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San Jose Environmental Innovation Center

City of San Jose

San Jose, CA

San José Environmental Innovation Center, built on a reclaimed brownfield, includes field and real-world scale demonstration access for entrepreneurs building smart and sustainable city solutions.

Topics Covered

Redevelopment & Brownfields
Waste Management
Water Quality


Initial: 31 Million USD


General Fund/Existing Public Funds

Public Private Partnership

Federal grants

State and local grants

Utility rates

Project Status

Operational since 2014

Gov Champion

Environmental Services Department

Problem Addressed

Like many other cities, the City of San José is always on the lookout for meaningful opportunities to encourage entrepreneurship and create jobs.

The City of San José transformed a marginal property and reclaimed brownfield into an asset that brings economic and environmental benefits to the region. Developed by the city’s Environmental Services Department, with support from San Jose State University Regional and Urban Planning department, the San José Environmental Innovation Center (SJEIC) is home to three tenants - Habitat for Humanity ReStore, County of Santa Clara’s Household Hazardous Waste facility, and Prospect Silicon Valley. Especially interesting, Prospect Silicon Valley – which was launched in partnership with the City and sponsored by BMW, Applied Materials, Wells Fargo Bank, DENSO, and Siemens – maintains a 23,000 sq.ft. Technology Demonstration Center providing lab, field and real-world scale demonstration access for entrepreneurs building smart and sustainable city solutions.

Solutions Used

The project was developed debt-free, leveraging New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) to round out city investment.

This was the first time in California and the second time in the US where a city undertook all NMTC roles – the leveraged lender, master tenant, and developer. NMTC funding was available because the project was in an economically depressed area of the city. NMTC financing was made possible by National Development Council, Brownfield Revitalization, and Northern California Community Loan Fund providing $7.4 million in equity from J.P. Morgan Chase for the tax credits. Additional funding came from city sources including unclaimed deposits from the Construction Demolition Deposit Program, late fees associated with garbage pickup, a state grant from CalRecycle, a federal grant from the Economic Development Administration, and a portion of enterprise funds (waste, sewer and stormwater fees). To manage the financing, San Jose created a non-profit entity.



Reclaimed a marginal brownfield site.


Built to demonstrate 20 innovative water, energy and waste solutions.


Longterm, built to create 25,000 clean tech jobs.

Something Unique

This project was developed debt-free!

Who Should Consider

Cities that want to attract innovative environmental or smart cities companies.

Last Updated

Mar 15th, 2018
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