Tuesday, March 31, 2020

New Mural in San Pedro Square

It has been a rough month and we could all probably use something colorful to brighten our day. The San Pedro Square Paseo next to the Modera apartment project has a beautiful new mural highlighting the buildings that make up San Pedro Square. Even the Old Spaghetti Factory has a spot.

Lila Gemellos is the muralist and it's worth checking out next time you are in the area.

Source: SJNewKid from the San Jose Development Forum

Monday, March 30, 2020

New Hotel proposed in Little Italy San Jose

Little Italy could get a significant addition in the near future. Developer BPR wants to replace a trio of single-family homes on West St. John Street with a six-story hotel (the homes would likely be relocated). The hotel would have 105 guest rooms and parking for up to 41 vehicles. I'm saying it that way because most of the parking spaces will have mechanical lifts to hold two cars each.

The exact location is across the street from Henry's Hi-life and next to Enoteca La Storia, two excellent restaurants. Bel Bacio Coffee and Paesano Ristorante Italiano are within a block. It would also be next to Guadalupe River Park with easy walking access to the SAP Center and San Pedro Square. This is a great opportunity to create a boutique hotel in an up-and-coming neighborhood that might be little but is big on character.

Source: SVBJ

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Garden Gate Tower plans purchased by British developer

Scape, a London-based developer specializing in student housing, has purchased the plans for Garden Gate Tower at the tail end of the SoFA District in Downtown San Jose. The current design calls for a shiny 27-story tower with an impressive penthouse amenity floor as you can see below.

Gardent Gate Tower was slated to have 290 condos and 4,840 SQFT of retail space. However, it is possible that Scape will try to convert this into a co-living or student housing building given that is their expertise. If they make the change, they would be in good company. The Graduate already starting taking tenants and KT Urban is planning an 850-bedroom co-living tower nearby.

Source: SVBJ

Monday, March 23, 2020

Silicon Valley Strong

The city of San Jose has put together a website to consolidate COVID-19 related news and resources. Silicon Valley Strong also features volunteering opportunities, starting with helping distribute food to the most vulnerable residents in San Jose and Silicon Valley. The site is your one-stop-shop for the latest emergency notifications, protocols, and city service updates.

Bookmark the Silicon Valley Strong website over here.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Platform 16 breaks ground

The next office megaproject in San Jose in now underway. Platform 16 is a 1.1 million SQFT campus within a 10 minute walk of Diridon, the SAP Center, Whole Foods, the San Jose Market Center, and the San Pedro Square Market. It's located off of Julian and Autumn Parkway.

The total build out will cost over $1 billion. Boston Properties made sure this would be attractive to our largest tech companies with large floor plates, 15-foot ceilings, and 16 outdoor terraces. There is a good chance a flagship tenant like Google will take the whole space.

The first phase will be ready in early 2023. For more information, you can find the official brochure here and a promotional video below.

Source: SVBJ

Now Arriving at Platform 16 from BXP SF Region on Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

San Jose Development Map

The San Jose Economy blog has updated the map of new development projects in San Jose. The Sharks Ice expansion, Tribute Hotel, Garden Gate, 200 Park, Platform 16, Building 7 at Coleman Highline, and Danco Housing @ West San Carlos have been added. The planning team is reviewing development permits for more than 9,000 residential units and a staggering 15 million SQFT of office space citywide. Hopefully this will still come to fruition after the pandemic boils over.u

Most of the new project are centered around Downtown San Jose. Half of the proposed office space and 40% of the residential units are in the Downtown core. 551 hotel rooms and 86,000 SQFT of new retail are in the mix as well.

As for the projects currently under construction, you're looking at 8.7 million SQFT of office space, 1.3 million SQFT of retail, 470 hotel rooms, and 4,131 new residential units.

Check out the interactive map over here!

Monday, March 16, 2020

Valley Fair's $1.1B expansion is now partially open

I swung by Valley Fair this weekend to check out the new 500,000 SQFT expansion. Thanks to the Coronavirus, it was almost completely empty but just about every new store was still open.

Parking is now a lot easier with a new six-story garage right off of Steven's Creek that goes underneath the expansion and has direct connections to the new Bloomingdales. Speaking of which, it's a true flagship department store with San Jose branding everywhere. Unfortunately I couldn't afford most of the cool things in there, it's more expensive than Nordstrom yet not quite as insane as Neiman Marcus. I did find my favorite clothing store near one of the two entrances of the expansion--Untuckit. This is the first one in San Jose. The expansion also includes Forward (premium doctor's office), Orangetheory Fitness, Bulgari, Cole Haan Grandshop, and a few ex-Santana Row brands such as Anthropologie, Pinkberry, and Urban Outfitters.

The new Santana Row-style outdoor concourse will feature a bunch of high-end restaurants including Maestro's. I have a feeling that they will get another Michelin-recommended restaurant or two this year. Din Thai Fung already has that rating. Salt & Straw is the only place open so far, but the ice cream was exceptional (Bone Marrow and Smoked Cherries... wow). I loved the interactive art on the walls near the entrances too.

They have five new stores focused on retail concepts. One had a bunch of cool Kickstarter projects in it and is similar to B8ta at Santana Row. Definitely worth checking out.

While not part of the expansion, I also finally got to try Ramen Nagi. Even with the Coronavirus, it still took an hour and 15min in line. Totally worth it, it was some of the best ramen I have ever had. It goes by faster than you think since you customize your food while waiting in the line and the food comes quickly once you get inside.

Once the virus boils over, this is hopefully going to drive a lot of extra tax revenue to San Jose. It's hands down the nicest mall in the Bay Area and they are making an effort to be more Santana Rowish with the outdoor space. I truly hate going to traditional malls, but this experience was way better than what I expected. I'll definitely be back to check out the new restaurants as they open.

Source: SVBJ

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

March 2020 Downtown Dimension Highlights

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

The MARCH 2020 Downtown Dimension is now available.

In this edition:
  • SJDA has released a policy document outlining its vision of downtown and how it can be achieved.  Click here to see the document.  The March Dimension summarizes the vision and some of the thinking behind it.
  • San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art will have a 40th Anniversary party in June.  Dimension takes a look at what it takes for arts groups to survive in San Jose.  It starts with a strong Executive Director, which ICA has.  But not for long -- Cathy Kimball will retire after the June bash.
  • Several briefs about investments and plans sure to have an effect on downtown's future.
  • CINEQUEST begins Tuesday, March 3, and continues through March 15.
SJDA in the News:

Response to Platform 16's plans for March groundbreaking. (Mercury News)

Riverpark Towers fills to the brim. (Mercury News)


Downtown Dimension is a leading source for information about downtown San Jose news, events and businesses. Subscribe with a simple email to sjda@sjdowntown.com, subject line:  Subscribe

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Santana Row Springs Forward with Party-Packed Events and Zesty Restaurant Openings

Santana Row has two brand new restaurants Zazil and Sauced BBQ & Spirits. Zazil is a re-imagining of Consuelo. They did an amazing job of blending indoor and outdoor areas and I really enjoyed the food and drinks there. Sauced is Santana Row's first real BBQ restaurant. You can learn about both restaurants and upcoming events below.

San Jose destination unveils brand-new eateries, community events for Spring

Spring is nature’s way of saying, “Let’s party!” and that’s precisely what Santana Row is rolling out for visitors this season! A carpe diem approach to dining, playing and all the little moments in-between because life deserves to be celebrated.

Recent dining additions are offering a zesty range of flavors and palettes for foodies to experience on The Row. Sauced BBQ & Spirits kicked off the party recently with a mid-February opening, and its authentic, smoked meats and ‘southern charm’ style are already capturing hearts. Carnivorous guests can expect to come hungry, and leave happy after one of these meaty meals!

The fun continues with the recent debut of Zazil, a traditional Mexican dining concept curated by the respected Chef Yerika Muñoz Rodríguez. After earning an esteemed culinary background, Chef Yerika has gone back to her Mexico City-roots to bring this vibrant culinary expedition to life. The menu boasts traditional flavors and dishes from various culinary regions of Mexico!

Food isn’t the only reason to get your party poppers out, though - Santana Row’s calendar of events is jam-packed with Springtime celebrations! So, whether you’re looking for food or fun, Santana Row invites you to join the party.

Here are some of the action-packed events you can expect to enjoy in March-April:

Makers Market in The Park
Saturday, March 7 | 11:30 am - 5 pm | Santana Row Park
Saturday, April 4 | 11:30 am - 5 pm | Santana Row Park
Join us for a highly-curated marketplace of local makers and artisans! Enjoy live music as you shop for U.S. Handcrafted goods like jewelry, handbags, ceramics/glassware, soaps, succulents, candles & more! Stop into our Santana Row shop (adjacent to the market area) for libations and more locally-handcrafted goods.

Makers Market aims to bring you products that honor the ideals of American craftsmanship and are Modern + Heritage inspired. Join us in our mission of Rebuilding the Legacy of American Made, while supporting our local merchants and the community.

Spring Festival & Photos with the Easter Bunny
Saturday, March 28 | 10 am - 2 pm | Park Valencia
This EPIC Spring Festival will feature a mini petting zoo, live music, roaming entertainment, face painting, balloon twisting, arts & crafts, and a FREE digital photo with the hoppiest guy around: the Easter Bunny! *This event is rain or shine! In the event of rain, meet in the VIA directly behind Left Bank & Sino.*

Post your favorite Spring Festival memory on social media for a chance to win a special gift! Must include #SpringOnTheRow and tag @SantanaRow to enter.  All entries must be in by Sunday, March 29. A winner will be selected at random, and announced on Monday, March 30.

Spring Fling Wine Stroll benefitting the Junior League of San Jose
Wednesday, April 22 | 6 pm - 9 pm | Santana Row
Enjoy a night out at the Santana Row Spring Fling Wine Stroll! Relax and unwind with wine tastings from local growers, DIY flower crowns, light bites, live music, exclusive discounts from Santana Row shops, and more. Tickets are $40, and event proceeds will benefit Junior League of San Jose.

Voices for Autism Benefit Concert
Saturday, April 18 | 12 pm - 4 pm | Park Valencia
Join us for a day of fun, food, and music in Park Valencia! The Youth Leadership Committee is hosting the 5th Annual Voices for Autism Benefit Concert to increase autism awareness and raise money for the programs at Pacific Autism Center for Education (PACE). The concert will feature youth bands and other musical performances from students around the Bay Area!

This is a free event and perfect for families with children of any age. There will be live music, interactive autism awareness demonstrations, and select restaurants participating in fundraisers to raise money for PACE.
All proceeds from this event benefit Pacific Autism Center for Education. PACE provides high-quality behavioral therapy, education, and residential care for children and adults with autism.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Great America 2020 Announcements

Last week I had the opportunity to learn more about Great America's 2020 plans for events and new attractions. The big news is the expansion and re-branding of the water park from Boomerang Bay to South Bay Shores. Just about everything in the existing park will be updated and they are in the process of doubling the size of the water park. There will be seven new water attractions this year: four drop slides, two tube slides, and a kid-friendly lagoon area with private cabanas. Admission is included

They also announced three new festivals:

  • Spring Fiesta – This three-weekend-long festival celebrates Hispanic culture with authentic food, live music and entertainment. Each weekend brings a different focus: Dia del Nino (April 25–26) offers kid-friendly crafts, games and activities; Cinco de Mayo (May 2–3) brings traditional, folkloric dance; and Latin Music Festival (May 9–10) showcases Bay Area performers.
  • Monster Jam® Thunder Alley™ – Popular Monster Jam® trucks roll into Great America this summer, offering a larger-than-life experience where park guests can get nose-to-grille, sit inside and even take an adrenaline-charged ride in a Monster Jam truck. Meet-and-greets with drivers, a themed kids play area and the Monster Jam garage round out the limited-time event, which takes place June 20–July 12.
  • Carnivale at Orleans Place – Authentic New Orleans food, glittering floats and costumed street performers come together in a unique nighttime festival that marries the best of Great America’s fan-favorite Taste of Orleans event with the excitement and vibrancy of Mardi Gras. Highlighting the festival is the Spectacle of Color full-scale parade, with extravagantly decorated floats and performers who draw the audience into the action. The exclusive event takes place nightly July 18–August 2.

The "Red, White and Brews" beer festival, Halloween Haunt, and WinterFest will all return this year. Halloween Haunt will get a brand new Asian-themed maze called Shadowlands. Oh, and several new food offerings will be available throughout the year such as fish tacos and sesame chicken on a crispy fried wonton. I hear Micheladas will be available as well inside the park.

It seems like an action packed year, I'm especially looking forward to Carnivale and Halloween Haunt this year!

For more info head over here.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

San Jose gets first round of tiny homes for the homeless

Homelessness is one of Silicon Valley's top issues, and it seems to be getting worse with over 6,000 individuals living on Santa Clara County streets. Fortunately, San Jose is taking a novel approach by building inexpensive tiny homes to house the less fortunate.

The first community of tiny homes is off of Mabury Road and consists of 40 "sleeping cabins," showers, a shared kitchen, laundry, and computers. Comcast is also donating WiFi service. The community is expected to serve 120 people a year (each resident can stay up to 4 months).

A second project is already underway near Felipe Court at the intersection of 101, 280, and 680. 

It's not a perfect solution but is helping move us in the right direction. I wish developers would also build inexpensive 150-200 SQFT studio apartments to provide additional housing options for everyone.

Monday, March 2, 2020

Camera 12 redevelopment renders

Urban Catalyst revealed a few new renders of their plans for the former Camera 12 site, and it looks much better than what I expected. The shape of the theater is preserved but two additional floors are being added in the interior for additional office space (73,000 SQFT total). Rooftop patios will now be accessible from the 4th and 5th floors. Oh, and the 13,000 SQFT of ground-floor retail will extend onto the Paseo.

I still miss the movie theater, but this looks like it will greatly help activate the Paseo area. The project should be complete around the 2nd quarter of 2021. It is one of seven Urban Catalyst projects scheduled to break ground this year, all of which are in Downtown San Jose. The company plans to invest $700 million into San Jose.

Source: SVBJ