Thursday, December 7, 2023

San Jose approves 913 apartments east of Downtown

San Jose has given the green light for a major housing project near Little Portugal and Roosevelt Park. The 913 apartment development will be one of the anchors of the Five Wounds Urban Village plan, centered around a future BART station and a historic 109-year-old church.

There will be a total of six buildings, and 407 of the units will be priced as below market-rate. Most of those "affordable" units will be priced for people earning up to 80% of the median income, which is $96,000 for a single person and $137,000 for a household of four.

235 of the apartment will be built on 1.5 acres at 1298 Tripp Avenue and will be called Residencias Arianna. It will replace 40 existing apartments and two single-family homes with a single six-story building.

The other five buildings will be on 3.3 acres of land at 1325 E. Julian St. Three buildings will rise to be 10 stories tall and the fourth will be six stories. This is respectable density for this neighborhood.

The project also includes 15,000 SQFT of commercial space on the ground floors and 267 parking spaces shared among all of the apartments. That's right, not everyone will get a space. However with multiple bus lines and eventually BART servicing the area, it might be one of those few neighborhoods in San Jose where you can get around without a car.

Groundbreaking is scheduled for 2024 and it will take around three years to complete.

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Luxurious 21-story residential high-rise proposed for Tasman with a surprise amenity on top

Tasman East by Levi's Stadium has been on a roll lately. Santa Clara's two tallest buildings are almost complete and already another high-rise is being proposed for the area right across the street from them.

Tasman East, Parcel 11 is a 21-story apartment complex that would have 198 homes, 310 automotive parking spaces, 110 spots for bike parking, and easy access to VTA Light Rail and the numerous amenities coming to the Levi's Stadium area this decade. The building is 218 feet tall with 3,000 SQFT of retail on the ground floor

There will be two amenity areas. On the 6th floor podium there will be an outdoor fitness space, yoga patio, and private patios. The second one will have something special. 

I was really hoping that San Jose would have the first swimming pool on top of a high-rise in the Bay Area (I'm looking at you Tribute Hotel next to the Four Points Downtown). However, if this moves forward it will not even be the first, but the second--in Santa Clara. The proposal has an epic penthouse amenity deck with a full pool, hot tub/spa, cabanas, and outdoor dining. Given our amazing South Bay weather and high cost of living, this is one luxury we should see a lot more of in proposed residential projects to help justify those big bucks. If you're wondering where the first high-rise pool is, it will be at the Tasman Senior Housing tower across the street.

As for the apartments themselves, there will be 28 studios, 87 one-bedrooms, 61 two-bedrooms, 15 three-bedrooms, and seven penthouse units. The average size of the units will be close to 1,000 SQFT.

Long-term, there could be up to 11 projects like this one with around 4,500 apartments total. This is just the beginning and the skyline is already surprisingly different around Tasman than it was just a few years ago.

Source: SF YIMBY

San Jose Christmas Poem

It's amazing what generative AI can do these days. Below is a ChatGPT4-generated poem about Christmas in San Jose that is spot on. Below the poem is a DALL-E 3-generated image of Christmas in San Jose. The system made up an entirely fictionalized version of Downtown San Jose, although it's worth noting that our City Hall was once in the center of Plaza de Cesar Chavez. 

San Jose is a city of lights and dreams
Where people come from near and far
To enjoy the festive spirit and the winter charms
The Christmas in the Park is a wonderland of joy
With trees and snowmen and a giant Ferris wheel
The ice skating rink is a place to glide and laugh
With friends and family and a cup of hot cocoa
The Tech Museum of Innovation is a gift for the curious
With exhibits and activities that spark the imagination
The Winchester Mystery House is a mystery to explore
With secret passages and stairways that lead nowhere
San Jose is a city of culture and diversity
Where people celebrate their traditions and their faith
The Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph is a masterpiece of art
With stained glass windows and a majestic dome
The Mexican Heritage Plaza is a hub of community
With music and dance and a vibrant mural
The San Jose Museum of Art is a showcase of creativity
With paintings and sculptures and a rotating collection
San Jose is a city of love and peace
Where people share their hopes and their gratitude
The Christmas tree lighting is a moment of magic
With fireworks and songs and a special guest
The holiday parade is a spectacle of fun
With floats and bands and a jolly Santa Claus
The food drive is a gesture of kindness
With donations and volunteers and a noble cause

San Jose is a city of Christmas cheer
Where people live in harmony and happiness
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Monday, December 4, 2023

New Downtown San Jose illustrations

Phillip Gonzales from West Coast Artworks prints original illustrations highlighting our city with a pinch of creative license on museum-grade canvas. As mentioned before, I have bought a couple of his pieces in the past and love them (in fact, everyone that sees them loves them).

He has two new art pieces. The first takes a look down San Fernando featuring The 88, 50 West San Fernando, St. Joseph's Basilica, One South, and The Bank of America Building.

The second is a newer version of one of his most popular illustrations. The perspective is of SoFA from San Carlos at street level. Nirvana Soul, The Continental, and the SoFA Market are new additions as is the Sparq midrise in the background.

I'm looking forward to more of his projects in the future--I just need to free up more wall space. To go through all of his work, head over here! 

Sunday, December 3, 2023

Santa Clara County building 213-units of affordable housing in Downtown San Jose

A parcel of land at 675 E. Santa Clara St. at outer edge of Downtown San Jose (16th Street) is going to be redeveloped into affordable housing by the Core Companies and Eden Housing. It would include 113 multi-family affordable housing units, 64 units just for senior citizens, and 36 for-sale BMR (below market rate) townhomes.

There is some pushback from local housing advocates on building height... specifically that it is not tall or dense enough for a new project Downtown. Originally there were going to be a couple four-story building and one 13 to 16 story high-rise. The latest plan has been downsized to an eight-story midrise as well as a five and three-story building. Because of this, Catalyze SV, a local nonprofit focused on community engagement, is not supporting the project as is.

It's worth noting that this isn't sitting right on Santa Clara Street, it's on St. John St. 10 blocks away from San Jose City Hall. It's about equal distance to the core of Downtown San Jose as Little Portugal. While it is a bit of a lost opportunity for another high-rise and maximum affordable housing density, there is enough developable land in the area that some affordable housing and density improvement is better than nothing. 

Saturday, December 2, 2023

Fountain Blues Foundation event this Sunday, Dec 3rd 🎷

The San Jose Fountain Blues & Brews Festival is held in Downtown San Jose every summer and in 2024 they'll be going on their 41st year. To prepare for this even they are hosting a fundraiser this Sunday at the Tabard Theater which will come alive with the soulful melodies of the Fountain Blues Foundation's Board of Directors, featuring The Bob Gonzalez Band, Pearl Alley, and other members of the Board.

The even runs from 4pm-7pm and reserved Cabaret Table Seating is $45 while reserved Tiered Seating: $35.

Your ticket also includes delectable hors d’oeuvres by Poor House Bistro:
- Sausage Bread with Marinara Sauce
- Fried Chicken with Marinara & BBQ Ranch Sauce
- Caprese on a Stick (Grape Tomatoes, Fresh Mozzarella & Basil with Balsamic Drizzle)

Attendance will make a difference in preserving and promoting the blues culture in San Jose! Tickets are available at:

Friday, December 1, 2023

South FIRST FRIDAY Dec 1st, 2023 in #DTSJ #ArtwalkSJ

South FIRST FRIDAYS is back today will exhibits across multiple galleries in three different districts. Everything is open from at least 5-10pm. Participating venues include ANNO DOMINI, the Institute of Contemporary Art, KALEID Gallery, Works San Jose, the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles, the SoFA Market, MACLA, Art Ark Gallery, MACHU PICCHU, Natural Do Salon, 1Culture, San Jose Jazz, and Chopsticks Alley Gallery.

Worth noting this month is a "drop in" evening of big band arrangements and Christmas favorites at the San Jose Jazz Break Room between 7pm-8:30pm. Symphony San Jose is also doing an open rehearsal for their concert American Portrait from 7:30pm-10pm at the California Theatre.

It all goes down today, December 1st. As usual admission is free and all ages are welcome. Click here for a preview of featured art! Below is a map with all of the galleries to check out across all three different districts.

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Santa Run Silicon Valley is coming to San Jose on Dec 17th

Are you ready to join thousands of Santas, elves, reindeer, and other festive characters for a fun and charitable event in Downtown San Jose? If so, mark your calendars for December 17th, when the 12th Annual Santa Run Silicon Valley will take place.

The Santa Run Silicon Valley is a 5K run/walk that benefits Christmas in the Park and the Downtown Streets Team, two local organizations that work to make San Jose a safe, clean, and vibrant place for everyone. The event is organized by the Silicon Valley Leadership Group Foundation, which also produces the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot and the Lam Research Heart & Soles Run.

The Santa Run Silicon Valley is not just a race, it's a celebration of the holiday spirit. Participants are encouraged to dress up as their favorite holiday character or tradition, and enjoy the festive atmosphere at the start and finish lines. There will also be a costume contest, a kids reindeer dash, and a virtual run option for those who can't make it in person.

The race starts at 8 AM at W Santa Clara Street and Almaden Avenue, and follows a scenic route through Downtown San Jose. The finish line is at Christmas in the Park, where you can enjoy the beautiful displays and attractions. You can also visit the nearby Winter Wonderland for some ice skating and carnival rides.

If you want to be part of this merry event, you can register online at until December 16th, or on race day at the San Jose Chamber of Commerce. The registration fee is $45 for the 5K Santa Run and $25 for the Kids Reindeer Dash (ages 2-7). You can also sign up as a Holiday Hero for $500 or $1000 and get extra perks like VIP parking, a private tent, and recognition on the website. All proceeds go to support Christmas in the Park and Downtown Streets Team.

Don't miss this chance to have some fun, get some exercise, and give back to our community. The Santa Run Silicon Valley is a San Jose tradition that you won't want to miss!