Showing posts with label san jose state university. Show all posts
Showing posts with label san jose state university. Show all posts

Friday, November 17, 2023

SJSU is officially taking over the Signia (former Fairmont) South Tower

San Jose State University and developer Throckmorton Partners have agreed to acquire Signia's South Tower. Throckmorton will purchase the building for $73 million and lease it to SJSU. Another $40 million will be spent on improvements and fees. 

This building was previously know as the Fairmont Annex and has Morton's and Bijan Bakery on the ground floor today. Going forward the building will be known as the Spartan Village on the Paseo.

SJSU will convert 264 hotel rooms that are occupied some of the time to housing for 700+ students that be there for most of the year. It should have a net positive effect on foot traffic and density around Plaza de Cesar Chavez. It will also force SJSU students to go through several blocks of Downtown San Jose as they travel to and from campus, giving them more exposure to the area around campus. It's a great location and any student would be lucky to have their dorm in this building.

Renovation of the lobby and second-floor mezzanine into a student-centric environment will begin almost immediately with amenities such as a large dining area, fitness center, a games room, and co-learning spaces. 

I have been wondering what will happen to the giant bridge that connects the Signia's main tower to the South Tower. Turns out that is part of the sale as well and it will become a study lounge, perhaps one of the coolest places to study in any SJSU dorm. There is also an underground tunnel between the buildings used by housekeeping. It's not clear if that will be incorporated in some way as well.

Unlike new construction, students will not have to wait years for the building to arrive. The dorms should be ready for the 2024-2025 academic year, which starts next Fall. 

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

SJSU planning massive housing project

San Jose State University is about to embark on part 3 of their "Campus Village" projects. This would replace the Washburn Hall and Joe West Hall dorms with two new towers that would have 1,007 student beds, a dining hall for up to 900 students, and a new SJSU welcome center. The University is still raising funding for the project--which will cost a whopping $334M. 

However, this isn't the only San Jose State housing project on the horizon. A 24-story residential tower for up to 1,000 residents (most of which will be SJSU grad students, faculty, and staff) is being planned next to the Hammer Theater. This project is called the Alquist and it will clock in at $750 million.

If all goes well, both projects should be complete in 2027.

Source: SVBJ

Monday, August 14, 2017

North 4th Street Student Tower Proposal

There seems to be no shortage of exciting news related to Downtown San Jose these days! The newest development project proposal is a 26-story student housing tower at the intersection of N. 4th Street and St. John. This location is 3 blocks away from SJSU and only 1 block away from St. James Park.

At 285 feet, it would be the exact same height as the San Jose City Hall, the second tallest building in San Jose (The 88 is taller by one foot). If the height alone wasn't enough to make it stand out, the proposed design with guarantee it. If approved, the N. 4th Street tower would have the most colorful and eclectic design of any Downtown tower to date. It features almost Tetris-like cutouts both horizontally and vertically, multi-colored glass, and even trees on the roof.

The ground floor has a respectable 8,409 SQFT of retail, a 2,713 SQFT leasing office, bike parking, and retail & guest parking. Above that is four levels of parking for students followed by 21 levels of student housing with 400 units (enough for about 900 students). If that weren't enough, there is a rooftop patio and amenity area--again with trees!

There are some negatives with the design. First, the tower will be adjacent to many single family homes along 5th Street, and those homeowners are likely not thrilled to have a student housing tower as a next-door neighbor. Also, there are a ton of parking spaces for a tower designed for students--especially since BART, Light rail, Bus Rapid Transit, and protected bike lanes are all within a 5 minute walk. In combination with the advent of autonomous cars, this will be very expensive wasted space five years from now and does not promote good urban design. At minimum they should plan on building the parking floors in such a way where they can be repurposed in the future.

Overall, I have to say this is pretty exciting and would markedly improve our skyline as well as add foot-traffic to an undeserved part of Downtown.

Huge thanks to fellow blogger Kimberly Vacca for providing high-res images from the proposal! Also a shout out to Robertee from the San Jose Development Forum for being the first to post about the permit. Click on the images below to enlarge.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Students bring street life to Fountain Alley

SJSU students are working on "functional street life" pieces to make Downtown San Jose's historic Fountain Alley district a more interesting place. They are doing an event today around lunch time to showcase scale models of potential street life activators. Examples include unique seating, planters, hanging gardens, birdhouses, mobile solar hubs, lighting, mini-parks, and stages. 

The initiative should help make Fountain Alley more of a destination than it is today. The fact that this project is being worked on by local students with a connection to the city is the icing on the cake.

For more info check out the full press release below. Better yet, if you are free for lunch (12:30pm) and are in the area, swing by Fountain Alley today (between First and Second streets just south of Santa Clara Street).

Prototype project sets example for future social square

SAN JOSE – San Jose State University industrial design students showed today how Fountain Alley could look in the near future, creating life-size models that would transform the alley from avoidable place into a lively, vibrant, walkable and memorable public space.

“We are trying to bring an interest back to Fountain Alley that was lost,” said Kenneth Gordon, student, “while connecting Fountain Alley to the community in a way that makes them feel most comfortable.”

Working in partnership with San Jose Downtown Association, student teams created prototypes for seating, planters, hanging gardens, birdhouses, mobile solar hubs and lighting, mini-parks and stages in the alley, a part of a National Register Historic District.

The Design for All class gathered community input over the past five months to provide inspiration for their projects.  They used Local Color across from the alley on South First Street as a staging studio to build out their ideas.  The culmination of the semester was the display of urban-design creations for three hours on Monday.

One large structure supported wind chimes. Another model shaped to resemble a giant flower doubled as a streetlight and had a large leaf for seating.  One group working on seating has created a large canopy of swings.

In terms of solving the problems, we consider the human senses and aesthetic, and modernizing that aesthetic,” said Shafik Huffman, a student working on the bird houses and wind chimes group.

Added Alex McFadden, another SJSU student:   “We are creating community, not just bringing in the community.”

SJSU’s CommUniverCity program, which seeks opportunities to engage the local community, reached out to SJDA Street Life Manager Jason Su to offer its students’ information-gathering and creative design services, and to offer fresh perspective on Fountain Alley, said Dayana Salazar, CommUniverCity executive director.  Industrial Design Professor Leslie Speer took the academic lead and Master of Urban Planning student Nicole Guzman served as project coordinator.  Su assembled downtown residents and artists to gather ideas and arranged the work space for students.

“The Fountain Alley project exemplifies the power of collaboration,” Speer said.  “The generous donation of time and creative thinking by the local community has made this project as much of a success as the student work.”

Other recent efforts resulting in a swell of positive momentum for Fountain Alley include a beautification and cleanup project by the San Jose Sharks Foundation in April and a temporary pop-up art gallery sponsored by Knight Foundation and 8-80 Cities.

“We greatly appreciate the many bright SJSU students who offered their creativity, energy and imagination to illustrate the future possibilities for Fountain Alley as a vibrant and active public space,” said Mayor Sam Liccardo.  “This project provides a great example of our community coming together to tackle challenges and create a common vision for the future.”

The District Attorney’s Community Prosecution Unit helped with designs for the renovated space.  The Office’s participation in this event is part of an ongoing partnership with SJDA and other community groups to prevent crime along Fountain Alley and improve the public safety of all residents and visitors of downtown San Jose. 

 “Someday soon only a few people will remember that Fountain Alley was a place to pass by,” said Santa Clara District Attorney Jeff Rosen.  “Now, instead of crime, we have creativity.  Instead of graffiti, we have art.  Instead of a place to do drugs, there is a place for a child to swing.  With some fresh paint, elbow grease and cooperation, we are making downtown San Jose a better place to live, work and visit.”

The DA’s Office also supported the “Phylum of the Free” mural that overlooks the alley, which represents the first dramatic improvement on the alley, created in 2015.

Rosen will join SJDA President Stan Vuckovich, and SJSU Provost Andy Feinstein in a brief ceremony Monday to acknowledge the student efforts.


About SJDA: SJDA, a non-profit membership-based organization founded in 1986, represents business and property owners and works to enhance downtown’s vitality and livability.

About CommUniverCity:  CommUniverCity is San José State University’s flagship community engagement initiative in collaboration with central San José neighborhoods and the City of San José. Each year CommUniverCity engages over 1,200 SJSU students and 8,000 residents in projects that advance community-driven goals while strengthening the community’s capacity to bring about vibrant, healthy and engaged neighborhoods.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Two great options in play for the Camera 12 Cinemas site

Change is always an opportunity to improve, even when the change initially seems bleak. When Camera 12 closed last September, it was a shock to the Downtown community--especially given how much livelier Downtown has become over the past several years. Now, there are two options on the table that actually would be a significant improvement to the area.

Option #1 - Luxury Movie Theater

This is exactly what Downtown needs, a destination theater that does not exist elsewhere in San Jose to draw more visitors to the area as well as provide a great local amenity for residents. It sounds like something similar to an Alamo Drafthouse is being floated as a possible suitor for the space. The theater would have luxury seating, food, and alcohol. This was the first thought that came to mind when we first heard Camera 12 was closing.

Option #2 - SJSU Student Housing Tower

San Jose State is interested in building a 20-story student housing project on the site. The building would be a mixed-use as it gets with 14 floors of housing, 4 floors of offices, a Sky Terrace, retail/restaurant space on the ground floor, and underground parking. This would bring a large number of students into the Downtown San Jose core and further intertwine the University with the community.

There is also a 3rd option, and that is to do both Option #1 and Option #2. Based on the first rendering, the tower can accommodate a luxury theater on the ground floor, which can even be used for SJSU events and classes during off-peak hours. If it comes together, it will not only fill the hole left by Camera 12's departure, but be a new amenity for all San Joseans to enjoy.

Source: The Merc, hat tip to Josh Russell for sending this in

Friday, November 18, 2016

"For Pete's Sake" Brewfest at Spartan Stadium

In case you haven't yet heard, there's an epic tailgate party/local beerfest at Spartan Stadium tomorrow - Saturday, Nov. 19 - from 2:30pm to 6:30pm. Tickets - $40 if purchased in advance and $50 for any remaining on the day of the event - include a 5-oz. taster to sample brewery offerings, unlimited tastings and a ticket to the final home game for Spartans football. You’ll need code “FORPETESSAKE16” to purchase tickets.

The beerfest - "For Pete's Sake" Brewfest - is brought to you by Hermitage Brewing Company in partnership with the SJSU Athletics Department and will benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and event namesake Peter Cogan.

Below is the current list of participating breweries:
  • Hermitage Brewing Company
  • Tied House Microbrewery
  • Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
  • Santa Clara Valley Brewing
  • Strike Brewing Co.
  • Red Branch Cider Company
  • Rabbit’s Foot Meadery
  • High Water Brewing
  • Uncommon Brewers
  • Almanac Beer Co.
  • Santa Cruz Ale Works
  • Discretion Brewing
  • El Toro Brewpub
  • Bison Organic Beer
  • Faultline Brewing Company
  • Gordon Biersch Brewing Company
  • Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
  • Seabright Brewery
  • Sactown Union Brewery
Check out my post on my local beer site for a Q & A with Peter Cogan, a longtime employee of Tied House/Hermitage and overall good guy.

Monday, August 1, 2016

First renders of a bright residential tower for SJSU students

Last week Nathan Donato-Weinstein wrote an article about "The Graduate @ SoFA," a new 19-story tower that is being proposed where The Tech Shop and McDonalds used to be in Downtown San Jose (area bound by San Carlos, Third Street, and Second street). The new renderings look quite impressive for the area--I love the bright yellow accents that remind me of a highlighter. We may have some very spoiled SJSU students in a few years.

The L-shaped building has 260 units, with most having four bedrooms. Over 1,000 students could be housed in the tower. There is an amenity deck with a swimming pool on the fourth flour and 10,000 SQFT of retail on the ground floor. There are intentionally very few balconies as a "safety feature" (university students can party pretty hard).

A side benefit to SoFA is that it moves students closer to the Downtown core and places them a block away from South First Street. This will help increase activity and vibrancy in the area.

Rents will go for around $1,000/mo for a room, a bargain in Silicon Valley. While the project is targeted to SJSU students, I don't think there is anything legally preventing non-students from moving in. There is still no ETA on when the building could break ground--the developers are still working on design and entitlements.

Source: SVBJ

Monday, May 16, 2016

SJSU breaks ground on $10.2 million golf complex

Last week San Jose State University broke ground on its first on-campus training facility for golf. The world-class complex is across the street from Spartan Stadium and will be used for both men and women's golf teams. It will certainly help SJSU's student athletes get a leg up on the competition, especially since it can accommodate a large number of people. It will have hitting positions for 80 golfers, two large "tour-quality" putting greens, three bunkers, and two chipping greens.

The whole project was funded by private giving, including a $5 million gift from Rich and Cindy Thawly (alumni entrepreneurs and finance industry executives). The golf complex is expected to be complete by this December.

Source: SJSU

Sunday, January 24, 2016

SJSU Drone Footage

In yet another Downtown San Jose drone video, you can explore the San Jose State University campus while listening to catchy music.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Saturday Stats: San Jose Metro is the #1 Mid-sized Region for College Students

The American Institute for Economic Research ranked San Jose as the top metro area for prospective collect students in a recent study. They defined a mid-sized metro as having a population between 1 and 2.5 million and the criteria included work opportunities, cost of rent, culture, diversity, and access to bars and restaurants.

Not surprisingly, we excelled at metrics tied to jobs, the economy, at STEM (science, technology, and math). San Jose was also first in diversity and #4 when it comes to bars and restaurants. However, our metro struggled when it came to rent costs and entertainment.

Austin came in second place followed by Pittsburgh, Raleigh, and Salt Lake City. You can access our profile right over here.

Source: SVBJ

Thursday, September 17, 2015

San Jose State University is Beating Out Elite Schools for Tech Jobs

A recent CBS report reveals that getting hired at a high-paying Silicon Valley tech company does not require a degree from an "elite" school. In fact, Silicon Valley companies are hiring more San Jose State University alums than any other college or university. As an example, SJSU topped both Stanford and Cal for the most alums working at Apple.

What is the secret of the university's success? SJSU students have a reputation for getting stuff done. You can sit around and talk about a problem all day, or you can get your hands dirty and fix it. I imagine the prestigious schools spending more time teaching their students about theory and planning versus execution. Plus, many SJSU students are already working while studying, and nothing beats real-world experience.

The word is starting to get around. SJSU enrollment is up to 33,000 students this year, and many of them are coming internationally from countries like India. The University is building a global brand and an outstanding reputation, something that will benefit San Jose and our local economy for generations!

Source: CBS, Big hat tip to Dan De La O for sending this in!

Monday, March 3, 2014

San Jose State Has FIVE Major Projects Underway!

SJSU has five--yes five--major projects happening right now. They add up to a total of more than a quarter billion dollars of new development, and one of them includes a 10-story tower that will house 850 students. I walked through the campus a few weeks ago and was surprised to see so many areas fenced off.

Below are a couple recent photos of the new Student Union building (top) and the new Student Health and Counseling Center taken by Joseph Meduri (who also sent in the tip on these projects). If you keep scrolling down, you will get a quick synopsis of the projects underway.

Student Union Expansion Renovation

The project will add approximately 100,000 SF of expansions and renovate existing Student Union. The building will have new ballroom, food court,theater, meeting rooms, and student program spaces.
  • Status Construction Phase
  • Construction Duration: 9/2010-6/2014
  • Total Construction Estimate: $65,000,000
Student Union Expansion Sketch Drawing

Spartan Complex Renovation

The primary project objectives are to upgrade the existing structural system of the complex to be concurrent with the current building codes,correct ADA deficiencies,correct fire life safety deficiencies,construct new infrastructure, make program modifications, and hazmat abatement.
  • Status Construction Phase
  • Phase I Construction consists of the YUH and
  • YUH Annex, from 7/2013 -7/2014
  • Phase II construction consists of SPXC and
  • SPXE, from 8/2014-8/2015
Spartan Complex Sketch Drawing

Student Health & Counseling Center

The project is a new 3 story 52,000 SF building located on 7th Street and Paseo de San Carlos. The building will house Student Health Center, Counseling Services and Wellness Center.
  • Status Construction Phase
  • Construction Duration: 6/2013-1/2015
  • Total Construction Estimate: $24,600,000
Student Health Center Sketch Drawing

Spartan Stadium End Zone Building

The 61,000 SF facility will house sports medicine and athletic training space, a football team locker room, football coaching staff offices, meeting rooms, a hall of fame, and an auditorium. The facility will serve the day-to-day operations of the athletic department,and provide hospitality space on game days. It will be located at the South Campus site,north of Spartan Stadium.
  • Status - Design Phase
  • Construction Duration: 2/2014-9/2015
  • Total Construction Estimate: $32,000,000
Spartan Stadium End Zone Building Sketch Drawing

Campus Village Phase 2

A new 850 bed student housing is being proposed at the corner of 9th Street and Peseo de San Carlos. The new building will house up to 850 beds, common study rooms, lounge, multi-purpose room, recreation space, and other support spaces. It is expected to be a 10 story high rise building.
  • Status - Planning Phase
  • Construction Duration: 6/2014-7/2016
  • Total Construction Estimate: $100,000,000
Campus Village Phase 2 Map Drawing

Monday, January 6, 2014

Student Apartment Project Groundbreaking in June

While not as impressive as Centerra or One South, Symphony Development is planning a dense infill project targeting SJSU students at 51 N. Sixth Street. The site is a parking lot for the First United Methodist Church right behind the 12-story Art Deco Vintage Tower. The building will consist of 119 market-rate apartments spread across seven stories on a one-acre lot (the first two floors will be parking). The total price tag will be around $40 million.

I don't believe this project has a retail component, but the sketch below does look like it has a couple sections that would make ideal retail spots. They could simply be communal areas. There is some retail right in front of this building in the Vintage Tower, as well as tons of places to eat within a few blocks such as Ike's, ISO: Beers, Cafe Pomegranate, 4th Street Pizza, Punjab Cafe, and popular SJSU hangout spot SmokeEaters. There will also be a BRT station within a block or two. I think this will be a great addition to the neighborhood!

Source: SVBJ
An elevation of Symphony Development's seven-story project tucked behind Vintage Tower. Construction should start in June.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Saturday Stats: San Jose Stat is the Most Common University for Apple Employees

The Huffington Post recently posted an article on which colleges most Google and Apple employees have attended. San Jose State University ranked #2 overall and #1 for Apple employees. Not too shabby. I guess this helps explain why San Jose Stated ranked so high in the "Colleges that will make you rich" list. For the full article, click here.

Thanks to Dan for the tip.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

San Jose State Awarded $73.3M for NASA Study

This is an older story, but I have been meaning to post it for a while. San Jose State received a hefty $73.3M in order to partner with NASA on research projects that will improve both the safety and efficiency of air/space travel. The programs related to the research will be run by SJSU professors, graduate students, and of course NASA scientists. For all the info, just click the source link below or check out the press release over here.

Source: SJBJ

Kevin Jordan and colleagues in flight simulator