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Silicon Valley News Notes

Mystery Plan

San Jose's Economic Development office has mysteriously authored a Memorandum that would reverse 25 years of land use planning permanently. Billed as an "Economic Emergency Amendment" to the North San Jose Area Development Policy, the memo calls for a massive development of 1 million square feet of retail space, 2,000 hotel rooms and 8,000 residential units. The memo is signed by Paul Krutko, the city's economic development point man, and is accompanied by a resolution, dated June 2009, to be sent to the City Council. If the development described in the 37-page memo came to pass, it would dwarf Santana Row, which has less than 500,000 feet of retail and a fraction of the residences and hotel rooms. It would likely drive business and visitors to the North First Street corridor around highways 101 and 880—and away from downtown. That's precisely the opposite direction the city has been moving since the early 1980s. Former Mayor Tom McEnery, the architect of the downtown-centric plan, sees this new proposal as a return of the bad old days, when the Fairmont Hotel was destined for the airport and the Arena for Alviso. "This seems to desert the concept that has served San Jose well for decades," he told Fly. "And leadership is not about saying yes. Often it's about saying a word politicians are loathe to use: No."

Vault Doors Are Closing

So one of Fly's watering holes looks to be leaving downtown San Jose. Apparently the Vault Ultra Lounge will be closing its doors after a five-year run. It will hold its grand farewell gala on June 27. It will then close the Vault doors and throw away the key. But wait! Fly now learns that the Vault will then go through massive renovation and reopen in August as the Republic. It will cater to young professionals and will again be a hip and swanky ultralounge. Whew.


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