- A pilot program launched in July to turn some street parking spaces into sidewalk dining (similar to the space outside Caffe Frascati). Chacho's is expected to be one of the first restaurants to take advantage of this
- The City Council is selling off RDA-owned parcels in order to help pay down the agency's $4B debt. (The new owners of these parcels will hopefully be willing to redevelop them into something that adds value to the community).
- A $210M family courthouse has been approved in the new state budget and construction is set to begin in 2013 and end in 2015. This will create 20 new courtrooms in a 234,000 sqft building that could be up to 9 or 10 stories tall.
- Sign code has been amended to be more flexible, allowing programmable electronic signs on a variety of businesses and larger signs for event venues such as the Rep (which can now have up to a 25 foot high electronic sign)
- 3,500 people attended the Fountain Blues Festival in St. James Park, a 33% increase over the previous year.
- Groundwerx projects planned for the rest of 2012:
- Install decorative LED lighting along First and Second streets between Santa Clara and San Carlos (the transit mall).
- Paint a design on the walls of the parking lot fronting Almaden and Woz across from the convention center.
- Assist in the construction of granite benches in SoFA
- New Businesses
- Original Gravity Public House (66 S. First) - New craft brew pub with 25 beers on tap that rotate multiple times per week, gourmet sausages, and duck-fat fries (Josh: have already been here, epic new addition Downtown)
- Siren Fish & Reptiles (18 N. First) - Specialty pets such as fish, birds, and reptiles.
- Lilies Hair Studio & Barber Shop (196 N. Third - 2nd Floor)
- Beauty P & T Hair and Nail Salon (92 E. San Salvador)
- Don's Shoeshine (160 W. Santa Clara St.)
Monday, August 20, 2012
August 2012 Downtown Dimension Highlights
Here are my notes from the latest edition of Downtown Dimension: