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thesanjoseblog.com
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yes yes yes!

The Alameda needs to be our grand street, the street leading people down a luxurious busy San Jose through the calm and collected Rose Garden neighborhood and further along The Alameda into a bustling neighborhood before Downtown. The densities are mind blowing.

Now same could be said as far as Monterey Rd. right as First Street Ends and it begins immediately past 280.

We really need to get the San Jose is LA idea out of the gutter of our minds.
 

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I don't know if I am totally late on this, but I ran into this: http://www.littleitalysj.com/

Seems like a great plan (if it goes through) that will connect HP Pavilion, San Pedro Square, and the Public Market.. the history in there about Italian immigrants in SJ is fascinating as well

I think they want to build this:

the Italian Cultural Center at the corner of Notre Dame and St. John's.. right near the proposed Public Market.
 

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sucks
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I don't know if I am totally late on this, but I ran into this: http://www.littleitalysj.com/

Seems like a great plan (if it goes through) that will connect HP Pavilion, San Pedro Square, and the Public Market.. the history in there about Italian immigrants in SJ is fascinating as well

I think they want to build this:

the Italian Cultural Center at the corner of Notre Dame and St. John's.. right near the proposed Public Market.
Biggest news in a while! I had heard of this Little Italy idea in passing, but it's nice to see it laid out in such great detail. I'm glad they plan top address the overpass linkage. Hopefully that also happen on Santa Clara Street, whatever official neighborhood district that is.
 

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I don't know if I am totally late on this, but I ran into this: http://www.littleitalysj.com/

Seems like a great plan (if it goes through) that will connect HP Pavilion, San Pedro Square, and the Public Market.. the history in there about Italian immigrants in SJ is fascinating as well

I think they want to build this:

the Italian Cultural Center at the corner of Notre Dame and St. John's.. right near the proposed Public Market.
I recall seeing this as part of the San Pedro Housing site plan some time ago but I haven't seen the rendering before. It would be nice if they could create something like North Beach (in SF) someday.
 

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Here are some more details from the Merc. There are also some great details on littleitalysj.com - including an interesting video/presentation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqxaSiUPvDw . I like the idea of having gondola's in the Guadalupe River as well as having a Campo di Bocce in DTSJ.

Pizarro: Little Italy could blossom near San Jose's HP Pavilion
By Sal Pizarro


Mercury News

Posted: 06/25/2009 02:43:01 PM PDT
Updated: 06/25/2009 07:46:15 PM PDT


If the people trying to create a Little Italy in San Jose are trying to be less controversial than the folks behind Little Saigon, they're off to a good start.

The group, led by Joshua DeVincenzi Melander, will be leading an effort Saturday to clean up San Jose's old River Street neighborhood around HP Pavilion.

Volunteers, who should bring their own gloves and cleanup equipment, can meet at Henry's Hi-Life at 9 a.m. The San Jose Redevelopment Agency will provide Dumpsters for the garbage and weeds.

The River Street area was the first settlement of Italian-Americans in San Jose in the three decades before 1900, so it's a natural location for the Little Italy San Jose Italian Cultural Center project. Organizers say the first of more than two dozen Italian-themed businesses should start moving into the area in the next year.

Certainly other neighborhoods could lay claim to being the Italian heart of San Jose, but the group has put together an impressive case on its Web site, www.littleitalysj.com.

It would be a cultural boon for the city to bring the whole thing together. Buona fortuna!
 

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How about getting DTSJ set first?!

Debate simmers over plan to increase retail, hotel space in North San Jose

By Denis C. Theriault

Mercury News
Posted: 06/28/2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Updated: 06/28/2009 04:16:46 AM PDT

When city officials in 2005 unveiled sweeping plans to remake North San Jose into a "second downtown," they envisioned thousands of homes and millions of square feet of high-rise, high-tech offices.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the future. Plans for all those housing units are lying fallow amid the dismal economy. And with the cash-strapped city now desperate for tax dollars, officials are looking to swap a chunk of that office space for 1 million square feet of new retail in the area.

"There's a huge sucking sound that's coming from outside our borders," said Councilman Sam Liccardo, whose district reaches into North San Jose. "Part of this is about ensuring that we can keep dollars in San Jose, working for the benefit of our community."

Yet while some see a play to keep residents from straying into nearby Santa Clara and Milpitas, others fear the plan could siphon shoppers and hotel guests from downtown.

Joe Horwedel, the city's planning director, acknowledged there are some who worry all that new retail would create another Santana Row — the West San Jose project beloved for its cool cachet but also criticized for stealing dollars that could have instead gone into the city core.

So while the City Council earlier this month blessed the concept of adding more retail and hotel space in North San Jose, it deferred a more detailed discussion until after its annual July hiatus. The hope was to allow residents
and business owners more time to speak up with concerns.

City planners have proposed adding big-box retailers like Target and Lowe's and 2,000 new hotel rooms to the area north and west of Interstate 880 and south of Highway 237.

That's a sizable expansion of the 1.7 million square feet in neighborhood retail called for in the original plan, including eateries, cafes and small markets.

Horwedel acknowledged that the new retail in North San Jose, combined, would amount to three of the sprawling San Jose MarketCenter developments on Coleman Avenue. But even so, he said the city remains "under-retailed," and he said all that additional space would likely be sprinkled along the 237 and 880 corridors, with limits on how large any location might be.

Whereas downtown ideally would boast "destination" retail outlets for denizens of its planned high-rise condos, Horwedel said, North San Jose would provide options more like those at McCarthy Ranch in Milpitas.

To keep traffic in check, the city would have to give up about 2 million square feet of industrial space. But that still would leave more than 25 million square feet of such space available to be developed over the next two decades — enough for tens of thousands of new workers.

Similar restrictions would be placed on hotels, in hopes of providing closer lodging for high-tech corporate travelers who are currently forced to find rooms as far out as South County. The city only has 9,000 hotel rooms and could afford to add the space, Horwedel said, without poaching any guests from downtown hotels.

That's a particularly sensitive topic now that the city's downtown hotels have agreed to tax themselves to help fund a $300 million expansion of the San Jose McEnery Convention Center.

Scott Knies, executive director of the San Jose Downtown Association, said he's optimistic the final blueprint will complement downtown, but he also thinks planners could have made things clearer when they rushed out the proposal in May.

"This is a healthy dialogue to have," Knies said. "Growth in San Jose is not just going to occur downtown."

Horwedel said the plan to add retail and hotels to North San Jose had been brewing for months, but it came forward when it did for two reasons. First, Target expressed interest in building a new store near Alviso. And several other projects had been on hold so long he needed council permission to extend development permits; putting together a proposal to do that offered a natural platform to roll out the more ambitious redesign of the area, he said.

But while council members gave Horwedel permission June 16 to extend those permits, they decided they needed more time to determine the final extent of the other changes.

"Of course, with any long-term planning project, there needs to be public input," said Councilman Kansen Chu, whose district encompasses most of the planned development area.

Chu and Horwedel plan to hold more community meetings on the subject before the council meets again. With a chance to boost the city's tax base amid difficult budget times, Chu said, he's eager to find consensus.
 

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sucks
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thesanjoseblog.com
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Happy 4th everyone!

I was in downtown yesterday and the Safeway is really far along. You can look in and see the full sushi counter (like the one in the flagship Rivermark Safeway in Santa Clara). The coffee stand is the only other thing I could see, does not look like a mini Starbucks... Seattle's Best maybe?

Also it looks like they are adding 2 additional elevators from the garage basement directly into Safeway. Not quite sure why because they already have 2 elevators from the garage that go into Safeway.
 

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keeping my fingers crossed, this sounds like great news:

http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_12811242

A road to the past? Cash for straightening Julian Street boosts downtown S.J. project

By Denis C. Theriault
[email protected]
Posted: 07/11/2009 12:00:00 AM PDT

One of the last islands of blight in downtown San Jose could soon become the city's next luxury neighborhood.
And that future could hinge on bringing back a large part of the area's past.
As soon as this fall, crews will take apart the high-speed swoop of Julian Street as it heads southwest toward Highway 87. They'll then begin restoring a pedestrian-friendly street grid that was erased 31 years ago to help shuttle cars to and from the freeway.
Money for the project — $24 million in expected state bond proceeds — was awarded to the San Jose Redevelopment Agency late last month. It will help kick-start plans for three residential high-rises, 100-plus townhomes and two new parks that otherwise may have languished amid the dismal economy.
In turn, those new homes could become a vital complement for an ambitious plan, led by former Mayor Tom McEnery and his family, to remake nearby San Pedro Square into an urban market akin to Seattle's Pike Place. The market, scheduled to open next summer, even has a development partner in common with the housing plan: Barry Swenson.
Taken together, a new community here would mark a long-coveted prize for city planners faced with a pocket that has faded into an inhospitable expanse of wide streets, dusty lots and drab buildings. The particulars of this project also would mark another step in what's been a nationwide rethinking of cities' central cores.
"There wasn't much emphasis
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on walking or any concern about that" 30 years ago, when downtowns rolled up their sidewalks after 5 p.m., said Gary Black, a transportation consultant for the project. "Now, you need people who live downtown, and you need people who actually like to go downtown. And to do that, you need to make it nice."
Of course, amid the state's horrific financial troubles, one concern is whether the grant money, provided by a 2006 ballot measure promoting "in-fill" development in existing neighborhoods, will actually materialize.
"I'm always surprised to get good news out of Sacramento," Mayor Chuck Reed said. "I'm just hoping it's not an IOU."
But both John Weis, the redevelopment agency's assistant director, and Eugene Lee, chief of the state's grant program, said they expect the cash will be delivered after a bond sale, possibly as soon as this autumn. In fact, Lee said, the program's overseers decided to award next year's allocations along with this year's to help spur "economic stimulus."
"These are all bond funds dedicated for this purpose," Lee stressed. "These are not operating budget funds."
The grants are meant to help cities build dense developments near transit hubs by paying for the costly infrastructure upgrades such projects often require. That aim dovetails with Reed's stimulus plans for San Jose, including a push to sustain development downtown — and specifically high-rises counted on to lure thousands of new residents who would in turn bolster retail in the area.
Reed said the city has dreamed of new housing in this particular pocket— mainly bounded by Highway 87 and St. James, Bassett and Market streets — for the better part of a decade, if not longer.
The redevelopment agency since then has spent $20 million acquiring and clearing land, while working with a series of would-be developers until finally teaming a few years ago with Barry Swenson Builder, Intercorp San Francisco and First Community Housing.
Once a quiet industrial zone nestled against an old freight train depot, the neighborhood was home to warehouses, a brewery and even Eggo Food Products, the waffle maker, said former Mayor Ron James, whose family opened a warehouse on San Pedro Street in 1888.
Later, the train depot moved, Highway 87 was erected and the area became one more victim of the 1970s malaise that left downtown a haven for hookers, bikers and drunks.
Reed, who arrived in San Jose around that time, recalls "a bunch of industrial buildings" north of Julian Street. And south of Julian, he said, "I don't remember anything being there except for the Fallon House," the historic former home of an early San Jose mayor.
But even as neighboring blocks on the northern and western edges of downtown have rehabilitated their once-seedy reputations amid a wave of construction — 1,000 housing units have gone up in the past five or six years alone — progress in that part of Julian Street has proved elusive.
Officials have since singled out the curious streetscape, in which Julian slices diagonally through blocks on its way to downtown's largest Highway 87 interchange. A relic from the days when cars were king downtown, the cut-through's main legacy now is a series of odd footprints ill-suited for the mixed neighborhoods seen as key to modern downtowns.
Aside from some office buildings, including a retrofit of the James family's warehouse, the only significant project has been Swenson's City Heights tower at St. James and San Pedro streets. The area also is home to Pellier Park, which would be expanded.
Before the grant was awarded, the developers and the city were preparing to split the cost of the fixes. That would have made financing the project more difficult, Weis said, and possibly delayed it for another year or more.
Work on the street grid could take six months to a year, said Black, the city's consultant. He predicted the impact on traffic will be minimal, as workers will widen St. James St. before shutting Julian.
If that work really does get started this fall, the first of the nearly 600 homes — eventually including some affordable units — could go on sale in 2012. Reed and Weis said that could be the perfect time to catch a turnaround in the real estate market.
"This goes a long way toward creating a new neighborhood for that whole part of the city," Weis said, "an area that 15 years ago had no housing at all."


Tom McEnery said the market will open by NEXT summer?? :cheers:
 

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sucks
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Wow! Are those three towers all park of "North San Pedro" by Swenson, perhaps? I think I remember seeing that many as part of the plan and the nearest other proposal (Carlyle) doesn't look to be bordering the new street grid, nor is it a Swenson project. That should be nice for expanding the skyline northward. Plus, City Heights won't be dangling out there by its lonesome.
 

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Downtown San Jose
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Wow! Are those three towers all park of "North San Pedro" by Swenson, perhaps? I think I remember seeing that many as part of the plan and the nearest other proposal (Carlyle) doesn't look to be bordering the new street grid, nor is it a Swenson project. That should be nice for expanding the skyline northward. Plus, City Heights won't be dangling out there by its lonesome.
Yeah, all part of Sweson's plan. I just hope they aren't as dull and uninspired as City Heights or City View...but Swenson is known to do things on the cheap. His idea of a high-rise is to elongate a two-story townhome :bash:
 

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Renders, anyone?
No renders but the towers are going to be about the same number of units as City Heights and the info I have seen (still looking for it...it might be on my work computer) stated the towers would be about 11-14 stories, so essentially we're talking about three towers similar in height and bulk to City Heights.
 
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