19 February 2006

San Jose updates

I've spent the last week in the Rockies and Plains. Compared to the weather I've experienced over the last several days, in which the temperature never went over the teens and the wind chill dropped the gauge to -40 in North Dakota, the supposedly chilly weather here is downright balmy. While I've been gone, San Jose has made a few headlines:

Two more Diridon South properties are about to be acquired by San Jose's Redevelopment Agency. Both are on the block between Autumn Street and Montgomery Street, south of San Fernando Street. That brings the tally to three properties and three acres total. The big properties west of Montgomery - the SBC/AT&T site, the old KNTV studio, and the PG&E substation - are still to be acquired. The PG&E substation has extra costs associated with because it will have to be moved to a location nearby. If the ballpark were oriented north, the substation could be moved 200 feet to the north and kept in the same configuration with the same vehicular and service access it had previously.

This orientation makes it similar to Petco Park, which also has its field opened to the north.

San Jose also just lost a lawsuit against Santa Clara County in which it sought to block the County from building a concert hall on the Fairgrounds south of downtown. Should the County proceed with building the concert hall, it would be mainly in competition with SJSU's Event Center, UC Berkeley's Greek Theatre, and SF's Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. All would have a 5,000+ capacity, but the new concert hall would presumably have better amenities and acoustics than its competitors. Personally I think the Fairgrounds is better suited for a soccer stadium/amphitheater with playing fields surrounding it, while a concert hall should be downtown as most concert halls are. There's hope that the two parties can set their differences aside, but the city is still looking to appeal and the emboldened county looks like it's moving forward with its plans.