Monday, December 30, 2019

SJDA Year in Review 2019 + Flashback to 1989

We're closing out a strong year for Downtown San Jose filled with a multitude of new project announcements across every sector: residential, commercial, hotel, entertainment, and transportation. No one summarizes it better than Scott Knies from the San Jose Downtown Association. Below is his full presentation that highlights the most significant events of 2019 and touches on where we are going in 2020.

As an added bonus, you can also watch a SJDA video from 1989 to see how far we've come in the past 30 years.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Last Days for Santa Clara Valley Brewing

Farewell to venerable Santa Clara Valley Brewing. They're open today, but their last day will be tomorrow, Saturday, December 28.

Santa Clara Valley Brewing contributed much to the local beer scene, helping to elevate its status with recent medals at the prestigious Great American Beer Festival the last couple of years. Many of their beers were also named after local historic landmarks.

After announcing their closure last week, many local beer fans have been visiting the brewery and taproom to pay their final respects.

They are open today, 12-8pm, and their final day is tomorrow from 12-10pm.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

We hope that you and your family have a wonderful holiday season.

If you have already done the standard San Jose holiday traditions at Christmas in the Park and Santana Row, you can go on an adventure through our neighborhoods. You can find the addresses of the most decorated homes in San Jose over here. Some even have light shows synced to music--it's worth the drive.

Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 23, 2019

Museum Place tower moves forward

A 20-story mixed-use tower next to the Tech Interactive museum has been unanimously approved. "Museum Place" will replace Parkside Hall behind the Tech with 928,000 SQFT of new office space, 8,400 SQFT of retail, and a 60,000 SQFT expansion of the museum.

This was originally going to be a hotel and residential tower, but given the state of the market the project was converted to commercial users instead. As San Jose is the only large city in the country whose daytime population decreases, this seems like a fair change to help correct our jobs/housing imbalance (San Jose needs more jobs, other Silicon Valley cities need to step up for housing).

If all goes well, Museum Place will break ground in 2020.

Source: SVBJ

Monday, December 16, 2019

Modular hotel coming soon to North San Jose

There hasn't been the same level of innovation in construction over the past several decades as other industries such as computers and health care. One of the major innovations that will greatly reduce construction timeliness and bring down costs is modular construction. Most of the project is built off-site in a factory and the pieces are then assembled like Legos on site.

A new Hilton Garden Inn in San Jose is being built in this fashion by stacking 88 modular units on top of a podium near the airport at 101 east Gish Road. The units even came fully furnished. When complete the five-story hotel will have 150 room spread across 95,000 SQFT. The grand opening is currently slated for Spring 2020.

Source: SVBJ

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Great America WinterFest 2019

Now that the rain has stopped, it's the perfect time to go out and enjoy the holiday amenities around San Jose. Great America's WinterFest has a strong showing this year with almost all of the rides open, including the two newest roller coasters RailBlazer and Gold Striker. There are 10 different holiday-themed shows, ice skating, interactive cookie decorating, arts & crafts, and festive food throughout the park. If you're with small children, I'd recommend heading over to Camp Snoopy for a dozen toddler-friendly rides.

Every corner of the park was decked out and I had a great time just walking through each themed area and seeing the decorations. There's even a section with fire pits this year.

WinterFest runs until December 31st and is open every day except for the 21st, 24th, and 25th. Tickets start at $27 a person ($19 if you know someone with a season pass) and are available over here.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

December 2019 Downtown Dimension Highlights

The latest addition of Downtown Dimension is now live. Below is a summary of the content this month:
The DECEMBER 2019 Downtown Dimension is now available at:
  • For more than a decade, Veronica Moya has delivered the Downtown Dimension to downtown businesses.  This month, she will deliver the newsletter to her customers, who will get to read a profile all about her.  Moya is definitely a Downtown Gem, downtown ambassador and one of USPS's best. Be sure to tell her so when you see her on our streets.
  • SJDA put together a program to provide tenants of the brand-new and now-open Villas on the Park with day-to-day necessities, helping to "turn apartments into homes" for the previously homeless.
  • New schematics show what Diridon Station may look like in the near future.
  • Meet Katia McClain, SJDA's new President of its Board of Directors.
  • For 2020, developers will get a break on high-rise residential fees, in hopes that construction of a few entitled buildings actually begin.
  • Urban Catalyst continues to make moves to change downtown.
  • What do you think of the new barriers on Second Street? Can trains get through downtown faster? Will the barriers help with safety? As a pedestrian, are they helpful or a hindrance?
  • The Improv gets a beauty makeover and Adega Pastelaria brings tasty pastries to East Santa Clara Street.
  • December hours extended for Downtown Ice - time to take a few spins around this signature holiday activity.
You are invited to SJDA's annual Year-End meeting:  Dec. 13, 8 a.m. at the Hammer Theatre.  RSVP to attend at
FYI: Downtown Dimension is a leading source for information about downtown San Jose news, events and businesses.  Subscribe with a simple email to, subject line:  Subscribe
Copyright © 2019 San Jose Downtown Association, All rights reserved.

Monday, December 9, 2019

27-story Garden Gate Tower moves forward

A shiny residential tower proposed for SoFA recently received City Council approval to move forward. The 27-story tower at 600 South 1st Street would have 290 apartments, 4,840 SQFT of retail across five commercial condos (for-sale retail spaces), and 232 parking spaces. 28 of the 290 residential units would be categorized as affordable.

KT Urban presented two different options to the City Council. The other was to build a 850-bedroom co-living building that would be about the same size.

Hopefully this moves forward, we need more housing Downtown ASAP to keep the momentum going.

Source: SVBJ

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

SJC gets their first daytime nonstop to Boston

Next summer, you won't need to take a redeye if you're travelling to Boston. JetBlue is adding a daytime nonstop starting June 11, 2020. If you don't mind the redeye, don't worry that is sticking around.

JetBlue will also start flying to London from Boston in a couple years, so this will likely provide a nice alternative to British Airways from San Jose when those flights kick off in 2021. I've taken the British Airways SJC flight and it's fantastic, but can be expensive.

Speaking of cost, it looks like San Jose International is now the fourth most affordable airport in the country. This is based on average airfare and food costs. Our neighbor up north, SFO, is the 4th most expensive in the country. Something to keep in mind next time you fly.

Source: SVBJ

Monday, December 2, 2019

Latest concept plans for Diridon Station

In order to mitigate the traffic nightmare in the Bay Area, we have to locate jobs and homes close to transit. There is no better transit location in the South Bay than Diridon Station. Millions of square feet of office space, residential units, retail, and hotels are destined to be built near or next to the station. Needless to say, there is a lot of pressure to make the station live up to the attention it is getting. The centerpiece of Downtown San Jose's next phase of urbanization needs to be world class.

Below are some of the latest drawings from Dutch planning firms that are working on the next big redesign of the station. These need to incorporate BART and potentially High Speed Rail, as well as easier access from every direction.

Part of the concept is elevating the tracks for all lines except for Light Rail and BART, which will both meet the station underground. There will also be two main concourses beneath the rail lines with multiple entrances on both Santa Clara Street and San Fernando Street.

The drawings are quite impressive compared to the current layout of the station. I'm optimistic the final product will do the Capital of Silicon Valley justice.

Source: SVBJ

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving 2019!

Hope you all have a wonderful time and lots of delicious eats today. Warm wishes to you and your family from your friends at The San Jose Blog!

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Black Friday at Santana Row

Below is the list of Black Friday offers and specials at Santana Row this year:

An insider scoop on Black Friday festivities on The Row

Santana Row has planned a true ‘shoppers paradise’ for Black Friday this year! First, spend $1,000 or more on Friday, November 29 and receive a pair of tickets to Cirque du Soleil AMALUNA performing at Oracle Park! Secondly, enjoy complimentary gift wrapping, live holiday music and more throughout Black Friday on The Row. *See link for details.

As you shop for the season’s gifts and must-haves, don’t forget to leave a new or gently used coat behind for a neighbor in need. One Warm Coat Charity Drive begins on Black Friday – drop your coats in the barrels located outside the Santana Row Concierge, CineArts Theatre, and Crate and Barrel (throughout December). Plus, enjoy the sound of live music and spectacular holiday d├ęcor with larger than life animal installations, mistletoe and more.

Here’s the exclusive list of this year’s Black Friday deals from Santana Row –

100% Pure

Opening at 9 a.m. with exclusive offers.

Atelier Salon

Open on Black Friday from 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. for a holiday sales event! 20% off all items! *Valid for full-priced items only – excludes gift sets, which are already marked 20% off.

Barry’s Bootcamp

Barry’s SHOP & POP – Black Friday only!
Swing by the Santana Row studio for a chance to win some special Barry’s prizes. For every $100 spent on retail, packages, or gift cards, you’ll have the chance to pop a balloon containing retail gifts, free passes, shakes & more!

BellaU Spa & Wellness

Buy 2 get 1 Free (Signature facial, Eminence facial, Swedish massage, Eminence massage). Buy 3 get 1 Free (Hydrafacial, Microchanneling). All products 10% off.

Blue Bottle Coffee

Opening at 7 a.m.


Black Friday Week: 11/25/19 – 12/1/19
Special offer on our Osaka Sofa – for one week only! Black Friday Week only, from $1,099 USD + 15% off our entire collection!


35% off exclusive to Guideshop’s ONLY.

Crate & Barrel

Opening at 8 a.m. with exclusive offers!


Get $10 off your Black Friday blowout and a $10 off digital bounce-back for a blowout in January. Plus, 20% off products, tools, and kits.


Opening at 6 a.m. with door buster discounts.


Opening at 8 a.m. with markdown celebrations.

Makers Market

20% off purchases of $100 or more.

Marine Layer

Extra 20% off Retired Styles, and complimentary gift wrapping for all purchases.

Native Shoes

Up to 60% off select merchandise.

Pressed Juicery

Check out the juiciest deals out there at Pressed Juicery! Get a juice or Freeze+ shot for $8 AND. the first 50 people at each store get 2 Juices + 2 Shots + 2 Snack Grab Bags for $10.


Don’t miss the 90-minute “Turkey Burn” at SoulCycle, starting at 9:30 a.m. on Black Friday!

Tea Collection

Tea Collection will be offering select styles at $20, $15, and $10 starting Monday, 11/25/19! Black Friday event applies to select styles only. Offer ends on 11/30/19. Limited stock on hand. Restrictions apply.

Ted Baker London

Enjoy 30% off everything in the store, with up to 40% and 50% off select items. *Terms and conditions apply.


50% off all racks (select merchandise). Buy one get one 50% off!

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

San Jose is a top city for public transit ridership increase

Between 2010 and 2017, public transit ridership increased by 11% in the US while car use only increased by 6%. What is more interesting--and perhaps shocking--is that San Jose's use of public transit shot up by 46.7%. This was the largest increase in the country during this time period.

Now 46.7% of a small number is still a small number. San Jose didn't rank in the top 10 cities for actual public transportation trips even though we are the 10th largest city in the US. In fact, much smaller cities like Portland, Baltimore, and Boston pushed us to 13th place when it comes to actual usage. That being said, the growth rate is reassuring that things are headed in the right direction and one day we will have more options of getting from Point A to Point B.

BART may finally open in December and that will definitely help our standings. Traffic is getting out of hand, a robust transit system will benefit everyone including those that still want to drive.

For more info and stats, hit the link below.

Source: STORAGECafe

Monday, November 25, 2019

Massive residential project proposed near Diridon Station

Miramar Capital and Pinion Property Company are proposing 762 new residences between McEvoy St. and Dupont Street. This is just a little south from Diridon Station, which will eventually become Northern California's transit center.

The exact height and massing are still under consideration, but it will include one or more midrise buildings with courtyards like the rendering below. The housing would replace one and two-story commercial and industrial buildings.

Source: SVBJ

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

New office and fitness center proposed for West San Jose

Not all of our major development proposals are in Downtown or Midtown. Cypress Equities submitted a proposal for a 12-story office building and 24-hour gym in place of five low-rise buildings in West San Jose.

The 6.3-acre project at 3806 Stevens Creek Blvd includes 275,000 SQFT of office space, a 150,000 SQFT Life Times health club, 15,000 SQFT of retails, and a massive eight-story parking garage that takes up 495,000 SQFT [???]. For the urbanists out there, obviously this much parking is not ideal. Hopefully they will design the garage as flexible space that could be converted to another use in the future.

The project also includes a plaza at the intersection of Stevens Creek Boulevard and Northlake Drive.

Source: SVBJ

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Two new waterfront San Jose hotels are now open

Marriott has just opened a brand new Residence Inn and Fairfield Inn & Suites in San Jose's northernmost district, Alviso. This will add 261 much-needed rooms to Silicon Valley's pool of hotel facilities. The hotel is within a few miles of most tech companies in the Golden Triangle, as well as Levi's Stadium.

The location is a bit interesting since it is tucked deep into the America Center (Great America Parkway north of Highway 237). A major benefit is it's quiet and you actually get a bay-front view. Not many San Jose hotels can say that.

Residence Inn features all-suite rooms with kitchens, making them ideal for longer trips. Meanwhile the Fairfield Inn & Suites portion of the project is a more traditional hotel with king and double queen rooms.

Amenities include a putting green, basketball court, pickleball, a saltwater pool, fitness center, and a BBQ pit. When driving by I was happy to notice an abundance of EV chargers at the new hotel as well. There also appears to be direct trail access to really take advantage of that bay-front location.

Source: SJ Economy Blog

Monday, November 18, 2019

Google expanding in North San Jose

Google is looking into The Assembly campus in North San Jose for possible expansion. They could take somewhere between 800,000 and 900,000 SQFT according to the Business Journal. That should be enough for 4,000 employees or more.

In addition, they have already acquired eight buildings over the past couple years in North San Jose near Alviso. Those investments add up to over $400 million. If there was ever any question on whether Google was serious about investing in San Jose, I think these actions are pretty clear.

Source: SVBJ

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Steinway Society Announces Performer Change for Nov 17th Concert

SAN JOSE, CA – Korean pianist Changyong Shin will be the featured artist in the third concert of the Steinway Society 25th Anniversary Season on Sunday, November 17. He will replace Heejae Kim, who is unable to perform due to a hand injury. 

The concert will be held November 17, 2019 at 2:30 p.m. at Independence High School in San Jose. A pre-concert talk will start at 1:45 p.m. The artist will meet with audience members following the concert for questions and photos.

“We are thrilled that we are able to secure a pianist of the caliber of Changyong Shin to the South Bay on such short notice,” said Kathy Wilson, Steinway Society president. “We wish Heejae Kim a quick recovery from her recent injury.”

Born in Korea, Changyong Shin was the 2016 First Prize Winner of the Hilton Head International Piano Competition, and has taken first prize at numerous other global competitions. He made his Carnegie Hall debut in November 2016, receiving a standing ovation, and has performed in prestigious venues throughout Europe and Asia. He is also an accomplished chamber musician and has performed with groups in Korea, Paris, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, San Francisco and other U.S. cities. 

"He alternates between extreme fire and melting sensitivity, each of which gains by contrast to the other."
New York Concert Review
WHO: Steinway Society presents CHANGYONG SHIN
WHAT: Piano concert  
WHEN: Sunday, November 17, 2019, at 2:30 p.m.  Pre-concert lecture (1:45 p.m.). Meet-the-artist time follows the concert.
WHERE: Independence High School Theater, 617 North Jackson Avenue, San Jose, CA 
TICKETS/INFO: Single Tickets: $40-$60. Senior/Student Discounts Available. Student Rush $10, thirty minutes prior to performance. or 408-300-5635

Piano Sonata No. 30 in E major, Op. 109  
Vivace ma non troppo – Adagio espressivo
Gesangvoll, mit innigster Empfindung. Andante molto cantabilie et espressivo

Nocturne in B major, Op. 62, No. 1 
Scherzo No. 4  I E major, Op. 54


Gaspard de la Nuit 
Goyescas No. 1 “Los Requiebros”

PHOTO: Courtesy of Steinway Society.
 Acclaimed Korean performer Changyong Shin will appear in San Jose on November 17th as part of the Steinway Society’s 25th Anniversary Season.
Musical Link:   Chopin Nocturne in B major Op. 62 No. 1

Steinway Society - The Bay Area is a nonprofit organization based in Silicon Valley. Now entering its 25th season, this dedicated group of musicians, pianists, teachers and arts lovers promotes excellence in piano performance and music education. Each season, Steinway Society presents a series of classical piano concerts featuring international award-winning pianists, as well as an active school program. For more information on Season Subscriptions, the artists, and Steinway Society, go to

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

November 2019 Downtown Dimension Highlights

The latest addition of Downtown Dimension is now live. Below is a summary of the content this month:

The NOVEMBER 2019 Downtown Dimension is now available at:
  • Google submitted its application this month to develop the west side of downtown San Jose.  We offered highlights in the last edition, but this time, we have some juicy details of the plans that nobody else reported.
  • Google's not the only business making plans.  Take a look at the latest from Acquity Realty, San Jose Stage, KT Urban, Urban Community/Terrascape Ventures and Boston Properties.
  • SJDA Board President Michael Rewkiewicz has some thoughts on improving the East Santa Clara Street corridor between Market Street and City Hall.
  • Downtown Ice opens Nov. 15 in the Circle of Palms.  Make that Kristi Yamaguchi Downtown Ice, presented by Alaska Airlines in association with Google, First Tech Credit Union and Swenson.
  • Several businesses downtown are taking donations of basic supplies to Welcome Home the first tenants of the Villas on the Park, 83 units for the previously homeless.  SJDA and PATH are partnering on this program - through Nov. 15!
  • SJDA's financial report going into FY 2019-20 looks solid.
  • San Jose Downtown Foundation's signature Downtown Doors has won another award, this one from the Cornerstone of the Arts.
  • MOMENT at San Pedro Squared also won another award, this one from the International Downtown Association.
Please save the date:  Dec. 13, 8 a.m. at the Hammer Theatre -- when SJDA hosts its annual Year-End Meeting.  RSVP to attend at
  • Live and Local SJ live music
  • Traffic alerts lane and road closures.
  • Maps of downtown commercial property availability and development proposals.
  • Boom City: SJDA's continuing summary of new downtown building proposals and west side acquisitions, 
Downtown Dimension is a leading source for information about downtown San Jose news, events and businesses.  Subscribe with a simple email to, subject line:  Subscribe
Copyright © 2019 San Jose Downtown Association, All rights reserved.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Kristi Yamaguchi Downtown Ice returns for 24th season!

Iconic outdoor ice rink open daily Nov. 15, 2018 - Jan. 12, 2019

SAN JOSE – Kristi Yamaguchi Downtown Ice will be front and center among downtown San Jose holiday attractions from Nov. 15 through Jan. 12.

Kristi Yamaguchi, the 1992 Olympic gold medal winner in women’s figure skating, will celebrate the opening of San Jose’s ice season with sponsors on Nov. 18 at 6 p.m.

Yamaguchi adds her name to support the rink for the ninth time, and her Always Dream Foundation will again be a rink beneficiary.

This will be Downtown Ice’s 16th year in the Circle of Palms and 24th year overall.  More than 50,000 skaters and 120,000 of their friends are expected to visit the ice this season.  The rink generates more than $4 million in economic impact to San Jose.

As usual, the palms of the Circle of Palms will be lit with thousands of color-changing LED lights for skaters who pay one fee for unlimited skating time and skate rental.

Admission costs $18 for adults and $15 for children 10 years and younger.
Downtown Ice is presented by Alaska Airlines in association with Google, First Tech Credit Union and Swenson.

Proceeds from the Dec. 16 Santa Run Silicon Valley help support Downtown Ice.  Sign up at

During November, early December and after the holidays in January, Downtown Ice is open 5-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 5 p.m.-midnight on Friday; noon-midnight on Saturday; and noon-9 p.m. on Sunday.  During the winter break, the rink is open 11 a.m.-midnight daily.  Special hours apply to the holidays. 

The rink phone number is (408) 610-4055 Details are at

Parking information is at


Children 10 & younger, Seniors and Military: $15
10 years & older: $18
Bring your own skates: $10
Cash, Paypal, Visa, Mastercard and Discover Card accepted. Admission includes ice time and rental skates (skate sizes range from toddler 8 to men's 15) 
Skate all you want (no in-and-out privileges). First-come, first-serve.

Address (starting November 16):  120 S. Market St., San Jose, CA 95113
Phone: (408) 279-1775 (SJDA); (408) 610-4055 (rink, starting Nov. 15)


The San Jose Downtown Association (SJDA), established 1986, is a non-profit group of business and property owners working to improve the vitality and livability of downtown San Jose. SJDA advocates on issues that affect downtown business and property owners; enhances the image of downtown and attract new visitors through year-round marketing, public relations, and special events; and collaborates with its Property-Based Improvement District (PBID) for ongoing improvements to downtown’s cleanliness, security, aesthetics and delivery of services.