SAn jose, SILICON VALLEY
Volar is located in San Jose, the capital of Silicon Valley. Founded on November 29, 1777, named after Saint Joseph, the City of San José, is officially the economic, cultural, and political center of Silicon Valley. San Jose was California's first capital city when the state was annexed by the United States in the year 1850. For many years, San Jose's growth and development came from agricultural, and after the 1940's with WWII, San Jose experienced an economic boom, which greatly increased the population. In the 1990's, the high-technology and electronics industries transformed San Jose from an agricultural center to an urban metropolitan city. Ever since the Dot Com Era, San Jose and the greater Silicon Valley had become world renown for being the global center of technology and internet.
Today, San Jose is the largest city in Northern California (180 square miles or 466 square kilometers). With a population of over one million people, San Jose is the third most populous city in California (after Los Angeles and San Diego) and the tenth most populous in the United States. Famous for its affluence and high cost of living, San Jose is one of the world's wealthiest major cities in the United States and has the third highest GDP per capita in the world (after Zurich and Oslo). The average household income is $111,952 and the average price for a single-family home is $889,423. The major high-tech employers include Cisco Systems, eBay, IBM, Hitachi, Adobe Systems, Cadence Design Systems, Sanmina-SCI, Maxim Integrated, Brocade Communications, Ericsson, Xilinx, Altera, BD Bioscience, SuperMicro, and Micrel Semiconductor. (City San Jose fact sheet: click here to download)
Transportation and transit
Regional access to the project site is provided via highways, including the major arteries I-880 and I-280. These facilities are described below. I-880 is a six-lane freeway in the immediate vicinity of the site, which extends north to Oakland and south to I-280 in San Jose, at which point it makes a transition into SR 17 to Santa Cruz. The I-880 interchange ramp is located on Stevens Creek Boulevard, just down the road from Volar. I-280, an eight-lane freeway, is also in the immediate vicinity of Volar, extending northwest to San Francisco and east to King Road in San Jose, at which point it makes a transition into I-680 to Oakland. Access to and from northbound I-280 to Volar is provided via its interchange on Winchester Boulevard, also just down the road.
Local access to Volar is provided by major boulevards: Stevens Creek Boulevard and Winchester Boulevard. Stevens Creek Boulevard is a divided six-lane east-west roadway in the immediate vicinity of the project site, extending from Cupertino eastward to I-880, at which point it makes a transition into San Carlos Street to Downtown San Jose. Winchester Boulevard is a divided six-lane north-south roadway that runs from Los Gatos to Lincoln Street in Santa Clara, which is the road upon which Volar is located.
Additionally, Volar will be easily access by Santana Row via Tatum Lane.
Local bus line 60 operates along Winchester Boulevard, which is adjacent to Volar. Bus stops for this line in the northbound and southbound directions are located near the Winchester Boulevard/Olin Avenue and
Winchester Boulevard/Olsen Drive intersections, respectively. Due to the convenient location of the bus
stops, it is assumed that some residents/employees of the proposed development would utilize the
existing transit service.
Furthermore, Volar is close to the Bay Area airports, San Francisco International Airport (SFO), approximately 37 miles away serving 53.1 million passengers in 2016, and Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC), approximately 5 miles away and serving 10.8 million passengers in 2016.
City of San Jose General Plan
Continuing its pattern of growth and progress, San Jose is planned to develop even more. The City of San Jose has dedicated an extraordinary amount of time and resources to create and execute the Envision San José 2040 General Plan, which sets forth a vision and a comprehensive road map to guide the City’s continued growth through the year 2040.
The development of urban villages is one of the most crucial strategies of 12 major strategies embodied within the Envision San José 2040 General Plan. Urban villages, which are designed to be walkable, bicycle-friendly, transit-oriented, and mixed use in order to provide both housing and jobs, supports the General Plan’s environmental goals. According to the Envision San José 2040 General Plan,
The urban village strategy fosters:
- Engagement of village area residents in the urban village planning process
- Mixed residential and employment activities that are attractive to an innovative workforce
- Revitalization of underutilized properties that have access to existing infrastructure
- Densities that support transit use, bicycling, and walking
- High-quality urban design
The Santana Row / Valley Fair Urban Village is the most commercially dense and economically affluent out of all the Urban Villages.
According to the City of San Jose,
The Plan includes land use policies to shape the transformation of strategically identified and historically underutilized Growth Areas into higher-density, mixed-use, urban districts or “Urban Villages” which can accommodate employment and housing growth and reduce the environmental impacts of that growth by promoting transit use and walkability. This land use strategy, in combination with progressive economic and environmental policies, will guide the City toward fulfillment of its future vision.
Valley Fair/ Santana Row Urban Village
Volar's 0.89-acre site is located within the Valley Fair/Santana Row Urban Village, fronting Winchester Boulevard, which has been designated as a Grand Boulevard by the Envision San Jose 2040 General Plan. The Santana Row/ Valley Fair Urban Village is home to two large retail commercial centers, Westfield Valley Fair Mall and Santana Row, which make up a good portion of this Urban Village area. In addition, there is a number of smaller existing commercial and retail oriented uses in this area, as well as other attractions such as the Winchester Mystery House, a State and City landmark site/structure. The Valley Transportation Authority’s (VTA) Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project is planned to run along Stevens Creek Boulevard with a planned stop at the intersection of the entrance to Valley Fair and Santana Row. The economic bustle makes this Urban Village an ideal location for a mixture of new and intensified commercial and residential uses.