Midtown Arts Mercantile Opens in 100-Year-Old Building

September 13, 2016

Wood and metal reclaimed from the 98-year-old building provide facade decor around the building's main entrance on Lincoln.

Wood and metal reclaimed from the 98-year-old building provide facade decor around the building’s main entrance on Lincoln.


Mayor Sam Liccardo helps SWENSON company executives cut the ribbon at the Grand Opening of Midtown Arts Mercantile, a brand-new, 100-year-old building in San Jose.

Midtown Arts Mercantile Grand Opening Thursday, Sept. 15

Good Karma Bikes Re-opens in Rehabilitated 98-Year Old Industrial Building

SAN JOSE, Calif. – After many incarnations – from fruit-packing to wine distribution to furniture retail – the early 1900s building at 460 Lincoln Avenue in the Midtown neighborhood of San José will celebrate a grand re-opening on Thursday, Sept. 15, at 5pm. Regional developer SWENSON is the owner, developer and builder of the property, which is designed to be “Midtown’s answer to San Pedro Square.” At the same time, the Grand Re-Opening of Good Karma Bikes in its new location is being celebrated.

Tenants are local, sustainably-oriented manufacturers that also offer limited retail. So far they include Good Karma Bikes, Chromatic Coffee, Hapa’s Brewing Company and Terra Amico Studio, designers and manufacturers of furnishings using reclaimed materials, as seen at San Pedro Square. These first tenants occupy approximately one-third of the building’s 40,000 square feet.

Good Karma Bikes is a nonprofit social enterprise full-service bike shop. Earned revenue is reinvested into programs targeting at-risk and emancipated foster youth as well as those whose bicycle is their primary means of transportation.  Good Karma had been located in space owned by SWENSON on Sunol, but needed to move to make way for a development project, and was able to transition to the Midtown Arts Mercantile Building.

“Midtown Arts Mercantile beautifully melds San Jose’s history with its future by transforming an old warehouse into a modern urban market,” said Mayor Sam Liccardo. “Thank you, SWENSON for your continued investment in San José and I invite everyone to come visit this extraordinary space.”

According to historical documents, the original building dated from 1918 and was used by companies canning peaches and tomatoes. After the Second World War, San Martín Winery used the building as a distribution center and from the 1970s on it was used for warehousing.

After 98 years, the building has been rehabilitated with an eye to retaining or repurposing original building materials that had acquired attractive wear patterns and patina, giving a warm, inviting feel to the large interior. Every one of the windows in the building was made functional – given the “sawtooth” roofline, this allowed extraordinary amounts of light and fresh air deep into the interior. The extended loading dock that ran around the building has been transformed into a railed walkway, with outside seating for customers to enjoy the refreshments created on-site by artisanal manufacturers. A contemporary amenity is the provision of Comcast business service throughout the building.

“San José greatly values the hundred-year-old treasures that reflect our agricultural roots,” said Kim Walesh, San José’s Director, Office of Economic Development. “We are always delighted when one of these grand structures gets the kind of respectful, meticulous attention that SWENSON provides. A big part of who we are as a city is the rich variety of our architectural legacy.”

Designed to be a magnet for foot traffic for the multiple residential units either built or planned along the Midtown West San Carlos corridor, Midtown Arts Mercantile offers an appealing link to Downtown Willow Glen south on Lincoln Avenue. Chris Hagen and Forrest Cerrato, asset managers at SWENSON, managed the project, and the architect was Studio Current.


For one hundred years, the Swenson family has been a dynamic partner in building California. Four generations of expertise, along with a proven Design-Develop-Build platform, deliver an unparalleled level of creative design, quality developments and efficient construction practices. Throughout the Golden State, the wide range of construction and development services by SWENSON is backed by decades of resources and sound business practices that have made the storied company a respected leader in the community. For more on the legacy development company, visit swenson.com.

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, connect employers with trained workers, and provides art and cultural resources to our community. For more information, go to sjeconomy.com.

About City of San José

San José, Capital of Silicon Valley, is the largest city in Northern California and the 10th largest city in the nation, with an ethnically diverse population of more than one million. San José was founded in 1777, once served as the state capital of California, and encompasses 180 square miles. The City’s website is sanjoseca.gov.