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I'd LOVE for this ugly building on the corner of San Fernando and Market to be forever erased for the city's memory. Any chance of a sparkling new tower in its stead?

No demolition of existing buildings downtown. Downtown needs all the density it can get, not more of surface parking lots or future construction sites.
 

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The article below includes a low resolution version of the 1970 photo:
http://www.asla.org/ppn/Article.aspx?id=33863

That is a sorry state the De Anza hotel was in. Basically somehow from the 1950s to 1970 downtown cleared out en-mass. If SJSU wasn't there it would've just been also entirely vacant. I think a lot of times this forum is critical because it is comparing things to the potential of what DTSJ can be, but it has come a long way from that sad state of affairs in the 1970s. We now have a nice looking downtown with a few traces of that condition from 1970 (like the parking lots), but it is quickly improving.

One of the weird effects of the teardown and rebuilding is that it does look somewhat sanitized and clean, as opposed to having all the historic buildings would. Both a good and a bad in IMO.
Thank God that downtown is awesome and nicely redeveloped. Downtown sometimes gets beaten up in the forum, but it sure is in good shape. Granted, downtown can further improves itself with the opportunity to further densify and eliminate more surface lots and under utilized sites due to good economic times. It's an opportunity, not a necessity, to further build the downtown core.
 

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The article trying to argue that SF is the capital of Silicon Valley doesn't seem to provide any reason that can't apply to NYC and NYC does have its share of startups, just being an urban city is not enough, SF not being in Silicon Valley is a huge strike against it in my book.

For the time being the center of Silicon Valley is still Palo Alto and Mountain View, but it is hard to argue against the growth of Apple and Cupertino's importance in Silicon Valley the last 5-10 years, Google has also become huge swallowing up more and more of MV. But Menlo Park still is VC central, and Stanford is still the university research center.

Now if you were talking about where tech workers live, then you would get a lot more Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Santa Clara and San Jose in there.

I think it may be more of 10-20 years before San Jose can really become the center of Silicon Valley, but as it grows SJ does end up having the advantage of being the most pro-development city in SV.
San Jose already has become the "Capital of Silicon Valley", as coined by Tom McEnery back in 1994 when downtown had a lot of momentum going for it with the Sharks on the playoff and Whitney Museum bringing show piece of arts to San Jose Museum for months. That was the same year Barbara Streisand performed for the very first time in public at a concert at San Jose arena. Adobe was building its world headquarters at that time. SoFA was jumping, too.
 

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If anyone is curious as to what DTSJ looked like in the 70s, you can look at this slide show from the redevelopment agency comparing 1975 to 2005.

http://www.sjredevelopment.org/PublicationsPlans/SanJose1975.pdf

I somehow doubt that 2035 will radically change things as much. But downtown sure was ugly, it looks a lot nicer now (It is actually nice and clean in comparison to most big cities downtowns), but it looks sanitized too with big office buildings instead of some of the street retail that was there.
Don't forget to include condos and hotels, too. It may be too much of a good thing(being too nice)
 

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I was in downtown back in 1977 walking around quite often to get my favorite sandwich on San Carlos and my favorite drink at Orange Julius on Second/San Fernando, now the "88" condo tower. I was looking forward to the erection of a 10 story office building on Almaden and San Fernando. The underground record was on Third St., now 101 San Fernando apt. My memory is still so fresh how downtown was filled with surface parking lots, think Federal building on San Carlos, parking lot where the Fairmont now stand and huge swap of parking lots on Third and Second streets. Downtown was filled with under utilized site, too. Downtown was very Hispanic at the time with very slow pace and almost no foot traffic with the exceptions of Xmas shopping seasons. It was very boring and not much going on at all. My friend had a shoe store on Second st. where check cashing place is now(corner of Fountain Alley and Second st.). I personally saw the progress of rebuilding downtown, building by building all the way up to now. Thank God that you guys didn't have to put up with a moribund downtown as I have. Now, the downtown is looking spiffy and fine. As for the next 35 years, there will be changes but nothing like the last 35 years or so due to already wonderful progress we've witnessed.
 

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yep, they sure will cover the concrete on top of the One South Market with blue and light blue color. They actually already started it on top western side of the building.
 

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IMO, this current building boomlet has effectively signaled that DTSJ has turned the corner. The SJRDA did a lot of good things, some not so good, but the bottom line is that they went the way of the dinosaur and it's now incumbent upon people with vision and cash (KT Properties, the owners of the San Pedro Square Urban Market, etc.) to actually push DTSJ to a new level. I think we're seeing this happen as I type this.

Also, the goal all along had to be to eventually wean ourselves off of the RDA subsidies; we were just forced to do it sooner than expected (as was everyone else up and down the state). The good news, again, is that DTSJ has its "legs" now. An infrastructure is in place - and future infrastructure is coming ,i.e, BART and, possibly, HSR - and always expanding, including some pretty heavy-duty plans for the Diridon/Shark Tank Area. This, even if the A's Stadium isn't built.
IMO, there will finally be a "there there" when all the various building projects come on line in the next few years. The influx of Residents (some say "critcial mass") will create demand for newer and better restaurants, more services, etc., and, in turn, that'll create more jobs, more interest on the streets (day and night).. all the stuff we've been pining for for so long.

The next "great" step to take, IMO, will be to spawn some architecturally "profound" structures and/or spaces in DTSJ. There will be ample opportunity for those, including Blocks 2 and 8, a re-configured St. James Park, the Fountain Alley parking lot site, the VTA-owned site on Santa Clara and Market (when the Bart build-out is done), new and/or expanded Paseos, expanded bike-lane travel, etc.

Even SJSU is getting in on the act, what with Campus Village Phases II and III, rehabbing Yosh Uchida Hall (visible on 4th St.) and Spartan Complex, including a proposed new $60MM Theater Arts building along 4th Street (will have a 600 seat theater).

There's a lot to be excited about all over DTSJ right now...
Downtown has been there before back in 1999. Downtown was on fire and they said downtown passed the "tipping Point" and really turned the corner. Sounds familiar? I feel downtown has been fine along with its ups and downs as normal thriving and successful downtowns do.
 

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Don't forget the Villa Torino, Park Towsend and Ryland Mews to the north and Park Place to the West. Market Gateway and YMCA to the South. They're all part of downtown core. In 1998 before alot of them listed above were built, the RDA pledged the downtown core population at 6,800. Now, I'm guessing around 11,000 at the core at present time.
 

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According to the Census Bureau 95113 only has about 890 people, downtown leaks into adjoining zip codes, but it really shows we need a lot more people downtown, 95113 includes the apartments at the Sainte Claire, the 88, the 360, the affordable housing at Market St. the historic apartments by the movie theater, apparently that is only 890 people. One South Market will add a bunch of people there too, but it really shows that 1 high-rise really doesn't have that many people, we need a bunch at this point. I really want to see what comes out of the parking lot on 2nd street, and I wish block 8, block 2 and the lot next to the 88 would have plans brought up, these are all prime locations going to waste as parking.
Remember, 4 highrises alone already have 860 units. Then, you add the Paseo's, Colonnade, Globe, and others on 4th st. which are nearly 1,000 units. Don't forget all the apartments and condos around Julian/First. which are around 1,000. It may be that 95113 is a very small area that only includes the office area of downtown. There are also quite a few apartments and houses south to 280, too. The core area of downtown extends to just south of 280 and north to just above Julian, according to Redevelopment agency. The Greater downtown area(downtown frame) goes all the way to Japan town and west to the new Whole Foods which is under construction. There are nearly 10,000 units in the greater downtown area that have been built since 1985.
 

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I often wonder the same thing, why is it that we only have Scott's as a rooftop restaurant. With the sunny days that we're getting, we should have A LOT of rooftop restaurants! In fact, it should be a defining feature of our city!

I bet you the city codes is pretty harrowing in allowing for rooftop restaurants. This is something I would like the next District 3 councilperson to work on.
What about the Loft restaurant on Second st.?
 

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Location, location, location. Santa Clara very reasonable does not allow 9 stories a block from sfh neighborhoods, when they have considerable land in the north of the city which is zoned for mid rise. Sounds like very reasonable land-use and I would hope SJ follows the lead.

Of course, if Apple wants to go 20 stories I hope they choose SJ; but so far they haven't shown any interest.
Apple people are very horrible suburban people that would never give day or night consideration to Downtown San Jose. They're the traitor of this high tech valley since they never opened their store in Downtown San Jose. They rather in open their store in Downtown Portland, Philly, Montreal and others. Their downtowns are no better than San Jose's.
 

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Taking out mall locations, have someone did a study and see which major cities are still missing Apple stores?

I'm sure any company is simply looking out for bottom line. They must have a internal score card and plan on the next possible store locations, I wonder what they think is still still missing from San Jose to move it further up the list.
Either Apple's lack of passion for their hometown or having outdated demographic info.
 

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Absolutely zero chance of their having outdated demographic data. This is THE premier marketing company in the world.

SJ shouldn't complain. Downtown LA (pushing 100k population and dozens of high rise towers) has no Apple Store (or even Trader Joe's!). If you look where yuppie retail companies like these are located, it's not classically downtown, it's where people with disposable income live (e.g, the Peninsula in the Bay Area, or the west side and foothill communities in LA). At least SJ has a TJ's and Whole Foods downtown (more or less).
Then why would Montreal have it in downtown? They don't have alot of people living in downtown Montreal yet. They started building condos/apts in 2001 there.
 

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The busiest retail area in Montreal is located downtown on Saint Catherine Street where the Apple store is located. The area is similar to Union Square in San Francisco. My company has an office nearby, and when I've been there for business I've always spent quite a bit of time wandering the area around St. Catherine and it's always packed with shoppers.
I guarantee you if San Jose's downtown had as many shoppers as they do in downtown Montreal, Apple would build a store there in a hearbeat.
ST. Catherine St. is a dying retail district. The malls out in the suburbs are stealing thunder from Downtown Montreal.
 

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Absolutely zero chance of their having outdated demographic data. This is THE premier marketing company in the world.

SJ shouldn't complain. Downtown LA (pushing 100k population and dozens of high rise towers) has no Apple Store (or even Trader Joe's!). If you look where yuppie retail companies like these are located, it's not classically downtown, it's where people with disposable income live (e.g, the Peninsula in the Bay Area, or the west side and foothill communities in LA). At least SJ has a TJ's and Whole Foods downtown (more or less).
What does this have to do with LA not having an Apple store or Trader Joe's since Downtown LA is late in the revitalization game? San Jose started revitalizing its downtown back in the mid 80's and LA started in right after 2000, actually 1999. San Jose has at least 15 years head start compared to LA. San Jose is way ahead of LA in downtown revitalization.
 

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Yuppers! So we still got a long way to go. I would say retail wouldn't really come in until we can hold down about 20K in the core.
As of 1998, before all the new housing and highrise housing came online after 1999, the redevelopment agency put the downtown core population figure at 6,800. Right now, the core has way over 6,800, but no one has done an accurate survey of population of the core since then. we may actually be close to 20,000 in the core now(12,000 to 16,000 my estimate).
 

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Downtown definitely could use a retail district or two, there's way too many vacancies all over the place. I think once downtown cleans up a bit we'll start seeing those vacancies slowly disappear. Right now would be a great time to attract retail tenants since Westfield has been jacking up rents like crazy lately.
The retail district is First st. which is about 100 % leased from San Carlos st. to Santa Clara st. North of Santa Clara st. and South of San Carlos st. are different stories, and the Second st. is also vacant due closure of Zanatto's, Tune's and Vodoo lounge. The rest of downtown is surprisingly thriving and actually all out booming. Apple exec. need to locate an Apple store in Downtown San Jose since there are all those techies there.
 

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Long time lurker, some really great posts in this thread!

I decided to finally sign up since I wanted to reply to the subject of DT SJ not having an Apple store.

To the original poster, have you been to Montreal and Portland? I have several times over the past five years. Both of these cities are very walkable, have a ton of pedestrians, and have retail areas that are heavily trafficked.

Though DT SJ has made some great progress (especially over the last few years), it is not comparable to Montreal or Portland, IMHO. DT SJ does not currently have the pedestrian traffic or appropriate retail outlets. Until that happens, don't expect an Apple store (or other retails stores on that level).

When people in SJ and the South Bay think of retail, they automatically flock over to places like Valley Fair and Santana Row.

I would love to see more retail in DT SJ though. It would be great to walk around the city just to window shop. They should look to DT Pasadena as great example of what can be done. :)
Downtown San Jose already has decent foot traffic, and if you put retail there, you'll automatically will have heavy retail foot traffic. That's beside the point. Apple would definitely do well there, and H & M would also do well. There are alot of college students and techies downtown already. I go to Portland all the time, and I've been to Montreal several times. They're definitely not better off than San Jose, but they do have established retail district, which I understand. If they can do it, why can't San Jose? The city has an awesome built downtown, but they have to provide the right retail mix to get people shopping downtown. That's up to the city planners and people alike to have shopping district there, but right now, downtown can definitely support Apple store. I think even H & M would do well there with all those college student in the area. Just look at Muji's downtown.
 
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