Shaping the Future of Little Portugal

"I already want to live here!” -- Participant in a VTA 28th Street/Little Portugal TOD Stakeholder Group

Throughout the spring and fall, VTA hosted over 20 stakeholder engagements and pop-ups for local organizations, students, employees, residents, and visitors of the Little Portugal neighborhood in San José to play a role in shaping the concept vision, or Design Development Framework (DDF), of VTA’s future transit-oriented developments (TOD) surrounding the forthcoming 28th Street/Little Portugal BART Station.

As a follow-up to VTA’s Station Area Playbook, the DDF will provide direct guidance for development proposals to align with community sentiments around future open space elements, indoor and outdoor placemaking, and commercial and retail opportunities – all tied to stories from the community. 

Seasons of Community Engagement


The first season of outreach (Spring 2023) focused on listening to stories, lived experiences, qualities of place, and opportunities to understand what excited and concerned community members about future development.

The second season of outreach (Fall 2023) engaged community members around the concept vision and specific opportunities it could unlock for the public realm. The goal was to refine ideas based on preferences and build trust by thoughtfully incorporating input from the previous season. 


Outreach included a themed art engagement during the Chile, Mole, Pozole festival at the School of Arts and Culture – with Rayos Magos, a mixed-media artist born and raised in San José. Community members imagined their recipe for community and the ingredients that help create a welcoming space.

In addition to sharing knowledge and experiences, community members voted for activities and amenities to consider for the station area and ideas of what types of businesses and services VTA should encourage.

In Spring 2024, the 28th Street/Little Portugal DDF will be available for review and public comment. We look forward to hearing your thoughts and seeing the future of this station area as an accessible, engaging, and active transit-oriented community hub.


 Follow along or connect! Visit the project webpage at to sign up for email newsletters or reach out to



Subscribe to our Newsletter