In this inaugural issue we've highlighted a few of the many ways the City utilizes Redevelopment investment to expand economic opportunities. Especially during these tough economic times, the Redevelopment Agency is poised to invest strategically and creatively for the future of San José. We hope that in this and future issues, you will discover something new about how Redevelopment Works in San José.
SJRA Seeks Job Growth in North San José
The San Jose Redevelopment Agency (SJRA) and the City of San José are updating existing land-use and transportation policies, which could generate thousands of new jobs and increase development capacity by millions of square feet in North San José .
The first phase of this effort will analyze how land could be used more efficiently for high-tech workplaces in the North First Street corridor.
Currently, the 4,700-acre technology park—North San Jose's Innovation Triangle —has only 5% vacant land available for new development (see sidebar for additional facts about North San Jose). Local industry and the City's Economic Development Strategy, adopted in November 2003, recommended increasing development capacity to position San José for continued economic growth over the next 25 years.North San José is home to renowned technology leaders including Agilent, BEA Systems, Sun MicroSystems, Altera, Cisco, Hitachi, eBay, Atmel, and Sony. Its accessibility by mass transit and proximity to the Mineta San José International Airport makes it one of the leading technology centers in the world. Development in Innovation Triangle generated approximately $132 million in tax increment revenues last year.
For more information on Innovation Triangle visit www.sjsitefinder.com.
Retail Effort Expands to San José Neighborhoods
This effort expands the Agency's current Downtown retail program, which includes the retention of retail, restaurant, and entertainment establishments through a variety of small business assistance resources and the attraction of local, regional, and national retailers and restaurants to the City Center. The Downtown program started in 2000 and has yielded 69 new businesses. In the past year activity has increased and the Downtown is now home to the Improv Comedy Club, Artist and Craftsman Art Supply, P.F. Chang's, and McCormick and Schmick. Coming soon are Black Sea Gallery, the Melting Pot Fondue Restaurant, and Zyng Asian Grill.
As part of the City's Strong Neighborhoods Initiative, many communities prioritized stronger retail districts for their neighborhoods. The first phase of the expanded retail program will include identifying neighborhood retail needs and gathering data on neighborhood retail activity such as existing tenants, pending vacancies, lease rates and terms. Based on this data, a retail marketing strategy will be developed.
The program is currently underway in the 13th Street, Alum Rock, East Santa Clara, Japantown, Alameda, W. San Carlos, Story Road and East Valley/680, Winchester, Burbank/Del Monte, and University/10th & William neighborhoods.
Downtown Housing: North San Pedro
Three developer teams have proposed new housing on a 5-acre Downtown housing site north of St. James Street, between Market Street and Highway 87, that could yield approximately 800 new homes—with 160 homes reserved as affordable. Before purchasing the land, the SJRA worked closely with the previous owners to make the site environmentally safe and prepare it for development. The SJRA expects to choose a development team by the end of April.
The proposed development, located within walking distance to local transit, continues the Agency's effort to attract more residents and visitors Downtown and to provide more housing opportunities to new and first-time homebuyers. New housing in the area will encourage retail and park development in the area, expanding the success of the vibrant San Pedro Square.
California Theatre Equipped for the Classics
History comes alive with the magnificent renovation of a glorious theater built during the height of vaudeville. Classic films, first-rate opera, and community performances will grace the stage of the California Theatre starting this September to delight and entertain San José audiences once again.
Once finished, the $73.4 million theater renovation funded by the SJRA and Los-Altos based Packard Humanities Institute will provide a new home to Opera San José and other touring productions, and will seat up to 1,125 people, including classic movie buffs.
To enhance the classic film experience, moviegoers will be treated to the melodies of a restored Wurlitzer Organ that will rise via a hydraulic lift from the orchestra pit. In addition to funding the restoration of the pipe organ, the Packard Institute has donated three projectors—two 35mm and one 16mm—suitable for showing both classic and modern film.
Budget Challenges In 2004
The biggest financial challenge for SJRA this year will be the current State budget proposal. If it stands, it will require us to forfeit another $10 million of redevelopment revenue to solve the State deficit. This loss of revenue translates to $100 million of future local investment as the SJRA can bond approximately $10 for every $1 of tax increment. This means less funding for affordable housing, neighborhood improvements, job growth and economic recovery.
Redevelopment funds typically leverage approximately seven dollars in private investment. These investments would not occur without our partnerships. Our partnerships translate to job creation, housing construction, neighborhood improvements and economic growth.
Moreover, the State budget proposal currently under consideration indicates that our contribution will be a multi-year or permanent taking, rather than a one-time adjustment. If this initiative proceeds, it will likely prevent us from leveraging any of our tax increment and will take away the only real economic development tool directly available to local government in California.
We will keep you informed as the City and State's budget situation becomes more certain. Our goal for 2004 is to achieve the most positive outcome for San Jose's economic recovery and our community. For more budget information or comments call Nancy Lytle at 794-1086, or email email@example.com
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San Jose Redevelopment Agency
50 W. San Fernando Street • Suite 1100 • San José, California 95113
Phone: 408.794.1000 • Fax: 408.277.3153 • www.sjredevelopment.org
Did you know?
Over the last 20 years,
North San José Facts
• 42 million square feet
San José Retail facts
• Over the last year, 32 new
• In 1995, restaurants made
• San José's neighborhood
• Since 1977, Agency
• The SJRA has produced
CIM "Heart of the City"
SJRA Meetings & Events