Shea buys the “Heinlenville” site

This purchase was hinted at earlier, but I was waiting for confirmation.

Shea Properties, one of California’s top residential builders, has embarked on a joint venture with equity partner Ivanhoe Cambridge, a Montreal-based realty firm, to develop the Japantown complex…

Orange County-based Shea Properties intends to develop 520 apartments, along with 19,000 square feet of ground-floor retail, at the Japantown site.

It looks like the specifications of the development may be different from those spelled out by Related and Williams & Dame. Naturally, we can expect to see Shea’s vision for this complex soon.

“This site is a tremendous opportunity,” said Bob Staedler, principal executive with Silicon Valley Synergy, a development consultancy. “Japantown is a highly sought-after neighborhood. It’s a very attractive area. A project here would be very successful.”

Well, I’m glad that someone agrees.

Ivanhoe Cambridge

Shea Properties



Creative Arts Center update

I just wanted to share with you some relatively new visualizations of the Creative Arts Center that will be built in San Jose’s Japantown. This presentation was created by the architect firm Ankrom Moisan and presented before San Jose Arts Commission in January 23, 2017. The designs should be considered updates on previous designs, but this should not be considered to be final. I was not privileged to be present for this meeting. Perhaps those who were, can add some information.

My source:



Looks like the view from Seventh Street.


This looks like the view from the park.

Progress report: Cannery Park

We have seen visible progress seeing the large development at 10th and Taylor. Here are some highlights.

I was searching for the area that is supposed to be earmarked for retail. At the corner of 10th and Taylor, on the ground floor, I believe that I found it. However, most apartment complexes reserve such a key location for apartment manager’s office, places for new tenants to be sold on the property, and facilities for the tenants. So I don’t know for sure; I’m just speculating.

On the 10th street side, along the path of busy one-way commuter traffic, it’s good to see them reserving the graceful old trees (California sycamore?); there is also a set of courtyards along the length of the complex on that side, providing small oases of privacy. It will be interesting to see how they go in.

Here’s the Loopnet listing for the retail space.
Note a total size of 5,000 square feet, with a willingness to break up into separate shops of at least 2,000 square feet.
Opening date of September 2017 is listed.

More Corp Yard news

From SJ Economy News:

After 10 years of work to find the best possible use for a major site in the heart of San José’s JapanTown, the City Council close on the sale of the former Corporation Yard.
The sale returns $18.5 million to the City, but more importantly, it paves the way for a top-quality project yielding 20,000 sf of retail space, 520 residential units, and a .75-acre park. In addition, a .75 parcel was given back to the City, to become the permanent home of San Jose Taiko and CreaTV San Jose.

Continue reading

News! Not much, but it will do…

It looks like the sale of the “Heinlenville” property has finally closed (as of the end of March). In other words, the property does not belong to the city anymore… for once in many decades!

Williams and Dame next need to submit building permits, and these will surface on the internet soon enough.

Williams and Dame expects to be breaking ground later this year or perhaps early next year.

About “Redevelopment”

It was pointed out to me recently that some people are confused by the title of this blog.

Since 1956 San José had a redevelopment agency (RDA), which served as an important component of the affordable housing development landscape in California.

In 2012, San José’s RDA and others throughout the state became casualties of budget-cutting. Now, they are no more. Besides serving in the drive for urban renewal, funding affordable housing, I believe San José’s RDA also was tasked with reviving downtown business areas such as San José’s Japantown.

The redevelopment agency is dead. Nothing we can do about it.

This doesn’t need to stop redevelopment. Low-income people still need affordable housing. Unique areas of the city still need encouragement achieving their potential. But now we can’t simply tap a government fund to make this happen. That makes it more complex, sometimes frustratingly so, but it doesn’t make it less important or more worthwhile.