This is the city’s goal for San Pedro Square’s entrance after redevelopment. | Screenshot via City of San Jose
Be prepared to never drive through San Pedro Street again.
This week, San Jose City Council unanimously voted to give preliminary approval to repave San Pedro Street into a sidewalk, reroute the parking garage exits to another street, and beautify the overall area.
The redevelopment project has been in the works since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, and will likely go through a couple phases before being fully completed.
What led up to this?
In May 2020, the San Jose Al Fresco program was introduced — which closed San Pedro Street to cars and built temporary outdoor dining spaces. This allowed San Pedro Square businesses to continue operations during the height of the pandemic.
In April 2022, the City Council voted to extend its Al Fresco initiative through June 30, 2023, after observing increased patronage — in comparison to pre-pandemic times, that is.
However, this time around, the city would keep a more watchful eye on the program’s success and potential to become permanent by conducting a one-year trial — and this brings us to today.
What can we expect?
Along with turning the full street into a sidewalk and giving each business 10-12 ft of outdoor dining space, expect these other proposed features:
More trees for a natural shade canopy
A potential mural, and/or AI art installations
Painted concrete to serve as a pedestrian gateway on both sides of the street
A small stage and/or outdoor TVs
When will it be finished?
City officials predict that the construction process will take at least 2.5 years to complete, and cost ~$9.5 million.
Pop-Up SJ Market | Friday, May 26 + Saturday, May 27 | Times vary | Garden at the Flea, 1590 Berryessa Rd., San Jose | Free | Thrift apparel, shoes, dresses, sports gear, collectibles, and more from a wide range of vintage sellers and creative artists.
Midtown Immersive Night Party | Friday, May 26 | 5-9 p.m. | 245 McEvoy St., San Jose | Free | Bring the family to enjoy food trucks, a beer garden, artisan merchants, live DJs, and musical performances.
“The River Bride” | Friday, May 26-Sunday, May 28 | Times vary | City Lights Theater Company, 529 S. Second St., San Jose | $28-$51 | This Brazilian fable that blends a heartrending tale of true love, regret, and transformation will transport you to a world so close, but so far.
Game On! | Friday, May 26-Saturday, May 27 | Times vary | San Jose Center for the Performing Arts, 255 S. Almaden Blvd., San Jose | $44 | Symphony San Jose performs music from video games like “World of Warcraft,” “Guild Wars 2,” “Assassin’s Creed,” alongside videos.
Saturday, May 27
Yoga On The Row with lululemon | Saturday, May 27 | 8:30-9:45 a.m. | 1008 Santana Row, San Jose | Free | Learn about full-body mobility and strength at this weekly guided session.
Rosicrucian Peace Garden Tour | Saturday, May 27-Sunday, May 28 | 11 a.m.-12 p.m. | Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, 1660 Park Ave, San Jose | Free with museum admission | Explore the 18th Dynasty Peace Garden’s buildings, edible + medicinal plants, and fish.
Creative Corner | Saturday, May 27 | 3-8 p.m. | Empire Seven Studios, 525 N. Seventh St., San Jose | Free | This monthly series brings together an open mic session, outdoor art gallery, and small business vendors.
Sunday, May 28
Oakridge Farmers Market | Sunday, May 28 | 9 a.m.-1 p.m. | Westfield Oakridge, 5420 Thornwood Dr., San Jose | Free | Get fresh produce, live entertainment, and more at this year-round market.
Spring Concert Series | Sunday, May 28 | 3 p.m. | St. James Park, North Second + East St. James streets, San Jose | Free | Relax on the lawn with a beer or wine while listening to local musicians perform.
How Bazaar | Sunday, May 28 | 6-11 p.m. | Post Street, Downtown San Jose | Free | This queer art market and tianguis brings vendors, artists, makers, and live music to the Qmunity District.
Mayor Matt Mahan announced a plan to provide quick-build housing for 1,000 residents by the end of this year. Though the city budget proposal will not be approved until June, the mayor hopes to invest $100 million for interim housing, safe parking, and affordable housing projects. (KRON 4 News)
A 271-unit, seven-story housing development secured a loan that will help kick start construction at the Blossom Hill Road site. What is dubbed “The View,” will replace the former Fish Market restaurant in south San Jose and is expected to be completed in 2025. (The Mercury News)
A San Jose-based women’s health nonprofit called the Fistula Foundation recently received a $15 million donation from billionaire MacKenzie Scott, the ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. The gift — the largest in the nonprofit’s history — will be used to fund surgery + outreach organizations for women with obstetric fistula across the globe. (Silicon Valley Business Journal)
It’s grad season, and you know what that means — photos galore. Moments from San Jose State University’s commencement ceremonies this week were captured by The Mercury News, showing off all the pomp and circumstance. SJSU is conferring diplomas on 7,400 undergraduate + graduate students. (The Mercury News)
Mosaic America was selected to conduct a new arts research study focused on what role “BIPOC artists and culture bearers play in over 100 culturally distinct communities.” It’ll be funded by The Wallace Foundation, which provides opportunities in the arts for low-income families.
Barry Keating, the Broadway creator of “Starmites,” recently visited the great 408 to watch his production performed by Playful People Productions at the Historic Hoover Theatre. He flew from Manhattan to see the how much his work has been embraced by San Jose theater. (East Bay Times)
Are you really from San Jose if you haven’t heard of Falafel’s Drive-In? The East Bay Times recently talked with the San Jose institution’s co-owner Joanne Boyle. She discussed the drive-in’s origin story, the most popular menu items, and the tale behind the famous banana shakes made by her father + founder, Anton Nijmeh. (East Bay Times)
Lettuce retract — in the last newsletter, we said that the Downtown Farmers’ Market + Cambrian Park Farmers’ Market were hosted on Wednesdays. However, the DTSJ market is on hiatus until 2024, and the Cambrian market has moved operations to Saturdays. Thank you to our readers who caught this hiccup.
Later today, I’m going to skate at the Aloha Fun Center for the first time and I’m a little nervous. I haven’t roller skated since I was in fifth grade, and let’s just say — I don’t have the best hand-eye-foot coordination. So if you see me... no, you didn’t.