Tuesday, January 18, 2022

January 2022 Downtown Dimension Highlights

The January 2022 Downtown Dimension is now available for download.
This month's newsletter highlights:  
  • After 33 years, SJDA rebrands and has a new logo
  • Miro wins the Jim Fox Golden Nail Award
  • Meet the 2022 SJDA Board of Directors
  • Council redistricting results in downtown 2x representation, with boundary division at Guadalupe Parkway
  • Attorney Michael Schwerin shares thoughts of his 33 years of the view from offices at Market and Santa Clara streets
  • A new set of Downtown Doors dots the community landscape
  • DashMart and Dr. Funk are added to downtown's business roster
  • Nine days left to skate at Downtown Ice this season

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

SJDA 2021 Year in Review

2021's "Year in Review" was just as interesting as the last one. Scott Knies again does an amazing job of highlighting the significant events of the year--both positive and negative.

A few surprises for me were that the Google project in Downtown West is moving forward uncontested (no lawsuits for once), San Jose now has the highest vaccination rate by far among the 10 largest cities in the US, and the MIRO project already has 90 residential leases and a new bar/restaurant concept coming in 2022. 

You can watch the whole presentation, including the unveil of the modern new SJDA logo and MIRO winning the 2021 Golden Nail Award over here.

Thursday, December 23, 2021

CA Great America Winterfest 2021

(SANTA CLARA, CA) Nov. 23, 2022 - The Bay Area’s most immersive holiday event returns this season, beginning November 26 and sparkling brighter than ever before. Running select dates until January 9, 2022, this magical outdoor experience has been extended to include additional operating days in the new year.

“We’re so pleased we could bring safe, fun and amazing experiences back into people’s lives this holiday season,” said Barb Granter, general manager. “WinterFest is one of Northern California’s most spectacular winter events and gives our guests the opportunity to enjoy time with friends and family, while making new holiday memories.”

About WinterFest
WinterFest features holiday fun for the entire family, including:

  • Ice Skating on Snow Flake Lake*: Glide down Snow Flake Lake as it glistens in front of Carousel Columbia, the tallest carousel in the world, providing the most picturesque ice rink in the South Bay.

  • Holiday Lights and décor: Great America has once again been transformed with millions of festive lights and stunning holiday décor. From the North Pole Outpost, to Charlie Brown’s Christmastown and Tinsel Town Fair, the entire park has been themed to the holidays.

  • Live Shows:  Experience more than 10 live holiday shows during your visit to WinterFest.  From our spectacular nightly Tree Lighting Ceremony to the high energy Cool Yule Christmas, you won’t be able to resist singing along.

  • Festive Activities: Have you ever wanted to see Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tree or make cookies with Mrs. Claus*?  At WinterFest, you can do just that and more with your friends and family.

  • Holiday Themed Food:  Treat your taste buds to a delectable menu of holiday fare. From Gourmet Hot Chocolate to Gingerbread Churros, WinterFest features a wide variety of savory holiday meals and homemade snacks prepared by the Great America culinary team. 

  • Rides: A trip to WinterFest would not be complete without a spin on your favorite family rides.  With more than 30 rides open for WinterFest, including both big and little thrills, Great America has fun for the whole family waiting.

*Additional charge activity.

For complete information on WinterFest, including a full list of shows and attractions, operating hours and tickets, please visit https://www.cagreatamerica.com/winterfest

 About California’s Great America

California’s Great America is a 100-acre theme and waterpark located in Santa Clara, California. As Northern California’s premier amusement park, featuring thrill rides, live entertainment, and in 2020 the new South Bay Shores waterpark, California’s Great America is the top destination for thrill-seekers and families alike. 

 About Cedar Fair Entertainment Company

California’s Great America is owned and operated by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company (NYSE: FUN), a publicly traded partnership and one of the largest regional amusement-resort operators in the world. The Company owns and operates 11 amusement parks, four outdoor water parks, an indoor water park and resort accommodations totaling more than 2,300 rooms and more than 600 luxury RV sites. For more information, see www.cedarfair.com.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

December 2021 Downtown Dimension Highlights

The DECEMBER 2021 Downtown Dimension is now available for download.
This month's newsletter highlights:  
  • Knight Foundation will support SJDA's Beautiful Tableau initiative, which will aid in downtown's recovery and transition, for the next five years.
  • The Source Zero is the first MOMENT shop to transition to downtown San Jose retail store.
  • SJDA Board President Katia McClain reflects on her two-year term during pandemic and downtown's future. 
  • Holiday events are sure to bring good cheer to downtown this month.
  • Adrian Ortega earned Groundwerx's top award by picking up a ton of leaves the past two months.
  • In keeping with its August 2020 Stabilization Plan, SJDA has opened a business support center.
  • Meet Chris Arkley, SJDA's new Community Engagement Manager.

Monday, November 22, 2021

November 2021 Downtown Dimension Highlights

The NOVEMBER 2021 Downtown Dimension is now available for download.
This month's newsletter highlights:  
  • Kristi Yamaguchi Downtown Ice returns for its 25th season. Skating under the palms begins Nov. 19. Christmas in the Park returns to Plaza de Cesar Chavez, too.
  • Silicon Valley Turkey Trot and Santa Run Silicon Valley will both be run virtually this year.
  • SJDA proposes Clean Community Fee to take care of messes.
  • SoFA motel slated for homeless housing
  • Original Groundwerx detailer earns Employee of the Month recognition
  • Coming Nov. 5: Sonic Runway of Burning Man fame.
  • SJDA spread Abierto funds among seven recipients who have some special events planned for downtown
  • Newly approved crane fee is meant to take care of airline fee losses when construction cranes exceed maximum heights
  • Dai-Thanh Super Market will have to move from downtown someday when it is redeveloped. The owners have purchased locations to the east and south of downtown and plan two new locations.
  • Opening Nov. 1 at San Pedro Square Market:  Hella Good burgers and shakes.

NEXT SJDA PUBLIC MEETING:  Dec. 10 Year-in-Review meeting, starting 8:15 a.m.  You can attend in person at Hammer Theatre Center! Or by viewing it through Zoom or Facebook Live. Registration details will be posted here.

Agenda includes the year-end presentation on the big screen, Golden Nail awards and words board members reaching the end of their terms.  Hope you can make it.

Sunday, October 31, 2021

Happy Halloween 2021!! + Halloween in the Park (Part XIII)

Happy Halloween everyone, hope you have a blast tonight! I'm optimistic today will mark some return to some normalcy after a brutal two years.

Usually in October we have a wish-list post for Halloween in the Park. The idea is to build on the momentum that Christmas in the Park brings to San Jose each year and create something of similar scale for the month of October with Halloween in the Park! A lot of the infrastructure such as wiring, lighting, and booths might even be able to be shared between the events. The goal would be to make Downtown San Jose the epicenter of October Halloween experiences.

Below you will find brainstorming ideas we have collected for this concept so far over the years. Please have a look and provide your feedback and suggestions in the comments. Thanks!

The largest draw to Downtown San Jose for many years now has been Christmas in the Park. It has continued to grow year after year and brings in visitors from all over the Bay Area. It's economic impact is substantial and helps keep many Downtown businesses and restaurants alive.

What would you think about a similar event for Halloween? Picture Downtown lit up in orange and purple with elaborate Halloween displays assembled by local artists. Perhaps infrastructure could even be shared with Christmas in the Park (e.g. retail booths). A strong event in October would help maintain traffic between the summer months and Christmas in the Park. 
Here are the ideas we have so far:
  • Animated Halloween Displays
    • Created by local artists
    • Analogous to the Christmas displays that attract many families during Christmas in the Park (almost half a million visitors)
    • Family friendly so that everyone can enjoy it (PG/PG13, perhaps around the same level as Great America Halloween Haunt)
    • Halloween Lighting
      • Orange, purple, and green LED lighting on trees
      • May be possible to use new programmable LED lighting that can go from Halloween colors to Christmas colors with the push of a button, allowing the lights to stay up for Christmas in the Park as well and reducing setup/take-down costs.
    • Halloween Food
      • Booths with candied apples, chocolates, candy, pumpkin seeds, etc.
      • Food trucks
      • Trick-or-treating station - a free piece of candy to anyone wearing a costume any day in October (could also be used to hand out promotional flyers for Downtown events/businesses/resources)
    • Retail Booths selling Halloween items, for example:
      • Artwork (paintings, glass pumpkins, etc.)
      • Home decor/crafts like candles
      • Light-up hats/necklaces/bracelets
      • Costumes
      • Zombie/Halloween make-up station 
    • Halloween-themed Carnival Games
      • Pirates of Emerson and Candlelighters (Fremont) do a good job of providing family-friendly games themed around Halloween
      • A handful of children's rides could also be added to the Paseo and reused for Christmas in the Park
    • Interactive Art
      • Subzero/ZERO1-style, but with a Halloween spin.
      • Halloween-themed video game kiosks and/or arcades
    • Pumpkins
      • Instead of the sponsored Christmas trees in Christmas in the Park, how about decorated Pumpkins (can even be Styrofoam so there is no mess/decay)?
      • Pumpkin carving station for families. 
      • Pumpkin carving contest.
    • Costumed Entertainers
      • Walking around the area, not necessarily scaring people but adding to the ambiance and providing photo opportunities for families
    • Haunts / Mazes
      • Would be ideal if these were nearby, perhaps in vacant retails spaces, surface parking lots, the San Jose Convention Center tent, or at SJSU.
      • Could partners with one of the established San Jose haunt providers such as Deadtime Dreams or The World's Largest Haunted House.
    • Potential Events
      • Zombie-O-Rama can be used to kick off Halloween in the Park (late Sep. / early Oct. time-frame)
      • Zombie Crawl
      • Dia De Los Muertos Events
      • Halloween/Dia De Los Muertos Bike Party
      • Horror Movie Trivia Contest
      • Weekly horror movie screening (perhaps in the Circle of Palms area?)
      • Costume Ball
      • Pet costume contests and pet-friendly events

      Monday, October 18, 2021

      October 2021 Downtown Dimension Highlights

      The OCTOBER 2021 Downtown Dimension is now available for download.
      This month's newsletter highlights:  
      • The next step to our economic recovery -- big events extending to weekdays
      • The return to the stage has not been easy.  Lisa Mallette of City Lights Theatre Co. explains.
      • The Colbeck brothers of San Jose get inside a 19th Century home where their mother was born.  Google has plans to save the house by moving it to the Creekside Walk section of its Downtown West development.
      • The fourth version of SJdowntown.com is launched and active. Take a look.
      • Groundwerx' Employee of the Month Joel Ramirez loves his job, downtown and his Groundwerx family.
      • New businesses include Gameshop Downstairs, Cash Bar and Punch King Fit.

      Saturday, October 9, 2021

      September 2021 Downtown Dimension Highlights

      The SEPTEMBER 2021 Downtown Dimension is now available for download.
      This month's newsletter highlights:  
      • SJDA provides an overview of how it has responded to the Stabilization Plan released in August 2020 and meant to navigate the COVID crisis into economic recovery.
        Deemed most essential to recovery: Continued clean and safe services and the renewal of the Property Owners Business Improvement District.
      • In August, SJDA hired a new Business resiliency Manager, Omar Torres, who will assist businesses with their economic recoveries.
      • Groundwerx' Employee of the Month is Angelina Lopez.
      • New businesses include Western International Securities, Rec Room, and Health Carbon
      • An 87-unit affordable housing project breaks ground at Almaden Boulevard and Balbach Street.
      • Newly named Barack Obama Boulevard will be part of Downtown West, surrounded by SAP Center, Diridon Station and Los Gatos Creek.