Showing posts with label downtown san jose. Show all posts
Showing posts with label downtown san jose. Show all posts

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Culture Night Market today

The Guadalupe River Park Conservancy is hosting a Culture Night Market today right outside Little Italy in Downtown San Jose. The free event includes live music, a soccer tournament, a screening of Shrek (7:30pm-10pm), food trucks, and of course the vendors you would expect from a night market. It's going to be 77 degrees outside--perfect weather for an event like this.

The event is both kid and pet friendly and will run from 4pm-10pm at Arena Green East, 340 W. St. John St., San Jose, CA 95110.

Friday, April 19, 2024

Viva CalleSJ: SoFA to the Streets (San Jose's SoFA, SCC Fairgrounds, and Martial Cottle Park)

Viva CalleSJ is back for it's 1st event of the 2024! Miles of city streets will be completely shut down to let people walk, run, dance, bike, unicycle, skateboard, or hoverboard down the streets of San Jose. 

SoFA to the Streets features three activity hubs which are festivals-within-a-festival that highlight the local area. This time the activity hubs will be SoFA, the SCC Fairgrounds, and Martial Cottle Park. You can expect live music, vendors, food, activities, bike parking, and good times at all of the hubs. In between the activity hubs you will still find all sorts of interesting stops, hydration stations, and stores.

A unique feature this time around is the route is a single line with no branches. It's crazy to think you can walk all the way from Martial Cottle Park on Branham Lane all the way to Downtown San Jose on city streets.

The event takes place on Sunday, April 21st from 10am to 3pm (streets are closed until 4pm). There is no beginning or end and the traffic flows in both directions. It's completely free and you can use the handy map below to locate the routes and festivities. For more info, head over here.

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Hinodeya Ramen Bar coming to Downtown San Jose

Remember China Wok in Downtown San Jose on North Market Street? The space will soon be home to Hinodeya Ramen Bar. They have a location in Campbell today with exceptional reviews. Unless I'm missing something, this would be the first true Japanese ramen bar in Downtown San Jose. Unfortunately I couldn't find an ETA on their website.

In other restaurant news, the expanded Elyse will open at the end of next week, featuring delicious French Vietnamese cuisine and craft cocktails. More on that very soon.

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Two new housing projects between Downtown and Midtown San Jose

Two new housing projects are being built right at 363 Delmas Avenue and 425 Auzerais Avenue, which are on just on the other side of Highway 87 across from the Children's Discovery Museum. This is in sort of a gray area where Downtown starts crossing into Midtown.

The project on Delmas (first two images below) will have 120 residential units while Auzerais (last image) will have 64 homes for homeless and 66 units reserved for low-income housing. Amenities will include a fitness loop, community garden, and computer learning center.

Both projects are a few blocks away from Diridon and the proposed Google Campus.

Source: SF YIMBY

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Updated lighting on the Adobe Pedestrian Bridge in Downtown San Jose

It looks like Adobe has further improved the lighting on their pedestrian bridge which now features a long gradient instead of a solid color. I also didn't notices the metal dragonflies the last time I was there (3rd photo).

In the very last photo, the main entrance to the free Adobe Museum is next to the A sign. I highly recommend going there if you are into tech nostalgia. It's open during business hours Monday through Friday and also has a slick interactive art room hidden in a corner.

Source: aphelion2100 from Skyscraper City

Monday, April 1, 2024

Mayor Matt Mahan will seek a San Jose convention center expansion and new 800+ room hotel

When the Convention Center South Hall was built in 2005, the big blue circus tent (pictured below) was never designed to be a permanent fixture. This land has been earmarked for a convention center expansion and potentially another hotel for quite some time. Now there is an actual reference to that project--and no this isn't an April Fool's joke.

As part of the Silicon Valley Business Journal's "Future of Downtown San Jose" event last week, the mayor stated:

"If we want to go attract big events, we need to eventually expand the convention center and add a headquarters hotel where someone could take down 800 rooms at a time," Mahan said. "That’s something I’m looking to pursue with all of you in the years ahead."

If this happens during his term this would be an enormous win for San Jose. It would attract bigger conferences while being able to better support world class events such as the Super Bowl and World Cup, both coming to the South Bay in 2026.

As for the hotel reference, the San Jose Fairmont including the annex had 805 rooms total, and that was the largest hotel in Silicon Valley. San Francisco has several hotels much larger that that, including the Hilton San Francisco with 1,900 rooms and the Parc 55 with 1,000... both of which have gone bankrupt with the change in San Francisco's popularity recently. 

A flagship brand as scale directly connected to an expanded convention center and a block away from the artsy SoFA District would be a major boon to Downtown and draw conferences not only from other parts of Northern California but across the country.

Source: SVBJ

Saturday, March 30, 2024

Three new Downtown San Jose eateries casually announced

While reading reading an article titled "Tenant experience and convenience driving San Jose's downtown office market" I wasn't expecting to come across a surprise announcement for three new Downtown attractions. Here is the magic paragraph:

"Saign highlighted several of Jay Paul Company’s additions Downtown, including the developer’s plans to have a destination restaurant at 200 Park, a marketplace at the street-level portion of CityView Plaza at 185 Park and a cafĂ© and lounge at 50 W. San Fernando Street (home of The Business Journal)."

200 Park is the 1 million SQFT beast behind The Tech Interactive museum (pictured below). A "destination restaurant" you say? That sounds very intriguing.

CityView will be a new project that will dwarf 200 Park when complete with 3.8 million rentable SQFT and 6 interconnected 19-story office towers. This is far into the future, but a new marketplace in central Downtown San Jose sounds amazing.

Last but not least is 50 W. San Fernando. This is next to the Signia by Hilton (former Fairmont San Jose) and is the building with the Capital Club on one of the two Penthouse floors. A cafe and lounge here will help fill another hole in Downtown San Jose's restaurant and retail landscape.

All three additions will be very welcome and I can't wait to learn more about the specific places coming to these projects.

Source: SVBJ

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Save-the-date for all the 2024 Block Parties

Below are the dates and locations of all six block parties in Downtown San Jose. Each will highlight the local restaurants and stores in the area and add additional amenities like food trucks or live music. The 2023 block parties were a lot of fun and all six of these regions have had new businesses open in the past 12 months. Mark your calendars!

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Nvidia AI Conference taking place in Downtown San Jose right now

The latest advancements in AI hardware--which is quickly headed to becoming a multi-trillion dollar market--are being announced right now in Downtown San Jose. Yesterday Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang delivered his keynote at the SAP Center. Throughout the rest of the week, about 10,000 visitors will attend workshops and panel discussions at the McEnery Convention Center each day.

San Jose has a strong desire to make Downtown the AI capital of the world. Hosting Nvidia's flagship conference here is definitely a big win.

Source: San Jose Downtown Association

Sunday, March 17, 2024

Plaza de Cesar Chavez has some new amenities

Just in time for nicer weather, I noticed a few new features in Plaza de Cesar Chavez yesterday. There are two outdoor table tennis tables that look really nice along with fancy lounge seating. Several kids were already playing in the fountains even though it was not a very warm day.

The additions felt very welcome and will inevitably be popular with the college students that are moving into the former Fairmont Annex tower across the street. I also like that the colors chosen match and compliment The Tech Interactive museum.

Hopefully we'll see more surprises like this in parks throughout Downtown San Jose.

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Latest news (and video) on Urban Putt - grand opening is later this week!

I know I'm promoting Urban Putt quite a bit, but I truly believe it is one of the most significant new businesses that I can remember in Downtown San Jose. 

Every one of the holes in the indoor golf course is unique, hand-built, and essentially a tribute to San Jose. Yes, they even have a replica electrical light tower inside the building. The level of craftmanship is off the charts.

For a quick preview of several holes, there is a 4 minute video by NBC Bay Area here.

The Silicon Valley Business Journal also has a story up with 13 photos.

Last but not least, the Mercury News has their own article here.

I'll get a chance to preview it first-hand at the media preview tonight. I can't wait and am already planning my second and third visits.

The official grand opening is Thursday, Feb 29th and Urban Putt is located at 201 S. Second St. in the former Camera 12 building. Scott's Seafood is next door.

Friday, February 23, 2024

Has Google forgotten about Downtown San Jose?

The short answer is... no.

If Google had no plans to execute on their vision for Downtown West near Diridon, they would have immediately halted all work on their real estate holdings in San Jose. Instead, they are still making small updates and preparations. For example, a former Orchard Supply Hardware at 720 West San Carlos is being bulldozed over the next couple months to make way for future construction.

The eventual goal is to build 7.3 million SQFT of office space, 4,000 residential units, 500k SQFT of retail, 300 hotel rooms, and 15 acres of open space in Downtown West. Google wants to employ as many as 20,000 workers in San Jose.

Source: The Mercury News

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Downtown San Jose's Urban Putt - Latest Updates

Urban Putt is now scheduled to open February 29th. To get super excited, you must watch the 3 minute video on their old Kickstarter page with a preview of what Urban Putt is planning. This is my most anticipated new San Jose entertainment venue for 2024.

As someone who grew up going to Golfland in San Jose, Milpitas, and Sunnyvale, I was definitely intrigued when I learned about a new miniature golf course coming to the heart of Downtown San Jose. I believe that Urban Putt will be the first in Downtown history.

It will feature courses inspired by the Winchester Mystery House, an interactive version of Downtown San Jose, a Shark that will try to eat your ball, a submarine, a crashed UFO, and all sorts of other unique courses filled with mechanical gizmos. The venue will also serve up craft cocktails and whimsical food. For more info, check out the description below and their website here.

From the Kickstarter page:

This isn't your grandfather's mini-golf. 

This is miniature golf reimagined: an immersive, cutting-edge course, located in the heart of San Jose. Combining high artistry and a serious commitment to fun (and powered by a gaggle of mechanical gizmos), this 18-hole indoor miniature golf course will amaze and entertain. Conceived and built by the same team that created the wildly popular Urban Putt venues in San Francisco and Denver, Urban Putt San Jose is slated to open in late 2023/early 2024.

So what can you expect on the course? A crashed UFO, a submarine inspired by Jules Verne's Nautilus, a hole inspired by the Winchester Mystery House, an interactive version of downtown San Jose, a shark that will try to eat your golf ball, and even an old-school circuit board you putt through. Oh, yeah... and lots of man-made mountains towering over the entire expanse. Built by artists, craftspeople, designers, wood- and metalworkers, theatrical prop masters, programmers, and more, Urban Putt is looking to deliver next-level fun. 

The space itself is, in a word, breathtaking. Urban Putt San Jose is envisioned as an immersive experience, transporting you into a futuristic urban environment, where technology and entertainment collide. Designed by architect Chris Holzwart of holzarchitecture, the 13,000-square-foot site draws you through the front doors and down into a new world. The cylindrical dining room acts as the hub of the operation, with massive swooping openings on all sides that allow visitors to enter the mini-golf course or the private mezzanine viewing deck beyond. The design motif is a study in swoops, radiuses, and circles. Everywhere you look there are walls, fixtures, even the smallest details, that pay homage to the circle, a playful nod to the golf ball itself. Strategically placed portholes in the walls give visual hints to what lies beyond, whether viewed from the majestic front entrance or from the comfort of the mezzanine. Elsewhere, perforated metal walls and dividers (there are those circles again!) appear throughout the space. Overhead, in the main dining/drinking area, a six-foot-diameter polished orb floats overhead, honeycombed with cutouts and gears, to further reinforce the look and feel of the venue, while visually referencing the mechanical wonders that populate the course. Even the bathrooms -- with their glossy penny tile walls -- are showcases that give a nod to the ubiquity of the circle in our design.

And then there are the tables and bar surfaces. On the ground floor and mezzanine, four enormous community tables -- made of two-inch thick clear epoxy with thousands of golf balls embedded in each -- are custom-made conversation pieces. The bar tops and drink rails are similarly sensational and unconventional: slabs of highly polished concrete, smooth to the touch, with subtle curves at the edges and endpoints. It's a design that evokes wonder and joy, and may even leave you wondering, How did they do that? 

Speaking of the bar, our custom-built 40-foot-long bar top is a work of art in its own right, even featuring a "time machine" (non-functional, at least so far; but if anyone can create a working time machine, it would be Urban Putt's mad scientists). With a full slate of creative cocktails, locally sourced beers, and a passel of imaginative mocktails, Urban Putt's bar will be a must-visit in Downtown San Jose as well as a terrific location for post-work happy hours.

Meanwhile, the restaurant, helmed by noted San Jose chef Chad Ferry, will offer everything from out-of-the box shareables (grilled corn topped with Flamin' Hot Cheetos, anyone?) to hand-made pizzas and full sit-down dinners. We are particularly excited by Chef Chad's dessert menu, with Ice Cream Nachos, S'more Sliders, and even a flotilla of floats, some made with stout, for those who like their sweets with an alcoholic zing.

For partygoers, the mezzanine, which can hold 120 patrons, offers a bird's-eye view of the entire course, bar, and dining area. The "Mezz" can be divided into multiple configurations and has its own bathrooms and private bar, making it a premium location for private events, from company team building to birthday parties, bachelor parties, even weddings (Urban Putt founder Steve Fox is a Universal Life officiant who has performed nine weddings and is eager to oversee more of them).

We are in the home stretch right now, and need just a little help to push us over the top. The Kickstarter funds will be used to finish the grand finale hole (a design inspired by the dodecahedron) and the outer space hole. This is getting exciting; we can't wait to show everyone what we've been working on for the last two years.

Friday, February 9, 2024

Illuminated performance art sculpture coming to Second St. in Downtown San Jose

A new digital art project will be on display in Downtown San Jose 24 hours per day until June. Called Dream Club Lab, it is the first of many art lighting installations designed to fill gaps in Downtown San Jose and energize districts.

In addition to lighting there will be live video, kinetic sculptures, and robots that do a little performance between 5-11pm from Thursday to Sunday. I can't wait to see what this actually looks like.

I posted the full text from the Downtown Dimension newsletter below. This is absolutely the right directions for our arts scene and I can't wait to see more projects like this in the future!

Project to contribute to San Jose’s vibrancy and inspire onlookers

A large and never-occupied storefront space has morphed into the first of many art lighting installations intended to energize downtown San Jose’s urban cityscape.

Dream Club Lab, a collaboration by installation artists Elaine Buckholtz and Ian Winters, is commissioned by the San Jose Downtown Association (SJDA) and San Jose Downtown Property Owners to support their vision of a vibrant downtown for everyone. The artists turned the empty 9,000-square-foot space at 72 S. Second St. into a light and video installation with roving robots that roam the space with live video, feeds and kinetic sculptures.

Unveiled this evening, Dream Club Lab can be viewed 24 hours daily through June. Special video and performative robot activations will take place from 5 to 11 p.m. each Thursday through Sunday.  

SJDA is heeding its long-term objective to improve the quality of life of residents and visitors. One strategy is to follow the guidelines of the property owners’ multi-year Comprehensive Downtown Lighting Plan, which calls for more activations that support downtown’s night-time economy.

“We believe that by increasing foot traffic in our district, we can create more opportunities for our members to connect with potential customers, clients and collaborators,” said Alex Stettinski, CEO of the Downtown Association. “One avenue to increase foot traffic is to improve the spaces between already lit businesses, which is the bread and butter of street life programming.”

The lighting projects are receiving additional funding from the Knight FoundationAdobePacific Gas & Electric Co. and the Office of San Jose Mayor Matt Mahan. “Turning the lights on” is one of Mahan’s mantras for the city.

“In true Silicon Valley spirit, this activation takes a vacant storefront and turns it into an innovative attraction,” Mahan said. “We need more projects like this one as we work to create a safer, cleaner, cooler San Jose.”

The Mayor also noted that the addition of electricity and internet to the space for the art installation enhances future leasability.

Buckholtz and Winters drew from their experience as lighting and video designers for the stage to create a cityscape fantasy space to inspire passersby to meet, discuss, invent, test ideas, and ponder downtown’s future and path to improvement.

“Everyone will react differently and take away something different,” Winters said. 

Buckholtz and Winters, partnering as Nighthouse Studio, altered their Dream Club Lab concept to respond to the spatial considerations of the entire space. Some viewers said the art installation harkens back to the nightlife vibes of yesteryear, the artists added.

Though lights inside the space will stay on day and night, late afternoon sunlight results in a burst of motion and color reflecting off the curtains, the artists noted.

“I’ve really enjoyed getting to know San Jose,” Buckholtz said. “The city has an amazing warm spirit, and it is dynamic and down-to-earth.”

Dream Club Lab is wedged between The Improv comedy club and The Loft restaurant, across the street from San Jose Bar and Grill and Nova Nightclub. That part of South Second Street is most busy Thursday through Sunday nights. 

Dream Club Lab kicks off a series of illuminated art pieces planned by SJDA. A second installation is scheduled for later this year. The works are meant to be portable so that they can be moved to other locations.

Source: Downtown Dimension

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

New university opening in Downtown San Jose with business and tech degrees

Here is a story I did not see coming. California Miramar University is planning to open a campus in Downtown San Jose's SoFA District. The University will operate out of 505 S. Market St. in a two-story building formerly occupied by Xactly.

California Miramar University will offer Bachelor's Degrees in data science and business management. More importantly, they will offer a Master's Degree in AI. 

San Jose's ambition is to be the global AI capital. Already there are plans to incubate 30-40 AI startups in Downtown San Jose. It makes sense to develop talent in San Jose Universities and then keep that talent in the area to foster a complete AI ecosystem. It's not just software, the headquarters for the leading companies that create AI hardware are all within 10 miles of Downtown San Jose (Nvidia, AMD, Intel, Google, etc).

Tuition at California Miramar University is expected to range from $11-12k per year, which is surprisingly affordable for higher education.

Source: FOX2 KTVU

Saturday, February 3, 2024

VTA abandons eminent domain plans that would have derailed a high-rise project

Given the likelihood of more delays and cost overruns, VTA wisely dropped plans to drop eminent domain proceedings for a prime site near the Downtown San Jose BART station. The land they were trying to forcefully acquire is between 17 and 31 East Santa Clara Street.

Proposed for this site is the Eterna Tower, a 26-story residential high-rise with 200 residences in a very central part of Downtown San Jose. Unfortunately this project is still at risk as the capital market landscape greatly changed since the tower was first proposed and delayed by the VTA's actions.

At this point, there is so much risk in the BART project that large parcels of prime land should not be held hostage for something that is at best 14 years away. There are plenty of options for subway entrances and exits throughout Santa Clara Street.

Source: The Mercury News

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Where is this in Downtown San Jose?

Again, this has been a crazy week. There is a lot of great news over the past few days including a brand new college coming to Downtown San Jose--just not enough time to post about it. So for today I just have a quick fun post. 

Where was the photo below taken from?

Hint: it's one of my favorite places to grab a bite. Answer is below.

Answer: SoFA Market Courtyard

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

San Pedro Square in Downtown San Jose is officially closed to cars... permanently

In a move that will delight pedestrians and Downtown San Jose advocates, San Pedro Square will officially become a pedestrian mall between West Santa Clara Street and St. John Street. It was first closed to traffic for an extended period to provide more room for outdoor diners during COVID and helped dozens of businesses to survive. After the pandemic, few people seemed to miss the ability to drive through the street.

Turning this area into a permanent pedestrian mall will allow even more activation up and down the street. It was already the most thriving district in Downtown San Jose, due in a large part to the San Pedro Square Market. Now the possibilities to add more businesses in the parking garage or even temporary popups down the middle of the street will help take the district to the next level. 

Improvements such as enhanced lighting and more public art are already in discussions with property owners in the area.

Source: SVBJ

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Urban Putt has a new grand opening date - February 8th

The hottest new minigolf place in the Bay Area is opening up in Downtown San Jose in a couple weeks. They have some of the most unique holes you can imagine with nods to Silicon Valley and unique interactive elements. The Winchester Mystery House, Sharks, a submarine, and a UFO are all items you'll find throughout the venue. When you're done, there are craft cocktails and unique food items to try out. It's one of the most exciting new entertainment options Downtown in years and is actually the first minigolf place I can remember in the area.

Opening day is February 8th starting at 4pm and it's located at 201 South 2nd Street (the old Camera 12 Movie Theater). For more info head to their website over here.

Saturday, January 20, 2024

New food hall is officially open in Downtown San Jose

A new "cloud kitchen" is now open on Santa Clara Street called the Downtown Food Hall. The concept is optimized for take-out food and delivery services like Doordash, but there will be a dine-in option for all of the eateries there.

One of the first restaurants to have their soft opening is Halal Taqueria, and anywhere from 11 to 19 more will soon follow. For more information on what's coming, head over here.

Source: NBC Bay Area