companies located throughout DT. But this is true, large companies seem to prefer traditional corporate campuses.