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Economic Growth and Job Creation
Fall 2004

SJRA Boosts Biotech Start-ups

San Jose has a history of incubating success. San Jose's newest triumph is a $6.5 million state-of-the-art bioscience incubator and innovation center, which features contemporary bioscience facilities including wet labs, dry labs, office space, tissue culture facilities and conference rooms.

The San Jose Bioscience incubator and innovation center is the fourth in a series of incubators established by the San Jose Redevelopment Agency (SJRA) and operated by the San Jose State University Foundation. Bay Area GAIN, who will be providing all services needed to grow technology startups into driving industries, will manage this world-class laboratory facility.

The Bioscience Incubator is currently home to two start-up companies, Cytolution Inc. and Manoa Medical Inc., who joined the incubator in August 2004. The incubator will soon house up to 20 scientists, entrepreneurs and start-up bioscience companies.

The Bioscience Incubator and Innovation Center is located in the Edenvale Technology Park in South San Jose. Inquiries should be addressed to Peter Marietta, Facilities Director, at pmarietta@bbloxsolutions.com or 408.960-3805.

Restoring Our Historic Downtown

Preserving the past is key to creating a vibrant and viable Downtown. Since 1987, the SJRA has committed more than $129.5 million to preserve and rehabilitate Downtown's historic and older buildings. Through such programs as the Facade Improvement Program (FIP) and Unreinforced Masonry Grant Program, owners are partnering with us to improve their historic properties.

This year, the SJRA Board approved funding for several key historic properties. Located on E. Santa Clara Street at North Second Street, the Dr. Eu buildings occupy a key corner in Downtown. They have been vacant since they were damaged in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. A $4.9 million rehabilitation project jointly funded by the SJRA and owner will include stabilization, roof repair, facade improvement and historic rehabilitation to accommodate future office and retail uses.

Other long-awaited rehabilitation projects that will complete the Downtown's retail core include the six Barber Trust and Kotansky properties buildings, which will be rehabilitated to link the First and Second Street retail corridors via Fountain Alley. They are located at 27-37 Fountain Alley and 28 – 40 E. Santa Clara Street. The Crescent Jewelers Building, located at 93-99 South First, and the Porter Stock Building at 83-91 South First Street will finish the needed building renovations from First Street to the San Fernando intersection, another prominent corner in Downtown.

For more information on Downtown FIP assistance, contact Kelly Hyland or Edesa Bitbadal at 408-794-1002, for information on neighborhood FIP assistance contact Lindsey Fonick at 408-794-1000.

California Theatre

Vacant for 30 years, the historic California Theatre (formerly known as the Fox Theatre), reopened its doors to reign as the historic crown jewel of Downtown San Jose theatres.

This was a much-anticipated project for Downtown San Jose. The new performance venue will seat 1,146 and will serve as the home for Opera San Jose, Symphony Silicon Valley, community and visiting performing groups, screenings of classic films, and for Cinequest, a film festival which occurs yearly in Northern California. It can also be used for corporate events and receptions.

Located in the SoFA District, the resurrected theater features an auditorium and foyers restored to their 1927 elegance. A new stagehouse was built to meet modern production standards and a new three-story limestone contemporary addition and outdoor courtyard complements the adjacent historic Sainte Claire Hotel.

The California Theatre is a $75 million public project funded by the San Jose Redevelopment Agency and Packard Humanities Institute. The Packard Humanities Institute is also funding the restoration of rare historic film projectors and two Wurlitzer pipe organs that will be housed in the California Theatre.

Team San José is managing the operation of the California Theatre. If you would like to book a performance at the theatre, please contact Max Schultz, at 408.792.4141.

Increase Downtown Housing Supply

We continue to be responsive to the increasing need for housing in San Jose. We encourage the development of both market-rate and affordable housing so that San Jose can offer a full range of opportunities from luxury high-rise living to creative live-work lofts.

The SJRA and private developers have built 5,130 homes in the Greater Downtown, 60% of which have been constructed since 1999. There are 724 more homes now under construction and another 2,550 in the planning stage.

The SJRA Board has recently approved a temporary residential high-rise incentive program for those developing high-rise residential projects in the Downtown core. The program offers added incentive to move projects forward to construction.

Several high-rise housing opportunities have been proposed for the Greater Downtown area, including the CIM “Heart of the City” project. CIM is expected to develop 335 luxury condominiums and ground floor retail space along South Second Street and along a new street that will divide CIM's project just south of San Fernando Street. Eight other high-rise housing projects are in various stages of planning in the Greater Downtown Area. These are estimated to provide up to 1,700 high-rise living opportunities.

Continuing Budget Challenges 

The biggest financial challenge for SJRA again this year is ongoing reductions in our local revenue. The losses result from two causes. First, the adopted state budget requires SJRA to forfeit approximately $18.7 million of local revenue for each of the next two years to balance the state budget.  Second, the value of commercial property in SJRA's Project Areas has declined, thereby reducing its tax increment by 10% in Fiscal Year 03-04 and 12% in Fiscal Year 04-05. Local revenue reductions multiply into even greater losses since we bond approximately $8 for every $1 of tax increment. The losses mean significantly less funding for affordable housing, neighborhood improvements, business partnerships, job growth and economic recovery.

Redevelopment funds typically leverage approximately seven dollars in private investment for every dollar the public invests. SJRA's public/private partnerships efficiently translate to job creation, housing construction, neighborhood improvements and economic growth.

Using local economic development dollars to balance the state budget is like "eating the seed corn." It delays job growth, neighborhood programs, and housing construction needed for the State's recovery. Improving SJRA's situation in the future will depend on working with its partners to regain property values and to promote full economic recovery in San Jose.  

For more budget information or comments, call the SJRA information hotline
at 408.794.1078 or email sjraworks@sanjoseca.gov

For comments or to unsubscribe, please e-mail sjraworks@sanjoseca.gov

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?

• The Incubator will house 20 bioscience entrepreneurs and start-up bioscience companies.

• The SJRA has invested $6.5 million to design, build, and equip the incubator.

Preserving the Past:

• Since 1987, SJRA has committed more than $129.5 million to preserve and rehabilitate Downtown's historic and older buildings.

Downtown Housing Facts

• The SJRA is working with its partners on eight high-rise housing projects to develop approximately 1,700 units of condominium high-rise housing within the next five years.

• The SJRA has produced
10,000 affordable homes
more than any other
city in California.

SJRA Meetings & Events
Fall 2004 Calendar