Monday, March 21, 2016

Big changes coming to Santana Row's Park Valencia, including churned-to-order ice cream

Park Valencia is one of the most popular public spaces in Santana Row. Even though it is barely over a decade old and has already received multiple upgrades, it is currently undergoing a major renovation that will make a very nice plaza even nicer. Below you can see a drawing of what it will look like after the renovation.

The grass turf in the middle will be replaced, additional landscaping will be added, and new cafe tables and seating areas will be installed throughout the park. One of the biggest changes will be a new interactive playground for kids, complete with a miniature climbing structure, "lizard-skin" turf, and four new sculptures (one of which you can see below). The sculptures are designed for children to touch, sit on, and play with.

Two brand new kiosk buildings around 600 SQFT each will be added, allowing for even more food options in the area. One of those will be filled by Smitten Ice Cream, an artisinal churned-to-order ice cream shop using high-end ingredients from local farms. They use a proprietary machine that churns out ice cream within minutes after being ordered--you can't get ice cream any fresher than that. Only six other locations exist and they are all highly rated on Yelp. I can see long lines for this one, especially on warmer days.

The renovated Park Valencia will be ready in time for Summer. Smitten Ice Cream is expected to open late Summer.

San Jose, CA (March 16, 2016) – Over the last decade, Park Valencia has proven to be a popular, social gathering hub for the community.

“As Santana Row has evolved into a vibrant and bustling neighborhood, it’s time to refresh and enhance its appeal for our residents, employees, visitors, shoppers and retailers” said Collette Navarrette, Director of Marketing at Santana Row. “We have watched the evolution of Park Valencia over the last decade and in particular what our customers value when they visit this plaza. They want to have fun, eat and spend time with their friends and family. This is not just a makeover, we are reinventing Park Valencia to deliver a better place for our community to connect.”

The transformed plaza, opening this summer, will expand its lineup of places to dine with two new food merchants including Smitten Ice Cream, an artisanal ice cream shop expected to open in late summer. Smitten will offer its cult-favorite frozen treats from classic flavors like TCHO chocolate and Cookie Dough with Pretzels and Chocolate Chips to more innovative seasonal flavors like Strawberry White Balsamic and Nectarine Crisp, in addition to its selection of creative toppings and fun sundaes.  Smitten is known and loved in the Bay Area for its made-to-order scoops that use only the best ingredients from nearby farms and purveyors. The ice cream is made using Smitten’s patented machine, which churns the smoothest, purest and creamiest ice cream in minutes before your eyes.

The lively and family-friendly atmosphere of Park Valencia make the perfect new home for Smitten. The 600-square foot shop will be a walk up ice cream bar surrounded by plenty of outdoor seating, a dynamic fountain and a kid’s playground. In addition, Maggiano's Little Italy will unveil a new and expanded outdoor patio, bringing the energy from Park Valencia to patio diners.

Kids of all ages will love the interactive playground with a tot-sized climbing structure, mounted in a brightly-colored "lizard-skin" turf. Four lifelike chameleon sculptures will look as if they’re lounging in the new "Chameleon Oasis," fountain. The stunning pieces, made by renowned artist Ron Holthuysen of Scientific Arts Studio, are low to the ground and designed for children to play on and touch. The chameleons are modeled after four unique species found in different parts of the world and range in size from two feet in length to more than six-feet long. Holthuysen is best known for sculpting the catcher's mitt and Coca-Cola bottle at AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants. He also made the learning sculptures at the San Francisco Zoo and San Jose's Rotary PlayGarden. New café tables and seating areas will be added and the popular grass turf will be replaced.

From upscale dining at Maggiano’s Little Italy and Roots and Rye to gourmet cupcakes at Kara’s and made-to-order ice cream at Smitten, there's something for everyone in Park Valencia. Kids will love the dynamic play elements and fountain, and adults can unwind while enjoying live music on the entertainment stage. The new park will be bright and inviting, offering a dynamic and unique experience for the community to adore.

1 comment:

  1. Do we know who is completing the construction on this project?