SAN JOSE — Adobe has opened an eye-catching new bridge that connects the tech titan’s new Founders Tower with its other downtown San Jose office high-rises, an overhead link that also completes Adobe’s campus.
The bridge over West San Fernando Street features artwork that symbolizes the link between the orchards that dotted the Santa Clara Valley and the cutting-edge innovations Adobe creates.
San Jose-based Adobe also announced that the Adobe Foundation is launching a fresh round of grants totaling $1.8 million, which will go to 11 organizations in San Jose.
Adobe executives believe the new bridge goes beyond simply a completed construction project.
“The opening of this bridge is more than a brick-and-mortar milestone for Adobe,” said Gloria Chen, Adobe’s chief people officer. “When we opened the doors earlier this year to this magnificent new Founders Tower, it was a symbol of our ongoing commitment to a vibrant, innovative and creative hometown of San Jose.”
Adobe’s bridge and completed office complex also represent a milestone in downtown San Jose’s attempt to recuperate from the brutal economic maladies that are the after-effects of the government-imposed business lockdowns to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
“Downtown San Jose is bouncing back largely because of thoughtful and incredible employers like Adobe and a thriving arts and cultural scene in our downtown that has been sustained by Adobe,” San Jose Mayor Matt Mahan said during remarks before the ribbon-cutting for the new bridge.
Scott Ekman, Adobe’s senior director of workplace strategy and solutions, recalled that the Founders Tower and the new bridge had their beginnings with a conversation in 2016 at a downtown San Jose hotel with veteran Bay Area developers Lew Wolff and John DiNapoli.
During the meeting, Adobe executive Ekman and the two real estate developers began the process whereby Wolff and the DiNapoli firm sold the land at the 333 West San Fernando site that would eventually become the location for the new Founders Tower.
“There were so many amazing people who made this possible,” Ekman said.
Adobe executives also took note of the multiple artworks on the side of the Founders Tower as well as on the bridge itself.
One artwork begins on the street level below the bridge and symbolizes roots rising to the bridge. On the bridge, artwork that resembles trees completes the roots and trees symbolism.
“Creativity Blooms” is the name of the soaring artwork, which was created by New York City-based husband-and-wife duo Nancy Hou and Josh de Sousa.
The artwork, according to Ekman, is meant to recall the fact that the downtown area and much of the Santa Clara Valley were once filled with orchards that now have largely given way to the cutting-edge and go-go tech world of Silicon Valley.
“It is an installation that starts on the street and bursts into color on top of the bridge,” Chen said. “It reflects San Jose’s agricultural history and how Adobe’s tools unleash creative potential and imagination.”
Despite the difficulties that now confront an array of downtown districts nationwide in the wake of the pandemic, companies like Adobe offer hope for downtown San Jose as it struggles to recover, in the view of state Assemblymember Ash Kalra, whose district includes the downtown.
“There is no doubt that downtown San Jose has its issues, but San Jose is telling a different story,” Kalra said in remarks before the ribbon-cutting. “Part of the reason for that is the dedication of companies like Adobe that over a quarter center have invested in our downtown.”
The new tower and its connecting bridge also serve as a reminder that Adobe’s presence is a big-time economic boon for San Jose’s urban core, according to Mahan.
“With this new tower, Adobe’s presence is pushing 7,000 employees,” Mahan said. “It’s hard to overstate Adobe’s impact on our downtown.”
The seven-year journey from the first discussions of Adobe’s eventual property purchase to the opening of the street-spanning bridge means Adobe has realized its vision for what is now a four high-rise headquarters campus in downtown San Jose.
“Today’s bridge opening marks the completion of our San Jose campus by connecting our new and existing towers,” Chen said. “I am thrilled for this final addition. It pays tribute to our past, but more importantly, marks the beginning of a new era of innovation and collaboration here in San Jose and around the world.”