San José City Council Approves Ground Lease Agreement for Creative Center for the Arts

Eleven arts organizations already signed up for innovative resource sharing model

SAN JOSÉ, Calif. – The San José City Council has approved the execution of a Ground Lease Agreement with Silicon Valley Creates (SVCreates), for a 0.75-acre City-owned parcel in Japantown, for a proposed Creative Center for the Arts (CCA).

Designed to provide a focal point for arts services in San José, the proposed 55,000 square-foot CCA will be located within the development planned for the former Corporation Yard in Japantown. The belowmarket lease has a term of 55 years and an annual lease payment to the City of $1.00. The purchase of the former Corporation Yard from the City was completed in April 2017 for $18.5 million. When the lease expires, the 0.75 acre parcel will be re-conveyed to the City, which will also own the improvements.

The CCA will be owned by a member-governed LLC, and managed by SV Creates, along with three partner organizations that will participate in the CCA as equity partners and anchor tenants – San José Taiko, New Ballet School and CreaTV San José. Initial additional anchor tenants who have signed lease term sheets include:
 San Jose Jazz
 Los Lupenos
 Empire 7 Gallery
 Vivace Youth Chorus
 Teatro Vision
 Abhinaya Dance Company
 Silicon Valley Shakespeare
 Red Ladder Theater Company

The goal of the CCA project is to provide a self-sustaining, mortgage-free facility to serve the local cultural ecosystem. SVCreates and the anchor tenants are engaged in a campaign to secure investment and grant funding to cover the costs of project planning and construction.

San José City Hall 200 East Santa Clara St. San Jose, CA 95113 tel: (408) 535-8100 fax: (408) 920-7007 web:

With a goal of $30 million, the group has so far secured the following funding:
 $1 million from the Packard Foundation
 $250,000 from the Hewlett Foundation
 $360,000 from ArtPlace America
 $1 million from SVCreates
 $1 million from CreaTV
 $1 million from San Jose Taiko
 Additional grants pending approval of the Ground Lease Agreement

“We see the Creative Center for the Arts as a new model for supporting the arts in the 21st century and a big win for San José,” said Mayor Sam Liccardo, “CCA will offer physical space, support services, resources and access to cohort of multidisciplinary nonprofit cultural organizations and creative entrepreneurs. We know how hard it is in our tech-driven economy for cultural organizations and artists to find affordable spaces for administration, production and rehearsal. CCA will provide all this, and
more. In an era when local governments continue to face tight budgets, I’d like to extend my thanks to SVCreates’ Connie Martinez and the CCA partner organizations for their commitment to raise the $30 million to make the CCA a reality.”

Included in the support to cultural organizations, artists and performers that will be provided by the CCA are back-office, studio and rehearsal space, as well as services such as HR, legal, marketing, procurement and IT. The core anchor tenants have each made a capital investment and will have dedicated, customdesigned space in the building. Participation in CCA by arts groups can include various forms of leases, a membership model and hourly/daily rentals of space.

About SVCreates
Arts Council Silicon Valley and 1stACT Silicon Valley merged in 2013 to create the regional nonprofit SVCreates. SVCreates builds on the Arts Council’s 30-year history of support to the arts community through regional grantmaking, professional development, the Artsopolis Network, the ArtsConnect program, and the Artist Laureate program, and builds on 1stACT Silicon Valley’s dynamic role in incubating innovative programs and initiatives like SPUR San José, School of Arts and Culture at MHP, Discover the Unexpected/LiveSV, MALI (Multicultural Arts Leadership Institute), and The Studio. Former 1stACT Managing Director and CEO, Connie Martinez, leads SVCREATES as its CEO. The merged SVCREATES team is committed to raising the visibility and value of the arts, growing investment in arts and creativity, increasing participation in creative outlets, and building the capacity of the cultural ecosystem. For more information, go to

About San José Office of Economic Development
The San José Office of Economic Development is committed to a vital, competitive San José economy that increases prosperity for people and companies. OED guides the city’s economic strategy, provides assistance for business success, connects employers with trained workers, and provides art and cultural resources to our community. For more information, go to

About the City of San José
Known as the Capital of Silicon Valley, San José is the nation’s tenth largest city and the largest city in Northern California, with an ethnically diverse population of more than 1 million. San José was founded in 1777, once served as the state capital of California, and now encompasses 180 square miles. Facts about San José can be found here:

The City’s website is

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