SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — Just a few blocks from the SAP Center in downtown San Jose, a neighborhood transformation is taking place. The North San Pedro St. area was once filled with decrepit warehouses and weeds, but soon it will be filled with thousands of new homes, offices, shops and restaurants.

“People desire to live in interesting, urban environments where you don’t have to drive,” said Erik Schoennauer, a land use consultant.

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“You can walk to go out to dinner, you can walk to theater, you can walk to SAP for a Sharks game or a concert and not have to get in your car,” he said.

Two high-rise condo towers are nearing completion on Julian St. A massive new mid-rise building is just getting its foundation on Bassett St. And several blocks of low-rise townhomes are almost move-in ready on Terraine Street.

Plus, a new homeless and low income housing building has just broken ground. Even more big projects are in the works. It’s a welcome change for some of the neighbors.

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“Unless there was something going on at the SAP Center, downtown felt very quiet for a million people,” said David Mulvehill, who owns O’Flaherty’s and 5 Points in San Pedro Square.

He hopes all the new neighbors will wake up what has been a sleepy downtown most nights.

“It means more people around and they need to eat and drink, so for us as a business, it definitely helps a lot,” Mulvehill said. The physical changes are already taking place, but the developments could also transform the image of San Jose.

“There’s no doubt that downtown San Jose is the urban core of Silicon Valley,” Schoennauer said.

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“And with the pace of growth we are seeing now, it will be universally believed to be that.”