Share your thoughts on a few illustrations of Downtown West

Update: Our engagement survey is now closed. Thanks to those who shared their thoughts on the latest sketch illustrations. The 100 responses we received will inform new renderings that we’ll be sharing publicly soon.

Your contributions to the Downtown West proposed plan are deeply appreciated, and we continue to learn a lot from your feedback. We are committed to making Downtown West a project that is mixed-use, inclusive and of San José. 

We know this doesn’t happen through design alone, but rather through programs, experiences and partnerships with local people and organizations that will make Downtown West a place that can help San José become healthier and more resilient. 

Today, we are launching an exercise that helps us develop our social infrastructure objectives for Downtown West.  The exercise will take you through a series of illustrations that represent opportunities in learning, nature, ecology, entrepreneurship, and arts and culture—all of which help celebrate and incorporate the local community. The vision that community members shared with us is not a singular one, but a diverse and vibrant one. As one community member said, “sweat the small stuff.”  We agree. 

We invite you to share your thoughts on early-stage sketches of different parts of the project still in development. 

A map of Downtown West marking the three image locations on the map.

Downtown West varies from north to south and east to west, with different degrees of natural and urban character, with each area supporting its surrounding area, within a 20-minute walk radius, to become a seamless addition to the neighborhood.

The Gateway

The Gateway is among the first areas of the project and will act as an immersive learning exchange that brings San José’s entrepreneurial, innovative spirit to life. It will bolster connections to adjacent neighborhoods and Downtown by offering a flexible plaza for temporary pop-up programming and events; it also celebrates adjacent natural resources. The open space design respects and integrates the San José Water Company Building. Based on your input, we envision activities like the Urban Prototyping Festival, homes for programs like Year Up and The Tech Challenge, and shared resources like an amphitheater that can service both Google and the community. We’re looking for your input on whether we are on the right track and what’s missing.

A rendering of what the Gateway might look like with people and future buildings.

A view of the Gateway along West Santa Clara Street: an approximately 0.75-acre open space envisioned as an interactive and immersive learning environment that faces Arena Green and the confluence of the Guadalupe River and Los Gatos Creek.

The Creekside Walk

The Creekside Walk is a part of the social heart located at San José’s transit gateway emphasizing health, wellness and environmental education. The Creekside Walk is bound by South Autumn Street to the west, Los Gatos Creek to the east, West Santa Clara Street to the north, and lies approximately 100 feet south of the VTA light rail corridor to the south, serving as an urban-to-nature connector. We’re looking for your input on activities, amenities, and ways to enhance community access to nature.

A sketch of the what the Creekside Walk may look and feel like

A sketch view of the Creekside Walk along South Autumn Street: approximately 1.51 acres of open space that offers a variety of experiences inspired and framed by Los Gatos Creek. Just 100 feet south of the VTA light rail corridor, it will serve as a walkable urban-to-nature connector.

The Meander

The Meander is an approximately 1.56-acre open space. An urban promenade and place for entrepreneurship, arts, innovation and culture, it bridges between natural and more civic, active areas. The Meander is situated between West San Fernando Street and Park Avenue, serving as a pedestrian-only extension of South Montgomery Street. A flexible lawn accommodates events, screenings, and performances, and is framed by adjacent temporary and permanent structures. Additional outdoor program areas can offer outdoor education, social seating, and areas for native planting with canopy cover to enhance the ecological value of this actively programmed space.

A sketch view of the people sitting, and new public spaces and buildings in the Meander.

A sketch view of the Meander: an urban promenade full of life and activity that is closed to cars. It will be an inviting place to spend time with friends and family, and a new destination for arts and culture, entrepreneurship, and informal outdoor activities.

Above is an early-stage sketch of what the Meander might feel like with new buildings and adapted public spaces. One of the buildings facing the Meander may host an arts and culture center to serve the community and attract regional visitors.  We welcome your input in helping determine what type of arts you would like to see here.  Along the other side of the image, we sought to bring smaller spaces for entrepreneurs, small businesses and local retail to thrive.

Please take a few minutes to share your thoughts on three illustrations of places in the Downtown West plan.

(Update: As of November 9, 2020, our survey has closed and we thank you for your participation and feedback. Stay tuned for us to share updated renderings based on your feedback from the survey.)

The questions focus on public realm programming, events, and ground floor activation.  What do you love about the sketch?  What would you like to see more of?

In addition, we’re excited to take another step forward with our Downtown West project. As part of the development process, we’ve updated our development application on October 7, 2020 with several key documents that are critical to the entitlement process. 

Thank you for taking the time to shape this great neighborhood together with us.