Category Archives: Assets and Liabilities

One of the first steps small communities do for economic development is list their assets and liabilities. Some may consider a particular asset to be a liability and vice-versa (one man’s junk, another’s treasure). The important thing is to identify the assets and liabilities, even if there isn’t consensus as to how they should be categorized.

Local Assets and Liabilities:

[Note: this post was submitted as part of a larger document to the City of San Jose on 6/26/15]. The following lists some of the local assets and liabilities. Please comment in the comment box below, as you see fit.

Assets:

  1. This area has a great location;
    1. Access to two major freeways
    2. Close to downtown San Jose and the airport.
    3. Near major employers, such as Apple in Cupertino, and only a few miles from major job centers in Santa Clara and downtown.
    4. Near the Los Gatos Creek, which is a great recreational trail.
  2. Tech employers that are nearby Winchester Village that require the highly educated and skilled workforce that is available in the Silicon Valley.
  3. Has one of the first large, successful, mixed-use developments in the form of Santana Row and the largest shopping complex in Northern California. Together they are a shopping and dining destinations.
  4. Has the Winchester Mystery House tourist destination.
  5. Century Theater historic building

Liabilities

  1. Traffic. particularly ingress and egress to the freeways, can be horrendous
  2. A wide disparity in the condition of buildings; many of the apartment buildings of the 1960s are “tired” and need a refresh, particularly compared to Santana Row or single family homes that have been remodeled.
  3. Many of us work outside the area and spend most of our time in horrendous commutes. This takes away time from family, friends and the community.
  4. At some point, the high cost of housing will make it difficult for employers to hire people; even highly skilled people. Since broadband allows tech workers to live anywhere, we may find a slow exodus to other areas that provider a higher quality of life; whether that quality of life means city living, rural back roads or more affordable housing..
  5. The high cost of housing results in multiple families sometimes sharing apartments causing an overflow of parking onto city streets and into neighborhoods.
  6. The area is horrendous for riding bicycles on the busy streets.
  7. With the exception of Santana Row, it is challenging to walk to local merchants, as the density doesn’t support many merchants. Most times, residents simply get in their cars, and drive past each other to get to destinations 3, 4 or 5 miles away. Additionally, some of the roads do not have sidewalks (e.g. Williams between Winchester and Baywood)
  8. With the exception of Hamann Park and Santana Park, most of the “open space” is dedicated to parking lots and roads. It really isn’t very pretty, as most of this part of the Valley of the Heart’s Delight has been paved over.
  9. For a community that is the size of many towns, it is woefully lacking in amenities that make a community special. There is no community recreation center or pool. The parks are somewhat buried in residential streets and are not accessible via pubiic transit. The schools and the city don’t work together on open space. There is no community center. The closest example of a town square is at Santana Row, where they have both playground and a place for live music. It is ironic that one of the best examples of a public square in the area is on private property.
  10. Other than Santana Row, there are no community square type locations where people can informally and formally mix.
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