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Livable Neighborhoods, a Strong Economy and an Exciting Downtown

Fall 2005

Story and King Roads—New Retailers Open to a Thriving Community

Plaza de San José, a new shopping center located in San Jose’s East Valley, opened its doors to consumers this fall. The project consists of approximately 191,500 square feet of retail space, and major tenants include Target, Walgreen's and FAMSA, one of the most successful furniture, electronics and appliance retailers in México. Along with the newly completed shopping center, there are also street and infrastructure improvements scheduled to be complete for the area by the end of 2005. The San Jose Redevelopment Agency (SJRA) invested $39 million, and Blake Hunt Ventures funded $73.5 million to build the shopping center.

The shopping center is a long-awaited project for the residents in the area. Planning the revitalization of the intersection at Story and King Roads, an existing San Jose Redevelopment Neighborhood Business District, began in the early 1990s when the community requested improved retail with access to more goods and services in the East side neighborhoods.

The corner of Story and King is home to three shopping centers and is the heart of the largely Latino community in East San José. Built in the 1960s and 1970s, property at these corners deteriorated due to a lack of investment and maintenance. By 1995, more than 120,000 square feet of space was vacant. The Redevelopment Agency worked with local community members and businesses to create a strategy plan, which was approved by the Agency's Board in 1997.

Two studies by the San Jose Redevelopment Agency in 1996 and 2000 found that surrounding Eastside neighborhoods were underserved by retail services. This retail “leakage” was estimated at a value of more than $250 million annually. With this powerful information and the approved strategy, the Redevelopment Agency began steps to redevelop the area, attract new retail businesses, and support existing merchants to meet the needs of both the neighborhood and the overall community.

Working with property owners and merchants, the San Jose Redevelopment Agency continues to invest in the area to enhance its potential. Other projects in the area include new facades, parking lot improvements and marketing for existing businesses on the Northeast and Southwest corner of Story and King Roads to help revitalize the intersection. The Redevelopment Agency has invested more than $51.2 million to revitalize the intersection of Story and King.

For more information about the Story and King area, please contact the San Jose Redevelopment Agency public information office at 408.535.8549.


June 21, 2005. The San Jose City Council approved Vision North San Jose, a strategy to position North San Jose for continued economic growth over the next 25 years. Vision North San Jose proposes to align North San Jose’s Innovation Triangle to the needs of current and future workplaces and workers, creating opportunities for more San Jose jobs and more homes near those jobs. The City Council certified the North San Jose EIR, approved a modification to the North San Jose Area Development Policy and related General Plan Amendments, and approved a Traffic Impact Fee Plan as well.


  • Generate 26.7 million square feet of new R&D and office space
  • Create 32,000 new high density residential units in close proximity to jobs
  • Integrate 1.7 million square feet of new retail space
  • Invest $520 million in new transportation improvements
  • Encourage bicycle and pedestrian facilities
  • Provide parks, open spaces, and necessary public safety services and educational services
  • Promote sustainable “green” building architectural treatments
  • Expedite development through a certified Program EIR and Design Guidelines

For more information please contact:

Ru Weerakoon at 408.795.1843
The San Jose Redevelopment Agency

Andrew Crabtree at 408.535.7893
Planning, Building, and Code Enforcement
Or visit online at http://www.sanjoseca.gov/planning/nsj/

Downtown San José for the Holidays

Come see why “Downtown” and “Holidays” have become synonymous! Garland, lights, snow (provided by snow machines) and carolers will welcome visitors to Downtown San José as they attend the many exciting events taking place over the holidays. Experience all that Downtown has to offer – arts, retail, restaurants, and holiday fun!

Nov. 18-Jan. 16 – Downtown Ice. Uniquely designed, serious and recreational skaters can take a spin inside, through or around 32 palm trees and under the stars. One of the most extraordinary rinks found anywhere in the world, Downtown Ice is certain to keep you in a jolly mood. Open daily, weather permitting.

Nov. 23-Jan. 1 – Winter Wonderland. Enjoy amazing views from the 10-story Giant Gondola, the 60-foot-tall Ferris Wheel and the colorful Classic Carousel, all part of the array of Winter Wonderland attractions. New this year: the Paseo Holiday Boutique for those looking for unique San Jose gifts. See dramatic glass-blowing demonstrations, sample chocolates, and shop for loved ones.

Nov. 25-Jan. 1 – Christmas in the Park. San Jose's best-known holiday tradition, now in its 26th year, allows people to stroll among 60 animated displays, hundreds of decorated trees and thousands of twinkling lights at Plaza de Cesar Chavez.

Dec. 4- The San Jose Holiday Parade. One of the top 25 parades in America, this one comes complete with giant helium balloons, more than two dozen big and brassy marching bands, beautiful floats that capture your imagination, clowns, celebrity guests and a visit from Santa Claus. 8:30 -11 a.m. along Market Street at Plaza de Cesar Chavez.

Dec. 1-23 – Holiday Gallery of Gifts. Now in its fourth season, this unique holiday-inspired gallery by Phantom Galleries and produced by Two Fish Design is picking up momentum. Over 90 local artists, offering original works of art, textiles, jewelry, clothing, cards and other unique gifts are available for sale. Open M-F from 4-9 p.m. and Sat 12-5 p.m. at 55 South First Street (at Post Street ).

For more information about Downtown events, visit www.artsopolis.com/downtownsj.

Retail Renaissance in San Jose 's Historic District

Downtown's Historic District is emerging as a thriving retail area. The San Jose Redevelopment Agency, in partnership with developers CIM Group, Wilson Meany Sullivan, and Stockbridge Real Estate Fund II, is building two mixed-use developments that will bring new residents, additional retail space and public parking. The “Heart of the City” project located on Second & Santa Clara Streets is scheduled to be completed next year. Located on San Fernando Street between Second and Third Streets, CIM's “Central Place” project, one of nearly a dozen high-rise housing projects currently planned for Downtown San José, will officially break ground November 16, 2005.These two projects combined will add over 85,000 sf of retail space and nearly 500 housing units.

Additionally, joining this historic district are such retailers as Black Sea Gallery (rug & furniture store); Pueblo Viejo Imports (furniture store); The Melting Pot Fondue Restaurant; The Record Shop (records & apparel); Bronze Tanning Studio (tanning salon & swimwear); Nextel (cell phones), and coming soon, Chic Chateau (apparel, furniture and tea room).

Along with the new developments, the San Jose Redevelopment Agency is renovating a number of historic buildings which will be completed over the next couple of years bringing an additional 28,000 sf of new ground floor retail space to the Downtown area.

Redevelopment Programs Focused on Small Businesses

The Downtown Signage Grant Program launched this summer and is already assisting over a dozen businesses obtain new signage. The program offers funding up to $10,000 per storefront.

The Downtown Facade Improvement Program continues with great success. Eligible businesses can receive up to $30,000 to improve their storefront.

For more information regarding the Signage Grant or the Facade Improvement Programs, please contact Hope Shapiro or Edesa Bitbadal at 408.535-8500.

Strong Neighborhoods Initiative (SNI) featured in
Urban Land Institute's Community Catalyst Report

San Jose's Strong Neighborhoods Initiative (SNI) was selected as one of three “Involving the Community in Neighborhood Planning” case studies featured in the Urban Land Institute Community Catalyst Report.

To be selected as a case study in the ULI Community Catalyst Report demonstrates that Strong Neighborhoods planning and implementation is important on a national level regarding discussion on land use, improving quality of life, and advancing community values.

Established in 1936, the Urban Land Institute (ULI) has more than 26,000 members in 80 countries representing the entire spectrum of the land use and development disciplines and seeks to provide responsible leadership in the use of land to enhance the total environment.

SNI is a partnership involving the City of San José, the San Jose Redevelopment Agency (SJRA), and city residents and business owners. It was launched in 2000 to create strong, livable neighborhoods in cooperation with neighborhood organizations. This year, the Redevelopment Agency is allocating $42 million for new SNI projects and $20 million for other neighborhood improvement projects.

Neighborhood planning on a comprehensive level can help residents and business owners identify their community's priorities, plan for the long term, and ensure the consistency of their community's goals with those of the larger city.

Recently completed SNI projects include: Blackford Lighting Improvement Project, Plata Arroyo Skatepark, Greater Gardner Street Improvements, Delmas Park Neighborhood Traffic Study, Edenvale/Great Oaks Skatepark, 3rd/4th Street Couplet Conversion, Parque de Padre Sheedy, Meadowfair Park, Tully/Senter Soundwall, and Selma Olinder Park.

The complete report can be downloaded free of charge from the “In the Community” section at www.uli.org.

To learn more about Strong Neighborhoods or to get involved, contact Kip Harkness at 408.535.8501, or visit: www.strongneighborhoods.org.

A Park for all Reasons-A Park for all Seasons

After three decades of planning and consulting with the community and other partners, the Guadalupe River Park had its grand celebration this past summer. The project finally tied together different segments of the park and achieved one of the five major goals established in the GRP Strategy 2000 Master Plan to complete this unique urban park.

The project is a collaborative effort between the San Jose Redevelopment Agency, Santa Clara Valley Water District, the US Army Corps of Engineers and other partners. The park represents a common interest of all partners to build a great downtown park while achieving 100 year flood protection for the Downtown San José area. To achieve flood protection for Downtown San José, a substantial portion of the newly opened park is actually built over concrete tunnels (box culverts) which carry floodwaters away from the city and preserve the river's natural habitat.

Many features of the park are based on the tireless work of the Guadalupe River Park Task Force and Friends of the Guadalupe River Park and Gardens. These two groups represent neighborhoods, businesses, environmental interests and advocates for the river, whose basic goal was to make the park to be a special place unlike any other park in the South Bay. Now, the park contains a wealth of environments, from small quiet areas to large open spaces that can accommodate major festivals and events. Of the 150 acres open to the public, there are more than 27 completed plazas and special exhibits that delight the park user, educate about the river's history, ecology and the city's Sister Cities. There are also 2.6 miles of trails weaving throughout the park.

Another attractive park feature is a new signage program to inform users about the park's history and environment. Special graphic panels utilize photos, graphics and text to tell a story about the river and its history. Displays provide information on fish migration, flood protection, river development and protection of the natural environment. All of these elements remind the public about this great asset dedicated to all the citizens of San José.

For more information on the Guadalupe River Park , please visit http://www.grpg.org/ or call 408.277.5998.

For more information or comments, call the San Jose Redevelopment Agency information hotline at 408.535.8549 or email sjraworks@sanjoseca.gov

San Jose Redevelopment Agency
200 E. Santa Clara Street • 14th Floor • San José, California 95113
Phone: 408.535.8500• Fax: 408.292.6755• www.sjredevelopment.org

Plaza de San José:

• The Redevelopment Agency invested $39 million in the Plaza de San José Shopping Center

• Story and King is the heart of San Jose's Latino community

Vision North San Jose:

• 42 million square feet of R&D and office space

• 6,675 housing units

Downtown Holiday Events :

For more information about Downtown events, visit www.artsopolis.com/downtownsj

Downtown Retail:

More than 130 eating establishments

Leasing activity for 2004-05 totaled 275,000 sf of new retail

More About SNI:

• 60 SNI projects have been completed and another 85 are now underway

• By the end of fiscal year 05-06, the Redevelopment Agency will invest more than $67 million in Strong Neighborhoods Projects

GRP Facts:

• 2.6 miles of trails

• 150 park acres are open to the public

• More than 15,000 trees, 9,000 shrubs, and 60,000 groundcover plants

Will provide 100 year flood protection for Downtown San José

SJRA Meetings &
Events Calendar