Staedler: Lets focus on mixed-use projects that will impact our community
The Cambrian Park Plaza sign, known by locals for the carousel on top. Photo by Lloyd Alaban.

While there has been a lot of discussion in the last week about SB 9, SB 10 and the gaping legislative holes in what each bill will and won’t do, it overshadows projects that will redevelop neighborhood retail centers. These projects will develop more than 1,000 homes in areas with amenities and infrastructure.

The two projects that should be lauded for what they deliver to San Jose are Cambrian Park Plaza and El Paseo de Saratoga. They are respectful to their adjacent residential neighbors and have listened to feedback to make their projects better.

Let’s take a quick look at each project.

Cambrian Park Plaza plans include:

  • Community plaza and a central park/amphitheater—6 acres
  • Residential and commercial mixed-use spaces—305 apartments
  • Hotel with outdoor restaurant deck—229 rooms
  • Assisted senior living facility—165,000 square feet

 

El Paseo de Saratoga plans include:

  • Residential units on two sites—1,100 units
  • Commercial space—165,000 on the El Paseo property and 6,000 on the Saratoga parcel

 

As we have seen retail evolve over the last decade, these redevelopment projects will strengthen the remaining brick and mortar retail in the vicinity.

The time and energy available to city planning staff should be prioritized to these types of projects. They are in line and in the spirit of the greater San Jose General Plan goals. The councilmembers for both projects, Vice Mayor Chappie Jones and Councilmember Pam Foley, along with their employees should be praised for their hard work in ensuring that each representative project is a win-win for the developer and their constituents. It is easy to just kick the can down the line and let things get settled at the minute of the process—working collaboratively from the beginning is the right way to do this.

Let’s make sure that these two projects get the requisite approvals and building permits in a timely manner to ensure they get built. Onward and upward.

San José Spotlight columnist Bob Staedler is vice chair of the Santa Clara County 2021 Advisory Redistricting Commission, and a principal at Silicon Valley Synergy, a San Jose-based land use and development consulting firm. His columns appear every first Monday of the month. Contact Bob at [email protected] or follow @BobStaedler on Twitter.

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