San Jose: A case study

Boulevard Revival

Empty storefronts and vacant lots in downtowns are ripe for redevelopment. This is how homes and shops could transform East 14th Street in San Leandro, and the same could happen in San Jose.

On a tree-lined street in the heart of San Jose lies a neighborhood in flux. The Alameda has a mix of homes, shops, and offices, but vacant lots and shuttered stores still dot this major transit corridor, which is not being used to its full potential. Nearby Diridon Station already offers access to Caltrain, Amtrak, ACE, and VTA’s light rail, and in the future, BART and high-speed rail will stop here as well. More homes and jobs near these transit choices would offer people mobility without worsening traffic or greenhouse gas emissions.

Louis Lennard, owner of Lennard’s Hot Dogs, loves the Bay Area for its ocean and mountains, but he sees a critical need for homes people can afford. “Seven years ago, there were 8-9,000 people in line for affordable housing. It’s the biggest problem.”

Anne Ehresman, who lives near The Alameda, is thrilled by the new condos on the block. “We’ve had all of these new families with kids move in who have become active in the neighborhood. It’s great.”

At A Glance

City:
San Jose

Area of focus:
The Alameda

What it is now:
Underused transit corridor

What it could become:
A walkable boulevard

Why here:
Major transit hub

Infill opportunity sites:
18

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