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.

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2 thoughts on “About “Redevelopment”

  1. Hello! So, Development continues, but whether or not it id ‘redevelopment’ as defined by the precepts and mission that the Redevelopment Agency (or any other name for the CA State Redevelopment Agency) worked is a separate and different conversation. (for more info on current status of RDA monies CA State see: http://www.dof.ca.gov/Programs/Redevelopment/)

    The SJRDA did a lot of good, being a funder of community efforts and small businesses in their goals of eliminating blight. The City of San Jose has done its best to try to support while necessarily economizing and balancing the budget without the supportive funding of the RDA.
    As in any deal or business deals especially, the idea is to make fair, equal, profitable judgements. The more people that benefit the better. Without getting into specific discussions about specific legislations, rules, laws, efforts etc, it may be safe enough to say that everything that was needed before the agency went away is still needed. It’s just about how to get the funding or where funding will come from.

    If you’ve ever tried to do anything out in the business world, or even in the not for profit world, you’ll have come across the dreaded ‘budget’ question. Who will pay, How and When will it be paid and What does everyone want or get? and What and How much will it take to sustain those efforts.

    Which brings me to the Japantown Square development on 6th & 7th streets between Jackson & Taylor Streets. http://www.japantownsquare.com It should be good. And Because the Japantown community has been involved all the way through the process, through three attempts since the year 2000, it looks to be the most relevant development project that Japantown has seen since Miraido Village. Included will be a Park Plaza (run by City of SJ Parks, Rec & Neighborhood Dept) and the Center for Creative Arts (or CCA) which will be its own LLC under Silicon Valley Creates, the organization born from the merge of the Arts Council of Silicon Valley & 1st Act. It’s led by Connie Martinez whom many may know from her work at places such as 1st Act and The Children’s Discovery Museum. San Jose Taiko will have a home there as an anchor tenant. They are in the throes of fundraising also and can use everyone’s support.

    In addition, Japantown, actually, Nikkei Matsuri, this year will be joining in on hosting 100+ delegates from San Jose’s Sister City, Okayama, Japan April 21-23, 2017. The non-profit 501c3 organization, San Jose-Okayama Sister Cities has been working with the City of San Jose since incorporation in Feb 2016 as the new organization officially recognized by both governments (San Jose, CA & Okayama City, Okayama, Japan) There’s lots coming up so keep in touch!

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