Why Willow Glen
Willow Glen is one of San Jose’s oldest, best established and highly prized suburban areas. Willow Glen’s residents share a strong sense of history and community identity that results in a fierce pride to all things Willow Glen. While in many ways a community unto itself, Willow Glen is in the very heart of San Jose. The city’s downtown area is about two miles away, and access to existing (and planned) athletic venues and the airport are easily accessible via city streets or freeway.
Willow Glen --- The Future
Development of Urban Villages in North Willow Glen
The City of San Jose’s commitment to “transit-oriented development” has resulted in the construction of several quality, high-density, urban residential communities just north of Downtown Willow Glen’s business district. As part of this plan, a light rail stop has already been created at Auzurais Ave. to facilitate transportation between North San Jose at one end and Los Gatos at the southern terminus.
Completed complexes within walking distance from downtown Willow Glen include Elements (249 units), Mosiac (500 units), Midtown Plaza (235 units) and Cannery Square at Monte Vista (235 units). Ground has been broken on Meridian @ Midtown - a mixed-use project with 218 units over 14,000 sq. feet of retail. The Ohlone project – three towers totaling 30,000 sf retail and 800 residential units – has been approved for Sunol & San Carlos.
This growth gives energy to the plan to transform an area along Lincoln Avenue between Coe and San Carlos Avenues that has historically been warehousing and industrial. As young adults 21-35 (singles and with families) as well as empty nesters move into the new housing, they will be looking for more shopping and dining venues – an ideal situation for businesses looking to locate in an area with a strong potential for growth. Additionally, new business location opportunities continue within the established Willow Glen business district. All in all, Willow Glen is a thriving locale and one of San Jose’s local treasures.
The Los Gatos Creek Trail
The Los Gatos Creek forms the northern boundary of Downtown Willow Glen. It will also provide a prominent gateway into the area, once the Los Gatos Creek Trail is completed.
This ambitious community project involves the creation of a bike trail and pedestrian walkway that follows the course of the Los Gatos Creek from Vasona Lake in Los Gatos, to the Guadalupe River in Downtown San Jose. To date, approximately 10 miles of trail have been completed starting in Los Gatos with the trail ending within a Willow Glen neighborhood at Meridian Avenue. Connecting the one-mile gap between Meridian Ave. and Lincoln Avenue – perhaps through on-street bike lanes - is the next step. The City is also developing a landscaped and paved trail system called the Three Creeks Trail to connect Los Gatos Creek, Guadalupe River, Highway 87 Bikeway and Coyote Creek trails. Once part of a Union Pacific railroad line called “The Willow Glen Spur”, the western alignment will stretch from Lonus St. to Highway 87 and the eastern alignment will reach from Highway 87 east to Kelley Park. The western alignment - Lonus St. to Guadalupe River - has been acquired and is open in an “interim” state. (Lonus St. is located off Lincoln Ave., two blocks past the intersection of Coe and Lincoln Avenues.) An additional section of almost two miles has been completed from San Carlos Street to Lonus Street.
The ultimate goal is to have all the trails eventually connect with a regional system that will stretch all the way around the San Francisco Bay.
It’s expected that businesses in Willow Glen will enjoy enhanced visibility and increased business because of the people the trail will attract – both local residents looking for a recreational outlet and visitors staying at one of the nearby hotels in Downtown San Jose.