More on the Wenzhou Noodle House

I have to say that I am impressed by how this particular project is moving along.

Although the Mills Act specifies a ten-year time frame, the owner has already created a website:

A preliminary logo appears on the website of the restaurant’s design firm,


Yet the owner is savvy enough to run a design contest for the logo at, yielding this impressively slick image:


I hope they are that smart when choosing their menu.


More pics for the Corp Yard

Right now, the Corp Yard may look like a windswept wasteland. Remember that in a few years, when it becomes the hub of a vibrant, renewed community.

The San Jose Blog shares some visualizations – these were handed out at the Feb 2012 meeting where WDA was soliciting input from the community:

Ken Ying Low Restaurant!!!

Gang, I have it on good authority that the Ken Ying Low Restaurant (“Cuban International Restaurant”) on 625 N 6th Street has been sold, and will be restored and rehabilitated in a historic manner (Historic Landmark number HL09-18).

You can believe me or look it up under City of San Jose file number: MA13-001.

New look at the map

I developed some clarifications regarding the visualization offered by First Community Housing. The orientation of the original picture wasn’t clear. Now it looks more understandable. I think I got confused when they added the proposed apartment complex from the Williams & Dame project at the Corp Yard.

From Google MapsJT03-480x317new

Williams & Dame’s vision

corp yard plan
(from WDA marketing collateral)

Williams & Dame Associates (WDA) and Loci are currently partnered to develop the 5.4 acre Corporation Yard site in San Jose, CA. The project is located in the heart of the Japantown neighborhood, one of only three remaining “Japantowns” in the United States. Upon completion, the project will include up to 600 residential units, 25,000 SF of neighborhood retail, and a new Creative Center for the Arts that will be the home for world-renowned San Jose Taiko (Japanese drumming corps) and will house offices, studios, and exhibition space for various San Jose arts organizations.

WDA secured the development rights in 2007 through an open, competitive process, and subsequently worked very closely with the community to successfully navigate the CEQA process for the site, gaining EIS approval in 2008. The project was suspended in late 2008 due to the deteriorating economy, but, based on WDA’s and Loci’s past performance with the City of San Jose, the team was invited back in 2012 to restart the development project. Currently, WDA and Loci are negotiating a final Purchase and Sale Agreement for the property while working through an EIS addendum for the project. As part of this process, the project team and the City are establishing a Fair Market Value for the site in an open book manner, with WDA and Loci sharing detailed financial pro formas with the City in order to arrive at a final negotiated price and demonstrate what the market will bear as a land value. Assuming that the remainder of the entitlement process proceeds smoothly, the project is due for a groundbreaking in late 2014.


  • Significant increase in allowed density (220 units to 600 units) in order to provide increased energy for the Japantown business district.
  • Up to 600 market rate apartments/condominiums, with an emphasis on smaller units/comparatively more affordable price points.
  • Ground floor retail uses along Jackson Street that reinforces the existing Japantown business district.
  • Underground parking to open up ground floor for public uses and connections to center of the site


  • Extend Japantown shopping district along Jackson Street.
  • Emphasis on local retail complementary to existing mix of uses.
  • Improve connections to and through site for surrounding neighborhoods.
  • Establish a unique sense of place rooted in Japanese heritage of the neighborhood/site.


  • Reuse of former industrial yard – environmental remediation of past underground storage tank leaks.
  • Lower parking ratios, increased emphasis on walking, transit, biking, car share options.
  • Incorporation of green street and stormwater infrastructure.


  • Five minute walk to light rail, 1.5 miles north of downtown San Jose, ten minute bike ride to downtown/San Jose State University/North First Avenue employment.
  • Increased density closer to downtown core/North First Avenue employment equates to reduced regional transportation demands.


  • New community park in middle of the site serves a public gathering space and can be programmed with arts/performance events.
  • Ground floor of development is opened up to allow for public access through the site, rather than only at the perimeter.
  • New private street adjacent to park can be utilized for community events – farmers market, festivals, etc.

(NOTE: All of this must be regarded as preliminary at this point.)

First Community Housing

First Community Housing

Japantown Senior Apartments is a 75-unit apartment development to be constructed on a half- acre infill site in the Japantown neighborhood of San Jose. This highly sustainable building will serve low-income seniors earning 30-60% of the area median income. Thirty of the 75 units will be set aside for seniors living with chronic illnesses or developmental disabilities. Supportive services for special needs tenants will be available.

The new building will include five stories of residential units over a first floor comprised of a residential lobby, manager’s office and enclosed parking. The residential units will include 73 one-bedroom units of approximately 600SF each, one studio unit, and a two-bedroom manager’s unit. Each unit will have a private balcony. Common spaces will include a community room, lounge, and laundry facility as well as landscaped outdoor gathering areas.

Like all First Community Housing (FCH) buildings, this senior housing development will incorporate a variety of green building features such as low-VOC finishes, energy efficient appliances and lighting, water conserving fixtures, and low-water use landscaping. These features provide improved indoor air quality and lower utility bills for our tenants as well as improved operational stability. The building is registered for the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED for Homes Midrise program, and LEED Gold certification is anticipated.

FCH will annually provide all tenants with a free VTA Eco Pass for unlimited transportation on all buses and light rail lines throughout the county. A third-party professional survey of the FCH Eco Pass program illustrated that this is an essential service for seniors. The program enables some seniors to get along without a car and save up to $700 annually on transit fares. The Eco Pass will also be a critical benefit for developmentally disabled residents, who do not drive.