Empire Seven Studios

As many of you in the San Jose Japantown area know, Juan Carlos Araujo and Jennifer Ahn have built a unique local art gallery on the fringes of Japantown called Empire Seven Studios – so called because they are at the intersection of Empire Street and Seventh Street.

Their murals have enlivened the walls of Japantown for many years. We wouldn’t be the same without them: Santo Market’s mural inspired by Hokusai’s The Great Wave off Kanagawa? The “Shanghai” building’s looming irezumi dragon?

The building they have occupied and used for a gallery for ten years, is a former meat processing plant; it’s flanked by a motorcycle shop and a tire shop. Very funky and hard-scrabble corner of the city.

Yet it looks like their landlords have sold the property to a developer, to be built up into another apartment or condominium complex. For more information on this, check http://www.sjpermits.org for PDC16-028.

The good news is that they have an opportunity to acquire one of the old buildings on the 500 block of Sixth Street, an area that is in sore need of revitalizing.

They are looking for a little help. For those who truly love Japantown and want know how they can help, here is the way. Please watch Juan and Jennifer’s video on this page:



Curtains for Empire Seven?

Looking at the City of San Jose Online Permits page, we see that a development is being planned for the area where Empire Seven studios and E.T. Tires are located.

City of San Jose Online Permits
535 N 7th Street

Planned Development Zoning from Heavy Industrial (HI) to R-M(PD) zoning district to allow for the construction of up to 92 multi-family attached units on 1.25 gross acre site.

What could this portend for the future?