Tuesday, May 31, 2016

New residential tower may replace Ross Downtown

Another day, another tower. Nathan Donato-Weinstein broke the news of yet another high-rise proposal in Downtown San Jose. First, the bad news. Ross--currently Downtown's largest clothing store--is shutting down at the end of the summer. This will leave a 30,000 SQFT retail gap in a key location. Instead of replacing it with another store, the property owners are instead seeking to build a 24-story apartment tower.

The modern glass tower would have 324 units and 5,000 SQFT of retail on the ground floor. It looks like amenities will be on the sixth floor and include a small swimming pool. I'm sure a gym would be there as well. Parking will be available on eight floors, four under ground and four above ground.

The design and scale will be highly contested I'm sure since it is in the middle of the historic district. However, adding around 700 new residents to this area will no doubt be a huge benefit to the businesses in the immediate area and breathe new life into the district. Light-rail is also quite literally in front of the building, encouraging the use of transit instead of driving.

Personally, I really like the mixing of old and new architectural styles--the San Jose Museum of Art is a great example which incorporated a historic post office. Also, I hate to say this but I also don't think there is enough character in the historic district today to justify blocking development that will add value to the whole Downtown area. There is huge value in maintaining the character and aesthetics of certain areas (especially when walking down the street transports you to a different era), but I don't think the historic district merits that today. We certainly shouldn't be tearing down any more historic buildings and repeat mistakes that were made decades ago, but it's time to move forward and evolve the Downtown area with greater density, amenities, and housing options.

If the tower below moves forward, construction could begin by January 2017.

Source: SVBJ

Monday, May 30, 2016

Think Bigger San Jose's blog post on what the Stanley Cup means for San Jose

Check out this great post on "Think Bigger San Jose" about the implications of the Stanley Cup on our city's brand. I couldn't agree more!

Google Fiber is one big step closer to coming to San Jose

There is a good chance that San Jose will be the first city in California to get Google Fiber, as well as be the largest city ever to be fully served by Google's 1,000 Mbps internet connection.

Fiber is many times faster than most broadband services that Comcast and AT&T offer, at the same cost or less. You can also add 150 TV channels for about $60/mo. Even those that for some crazy reason do not select Google's service will benefit--competing internet providers will be forced to offer faster services and/or drop prices in order to compete with Google. Oh, and Google is also known to give away 5 Mbps internet access for free (besides the cost of the box) as well as provide elementary schools complimentary access to gigabit internet service.

So just how likely are we to get this amazing service in San Jose? It's pretty damn near certain at this point. Last week the city council unanimously approved Google's construction plan for running 2,300 miles of residential fiber in our city. The official announcement from Google is expected by the end of the summer and may include some neighboring cities like Santa Clara, Palo Alto, and Mountain View. Construction will take around three years to fully build out, with 60% of the fiber cables going underground and 40% hung from utility poles.

When the service does arrive, it will be another great perk of living in San Jose.

Source: SiliconBeat

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Go Sharks!!!

Here is a great photo before Game 4 of the NHL Western Conference finals posted by Hillrise on the San Jose Picture Thread at SkyscraperCity. This year could be the first time in history that the Sharks win the Stanley Cup!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Saturday Status - San Jose is the #1 city for jobs

San Jose nailed the top spot on yet another study seeking the best cities for jobs. Glassdoor calculated a an overall job score by looking at hiring opportunities, cost of living, work-life balance, and job satisfaction (all equally weighted). San Jose was the clear winner and had the highest median base salary of any metro in the United States ($112,000/year). San Francisco came in second place.

Source: Glassdoor

Friday, May 27, 2016

The Dancing Cat pops up again

Silicon Valley's first cat adoption lounge is back at its original location, 702 E. Julian Street. The Dancing Cat is a great place to relax, have some snacks, and play with adoptable cats. The cat lounge opens on May 29th and will remain open until the fall. The organization is currently looking for a permanent location in the San Jose area and is seeking suggestions. For more info, read the release below or head over to The Dancing Cat website.

Announcing the Return of San Jose’s Creative Community Space for Felines and Those who Love Them 

SAN JOSE, CA - Silicon Valley’s first cat adoption lounge, The Dancing Cat, is back better than ever with the announcement of its re-opening in its original location of 702 E. Julian, San Jose.  From May 29 through the fall of 2016, Silicon Valley will have a fun venue for the community in which to relax, meet, and mingle while enjoying the company of adoptable feline friends.

The Dancing Cat is the perfect place for cat lovers and potential adopters who are looking for a place to socialize with friends, or just a respite from a hectic day.  Visitors can have fun with other guests, read, study or just lounge with adoptable cats in a comfortable, open room.  Guests are invited to bring their own food and beverage. A small selection of drinks and cookies from local bakeries is available for purchase. Wi-Fi and catnip are on the house.

Building on the organization’s success, The Dancing Cat's founders Mary Rubin and Ann Chasson have joined with Silicon Valley Pet Project to establish a permanent space for The Dancing Cat. This initiative expands Silicon Valley Pet Project’s mission to save at-risk shelter pets through rescue, community involvement and education. The Dancing Cat will showcase adult cats who are looking for loving forever homes in order to reduce the number of cats euthanized in the South Bay.  Additionally, this initiative seeks to present a unique venue for cat-centered social and educational events in the community.

“The Julian-Saint James neighborhood is thrilled to have The Dancing Cat back for a few more months” said Robert Wright, local resident, cat lover and member of the 13th Street Neighborhood Association.  “I love the idea of stopping in, relaxing and hanging out with friendly cats.”

Even The Dancing Cat needs a forever home. While The Dancing Cat will return to the East Julian location through November, Silicon Valley Pet Project is currently searching for a suitable permanent location for the lounge in the San Jose area.  A larger space will allow for the expansion of Silicon Valley Pet Project's mission and programs. Anyone with information about a possible available location can contact thedancingcat@svpetproject.org. Financial donations are being accepted on The Dancing Cat’s website.

 “It was exciting to see how welcoming the neighborhood and the surrounding cities were to us last year.  Cat lovers from all around the Bay Area visited us and were inspired. We had many wonderful cats adopted, and we are eager to showcase even more this year.” Chasson said.  “We look forward to continuing The Dancing Cat with Silicon Valley Pet Project's contributions of both talent and support.”

The Dancing Cat is a passion project developed by a small group of cat lovers and creatives who work to improve the quality of life for the cats in Silicon Valley. We are dedicated to connecting these valuable members of our community with their forever homes in a responsible way. Recognizing that there are many cat lovers among us, we also hope The Dancing Cat will provide opportunities for new partnerships among people who are contributing to the vibrancy and creativity of our community. www.thedancingcat.org

Silicon Valley Pet Project (SVPP) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization of volunteers committed to saving local at-risk shelter pets through rescue, community involvement and education.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Eastridge Shopping Center is celebrating their 45th anniversary tomorrow with new tenants and free events

The mall I frequented as a child is celebrated their 45th anniversary with some big events and new tenants. The biggest addition to their retail mix is H&M, which is opening a 24,000 SQFT store in the fall. A 6,800 SQFT Payless will open in June, Valliani Jewelers just opened in a larger space, and Gong Cha (boba shop) has just opened.

Tomorrow from 4-6pm, Eastridge will host a celebration in the Center Court with live music, free cake and ice cream, dance contests, and gift card giveaways. This summer they announced that they will host a Job Fair on June 9th from 1-3pm featuring local non-profits, a dance break with DJ music every Friday from 4-6pm, free fitness classes, and a concert series. For more details, please read the press release below or head over to the Eastridge Center website.

San Jose, Calif. – Eastridge Center (http://www.eastridgecenter.com) located in eastern San Jose, is celebrating 45 years by welcoming new tenants, launching a Summer Event series and hosting a Free Anniversary Celebration on May 27. Eastridge is a major regional destination with more than 150 shops, restaurants and entertainment venues in the thriving Silicon Valley market.

“Eastridge has been hosting friends and families for 45 years as they make memories at our entertainment, dining and retail destinations,” said Eastridge Center’s General Manager John Petersen. “Now it’s our turn to give back with a free anniversary celebration and summer event series that will include valuable job fairs, enriching health and wellness activities and entertainment for local families.”

Anniversary Celebration

May 27 from 4 to 6 p.m., Eastridge Center will host a free anniversary celebration in Center Court. Guests can enjoy a live DJ and music, complimentary cake and ice cream, dance contests and activities as well as gift card giveaways and retailer prizes.

Summer Event Series

This summer Eastridge Center will host a number of events including:

  • Community Job Fair on June 9th in Center Court from 1-3 p.m. featuring local non-profits, trade schools and opportunities for people to receive valuable job training and networking with area companies seeking applicants.
  • Dance Break Friday: Every Friday in May, June and July, guests can enjoy Friday Night – DJ Night with complementary tunes, dance contests and giveaways with local DJs performing from 4-6 p.m.
  • Fitness Fridays: San Jose can get fit for free at Eastridge Center this summer. Guests will enjoy free fitness classes in center court with local health and wellness professionals on Fridays in July, August, and September. Pre-registration not needed, simply show-up in comfortable clothes and shoes and bring water to stay hydrated.
  • July Summer Concert Series – featuring a number of local performers throughout the month of July offering fresh free musical performances for Eastridge guests. Check http://www.eastridgecenter.com for full schedule of July performances a month prior.

Grand Openings, Relocations and New Tenants

  • Valliani Jewelers hosted a grand opening this month for its new larger space in a prime location across from Best Buy next to Center Court. The popular jeweler features the latest styles and accessories for spring and summer.
  • Gong Cha Tea and Beverages is a new Eastridge Center restaurateur opening in the Food Court this month. Gong Cha offers popular bubble tea, coffee, juices and other custom beverages.
  • Payless Superstore is opening in June in a 6,800-square foot space and will offer an expanded collection of footwear and accessories for all ages and styles.
  • H&M, offering fast-fashion clothing, footwear and accessories for men, women, teenagers and children, is anticipated to open fall of 2016 in a 24,000-square foot space.

Eastridge is a two-story, enclosed super regional mall set on 113 acres in eastern San Jose bounded by Tully Road, East Capitol Expressway and Quimby Road. Among the center’s distinctive mix of retail, restaurant and entertainment destinations are a 15-screen AMC Theaters, Round 1 Bowling and Amusement, Barnes & Noble, JCPenney, Macy’s, Sears, Forever 21, Tilly’s, Bath & Body Works, Victoria’s Secret, Chili’s, Red Robin and Olive Garden.

To learn more visit http://www.eastridgecenter.com or its social media accounts

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EastridgeCenter
Twitter: https://twitter.com/eastridgecenter
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/eastridgecenter/


About Eastridge Center
Eastridge Center is a 1.4 million square-foot shopping destination in eastern San Jose that features abundant shopping, dining and entertainment options. Featuring Macy’s, JCPenney, Sears, Barnes & Noble, Sport Chalet, Red Robin, and Chili’s, the long-standing center showcases 150 stores, an impressive 15-screen AMC Theatre and multiple restaurants. Highlights include Hollister Co., Tilly’s, Victoria’s Secret, crazy 8, Forever 21, a spacious Food Court and family restrooms. The grand Center Court offers two levels of shopping with superior store accessibility and visibility in between Tully Road, East Capitol Expressway, and Quimby Road in eastern San Jose, California. For more information, visit http://www.eastridgecenter.com

About Pacific Retail Capital Partners
Pacific Retail Capital Partners is a fully integrated, entrepreneurial organization with an unparalleled depth of knowledge in all aspects of retail real estate. Its team of executives and strategic partners draw on decades of experience with major national shopping center owners to deliver top-tier service as an operating partner and provide efficient oversight of the company’s own portfolio. Pacific Retail’s broad-based talent is versed in multiple disciplines from investment and development, which enables the company to quickly assess market opportunities, to management, leasing and marketing which allows it to effectively control costs and maintain the quality of its properties. Based in Southern California, the company operates nationally with a particular emphasis on large regional malls. Its investment and management portfolio includes the West Oaks Mall in Houston; Yorktown Center in suburban Chicago; Colonie Center outside Albany, New York; South Towne Center in Sandy, Utah; Queen Ka’ahumanu Center on Maui, Hawaii; and Paseo Nuevo in Santa Barbara, California. To learn more visit www.pacificretail.com

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The San Jose Sharks are going to the Stanley Cup Finals!!!

For the first time in history, the Sharks are the NHL Western Conference Champions! Fourth time's a charm. Next week San Jose will participate in the Stanley Cup Finals! Now's the time to paint the city teal.