Friday, September 28, 2012

Impact of Redevelopment on Downtown San Jose

Interesting 6 minute discussion about redevelopment Downtown with Bert Robinson, managing director for Bay Area News Group:


  1. Wow, is it revitalized? As far as I'm concerned, downtown is a failure and a disaster.

  2. Jabla, let me count the way:

    1) Downtown is clean. Oh it's CLEAN. Not a day goes by where I don't see a Groundwerx truck whiz by :)

    2) Good-looking parks.
    - Guadalupe River Park, which I just finished biking up and down this morning.
    - The new Gore Park looks great! Very open, and gives the SoFA district a fresh new look. They're still growing the grass right now so I don't see a lot of foot traffic yet. But I like how it's open and you can see straight up the Bank of Italy building up 1st Street. You can also see the art buildings clearly now as well from Monterey Road, they were blocked before.

    3) The new San Pedro Square Market. If you have not checked it out yet, you owe it to yourself. And don't be such a snob when you walk through, it's only a year old but is already one of the best places to hang out in town, not just in downtown.

    4) Festivals. 01SJ, Subzero, etc. Was biking through the River Park 3 weeks ago and ran into a New Orleans music festival. Wife and I took a detour and found the Poor House Bistro, a cajun joint, south of Diridon Station. Never knew about it! I just walked through the Friday's Farmer's Market on San Pedro earlier and it's packed, as always.

    5) Nightlife. The clubs, though some of you may hate it, are here to stay and always pack on the weekends. The lounges are nice as well. Weekly jazz nights and piano bar in the Fairmont, if you're into quieter entertainment. The new speakeasy Singlebarrel bar lines out the door every freakin Friday/weekend nights. And you're not that far from Japantown :)

    6) Children's Discovery Museum, Tech Museum, and Art Museum are all doing well, as usual. And they're close to the Egyptian Art Museum, the Rosicrucian Planetarium, and San Jose's Rose Garden.

    7) Sharks! Need I say more?! Henry's Hi-Life BBQ!!! And I just found a small subterranean sports bar on 1st street 3 weeks ago when I went to the 01SJ festival in downtown!

    Give it time Jabla. Especially if you have not been down downtown for awhile. There are many places in downtown that are not heavily advertised or known, even by the residents around downtown. You'll have to walk/bike the whole place to find them, that's part of the fun though ;)

    By the way, I'm writing this sitting outside Bijan Bakery, nice place, good foot traffic in the 1st-2nd alleyway. It's a really nice spot to rest up with some desserts, especially after I just wrapped up biking up and down downtown's Guadalupe River Park.

    1. Bob, you got a point. I haven't been spending too much time downtown and been fed by all those negative opinions of downtown by the people of San Jose and beyond. I hardly ever go there, and I should give it a try. The last time I was there was a few years ago. I'll check it out as soon as I can.

    2. No problem Jabla, just glad you're giving downtown another shot :)

      And you're pretty much right about "a few years ago". It certainly wasn't dumpy a few years ago, but nowhere near the happening like now. I should know, I went to SJSU and never bothered to walk around downtown much back in the early 2000's.

      Just a few years ago the River Park was pretty bla, none of the high rises have gone up, the massive library has not been built, and Groundwerx was not even around to perform their extreme attention to cleanliness. Heck...the building that I'm working in downtown right now has not even been been built yet!

      Things have changed quite a bit! Give it a shot, sir!