Saturday, February 28, 2015

San Jose Ranks as 6th Most Racially and Linguistically Diverse City in America

WalletHub has crunched Census data and ranked the 350 most populous US cities on racial and linguistic diversity. San Jose fared extremely well and came out as the 6th most diverse city in the country. San Francisco was 13th and Oakland was 14th. Also worth noting is that San Jose came in 5th specifically for language diversity and Sunnyvale came in 3rd.

Source: KQED News

San Jose is America's #1 Most Innovative Tech Hub

This may not come as a shock to anyone in Silicon Valley, but the San Jose metro has been ranked as the most Innovate Tech Hub in the US by a mile. The key factors that led to this concusion were the number of patents per 1,000 residents, the financial support behind innovation (VC funding), and the economies of agglomeration (were companies like startups are clustering together). San Francisco came in a distant third based on the scores. Surprisingly, Boulder made it to second due to substantial startup clustering. Also worth noting is the fact that San Jose has 27 patents filed per 1,000 residents, which is dramatically higher than any other city in the US.

Source: NerdWallet

Friday, February 27, 2015

Boston Properties Planning New Tech Campus in North San Jose

Three aging buildings at Boston Properties' North First Business Park are being cleared to make way for a brand new tech campus that could have up to 1.5 million SQFT of office space across seven buildings between 5-11 stories. However, it looks like these will likely not be built speculatively. Boston Properties is waiting for an anchor tenant before beginning construction.

There would be some retail included as part of the project along North First and some of the parking will be underground. The new campus will either be built in two or three phases depending on how large that first anchor tenant is. More details in the source link below.

Source: SVBJ

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Tons of New Santana Row Stores

Several new Santana Row stores have either opened in the last few months or are about to open. These include Annieglass, BoConcept, Bonobos Guideshop, Lou & Grey, Letarte Swimwear as well as two new places to eat: Pressed Juicery and Roots & Rye. You can read all about the new stores and eateries in the press release below!

San Jose, CA (Feb. 18, 2015) – New-to-the-area stores and eateries are enlivening the always-evolving scene at Santana Row. Next month, iconic Bay Area glassware company Annieglass is opening a retail store conveniently located for out-of-town visitors and local collectors. Also gearing up for a spring opening, Roots and Rye, a restaurant/whiskey lounge by renowned Bay Area restaurateur Chris Yeo.

Recently-opened shops new to the San Jose area include Pressed Juicery, offering healthy hydration; BoConcept, providing furniture and professional interior decorating services in one stop; and Bonobos, a menswear store that combines the best of e-commerce and bricks-and-mortar retailing and could become the future of shopping.

Update on parking - An additional 750 parking spots are now available at Santana Row. The new spaces include:
More than 650 spots are available at Santana West, the parking lot on Winchester Boulevard next to the Winchester Mystery House.
More than 300 spaces can be found behind Misora and Levare, the luxury apartment communities on Hatton Street.
Subtracting 180 spots for the new construction going on at 500 Santana Row, it’s more than 750 new spaces. It brings the total to more than 3,800 parking spaces at The Row!

Opening March 2015

Annieglass sustainably produces luxury, handcrafted glass tableware completely in the United States. Studio-headquartered in Watsonville and founded in 1983 by award-winning artist Annie Morhauser, Annieglass captures the beauty of imperfect, handmade glass through a special “slumping” process that ensures dishwasher safety and durability. One of the very few American-made glass studios still in production, Annieglass can be found in the finest stores, on many bridal registries and is collected by celebrities and used by professional and home cooks worldwide. In 2006, Annieglass became part of the Smithsonian Museum of American Art’s permanent collection and most recently won the ARTS Green Award for Eco-Sustainability.

Santana Row marks the company’s newest venture. The 1,179 square-foot store, located next to Left Bank Brasserie, will feature Annieglass’ handmade glass tableware, gifts for the home and a beautiful selection of jewelry from around the globe.

Roots and Rye restaurant and bar
Opening spring 2015

A warm and inviting gastro-lounge, Roots and Rye plans to specialize in whiskey-based cocktails and a progressive American menu featuring rustic and familiar flavors that showcase local products and ingredients. The 6,384-square-foot space will feature stylish, comfortable seating, communal table options and an inviting patio, in addition to an open kitchen and an expansive whiskey collection behind the bar. It is the newest dining venture of the Straits Restaurant Group, which owns Straits and Sino on The Row.

The restaurant will be located near Park Valencia, next door to Maggiano’s Little Italy in Park Valencia. In the coming weeks, please check for updates.

Opened February 7, 2015

BoConcept is the brand name of Denmark’s most global retail furniture chain offering contemporary furniture and professional, customized consultations in one stop. Visit the 3,603-square-foot store to update your home with modern-design furniture and get advice from skilled interior consultants who can help you make inspired choices for your rooms.

It’s an affordable luxury concept that takes the anxiety out of shopping for furniture.
Located next door to The Container Store, the Santana Row location is the second to open in the Bay Area. BoConcept began in Denmark in 1952 and is now in 60 countries.

Bonobos Guideshop
Opened late January 2015

The e-commerce-based menswear company opened its second Bay Area “guideshop,” where shoppers can touch and feel the clothing and find the perfect fit with the help of experienced staffers. Customers will then be sent their purchases a few days later. The 1,489-square-foot Santana Row space next to lululemon athletica features Bonobos’ signature chinos, khakis, shirts, blazers and seasonal clothing. Appointments are advised, but walk-ins are welcome. Bonobos founder is Andy Dunn, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and Stanford University graduate.

Lou & Grey
Opened holiday 2014

From the company that owns Ann Taylor and Loft, the Lou & Grey store feature women’s clothing described as “easy, texture-rich essentials for every day.” Pieces include comfortable, yet stylish pants, casual dresses, sweaters, jackets, T-shirts that can be worn for work, play our lounging. The 2,514 square-foot-store is located next to Madewell. The store hosts a  spring trends shopping event with blogger Jeanne Chan from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 1.

Pressed Juicery
Opened holiday 2014

Offering juice cleanses and cold-pressed juices, Pressed Juicery opened its first San Jose location on Olin Avenue, near Urban Outfitters. The 893-square-foot store features drinks that are blended daily and personalized to your taste and lifestyle. The juices are made with a hydraulic press, a machine that squeezes an entire fruit or vegetable into a pulp, extracting three to four times more than the average juicer. Founded in Southern California, its top menu items include Greens 2 (a blend of kale, spinach, romaine, parsley, cucumber, celery, apple and lemon), Detox 2 (pineapple, green apple and mint) and Almond Milk (almonds, dates, vanilla bean, sea salt and filtered water).

Sunglass Hut
Opened holiday 2014

There’s always a need for shades in California and Sunglass Hut carries a big selection of brand name and designer eyewear for men, women and children. The store is located next to Pizza Antica restaurant.

Letarte Swimwear
Opened late fall 2014

Offering stylish bathing suits and cover-ups perfect for tropical travel, the Maui-based brand, created by sisters Lisa Letarte Cabrinha and Michele Letarte Ross, opened a 1,080-square-foot store on Santana Row, next to Gucci. The label, started in 2000, includes swimwear, coordinating cover-ups and sportswear.

The Hawaiian authenticity and exclusivity of the Letarte label blends a bohemian island essence with chic global aesthetics that the duo have made recognizable around the globe. Lisa is the sister who designs and lives in Maui. She infuses her jet-setting island lifestyle and the spirit of Aloha into Letarte's signature trademarked prints, intricate adornments and lavish detail.

About Santana Row

Santana Row, a 647,000 square foot mixed-use development in San Jose, CA, is Silicon Valley’s premier destination for shopping, dining, living and working. Santana Row features over 70 shops, 20 restaurants, a boutique hotel and movie theatre. In addition to the dynamic retail & restaurant collection, Santana Row offers 615 luxury rental homes, 219 privately owned condos and 65,000 square feet of Class A office space. Santana Row is a property of (NYSE:FRT), headquartered in Rockville, Maryland. For more information, please visit

About Federal Realty

Federal Realty is a recognized leader in the ownership, operation and redevelopment of high-quality retail based properties located primarily in major coastal markets from Washington, D.C. to Boston as well as San Francisco and Los Angeles.  Founded in 1962, our mission is to deliver long term, sustainable growth through investing in densely populated, affluent communities where retail demand exceeds supply.  Our expertise includes creating urban, mixed-use neighborhoods like Santana Row in San Jose, California, Pike & Rose in North Bethesda, Maryland and Assembly Row in Somerville, Massachusetts. These unique and vibrant environments that combine shopping, dining, living and working provide a destination experience valued by their respective communities.

Federal Realty’s 89 properties include over 2,600 tenants, in approximately 20.2 million square feet of retail space, and 1,500 residential units. Federal Realty has paid quarterly dividends to its shareholders continuously since its founding in 1962, and has increased  its dividend rate for 47 consecutive years, the longest record in the REIT industry. Federal Realty shares are traded on the NYSE under the symbol FRT. For additional information about Federal Realty and its properties, visit

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Family Justice Center Getting Some Skin

It looks like the facade is starting to go up on the Family Justice Center under construction in Downtown San Jose. While not our tallest new building, it is visible from many parts of the Downtown area and will add some extra depth to our skyline. Thanks David Cheung for sending in the photo!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Valley Fair May Be Getting Upscale Movie Theater and Ultra-Premium Home Store

More details of Valley Fair's expansion and renovation are leaking out. Apparently Old Navy and Sports Authority are not high-end enough. The mall is planning to tear down both of these buildings along with a Chase Bank and build a new 86,000 SQFT addition with a ShowPlace ICON movie theater and Pirch home store. The Chase Bank will be rebuilt as a two-story freestanding building along Stevens Creek.

ShowPlace ICON is a high-end movie theater with a lounge that features a fancy menu and cocktails. Inside the screening rooms you'll find premium seating for those 21 and over, complete with over-sized loveseats. Tickets will likely be in the $20 range. There are only two ICON movie theaters in the US.

Pirch is an ultra-upscale home store where you can walk out with an oven that costs more than a fully-loaded Tesla. Upon entering the store they will give you complementary blackberry limeade and a spa robe so that you can test out their shower heads in the store itself. If Pirch gets built, it will be the first in all of Northern California.

For more details, hit the source link below.

Source: SVBJ

Monday, February 23, 2015

Joint Venture 2015 Silicon Valley Index

Every year Join Venture puts out a Silicon Valley Index that discusses a variety of topics from the economy to governance and challenges that our region faces. There are always tons of interesting stats in these publications.

Lynn Peithman Stock from the SVBJ has a nice breakdown of how some Silicon Valley stats compare to San Francisco over the last year:

Silicon Valley new jobs: 57,591 (11k up from the previous year)
San Francisco new jobs: 18,499 (4k down from the previous year)

Silicon Valley new patents: 17,000
San Francisco new patents: 1,900

Silicon Valley IPOs: 23
San Francisco IPOs: 5

Silicon Valley startups: 8,600
San Francisco startups: 7,400

Click here to read the entire report (or scroll down for highlights). You can also watch the video briefing below.

Highlights of the 2015 Index include:
Jobs – The number of new jobs grew by 4.1 percent, bringing the region’s job total to nearly 1.5 million. Silicon Valley added 57,951 new jobs between Q2 2013 and Q2 2014; San Francisco added another 18,499 for a total of 76,450 in Silicon Valley and San Francisco.
Investment– Venture capital investments in Silicon Valley and San Francisco shot up, reaching $14.5 billion in the first three quarters of 2014 alone – more than in any other year since 2000. San Francisco’s share was $7.1 billion, a 68 percent spike over 2013. Cleantech venture capital investments increased dramatically as well in 2014, reaching an all-time high of nearly $3.3 billion.
IPOs/M&A – 23 of the 275 U.S. Initial Public Offerings in 2014 were by Silicon Valley companies, three more than the prior year. As of Q3 2014, Silicon Valley was on pace to reach 2013 merger and acquisition activity levels, while San Francisco exceeded the number of deals in 2013 in the first three quarters of 2014 alone. During that time period, there were 560 M&A deals involving Silicon Valley companies, and 403 involving San Francisco companies.
Innovation – The number of Silicon Valley patent registrations continued to rise, reaching 16,975 in 2013 (1,910 more than the previous year). The largest share (40 percent) of the patents was in Computers, Data Processing and Information Storage, with another 24 percent in Communications.
Population – The entire Silicon Valley region (including Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties, Fremont, Union City, Newark and Scotts Valley) grew by nearly 42,000 people between January 2013 and January 2014. During that period of time, Santa Clara County was the fastest growing county in the state at 1.5 percent – nearly twice the growth rate of the state as a whole (0.9 percent) – and a few Silicon Valley cities (Campbell, Milpitas, Foster City and Morgan Hill) grew three to four times faster than the state.
Income – Average annual earnings (including wages and supplements) in Silicon Valley and San Francisco as of Q2 2014 were $116,033 and $104,881, respectively, compared to $96,663 in the nine-County Bay Area, $70,847 in California and $61,489 in the United States. Median household income in 2013 in Silicon Valley was $94,534 and $79,778 in San Francisco.
Housing – Home prices and rental rates continued to rise in 2014, with a median home sale price of $757,585 (7.5 percent higher than 2013 and more than $360,000 higher than the median price throughout the state) and an average rental rate of $2,333 per month (11 percent higher than 2013) in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties.
Commercial space – The amount of approved development hit skyscraper levels in FY 2013-14 to 12.9 million square feet – nearly twice the floor area of the Pentagon, the largest U.S. office building. This amount of net non-residential development is far more than any other year over the last decade, and is 2.6 million square feet more than the last peak in 2004.
Published annually since 1995, the Silicon Valley Index findings are reported in five major sections: People (talent flows and diversity); Economy (employment, innovation and entrepreneurship, commercial space, income); Society (preparing for economic success, early education, arts and culture, quality of health, safety); Place (environment, transportation, land use, housing); and Governance (city finances and civic engagement).
The 2015 Silicon Valley Index is accessible online at www.siliconvalleyindicators.organd may be downloaded from the Joint Venture website at
About Joint Venture Silicon Valley

Established in 1993, Joint Venture provides analysis and action on issues affecting the Silicon Valley economy and quality of life. The organization brings together established and emerging leaders—from business, government, academia, labor and the broader community—to spotlight issues, launch projects and work toward innovative solutions. For more information, visit

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Google Donates $1M to Support Lick Observatory

It's nice to see Google giving back to the San Jose community, where many of its employees are housed. The search giant has committed $1 million over the next two years to help keep the doors open at the historic Lick Observatory, which has been responsible for many discoveries and important astronomical projects over the years. The gift is equivalent to one fourth of the center's annual operating budget.

Lick Observatory is one of San Jose's most prominent landmarks and is the only observatory in the UC system where astronomy and astrophysics students can design and build their own astronomy projects. A vote of confidence from a company like Google will go a long way to attracting other Silicon Valley donors.

Source: The Merc