Friday, January 30, 2015

"Slide The City" Coming to San Jose!

A 1,000 foot slip-and-slide is coming to a very lucky street somewhere in San Jose this June. This is exactly what is sounds like... an inflated water slide three football fields long. To get an idea of the sheer scale of this, have a look at the photos below from the inaugural Salt Lake City event.

The exact date and location have not yet been set. I'm hoping for a spot somewhere around Downtown San Jose, but I'm not sure if we have a hill steep enough in the area. Where do you guys think this will go?

The pricing will range from $15 to $60 depending on how many times you want to go down the slide (one, three times, or unlimited) and the kind of swag you'd like to take home. All passes come with a water gun.

To get on the mailing list and be the first to know when early registration becomes available, just head over here.

Hat-tip to Payge Lyn for sending this in!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Donner Lofts Affordable Housing Community Breaks Ground

MidPen Housing recently broke ground on a 102-unit housing complex at 156 E. St. John Street. The six-story project is on the former site of the Donner-Houghton estate, which was the home of a Donner Party survivor. Unfortunately, the home was destroyed in a 2007 fire.

The apartment complex includes 2,500 SQFT of retail on the ground floor as well as a community gathering space, computer lab, and exercise facilities. In order to lease an apartment, you cannot earn more than $37,700 as the units are designed for low-income workers and formerly homeless people in the Downtown area. The total cost of the project will be $30.8 million and it is expected to be completed by Summer 2016.

Source: SVBJ

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Samsung in San Jose will Beat Apple & Facebook to Achieving Landmark Campus Status

The first Tech company in Silicon Valley to have a truly landmark building when it comes to architecture is not going to be Apple, Facebook, or Nvidia. It's going to be Samsung in North San Jose. At 10-stories it will be the tallest "traditional" tech campus in the valley and also one of the most unique. Each floor will always be at most one level away from an outdoor green space with trees and plants. This will make more sense after you watch the video below.

When completed later this year it will have 680,000 SQFT and home to at least 600 employees.

Source: Venturebeat

Samsung North America Headquarters from nbbjdesign on Vimeo.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

New Milkshake Bar Downtown

Downtown San Jose has just gotten a new type of dessert place that I haven't seen anywhere else--a custom milkshake bar. You start off by selecting the flavor of ice cream and either normal milk or almond milk, and then things get interesting. You can infuse a wide assortment of chocolates, fruits, and candy into your milkshake.

My Milkshake opened up mid-December and it already has a four star rating on Yelp. You can find it at 151 S. 2nd St., in what used to be an Icebee Yogurt shop. While I love frozen yogurt, we had 6 different froyo places Downtown and I'm happy to see entrepreneurs trying something new. Looking forward to trying this place out!

For more info, check out their Facebook Page over here.

Hat tip to Alex Shoor for sending this in!

Monday, January 26, 2015

China's Hainan Airlines is Coming to SJC!!!

This has been a long time coming. San Jose International Airport has finally landed another key route! China's Hainan Airlines is going to launch nonstop flights to Beijing this summer. Hainan is one of China's premium airlines (perhaps the best), with an excellent reputation and a five-star ranking. They are very similar in terms of prestige to ANA, San Jose's other international airline servicing Asia. This will be the very first time San Jose has had a direct flight to China.

The only other airports in the US that are serviced by Hainan Airlines are Seattle, Chicago, and Boston. For the San Jose route, Hainan will be flying a fancy Boeing 787 Dreamliner with 5 flights per week.

These international routes offer a huge boost to the airport, the local economy, and our brand. Hopefully, the combination of ANA and Hainan will attract even more international carriers to the airport. I would love to see some direct flights to Europe, Australia, and South America at some point in my lifetime. Which international destination do you think we'll get next?

Source: SVBJ

Sunday, January 25, 2015

"Changing Boundaries: The History of San Jose" Screenings at Camera 12

Did you miss the premier last week for Changing Boundaries, the first feature length documentary about San Jose? Well you are in luck. Camera 12 will be screening the film on February 5th, 6th, and 7th. You can get your tickets now by clicking here!

Changing Boundaries: The History of San Jose

Opens 2/5/2015
Coming to: Camera 12 Downtown - Buy Tickets

Director: Tricia Creason-Valencia 

Synopsis: CreaTV San Jose, Norman Kline Productions and History San Jose present Changing Boundaries: The History of San Jose – the story of the working people, political leaders and dreamers who built the City of San Jose. Narrated by local actor Daniel Wilson, and featuring an original musical score by Grammy nominee Robert Berry of Soundtek Studios, this first-of-its-kind documentary features interviews with key historical figures, from farmers to civic leaders, including Tom McEnery, Blanca Alvarado and Norm Mineta. Other notable interviewees include historians Terry Christensen, Nannette Regua and Steven Millne. Produced by Norman Kline and CreaTV San Jose and directed by Tricia Creason-Valencia, the film’s production includes a key collaboration with History San Jose, which provided archival photography and documents. 

Running Time: 80 Minutes 
(plus 8-10 minutes of trailers) 

Official Web Site: 

MPAA Rating: NR

Advance Showtimes

Camera 12 Downtown Buy Tickets 
All Seats $5.50 Before 6:00pm; $8.50 Evenings (C12 Only)!
Thu-Fri, Feb. 5-6, at 7:00pm; Sat, Feb. 7 at 2:00pm

No Free Passes or Discount Cards. 

San Jose Lands One of the Most Expensive ZIP Codes for Housing

This is not a duplicate post from yesterday, although the topic is along the same lines. Movoto ranked the 95120 zip code--which is San Jose's Almaden area--as the 10th most expensive housing zip in the country. If you are renting here, you are likely paying around $3,395.

The study looked at median home value, median gross rent, and median selected monthly homeowner costs in order to create the ranking.

Source: Movoto

Saturday, January 24, 2015

SoFA Market Good News and Bad News

Okay, so I have some bad news and some good news regarding the SoFA Market. Let's start with the bad news. The Falafel Bar is closing down and they are going to temporarily shut down all of the SoFA Market except for Vero's coffee on February 1st. Okay, now the good news. The reason why they are shutting down the space is to accelerate construction for 4 new vendors. These will include Downtown's first Ramen shop, Japanese tapas, Hawaiian Poke and Burgers, a top secret dessert place, and the long awaited Fountainhead Bar. Let's call it SoFA Market 2.0, and the ETA is late March - April.

Here was the official announcement post from the SoFA Market Facebook Page:

When we bought this building at the end of 2011, it had been vacant for more than a few years. There was little street life in the neighborhood perhaps with the exception of the San Carlos and 1st St corner. The idea of a a communal space or a neighborhood market came about as a way to help activate a street devoid of retail businesses. We envisioned a group of like-minded vendors committed to creating a vibrant urban scene and interested in locally-sourced and organic products to come together and make something out of this empty space.

It's been a long road. Building downtown has never been easy and it wasn't easy for us. The financial risks were huge and finding tenants for an unproven concept was especially challenging. But we have made significant progress, albeit slowly.

A couple of pioneering vendors signed up from the start and have weathered the pains of opening a new venue with us. Falafel Bar will soon leave the market, unfortunately. But Veros Coffee, with its affable owners Omar and Veronica Quinonez, will keep marching on (if you haven't had their highly-crafted, artisan espresso-based drinks or pour-over coffee, you really ought to try; just watching them make a joe is a joy in itself).

4 more vendors have signed up late last year and with this opportunity, we are going to push the reset button. Except for Veros Coffee at the front, we will shut down the rest of the market temporarily for a couple of months starting on February 1. This allows the construction of these new businesses to proceed in the fastest way possible.

When we reopen, you will see a new SoFA Market. There will be a diverse offering of quality food: ramen and Japanese tapas (with beer and sake to wash them down), hawaiian poke, burgers and skewers, and some very interesting dessert products (this last one we can't yet divulge). And of course, there will be The Fountainhead Bar.

Look for our re-opening in the late March - April time frame.
Please bear with us. We believe in downtown San Jose and the SoFA neighborhood in particular. We are in this for the long run, and if this were easy, everyone would have done it already!