SAN JOSE (KPIX) – Santa Clara County has unveiled plans for a new urban village on the site of the old San Jose Medical Center at 14th and Santa Clara streets in downtown San Jose.
Plans call for offices, some retail and 500 to 800 housing units for practically all income levels.
“We’re looking at the full spectrum from seniors and families to recently homeless and possibly market rate,” said David Barry of Santa Clara County’s Facilities and Fleet Department.
The Medical Center closed its doors in 2004.
Two county buildings for Social and Health Services occupy a small portion of the land, but most of the three city block area is vacant.
“It’s just sitting here growing weeds,” said Michael Lee, who lives nearby.
Lee says a lot of homeless people frequent the area, and nearby parking spaces have become a magnet for homeless campers.
“So it needs to be turned into something positive,” he said.
Besides housing, new office buildings would be built for county departments, including the Housing Authority.
But Mayor Sam Liccardo says the plans fall short of what neighbors have been asking for, specifically more retail, restaurants and shops to make it a vibrant walking district.
“There’s not an adequate level of retail at this point,” Liccardo said.
The existing retail area consists of a Walgreens and a few other shops. But overall, it’s been a quiet area for years.
County officials are cautious about adding too much retail before there is enough demand.
“There’s already a lot of vacant retail in the area. Hopefully the city will take into account is what can they do to come up with a comprehensive plan for retail in the area and not put it all on this one site,” said Barry.
Building permits will be filed later in 2019 and the plans still have to go through a lengthy approval process.