SAN JOSE, Calif. (KTVU) - In recent years, the Guadalupe River area of San Jose has attracted recreationist, and the habitually homeless. But long-time San Jose development company Swenson eyes a future featuring a fully-developed and integrated area.
"We call it drawing and dreaming to start a community dialog on what we wanna see as far as large projects," said Josh Burroughs, the senior development manager with Swenson.
He says the company spent five years crystallizing the concept, and another 12-months creating these renderings. Named, "The District at the Guadalupe River Walk," the plan calls for massive development spanning 30 acres near the SAP Center. The idealistic vision would build multiple mixed use high rise buildings, park space with zip-lines overhead, an animal center, river kayaking, and a shopping mall.
"So between the entertainment, the transit, the cultural portions being on the edge of downtown, the core as we call it; that's kind of how we honed in on that 30 acres," said Burroughs.
The proposed site is currently an open space partially occupied by dozens of homeless residents. These drawings don't incorporate the solution to the growing problem of homelessness..
"There's this duality in Silicon Valley and I've seen it over the years," said Scott Wagers, a local pastor whose spent more than two decades ministering to, and caring for, San Jose's growing homeless population. "We see the beautification of San Jose, the gentrification of the downtown area, but at what cost? The numbers of homeless people that continue to rise on the street," Wagers said.
In addition to question about how to care for the homeless, there's also the problem with the proposed 300-foot tall buildings. they're in the flight path of planes landing at Mineta San Jose international airport. right now the f-a-a limits building height in this area to 150 feet. so that would have to be changed.
"This is a vision study. so it's really going to be up to the community to take it from here," Burroughs said.
The District won't be here by the end of this decade, but maybe by the end of the next, as San Jose strives to create a new neighborhood, and solved some of its most vexing issues..