SAN JOSE – In addition to downtown San Jose, an ambitious new project is envisaged to add hundreds of homes, offices and retail outlets in a select location near the light rail tracks on North First Street.
The proposed mixed use development, if approved by the city, would arise on the south side of West Taylor Street and half a block west of First Street on the northern edges of downtown San Jose.
As planned, the developers intend to build 244 residential units, 61,000 square meters of office space and around 5,600 square meters of retail space. These are preliminary proposals that have been submitted to the San Jose Planning Department.
“It’s a real mixed-use development where people can live, work and play,” said Douglas Oliver, Design Principal at Arc Tec, an architecture firm.
The property’s owners believe the proposed development could achieve a number of city goals, according to Oliver.
“It checks a lot of the town’s boxes,” said Oliver. “It would be built on an above-ground parking lot to replace underutilized land. It has good transit access. And the whole of the Santa Clara Valley really needs housing. “
The proposed project area occupies the western half of a block bounded by West Taylor Street, Miller Street, George Street and North First Street.
The site is in close proximity to the main Santa Clara County’s government complex. It’s also about a block from the north edge of downtown San Jose, which is gradually expanding its boundaries and scope.
“This is right next to the light rail VTA line and close to two stops. It’s right off Highway 87, ”said Oliver. “It’s in a good place.”
City officials are trying to create more urban and dense usage along the section of North First Street that connects downtown San Jose and the vast Silicon Valley job hubs in northern San Jose.
“It’s an interesting infill development site with lots of potential near the light rail,” said Bob Staedler, chief executive of Silicon Valley Synergy, a land use and planning consultancy. “It could be the beginning of a comprehensive revitalization of this corridor.”
Projects of this type could also strengthen the light rail and local transport routes nearby.
“A transit-oriented development is urgently required in order to be able to use the tram fully,” said Staedler.