King and Story
In the 1930s, future agricultural labor union leader César Chávez and his family moved into the neighborhood. It was here that Chávez first began his political actions, registering voters and organizing English language classes for the mostly Mexican American residents. The first grocery stores targeted by the NFWA grape boycott were on King Road.
The San Jose Redevelopment Agency (SJRA) pursued redevelopment of the intersection, successfully locating a grocery store on the north-east corner before pursuing eminent domain to redevelop the south-east and south-west corners. The SJRA was successfully able to acquire the south-east corner and redevelop removing vacant and abandoned buildings, while adding needed banking and shopping options for the local community in conjunction with Bay Area local developers Blake-Hunt Ventures. However the City was fought in court as its pursued acquisition of the Tropicana shopping center on the South-west corner, the SJRA abandoned acquisition of the entire shopping center and settled for acquisition of certain portions and the redevelopment of the remainder in conjunction with the existing owners. The Connecticut Kelo case being fought in court at the same time was clearly a factor in the City's final decisions.
In 2003, the city council considered a bill to rename King Road, named for an 1851 settler to San Jose, after Martin Luther King, Jr. The proposal was generally supported by the African American community, and opposed by the Hispanic population, with significant minorities in each group on differing sides. For example, the president of the local chapter of the NAACP opposed the change, while the Chávez family supported it. The city council eventually rejected the proposal.
The area surrounding King and Story is a vital cultural hub for the rapidly expanding East San Jose Community. King Road is home to a One Stop county services building, and area landmark Eastridge Shopping Mall is undergoing a multi-million dollar expansion.
BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) and Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) light rail is expanding into the region. Redevelopment of some neighborhoods is also a city priority. One such project, on Summer Street, includes the renovation and construction of new housing by the San Jose Conservation Corps YouthBuild job training and education program.
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