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