San Jose Plant 51 Bicycle Kitchen

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Saturday, May 16, 2009
By Yokota Fritz


New condo features bicycle workshop

The Plant 51 residential development near downtown San Jose has its grand opening this weekend. Those who ride Caltrain from San Jose have watched its construction over the past four or five years or so.

The Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition held its San Jose Bike Away From Work Bash in the Plant 51 courtyard on Thursday night. I wish I had a little more time to look around and take photos, but the little bit I saw seemed positively lovely.

Plant 51 is an historic Del Monte cannery near downtown San Jose that Centex converted over the past four years or so into 1 and 2 bedroom flats and lofts. Plant 51 is immediately adjacent to San Jose Diridon Station with Caltrain, ACE Rail, Amtrak, VTA light rail, the free DASH shuttles to downtown, about a dozen or more VTA bus lines and at least that many employee shuttles. When / If BART and HSR comes to Silicon Valley, they will both stop at Diridon Station. There's a Longs Drugs (soon to be CVS) just a block away on The Alameda; a Safeway grocery store will open soon on San Fernando at 3rd. A bus stop for VTA 22 (service all up and down Santa Clara Street / The Alameda / El Camino Real) is directly in front of Plant 51 on The Alameda; the #22 bus get students to within about 150 yards of the schools that serve this area.

The coolest amenity? The Bicycle Kitchen is an on site bicycle workshop and storage area. The Plant 51 BIcycle Kitchen "has everything you need to store, repair and maintain your bike," according to the Plant 51 website. "Pumps, tools, clamps at your disposal."

Some of the negatives? Though Centex has dropped the price at least 25%, these units still seem a little pricey starting at something around $350,000 for a one bedroom. I'd like to know how soundproof the units are: Caltrain immediate adjacent is attractive to me as a daily Caltrain rider, but that also means Caltrain big engine noise for about 18 hours a day. San Jose airport traffic flies low directly over downtown. The two bedroom units may be a limitation for those of us with families.

Still, I think it's worth taking a look for anybody planning to buy in San Jose. Plant 51 grand opening today and Sunday, downtown San Jose at The Alameda and Bush Street. You can easily walk there from Diridon Station, especially from the Diridon Light Rail Station.


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Comments:
Do you know if the Bicycle Kitchen is for residents of Plant 51 only, or is it for the general public (like Bike Church in Santa Cruz)?
 
This will be a great place to live when the A's open up their new ballpark at the corner of Park and (what is currently) Montgomery.
 
@Bruce - sorry for taking so long to respond! I saw your question, fired the question off to Plant 51 and never heard back from them. I imagine it's probably residents only.

@Jerry - I wonder if they could view into the stadium from the rooftop?
 
Bruce - It's residents only. The kitchen is pretty cool, and is a reason why I'm interested in the place - but I don't even think it will be able to serve its own residents (as bicycle storage).
 
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