Answered: San Jose Flea Market redevelopment

SJtoday readers + followers weighed in on the city’s plans of turning the San Jose’s historic flea market, or “La Pulga,” into a mixed-use urban center.

An old picture from the 1960s-1970s of the flea market.

San Jose’s Flea Market at Berryessa has been open since 1960.

Photo via San Jose Flea Market Archives

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The fate of San Jose’s historic flea market is still unclear.

Developers originally planned to build a tech campus, then switched gears to rezone the space into a mixed-use housing urban plaza. Needless to say, many of you had strong opinions.

From those in favor to those strongly opposed, here’s what you had to say:

Some hope

  • “Mixed-use is a better idea. They’re at least learning what happens if people aren’t living there and the campus is closed (pandemic and office space issues).” - @thisgirldidthis
  • “All good that you are using city property for new housing BUT you need to bump up your new project to 50% lower-income households. There are more than 20% low income families in this county.” - Mary B.
  • “I think San Jose rezoning the flea market is a great idea for building more housing. However, San Jose wouldn’t have to bulldoze its history if it didn’t zone 94% of its land to single family use. I think the flea market could still exist without destroying its historic roots.” - Eric A.

Some hesitation

  • “The real question will be if the developers will increase rents to these vendors so they can’t afford any longer to rent their usual spots at the flea market! Just because they are making it mixed-use does not mean it will remain affordable.” - @c_l_a_u_d_i_s
  • “We don’t need more ugly tech campuses in San Jose that will sit unused after the tech company decides it’s no longer fashionable.” - @thedanielzee
  • “All for those homes to be hella expensive” - @david_preciadoo

Some doubts

  • “I hope they just leave it alone” - @uhhh_tatted_katt
  • “No more housing PLEASE!!! The traffic is crazy as it is” - Annamaria A.
  • “I watched a boy sing his heart out with the Mariachis last weekend. It was beautiful. Lots of older people go there for their weekend. Housing is important but not in place of what keeps us sane.” - @robertsharrockcommercial
  • “Leave La Pulga alone” - @3x28x5ke
  • “Yes, we would love to have more housing units that we can’t afford.” - @dennygoat
  • “Welcome to SJ where the city council rewrites its codes to fit its needs and completely disregards […] history, culture, and public input all in the name of “affordable housing.” - @dimitri.trenoff
  • “Yes, please keep the flea market very historic! Memories over five years” - @barrera.juanita
  • “Replacing the flea market shows San José does not value immigrant and poor people’s community and resources. Yet another blah mall and overpriced condos will replace this one-of-a-kind hub.” - Lita K.

Should La Pulga become a mixed-use housing center? Let us know what you think.