Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The SoFA Market is Open!

A second urban market is currently in "soft-opening" mode in Downtown San Jose, and hopefully it will have the same transformative impact as the San Pedro Square Market on the opposite side of Downtown. The SoFA Market utilizes 7,500 SQFT at the ground floor of the Aedis building (owned by Thang Do, an architect, urban planner, and real estate developer). The goal is to have around 10 tenants, similar in size to what you would find at the San Pedro Square Market. Four have already been lined up:

  • The Fountainhead - Flagship craft cocktail bar where the drinks are inspired by architecture and you can learn about the designers that shaped our environment [Josh: this sounds really awesome and unique]
  • Falafel Bar (Open Now) - Serving what they claim to be the third best falafel in the world, all of their ingredients are all-natural and locally sourced
  • Vero's Coffee - Artisanal espresso and espresso-based drinks
  • An un-named Ramen Restaurant 

I'm obviously an optimist, but I have to say it anyway... this screams potential! Given what a catalyst the SPSM was for the San Pedro Area and Downtown as a whole, I can't wait to see how this will impact SoFA. As a foodie, I'm also looking forward to seeing which additional eateries this will bring Downtown. The icing on the cake is that the new market will likely be an anchor contributor to South First Fridays and other art-oriented events in SoFA.

The SoFA Market is located at 387 S. First St. and the grand opening is planned for early October. You can also learn more by visiting the SoFA Market website.

Source: SVBJ

Monday, September 1, 2014

Serious Crime Dropped by 9.1% in the First Half of the Year

This Labor Day, I think I'll post some good news about crime in San Jose. If you compare total serious crimes between January and June of this year and the same period in 2013, there is a notable 9.1% decline. You can find other positive stats in the letter from Chuck Reed below.

Also, SJPD is starting to add Community Service Officers (CSOs) to assist sworn police officers with lower priority calls for service (traffic collisions, vandalism, etc.). This makes perfect sense, why waste an officer's valuable time with incidents that can be handled without a badge or gun. The CSOs will also cost the city less money, which can free up more budget for additional officers and perhaps higher compensation to help retain/recruit officers.

Dear Neighbors,

Good news rarely makes headlines, which is why I'm writing to you today.

San Jose has experienced a significant decrease in serious crime since 2012.

The San Jose Police Department has just posted data for the first half of 2014, and the data shows:

  • Total serious crimes dropped by 9.1% from January to June of 2014 (over the same period in 2013). That decline builds on a 10.3% decrease for calendar year 2013.
  • Homicides dropped by 20.8% in the first six months of 2014. In 2013, homicides declined by 15.6% over 2012.
  • Violent crimes in San Jose in 2013 were at the second-lowest level in a decade.
These crime statistics and more can be found on the SJPD website.

I want to thank the men and women of the San Jose Police Department for their continued efforts to reduce crime in San Jose. With the leadership of Chief Larry Esquivel, they have responded to problems creatively and redeployed resources effectively.

We are also adding new resources to the department. Last week, our first Community Service Officers graduated from the academy and are in field training. CSOs will assist sworn police officers in investigating and completing police reports on lower priority calls for service, such as property crimes, non-injury traffic collisions, vehicle theft, vandalism, and other non-emergency circumstances. This will allow sworn SJPD officers to focus on responding to high priority emergency calls for service and have more time for more proactive enforcement.

Community Service Officers will be stationed out of the South San Jose Substation. You can learn more in SJPD's press release.

Thank you also to you, your neighborhood associations, and community organizations, for your work with our police department to make our city safer. The positive relationship our police department has with our community is critical to preventing and solving crimes.

Thank you,

Mayor Chuck Reed

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Future of Caltrain Video

Here is a quick look at some of the benefits that electrified Caltrain will bring. In addition to obviously polluting less, service would be faster and more trains would be able to be deployed each hour. Check out the three minute video below to get the details.

Source: SkyscraperCity

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Saturday Stats: San Jose Ranks in Top 20 US Cities for Culture

One of the areas people often give San Jose flak for is lack of culture. I have been arguing for years that this is not the case, and now there is a report by PropertyShark that puts San Jose in the Top 20 list for US Cities with the highest cultural venue density by population.

San Jose came in 19th on the list with one cultural location for every 6,873 people. This is not bad at all considering Chicago was 20th with one location for every 7,438 people, San Francisco was 16th with one per 5,130, and New York was 13th with one cultural location for every 3,096 people. Seattle took the top stop with a total of 1,890 cultural venues, or one location for every 354 people.

Source: PropertyShark, Hat-tip to Barclay Livker

Friday, August 29, 2014

VTA Express Bus Service to Levi's Stadium

As you all probably have heard, parking at Levi's Stadium can be both an expensive and time consuming proposition. Light Rail may seem like the next best option, but VTA is experiencing the highest volume of passengers it has had in a long time--perhaps ever--during games. Waits could easily exceed an hour to get on a train after the game. So what other options are there? VTA has a ton of express buses from all around Silicon Valley that will travel to Levi's Stadium and back with minimal stoppage. Check out the map below to find the stop closest to you. While I'm at it, I also included a couple videos about the express bus service, a map showing the epic Light Rail service on stadium days (with rare triple trains), and a link to the VTA Webpage for Levi's Stadium Service.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Construction Starting on LINQ at Berryessa

The first market-rate apartments near the Berryessa BART station are about to break ground! Called LINQ at Berryessa, the project will have 230-units and is sitting on land that used to be zoned as industrial. Two affordable projects have already been built in the area and another 140-unit market-rate project is going to be built a kitty corner from LINQ.

In addition to being a short walk away from BART, LINQ will also have 12,000 SQFT of retail space which will likely be used for restaurants. For more info, hit the source link below.

Source: SVBJ

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

C.R.E.A.M. in Downtown San Jose

C.R.E.A.M.--which stands for Cookies Rule Everything Around Me--was started in Berkeley and specializes in Ice Cream Sandwiches featuring two cookies and a generous scoop of ice cream. The chain has since expanded to nine different locations, including a Downtown San Jose location that opened earlier this year at the corner of Post and First Street.

One notable attribute that separates C.R.E.A.M. from some of the other fast casual eateries Downtown is that there always seems to be a line out the door. It doesn't matter if it's lunch time, around dinner, or late at night... there are always people waiting to get their ice cream sandwich fix. Speaking of late nights, C.R.E.A.M. is open until 2am on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday! Even on Monday through Wednesday they are open until midnight. It's nice having a late-night dessert option in Downtown San Jose to compliment the two dozen other eateries ranging from Mexican to Vietnamese to Indian that are open until 2-3am (the awesome Nick the Greek on Santa Clara has joined this club as well).

Okay, so for such a popular place how are the ice cream sandwiches? Personally, I liked them but did not love them. The cookie snickerdoodle cookies were great, but I prefer Treatbot's ice cream a lot more. The place was clean and the service was friendly; I'll almost definitely be visiting them again at some point. However, for me Treatbot is still the ice cream king Downtown.

P.S. Hat tip to William Burch for suggesting I review this place months ago. I finally got around to trying it =).

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Eating San Jose: Check out The Table for Brunch

Eating San Jose has a great review of The Table's brunch menu, one of my favorite restaurants in Willow Glen. I have yet to go there for brunch, but based on the review it seems worthy of a special trip just for that purpose. The lemon ricotta pancakes and biscuit & gravy topped with fried chicken and an egg look delicious. Check out Dale's full review at Eating San Jose over here!