Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Supporting VTA shooting victims and their families

I'm still in shock over the tragedy that happened today in the VTA Light rail station. The incident made national news and even received a personal statement from President Biden. Government facilities across the country will be flying their flags at half mast.

Likely the most direct way to help the victims and their families is to make a donation. You can con contribute through Working Partnerships USA over here.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

San Hauntse: Mysteries of San Jose

Manuel Ávalos and Carmen Sánchez have teamed up to host San Hauntse, which is "the only actively running podcast that seeks to document every haunted place and urban legend of the San Jose area." I'm blown away at how much content there is on the site (and I love the logo). 

I still remember hearing the San Felipe Road urban legends as a kid, not to mention the many Winchester Mystery House stories. Manuel and Carmen go in depth into the history of many famous San Jose landmarks and popular stories. It's entertaining and well produced, check it out over here!

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Large-scale art is featured on new Regional Wastewater Facility building

Artwork and murals are now abundant throughout Downtown, but other parts of San Jose are getting artistic love as well. A now Cogeneration Facility in San Jose features a massive artwork installation with lights to brighten would could be a bland industrial facility at night.

It's a nice touch that serves as a reminder that we shouldn't have to settle for cookie-cutter buildings anymore in San Jose. We're a global city, it's time to start looking like one!

For more info on the art by Buster Simpson, click here.

Monday, May 17, 2021

Urban Catalyst replacing Garden City Casino with a large mixed-use project

The former Garden City Casino and Harry's Hofbrau area in West San Jose is going to get a significant overhaul. Urban Catalyst would like to build a mixed-use project combining office space, residential, a senior living complex, and a hotel.

Each of these four elements would have it's own dedicated building. Along Saratoga you'll find the office building and hotel. The offices would clock in around 300,000 SQFT across nine stories. The hotel would have 175 rooms, with suitability for both for short and long-term accommodations (I think this will mean two hotel brands sharing the same back-of-house resources and staff). One really neat feature is a rooftop deck above the hotel lobby (or lobbies) with the swimming pool and amenity space.

The residential building will house 425-450 apartments across eight stories. A separate senior living and memory care facility will have 165 units.

This seems like quite a nice proposal. The only element missing is retail--it would be great to see some restaurants and stores on the ground floor of all the buildings. However, Santana Row and Valley Fair are less than a mile away so this is not as critical for this particular area.

Source: SVBJ

Monday, May 10, 2021

Google Mega Campus Updates

Google has received unanimous approval from the planning commission to build its massive campus around Diridon. The final step is City Council approval on May 25th, which is all but assured at this point. 

The overall scope of the is staggering--it's the largest proposal in history for Downtown and perhaps all of Silicon Valley. The first phase alone includes 4.17 million SQFT of office space, 3,130 homes, and several new community plazas. That phase is just HALF of the project. Even more impressive, developers will get the opportunity to build up to 6.4 million SQFT of office space, 7,000 housing units, and 536,000 SQFT of retail around Google's project. Collectively, the area will be called "Downtown West."

Building heights will range from 170 feet o 295 feet. Construction on city streets and infrastructure is slated for 2022 and will take until at least until 2031 to complete the entire project. When complete, this will be Google's largest campus in the world.

As a side note, Google has also promised $200M in community benefits if the Downtown West plan comes to fruition. This includes homeless services, job opportunities for local residents, five acres of new parks and trails available to all, and affordable housing.

Friday, May 7, 2021


South FIRST FRIDAYS are coming back to life! Last month was a success with plenty of socially distanced traffic venturing into several venues in and around SoFA. This month new works will be featured at Anno Domini, Art Ark Gallery, Citadel Art Gallery, KALEID (I love their new space at 320 South First), Machu Picchu Gallery of the Americas, the SoFA Market, and San Jose Jazz. To see the full list head over here.

While you're in the area don't forget to check out SoFA's newest restaurants featuring small plates and craft cocktails: Petiscos by ADEGA and The Good Spot.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

May 2021 Downtown Dimension Highlights

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

The MAY Downtown Dimension is now available for download.
This month's newsletter highlights:  
  • Details of Google's agreement with the City of San Jose were unveiled.  Community benefits total $200 million overall, including $150 million for housing education and jobs training.  Small business will also get support, and at an SJDA meeting, a Google representative shared where the first shovels are likely to go into the ground -- and in just a few years from now.
  • The Downtown San Jose Farmers' Market is moving to the block of South First Street between San Salvador and William streets. OPENING DAY:  MAY 7.  Fresh produce and artisan items will be available each Friday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. We're counting on a good turnout -- see you there.
  • Groundwerx's employees of the month put up some large numbers when it comes to their core efforts cleaning the sidewalks, and removing trash and graffiti.
  • The MOMENT shops on San Pedro Street have proven successful locally as a retail destination and now, thanks to attention by The Knight Foundation and Gehl, are gaining national attention.
  • Al Fresco dining will continue in San Jose at least through Dec. 31.
  • Five new businesses have opened in recent months.  Today, see you at the Good Spot in SoFA, which is having its Grand Opening.
  • Three more businesses -- Hoge FentonCreaTV and Poor House Bistro -- are announcing moves and all are staying downtown.
Enjoy the May edition.