Showing posts with label san pedro square. Show all posts
Showing posts with label san pedro square. Show all posts

Monday, May 13, 2024

Stunning street mural headed to San Pedro Square

There were a few silver linings that emerged from the pandemic. The closing of San Pedro Street between Santa Clara and St. John was a big one for me--and it recently became permanent.

Now that the street has been reclaimed for pedestrians, diners, and shoppers on one of the most popular Downtown districts--the gray asphalt simply won't do. Local groups are going to transform it into a colorful mural that reflects the vibrancy and diversity of San Jose this Memorial Day weekend. In order to bring this block-length mural to life, hundreds of San Joseans will participate in painting the mural.

The San Jose Downtown Association, Adobe, and Local Color all partnered together to organize this epic project which will result in what I think will be the largest and longest mural in Northern California and one of the largest in the United States at over 12,000 SQFT. It will be an attraction in and of itself and one more reason to dine outside this summer at San Pedro Square.

Thinking a few steps ahead, it would be great to expand the amount of retail along the first floor of the San Pedro Square parking garage. I think the MOMENT shops in the garage have been a great addition to the area and now that the street will look this interesting, we have to get more activity opposite of our Downtown restaurant row.

Source: SVBJ

Saturday, May 4, 2024

Taco Throwdown 2024

The Silicon Valley Taco Throwdown takes place today at Blanco Urban in San Pedro Square. It features tons of the hottest chefs, restaurants, and food trucks. $49 let's you sample 5 tacos. If you have an appetite $79 gets you an all-you-can-eat feast. For more info click here.

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

Friday, December 22, 2023

The story behind San Jose's oldest building

SJtoday has a great overview of the Peralta Adobe, the oldest structure in San Jose. The inconspicuous building now sits in the middle of the San Pedro Square Market and occasionally public tours are offered of the historic structure. It's over 200 years old and predates even San Jose's existence as a city.

For the quick history of the building that you can use to impress your friends over beers next time you're at the Market, head over here.

Saturday, November 4, 2023

San Jose Roots: Celebrating our Heritage at the San Pedro Square Market today

Today there is a special event happening at the San Pedro Square Market today from 1-4pm with rare access to the Gonzales/Peralta Adobe and the Carmela & Thomas Fallon House. San Jose Roots is a celebration of our city's cultural diversity and is hosted by History San Jose, Mosaic, and The San Pedro Square Market.

The event will feature cultural performances, hands-on activities, and community booths from local and cultural organizations. There will also be free tours of the Gonzales/Peralta Adobe and the Carmela & Thomas Fallon House. This does not happen often, so it would be an ideal opportunity to see these two historic buildings.

The Gonzales/Peralta Adobe is situated in the middle of the San Pedro Square Market and is the oldest building in San Jose. The Carmela & Thomas Fallon House is across the street and represents an early Victorian home. Thomas Fallon was mayor of San Jose from 1859-1860.

In order to provide more space for the festivities, St. John Street will be closed in front of The San Pedro Square Market.

Friday, September 22, 2023

Sidewalk Shops every Sunday through October 29th at San Pedro Square from 1pm to 5pm

A retail experience highlighting local entrepreneurs is taking place every Sunday in front of Moment SJ (60 N. San Pedro Street). Twelve different makers and artists will set up pop-up shops each week along the four local small business storefronts that already exist there--Woofboard, Tiny Keyboard Shop, Boho Moon Art, and Plant Slut.

You can park free for 90 minutes with no validation needed in the San Pedro Garage on-site. Enter the garage at 45 N. Market Street.

It's all outdoors, admission is free, and it's dog friendly. 

It's also a great opportunity to check out your favorite eateries or some of the newer restaurants on San Pedro such as Serious Dumpling, Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ, Dr. Funk, and Slice of Homage Pizza.

Thursday, June 15, 2023

San Pedro Square 2.0

One of the best changes to San Pedro Square during the pandemic was closing San Pedro Street to foot traffic. This greatly expanded outdoor seating and helped the neighborhood come alive. Now just about every single restaurant space on the street is leased and there are some great new comers like Gyukaku, Serious Dumpling, and Dr. Funk.

The next step is to create a permanent outdoor dining zone and pedestrian area. Last month the City Council approved a design that would provide 20 feet on both sides of the street for restaurant seating with a pedestrian walkway in the very middle that is about 20 feet wide.

The project would take 2-3 years and cost about $9.5 million, but given it is one of the most vibrant parts of Downtown San Jose today I think that's well worth it.

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

District 3 City Council Candidate Forum

District 3 is one of the most challenging parts of San Jose to manage as it contains Downtown San Jose, our urban and cultural core. With great challenge comes great reward--several District 3 councilmembers have ended up becoming mayor (Sam Liccardo, Susan Hammer, etc.). This election season, Irene Smith and Omar Torres are the frontrunners for the District 3 role. They will both be sharing their qualifications and vision in a forum at the Tabard Theatre on September 9th at 8:15am.

You can either attend in person by registering at (everyone gets 90 minutes of free parking at the Market/San Pedro Square garage) or by livestreaming the event over here.

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Downtown Daydream: What now for N San Pedro St?

It has been over a year since the pandemic first impacted our day-to-day lives. Among the struggles that swept across the world, one silver lining has been the increased emphasis on outdoor dining and placemaking. Faced with the challenge to keep business and restaurants alive while keeping their people safe, cities across the world took a hard look at how they were utilizing their existing spaces. In many instances, this meant creating new outdoor gathering locations. 

San Jose was no exception. We saw the expansion of existing parklet programs, seating in some pedestrian areas, and in some cases, complete street closures (dubbed the "Al Fresco" program). As COVID-19 infections start to decline, and vaccination programs pick up speed, it's time to consider what we've learned from these projects. More importantly, we have an opportunity to make our spaces better than pre-pandemic.

N San Pedro St (credit Silicon Valley Lofts)

In this blog we'll focus on the street closure program. Specifically, the N San Pedro St implementation of Al Fresco. We have examples that will likely be temporary (e.g. Santana Row), and examples that have gone above and beyond (e.g. Post Street). The San Pedro experiment stands out because while it served its purpose, it also showed how much potential there is for permanent improvement in the area. 

There's support from neighboring businesses, but we shouldn't accept the status quo as the final state of a pedestrian-friendly San Pedro St. We need to think bigger without being unrealistic.

The progress

A few things have already happened over the past couple years (even before the pandemic) to boost activity, to varying results.
  1. Moment San Jose finally created retail on the street for patrons to check out before/after their meals. This has created some success stories, and some former tenants even ended up expanding to their own brick & mortar locations. There's a mix of fashion, art, and essentials (e.g. The Source Zero).
  2. There have been various pop up events that already closed off the street. The longest lasting example was the downtown farmer's market on Fridays. Other examples included Superbowl 50 promotional events and a placemaking experiment with ping pong and corn hole.
  3. Nearby construction brings more of a complete retail experience (or at least the potential for it). Modera San Pedro created a new lively alleyway. 188 W St James should, in theory, bring a new block of retail and/or restaurants, including a two story building dedicated to a restaurant. Centerra has finally started filling in its retail spots. In other words, folks will be walking further and further from central San Pedro Square.

The challenges

There have been rumors for years that the core blocks of N San Pedro St would become a pedestrian-only zone. We saw some hints of it during downtown farmer's markets. But there are a few reasons why it's been a little controversial.
  1. One side of the street is the parking structure, with one of the main entrances on San Pedro St.
  2. The parking structure exit is on the north side, and flows out into either Market St or San Pedro St. This means there's a bit of a pinch--the San Pedro St entrance and exits will always mark the end of the pedestrian zone unless they are relocated or shut down.
  3. There isn't a lot of pedestrian traffic at all times of day. San Pedro Square tends to attract an employee lunch crowd and a social dinner crowd. 
  4. The street itself is not built for pedestrians. The walking experience feels incomplete.
These are some reasons to keep the street open to cars, but they are not insurmountable issues. The area just needs some adjustment and planning to unlock its full potential.

The potential

I'm not saying the following changes are necessarily easy or cheap. But they are details that are required to take San Pedro Square to the next level.

Level the entire street

The first thing I notice when I walk through the area is that there are a lot of attempts to work around the inherently pedestrian-hostile features of a street. The ground is dirty and unpleasant to walk on. It's easy to trip over the curb, which also means most parts are not accessible to the disabled. There's a constant nagging feeling that you should probably walk on the sidewalk as you've been conditioned to do. 

Some restaurants have found workarounds for the 
pedestrian-hostile features of the street

The most important change is to make sure there's no leveling transition from the "sidewalk" to the "street". In fact, get rid of the two concepts altogether so patrons don't have to think twice about walking to the middle of the street. I understand there maybe some requirements for purposes of drainage, but I think this can be done strategically with as little obstruction to the general walking experience as possible.

Make the street more welcoming with brick (or anything but asphalt)

A level street also means an opportunity to improve the material used for the flooring. Personally, I find brick to be versatile, friendly, and theoretically easy to keep clean. We don't have to look too far for examples of this. For example, the following stretch of Redwood City is easy to navigate on foot.

Downtown Redwood City (credit: Alison Fujimoto)

Not only is it more comfortable to walk on brick, seating options also feel less temporary and more deliberate.

Expand the Moment San Jose program

There are currently four storefronts that occupy Moment San Jose. This was a great start, but the program should expand to help plug in the gaps in street activation. Ideally the entire street-facing side of the parking structure should be some sort of art or retail.

Not only should more parking spaces be converted into retail, the program should experiment with more spaces of different sizes and functions. If this is indeed a way for small business owners to blossom and graduate into other storefronts, the city needs to invest in it. 

One of the biggest gaps that can benefit from this program is the N San Pedro St garage entrance. Which leads me to my next point...

Update the N San Pedro St. entrance and exit plan

First off, the parking structure does not require an entrance on both sides. For the benefits of the N San Pedro St pedestrian plan, the only entrance should be through Market St. This allow the current entrance area to be repurposed into something worthy of its premium location (e.g. some form of the Moment program).

Second, the parking structure exits are very awkward today. The parking structure exit faces north, but the actual street exits are on the east and west. Both exits interrupt pedestrian traffic: the west exit prevents full street closure to cars on N San Pedro St, while the east exit does not make it clear to pedestrians in the corner if they have right of way or not. 

Here's a crude marking of the two exits in red (camera facing southeast):

San Pedro Square parking structure, looking SE

I'm not an expert in traffic design, but at least one option seems to be to exit all traffic (multi lane if needed) on the north side (blue arrows), which gives the east and west more flexibility to optimize for pedestrians.

Just to clearly illustrate why the eastern exit is confusing, here's another angle:

A car approaching this exit may very well think they can exit at the corner or that they have right of way to exit to their right. A pedestrian may very well assume the continued sidewalk means they have right of way (and they might). There are some guiding cones, but they're flimsy and offer no protection.

If the exits were at the north side, then some of these corners can be used for other purposes.

Add some density

For now, the street is dominated by outdoor seating from existing restaurants that cannot (or prefer not yet to) use their regular indoor capacity. When eventually indoor dining is fully accepted again, there's no good reason for these restaurants to be the primary occupants of the street. I'm not opposed to expanding their existing patios, but I also think there is room for more to see and do on the street.

There's no singular idea on what should be there instead, but here are some ideas.


If you've heard locals ask "what's there to do this weekend?", then you've seen first hand that it's difficult to learn about events around the city. A bulletin can give locals a way to advertise.

They can also be designed in such a way that they showcase artwork instead. Either way, it is something that passersby can spend some time absorbing, admiring, considering. 


In other countries and cities I've seen this concept executed well. Kiosks can be an open storefront for retail or food. They can be fully enclosed. They can even be primarily used for information/advocacy. 

Open concept

Enclosed concept (source: Sidewalking Victoria)

Regardless of the format, they are a great way to liven up a pedestrian area and make it feel like a street for people, not cars.

A small stage

N San Pedro St. is actually strangely quiet a lot of times. It's worth considering adding a small stage for small shows throughout the week.

Depending on the design this might be best fit for the ends of the street (and provide a natural way to close off the street) or it can be toward the middle.

The conclusion

I'm not a designer, but I consider most of the suggestions in this post to be incremental, realistic, and feasible. I've seen other cities do a much better job of livening up key blocks for pedestrians, and the city should really focus on making sure this is a no-brainer area to visit. I think any one of these improvements would be great, but a comprehensive set of changes can truly unlock the true potential. Let's hope that the success of the Al Fresco program will lead to more sophisticated concepts!

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Gyu-Kaku and Serious Dumplings are coming to San Pedro Square

Two major restaurants are coming are coming to San Pedro Square that will compliment the rest of Dowtown San Jose's "restaurant row." Both Gyu-Kaku and Serious Dumplings will be added to the recently finished Modera residential project in a former parking lot between The Old Spaghetti Factory and O'Flaherty's Pub.

Gyu-Kaku is a Japanese BBQ (Izakaya I believe) place that already has a loyal following in Cupertino. It will be one of the higher-end places Downtown and is likely to be a popular spot for parties and events.

Serious Dumplings will be a new kind of restaurant for Downtown San Jose. I don't believe we have ever had a dumpling restaurant. I imagine it will be similar to the Michelin recommended Din Tai Fung in Valley Fair, but more low key and less expensive. Come to think of it, I'm not sure we have had a Japanese BBQ place either.

I think it's safe to say the combination of these two places is a big upgrade from Peggy Sue's (while I did enjoy their burgers as well). I'm excited about having an even more diverse array of restaurants to choose from in San Pedro Square. The selection is expected to grow even further as there are three more retail pads to lease at Modera and additional retail spots are opening soon in and around the ground floor of 188 St. James (Silvery Towers). 

If our remaining restaurants can hang on a bit longer, 2021 could end up becoming the best year ever for Downtown San Jose dining.

Source: San Jose Development Forum

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Spooktacular Saturday at the San Pedro Square Market

Halloween event options are super limited this year, but there is at least one event going on at the San Pedro Square Market. Costumes, music, food specials, and some "Halloween Fun" are in order. Spooktacular Saturday runs from 11am - 6pm and all the proper COVID protocols will be in place.

Monday, July 27, 2020

San Pedro Street is blocked to expand outdoor dining capacity

The Downtown San Jose is finding creative ways to survive during these tough times. The latest initiative is fully closing down San Pedro Street between Santa Clara and Saint John and allowing restaurants to expand their outdoor seating onto the street itself. Farmers Union, O'Flaherty's, The Old Spaghetti Factory, District, Sushi Confidential, and the Old Wagon are some of the restaurants taking advantage of this.

I had a great dinner at District last Friday and it felt almost like pre-covid times (except for the masks and the menu being on your phone of course).

San Pedro Street has been shut down before for special events like Super Bowl 50, but it has never been used like this before. The plan is to keep the street closed until September, but I hope it actually becomes permanent. This is arguably the liveliest street in Downtown San Jose and expanding the usable space makes it both safer for pedestrians and more interesting to walk through or visit. It also would open the potential of adding more retail along the garage next to MOMENT or even cafes and pop-ups in the middle of the street.

Source: SVBJ

Monday, June 1, 2020

Downtown San Jose's Farmer's Market opens this Friday, June 5th

One of the benefits of working from home and having more flexibility with your schedule is the opportunity to get out to places and events that normally would be constrained by your day job. There is an excellent Farmer's Market in San Pedro Square that kicks off this Friday from 10am to 2pm and continues every following week until at least November 6th December 18th [yay!].

Of course, social distancing measures will be in place. You can see the list of COVID19 restrictions over here. The Downtown San Jose Farmer's Market includes California fruits and vegetable, flowers, gourmet foods, crafts, and clothing. For more information, the full press release is below.

SAN JOSE - After a month’s delay, the Downtown San Jose Farmers’ Market presented by Kaiser Permanente will return to San Pedro Street for its 28th season starting June 5.

“We made the decision to open the market in June because Farmers’ Markets are considered an essential service,” said Bree Von Faith, San Jose Downtown Association managing director.  “We will have social distancing and other tactics in place to ensure that everyone stays safe and healthy.”

In San Jose’s central area, only the market in the Rose Garden district has remained open during the COVID-19 outbreak.  Many people in the central part of San Jose rely on farmers’ markets for fresh-picked California fruits and vegetables.

Through Dec. 18, the Downtown Farmer’s Market, supported by Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association, will be open Fridays 10 a.m.-2 p.m. along San Pedro Street between Santa Clara and St. John streets.

Under the best conditions, the market includes fresh produce from California growers, fresh cut flowers, special gourmet foods and artisan booths full of clothing and crafts. 
Some modifications will occur due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.  During the shelter-in-place order, the market will be limited to agricultural products only, operate with social distancing measures; booths will be separated and hand-washing stations will be pervasive.  Customers must wear masks and keep their distance.
“The great thing about farmers’ markets at this time is that we’ve simplified the food chain,” Von Faith added.  “These are California growers selling directly to consumers.”
Artisan booths will not be added to the market until further notice.
The Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association (PCFMA) recruits up to 20 farmers and the San Jose Downtown Association oversees the street closures. The partnership dates back to spring 1993, when the market was originally located at First and San Fernando streets.
Admission is free. And while shelter in place in order, parking in the Market-San Pedro Garage is also free.

For more information, and a complete list of market changes to keep everyone healthy and comfortable, check, @PCFMA Facebook page and

The market will continue each week into November and could be extended into December this season.
This is the tenth year that Kaiser Permanente has teamed with the Downtown Association and PCFMA to serve as presenting sponsor of the market, educating attendees on healthful and “green” living that allow each individual to thrive.
Follow the Downtown Farmers’ Market on Twitter (@SJ_Downtown) and Facebook (/sjdowntown and /DowntownFarmers’Market).  The market website is

Call (408) 279-1775 for information.

About the San Jose Downtown Association:  The San Jose Downtown Association is a non-profit group of business and property owners working to improve the vitality and livability of downtown San Jose.  Established in 1986, SJDA programs more than 100 days of events each year.

Downtown San Jose Farmers’ Market, presented by Kaiser Permanente

Find the season's freshest fruits and vegetables, cut flowers, and gourmet treats from local certified growers and purveyors of fine food, plus unique gifts from local artisans, at the Downtown Farmers' Market, now in its 28th season.

When:  Every Friday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
         June 5 – Dec. 18, (no Market July 3)
Where:  The Downtown Farmers’ Market is located on San Pedro
          Street in San Jose, between St. John and Santa Clara streets
Admission:  The Market is free and open to the public
Attendance:  Weekly attendance in past seasons averages approximately 1,500
Audience:  While in shelter in place:  essential services workers and local residents. SIP Lifted:  Downtown office workers, out-of-town visitors, residents and possibly San Jose State University students and faculty

Event Producers:  The San Jose Downtown Association (SJDA), a local nonprofit business association, in partnership with Pacific Coast Farmers' Market Association (PCFMA)
Seasonal produce:  Starting in June, find blackberries, boysenberries, melons, apricots, blueberries, cantaloupes, cherries, nectarines, peaches, plums, prunes and raspberries.  Year-round produce also available.

Sponsors/partners:  Kaiser Permanente is in its 10th year as presenting sponsor.

Phone:  (408) 279-1775

Monday, May 18, 2020

The San Pedro Square Market Re-Opens Today!

Bit-by-bit, more of the San Jose economy is opening up. Several vendors at the SoFA Market have continued to stay open for pickup and delivery, such as Habana Cuba, Pizzetta 408, and Umi Hand Roll. Now the San Pedro Square Market is finally opening up again.

Participating eateries include:

  • Anchors
  • Bread Brothers
  • Gameday
  • JORA Ceviche Bar
  • Pizza Bocca Lupo
  • Pasta Fresca
  • Phonomenal
  • Taco Bar
  • Urban Momo
  • Voyager Craft Coffee

Initially these will be open only for pickup and delivery. Given the abundance of outdoor seating at the San Pedro Square Market, I think this will be one of the first places in San Jose where you will be able to have a somewhat "normal" dining experience in the coming months since they will be able to easily conform to California guidelines.

It might be a good idea to shut down all of San Pedro Street between Santa Clara and St. John and use this area for socially distanced outdoor dining for all the San Pedro Street restaurants. It is not unprecedented as we did something similar during Super Bowl 50.

I will definitely be visiting sometime this week!

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Modera San Pedro Square Retail

The Modera apartment project in the middle of San Pedro Square is nearly complete, and it appears that they have announced their first two retail stores. Carbon Health and AT&T will take the two retail spots along North Almaden Avenue near The Brit.

This still leaves five spaces open, two directly on North San Pedro Street and three in a new Paseo that will connect San Pedro to Almaden Ave in the middle of the block. As this is one of our busiest districts, hopefully they will fill up quickly.

Source: Robertee from the San Jose Development Form

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Tom McEnery is reviving Manny's Cellar

Former San Jose mayor Tom McEnery is bringing back a beloved and famous (infamous perhaps?) bar in the basement of the Fallon House called "Manny's Cellar." The bar was often visited by city elites and has quite a bit of history behind it. The Fallon House itself is a historic building across the street from the San Pedro Square Market and the Peralta Adobe--San Jose's oldest building.

The new bar would try to preserve the history and character of the former bar, and would have a period-appropriate aesthetic. I'm picturing a speakeasy similar to Haberdasher in SoFA.

The project would also benefit History San Jose as there would be a new docent program for the historic buildings and they would receive 10% of the net profits from Manny's Cellar 2.0.

Tom McEnery also wants to see if the Fallon House and Peralta Adobe could be opened to the public without charging for admission. Both are some of the most historically significant buildings in California and he wants as many people as possible to see them.

What a great way to re-purpose an area that has been used for storage for the past 25 years and help activate a historic building!

Source: San Jose Spotlight

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Two new stores at MOMENT (San Pedro Square Garage)

Two new vendors are now operating in San Pedro Square. Earlier this year, 4 new retail spots were created on the first floor of the San Pedro Square Garage facing restaurant row. The spots are reserved for local entrepreneurs, preferably women-owned. The new stores are:

  • Hapertas and Company opened Aug. 16, offering “classic bespoke goods for the modern gentleman.”  Owner and designer Jill Evan’s inventory includes neckties, bow ties, pocket squares, cuff links, scarves and leather goods, all hand-crafted in California.  This is Habertas’ first brick-and-mortar location and the first products for men sold at MOMENT. Online sales are at
  • Empire in the Air, a community-based clothing brand, opened in early September.  The six-person creative collective will focus their shop on apparel, including shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, dresses and accessories. They will also bring in speakers and workshops.  Styles can be viewed at
Both stores will be open until at least January. Check them out next time you are in the area!

Source: SJ Economy Blog (also includes tidbits on a new Salon and Spread Deli coming Downtown)

Friday, May 18, 2018

MOMENT at San Pedro Squared opens today!

One of the most exciting retail improvements to Downtown San Jose in years is launching today. San Pedro Squared is a Knight Foundation-funded project that adds four micro-retail spaces on the ground floor of the San Pedro Square garage. San Pedro is arguably the most lively street Downtown right now, but has always been held back by only having restaurants, bars, and the occasional shop on one side of the street due to the massive parking structure. 12 parking spaces have been converted into four 400 SQFT businesses for local entrepreneurs.

It gets better. The four businesses are all women-owned ventures with strong ties to San Jose offering unique and innovative products. You can see the descriptions of each below along with links to their websites.

San Pedro Squared is having their grand opening today at 11am. Please patronize our new local businesses--this is the type of grassroots project that adds character to Downtown!

Innovative retail destination reinvented in Market-San Pedro Garage, continuing people-first development efforts in downtown San Jose

SAN JOSE (April 30, 2018) – With the conversion of parking into micro-retail shops at the Market-San Pedro Garage completed, four locally owned retailers will be part of the new destination’s grand opening May 18.

The shops collectively will be known as MOMENT at San Pedro Squared.
MOMENT exercises a new approach to retail that allows temporary shops to coalesce with traditional brick-and-mortar experiences.

We want MOMENT to serve as a platform for small businesses to make the leap from part-time to full-time,” said Kevin Biggers, chief strategist for San Jose Made, which is curating the vendors and managing the spaces for San Jose Downtown Association.

The conversion of parking spaces into retail shops was called San Pedro Squared because it adds activation and street life to the garage side of San Pedro Street on one of downtown’s most popular blocks.

The SJDA proposal to turn 12 parking spots on the San Pedro Square side of the garage into four 400-square-foot business spaces was a winner of the 2015 Knight Cities Challenge, an initiative of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation that seeks to make the cities where Knight invests more vibrant places to live and work.

“The parking garage has been transformed into a vibrant venue that promises to bring new life to the community and serve as a destination for residents of all kinds to meet and connect,” said Danny Harris, Knight Foundation program director for San Jose. “The new MOMENT retail stores are a great example of people-first development, aiming to address resident needs and advance the economic vitality of the neighborhood.”

The Knight Foundation, along with the Downtown San Jose Property-Based Improvement District (PBID) and City of San Jose – owners of the garage – funded the project, including a new parklet that extends along the sidewalk into a seating and social area in front of the shops.  The parklet replaced five street parking spaces.

“With MOMENT, the entire block of San Pedro between St. John and Santa Clara streets becomes more active at the perfect time when new residential developments around the square near completion,” said Chuck Hammers, PBID president.

The initial roster of MOMENT tenants includes four women-owned businesses:
  • Bobo Design Studio:  Angie Chua has created a lifestyle wanderlust brand featuring brilliant designs crafted on everything from pins and patches to bags and graphic apparel, handcrafted and made in California.
  • Fractal Flora:  Through Fractal Flora, Yuri Lee and Sarah Lim have a mission to reconnect people to nature, be it through their wonderful curation and care for the plants and flowers they sell or their popular DIY terrarium workshops.
  • Blooms Privé:  Sarah Coronado and Marie Coronado of Blooms Privé have created the next evolution of women’s underwear (patent-approved), prioritizing an empowering and inventive design for women anywhere.
  • Sea Senorita Studios:  For Sea Senorita Studios, Sofia Arredondo uses her incredible artwork to power a diverse range of products, featuring everything from paper goods to T-shirts to accessories.
For small business owners like myself, MOMENT provides an opportunity for us to get back into our community, engage with our customers and build a presence that is increasingly more difficult to do online,” said Angie Chua of Bobo Design Studio, a San Jose native who quit her job in a tech-based startup to pursue her dreams as a creative business owner.

San Pedro Squared was designed by Gensler and Eaton Hall Architecture, and built by TICO Construction.  The project’s evolution has been documented

This project achieves a number of collective community objectives – incubating local talent, transforming the public realm and creating a cluster of destination retail in our city center,” said Blage Zelalich, downtown manager in the city’s Office of Economic Development.  “We’re confident that MOMENT is going to be great for San Pedro Square and downtown San Jose.”


About PBID
Established in August 2007 and managed by the San Jose Downtown Association, the Property-Based Improvement District (PBID) provides cleaning and tree-trimming services, beautification and street life projects, downtown ambassadors and secondary police enforcement units, and business development assistance.
MOMENT is a set of four dynamic micro-retail spaces designed and programmed to advance, grow and celebrate creative retail. Powered by San Jose Made, MOMENT embodies the urgency, immediacy and verve of today’s new retail and creative culture, featuring makers, creatives, artists and emerging brands for varying short-to-mid-length durations. The first four shopkeepers will occupy the spaces through August 2018.  Visit

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. We invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy. For more, visit

About the San José Department of Transportation
The San José Department of Transportation (DOT) plans, develops, operates, and maintains transportation facilities, services, and related systems that contribute to the livability and economic health of the city. Our goal is to provide a transportation system that is safe, efficient, and convenient for all modes of transportation, and which supports San José’s livability and economic vitality.