3.7 out of 10


Ranked 15th best neighborhood in San Jose
37.3028563777545 -121.857193279707
Great for
  • Schools
  • Gym & Fitness
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Public Transport
  • Childcare
Not great for
  • Nightlife
  • Lack of Traffic
  • Peace & Quiet
  • Shopping Options
  • Clean & Green
Who lives here?
  • Singles
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students


2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5

"Emphasis on lower-class"

Bounded by US Route 87, US Route 101 and Highway 280 and West Capitol Expressway, Fairgrounds is both a major retain haven and an extremely underwhelming residential space. As a whole, there is nothing too polished about this neighborhood. Residences are mixed bag of lower to middle-class terrain, with an emphasis on lower-class. As you might expect, the area is very diverse and is dominated by hispanic residents and immigrant families. The total population is around 43,000 with median household incomes circling around $60,000/year.

I wouldn’t really call Fairgrounds a suburb. Many deem it as a quasi-ghetto area with its tarnished reputation and gritty physical environment. But to be blunt, the district is mostly overrun with ugly residential terrain. Houses are typically small, boxy in shape and are of the 1950’s ranch home (tract home, bungalow) variety. Some properties are well-kept while others have lost their quaint appeal. They are usually tightly bounded to their lots and squeezed together in narrow rows. For numbers sake, houses tend to range from $300,000 to $600,000. If that’s too steep, there are some modest looking, two-story apartment facilities and condos located along some residential street corners. They tend to be a bit nicer, but that’s not saying much. These living facilities usually go for around $400,000.

Fairgrounds commercial quarters don’t really get that much better. Senter Road is the district’s main shopping hub, and boasts acres of commercial real-estate with all kinds of shops and retail stores. You can also find your fair share of ugly depots, abandoned warehouses, gritty auto body shops and fast food chains, nothing too pleasing to the eye. For entertainment, the Capitol 6 Drive-In Theatre is located along West Capitol Expressway, but that’s about it. Otherwise, you have to head into downtown San Jose, which is the main draw for living in this area. Its second biggest appeal is that both the Capitol Caltrain and the Tamien Caltrain are situated within the area and grant commuters easy access towards the many San Francisco peninsula stops.
  • Good Box Stores
  • No Nightlife
  • Run Down in Spots
  • Terrible Schools
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 4/5

"Box Stores, Cemetaries, and Condos"

Every major city, I suppose, has an area like this. A place where all the big box stores come together in one spot. This is a major part of what you will find here—from TJ Maxx to Toys-R-Us. Fairgrounds is that kind of a neighborhood for the East San Jose area.

This is where you go if you are looking for any number items.

At the heart of Fairgrounds, however is Oak Hill Memorial—the major cemetery in the area.

Now as far as living in the Fairgrounds area—the neighborhoods that make this place up are really a pretty mixed bag. On the one hand, you have the older rundown tract homes that make up the Seven Trees neighborhood on the southeastern end of the Fairgrounds area. This is a heavily Hispanic area with many immigrant families and it does have kind of a bad reputation.

However, the homes here are much more affordable than in other areas of SJ (median price is $375K) and there are spots where the older Ranch homes are all well-kept. Like anywhere else, really, you should check out your neighbors before you move in so that you do not end up in a neighborhood that is not compatible with your needs.

(I have to mention that Seven Trees does—as many such immigrant neighborhoods—have a negative reputation.)

On the other hand, there are also brand new tract homes, most anyone would be happy with, snaking over the hills on the southwestern end of the Fairgrounds neighborhood. In fact, when the Recession hit, this was one of the latest areas in the housing expansion and one which still stands. These condos are really quite nice and pretty affordable, also running in $300 to $450K range.

On the northern end, the neighborhoods there are decidedly older—lots of pre-WWII bungalows—many made of wood. This is right around Spartan Stadium where the San Jose State football team plays.

Although the rents are relatively affordable in the area, this is not a really good place for families mainly because of the schools, which are invariably below average or worse. Yerba Buena High on the northern end is pretty awful, in terms of test scores one of the worst schools in San Jose. Andrew Hill High serves the southern end is only slightly better—still way below average.

Now, though there is a lot of shopping power in this area, it is not really a great spot if you are looking for a nice restaurant in which to eat. Pretty much a fast food culture. Nor will you find much nightlife in this particular neighborhood.

Overall, I would say this is an okay place to live if you don’t have kids. Otherwise just come here for the box stores and go home somewhere else.
  • Good Box Stores
  • Nice Condos
  • Affordable Homes
  • Run Down in Spots
  • Terrible Schools
  • No Nightlife
Recommended for
  • Students

Travelling to Fairgrounds?

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Best Streets in Fairgrounds


South 1st St

"A good place for pets and fun"
37.3219063515918 -121.879490658823
"Art and fun, skating"
37.3184714320268 -121.86449832524

Unranked Streets in Fairgrounds

Lick Ave

"Is it the end of the world?"
37.3144291993955 -121.884093141144

Oak St

"Good area for kids"
37.3209019985695 -121.883086842096
"Great teriyaki restaurant"
37.3241082496369 -121.878734672039

Sherman St

"Small road and loud traffic!"
37.3189458800649 -121.878372957989

Singleton Rd

"vietnamese neighborhood with plenty o' kids!"
37.2877139806011 -121.837571989489

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