What We Do

The Creative Center for the Arts (CCA), to be located on the old City Corporation Yard in San Jose’s Japantown, is an innovative model for supporting arts and creativity in the 21st century and fueling economic development and urban revitalization in one of San Jose’s most cherished neighborhoods. The Creative Center is being designed as a sustainable hub of spaces and resources for the creative sector in a way that embraces Silicon Valley’s diversity, entrepreneurial spirit, and culture of collaboration. It also addresses the very real challenge of Silicon Valley’s real estate market, which is causing displacement of artists and arts organizations. Its design is iconic and integrated with a family friendly, public plaza park that creates a sense of place the community can be proud of, recognizes the historic and cultural significance of the site, and a focal point for festivals, community gatherings, and the local farmers market.

Who We Serve

The CCA will serve the Japantown neighborhood, the regional cultural ecosystem and numerous local arts organizations, artists and arts patrons providing below market space and resources for offices, rehearsal space, meetings, classrooms and more.

Why It’s Important

The CCA is designed to address the unique set of challenges and opportunities that creatives and arts organizations face in Silicon Valley. The environment of experimentation, innovation, collaboration, and diverse thinking attracts and demands a community rich with creative enterprises and the arts. At the same time, the prosperity of the region makes available facility space for creative pursuits and arts groups rare and costly. The CCA will become a focal point for creative practice by offering innovative resources and space opportunities for resident organizations, independent creatives, and small cultural groups needing back office, studio, and rehearsal space by providing unified and cost-saving solutions. The national Nonprofit Centers Network (NCN) has demonstrated the significant financial, programmatic, and communal benefits of such centers, which are becoming more and more common throughout the United States and Canada.

What’s Been Done

  • In 2014, the City of San Jose signed an agreement with developer Related California for the purchase/sale of the Corp Yard — a 5.25-acre site in Japantown — and dedicated a 0.75-acre portion of the property as the CCA site.
  • In 2015, with real estate advisors from the Northern California Community Loan Fund and pro bono legal counsel from Latham and Watkins, we began development of the capital plan and business model for the CCA.
  • In 2016, we initiated capital fundraising and the application process for New Market Tax Credits to fund construction.
  • In 2016, a Potential Tenant Advisory Group of 15 local arts organizations and artists started meeting to provide input into the design of the facility.
  • In 2016, Ankrom Mosian Architects and Ken Kay Landscape Architects completed a schematic design for the 55,000 sf, three-story facility and the connected destination public park plaza.
  • In 2017, in partnership with Ankrom Moisan Architects and Nova Partners, we completed design development for the facility and the City of San Jose approved the Planned Development permit.
  • In 2017, the CCA project was awarded a prestigious and competitive ArtPlace America grant.
  • In January 2018, the San Jose City Council approved a 55 year ground lease to provide the site to us for $1 per year.

What’s Next

  • We will select a builder/general contractor for the construction project.
  • We will secure New Market Tax Credits and complete fundraising to fund construction.
  • Construction and coordination with the adjacent park plaza development will begin in late 2018.