A mixed-use area planned near downtown San Jose’s Diridon Station could turn a now jumbled area of one-way streets and half-empty industrial buildings into a showcase of retail, restaurants, hotels, and high-rise residential units, which would hopefully be crowned by a sparkling new major league baseball stadium, into what the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal is calling the “Times Square of Silicon Valley”. Officially the project in downtown San Jose is known as the Diridon Station Area Plan. A 30-year endeavor, the ambitious plan proposes development of the prime piece of downtown San Jose real estate into 4.95 million square feet of commercial/industrial space, 420,000 square feet of retail and restaurants, 2,588 high-rise residential condo units, and 900 hotel rooms.
The Oakland A’s want to construct a new ballpark in downtown San Jose, after its plans to do so in the city of Fremont fell apart in 2009. The San Francisco Giants, who claim territorial rights to Santa Clara County, have raised objections to the move, and Major League Baseball officials have yet to approve the move. In order to put the proposed baseball stadium on the November ballot, the city needs to hear back from MLB officials by August. Although the city of San Jose has committed to provide land for the stadium, no new taxes or other public monies are planned to go toward the construction or operation of the ballpark. The A’s would be responsible for its construction and operation.
While the plan doesn’t hinge on Major League Baseball’s approval of the Oakland A’s moving to San Jose, there’s no doubt that a green light on the baseball stadium would speed up development, as well as influence how much will actually be built out.
One need only look in our own backyard at the SF Giants AT&T Park or San Diego’s Petco Park to see what a major impact a national sports franchise and stadium would have on the local economy. When AT&T Park was built in the China Basin area of San Francisco, it doubled the surrounding commercial values. It attracted new residential high-rises and tourist-dollar-worthy restaurants and retail. The same can be said for San Diego’s downtown. With the addition of Petco Park, downtown San Diego has become a world-class destination, with a rejuvenated Gaslamp Quarter, new hotels and high-rise residential, and an expanded convention center. In downtown San Jose, add in all that plus a new transit hub housing Caltrain, Amtrak, VTA light rail, and future BART and high-speed rail lines, and you can hear the city’s coffers filling with hotel and sales tax revenue, with the welcomed addition of thousands of local jobs. Get out your shades - the future looks bright for downtown San Jose.
To see the City of San Jose’s full Diridon Station Area Plan, click here.
Visit www.baseballsanjose.com to learn more about bringing the Oakland A’s to downtown San Jose.