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Unread 02-07-2013, 03:23 PM
 
41 posts, read 31,528 times
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Default Why isn't downtown San Jose better?

My only plausible guess is that Santana Row killed any chance of downtown becoming a dining/retail destination.

thoughts?
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Unread 02-07-2013, 03:27 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
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Well this is the United States, at least 9 out of every 10 Metro areas, downtowns are not the center of activity, San Jose is not all alone in this aspect.
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Unread 02-07-2013, 03:36 PM
 
Location: San Jose, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsyde82 View Post
My only plausible guess is that Santana Row killed any chance of downtown becoming a dining/retail destination.

thoughts?
This has a bit to do with it. Gestapo cops shutting down nearly every club/live music venue don't help, either.
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Unread 02-07-2013, 06:39 PM
 
Location: Newark, Ca
1,166 posts, read 1,597,593 times
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My opinion is this. For many years downtown SJ was in disrepair and had become a dumpy, run down area with high crime. The rest of SJ was developed at a rapid rate and continued spreading outward away from downtown. People who moved into the area (mostly for tech-related jobs) to these outward suburbs never had any reason to spend time downtown and had never known it as any sort of destination spot.

In the 80's many old buildings were razed. Nothing great was ever built up in place of them. Numerous clubs sprouted up catering to a somewhat unsavory crowd. Even the "newly built" downtown still had a bit of a "ghetto" reputation based on the types of establishments that opened up and tended to attract a somewhat "ghetto" crowd. The fact is the daytime downtown SJ crowd is much different than the nighttime crowd to this day and hence the reputation continues. The only time it's different is during concerts at HP Pavilion and when there are Sharks games.

I'd love for downtown SJ to be a "destination" and I really do think it's a lot better than many people make it out to be. It does have a long way to go though.

Downtown SJ is much safer than it used to be, but honestly, other than events at HP Pavilion, I don't have any real reason to spend time down there. I usually tell people that on weekends the population of East SJ loses a bunch of people and downtown gains a bunch of people. Downtown has always attracted the people of SJ that tend to make SJ look ghetto, unfortunately. Most of SJ does not represent the people you'll typically see hanging out at the clubs downtown on the weekends.

That's my take...

Signed, somebody who grew up going to school in the East Side ghetto and is waiting for some lame person here to try to say I'm ignorant and ghetto.
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Unread 02-07-2013, 07:12 PM
 
12,616 posts, read 9,523,322 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdumbgod View Post
This has a bit to do with it. Gestapo cops shutting down nearly every club/live music venue don't help, either.
Actually, as mstnghu2 points out, downtown SJ attracts a ghetto crowd on weekends. Unfortunately, the gestapo cops are needed. Take it from someone who actually lives downtown.

As has also been said, any perceived dumpiness of downtown SJ has nothing to do with Santana Row. A lot of downtowns of newer cities are dead, so SJ isn't any different in this regard. Ever since I moved here in the late 1990s, downtown SJ has steadily improved. It's much better than it used to be and I don't think Santana Row has hurt downtown SJ at all.

The biggest reason for a lack of energy in downtown SJ and most American cities is that the middle class abandoned them. City planners used to think if just put a (suburban style) mall in a downtown, that this would somehow 'revitalize' it. For the most part, it didn't work. People in suburban areas had the same malls out where they lived. City planners finally figured this out and realized that along with a reasonably low crime rate, you need to have nice housing stock, employment centers, and some retail all together if you want a viable downtown. SJ and other cities are finally implementing these elements, but it takes a long time to do in areas where suburban development dominated for so many decades. It also helps that more people, especially young people, are sick of the culture of drive, drive, drive for every errand...so that increases the demand for urban living spaces.
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Unread 02-07-2013, 11:05 PM
 
Location: San Jose, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticaltyger View Post
Actually, as mstnghu2 points out, downtown SJ attracts a ghetto crowd on weekends.
The "ghetto" crowd are often confused for people who actually like to go outside their homes and commiserate once in a while. Geeks...not so much.
There are plenty of people who would enjoy the possibilities of DTSJ, if city council had the wherewithall to get businesses into all those empty, prime spaces. Toons, anybody?
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Unread 02-07-2013, 11:35 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
2,418 posts, read 1,329,848 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticaltyger View Post
The biggest reason for a lack of energy in downtown SJ and most American cities is that the middle class abandoned them. City planners used to think if just put a (suburban style) mall in a downtown, that this would somehow 'revitalize' it. For the most part, it didn't work. People in suburban areas had the same malls out where they lived. City planners finally figured this out and realized that along with a reasonably low crime rate, you need to have nice housing stock, employment centers, and some retail all together if you want a viable downtown. SJ and other cities are finally implementing these elements, but it takes a long time to do in areas where suburban development dominated for so many decades. It also helps that more people, especially young people, are sick of the culture of drive, drive, drive for every errand...so that increases the demand for urban living spaces.
Good point. A classic example of a local city razing its traditional downtown andl building a mall in its place was Sunnyvale. They put up Town Center Mall in the 1970s and it didn't do very well at all.
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Unread 02-07-2013, 11:55 PM
 
12,616 posts, read 9,523,322 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdumbgod View Post
The "ghetto" crowd are often confused for people who actually like to go outside their homes and commiserate once in a while. Geeks...not so much.
There are plenty of people who would enjoy the possibilities of DTSJ, if city council had the wherewithall to get businesses into all those empty, prime spaces. Toons, anybody?
Yes, believe me, I understand the difference between stay-at-home geeks, people who just enjoy themselves, and the obnoxious and problematic ghetto crowd. I get the pleasure of hearing the ghetto crowd loud and clear on weekends in the parking garage and walkway behind my apartment building. My bf also works at a downtown hotel and the hotel owners often allow parties on weekends that attract a ghetto crowd; which he hates, because he always ends up having to comp rooms, not to mention deal with the ghetto folks who trash the rooms. He has, on many occasions had to call the cops only to have the cops never show up. Other hoteliers downtown have the same problem.
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Unread 02-07-2013, 11:58 PM
 
12,616 posts, read 9,523,322 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silverkris View Post
Good point. A classic example of a local city razing its traditional downtown andl building a mall in its place was Sunnyvale. They put up Town Center Mall in the 1970s and it didn't do very well at all.
Yep, a lot of places did that. Philadelphia put up a mall in its downtown in the 1970s. It was cool at first with all the trendy stores, but a decade later, they found out they didn't have the clientele to support higher end stores and it ended up being a low end ghetto mall.

Finally cities are figuring out that downtowns and suburban malls don't mix well, especially if residents can get all that stuff out at their malls in the suburbs....but it's been a long time coming.
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Unread 02-08-2013, 12:20 AM
 
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
2,418 posts, read 1,329,848 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticaltyger View Post
Yep, a lot of places did that. Philadelphia put up a mall in its downtown in the 1970s. It was cool at first with all the trendy stores, but a decade later, they found out they didn't have the clientele to support higher end stores and it ended up being a low end ghetto mall.

Finally cities are figuring out that downtowns and suburban malls don't mix well, especially if residents can get all that stuff out at their malls in the suburbs....but it's been a long time coming.
The other thing about malls is that it cuts off the vitality of street life, which you need for a downtown district.
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