Monday, August 31, 2015

Boston Properties Adding 536,949 SQFT of Office Space

Boston Properties is planning to add two new large buildings to their Innovation Place business park in North San Jose. Each would be a quarter million square feet. The best part is that they already seem to have a tenant to occupy the space, rumored to be Broadcom. This would double the size of the current campus from 543,900 SQFT to over a million SQFT. The two buildings would replace an existing parking lot, while parking would be moved to two new structures.

Unfortunately, Boston Properties will have to go through the city planning process all over again for entitlements to build the project since their previous entitlements to expand the campus expired. While this project is not as sexy as some of the mixed use projects we have seen lately, it would provide critical Class A office space to North San Jose that is needed to maintain momentum in this economy.

Source: SVBJ

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Intelicare Direct Bringing 350 Jobs to San Jose

A high-end call center is opening this week in North San Jose (2350 Zanker Road, Suite 10). Intelicare Direct--the company opening the center--is establishing 350 new jobs in our city, as opposed to outsourcing them outside the country. The new center also means more tax dollars for the city's coffers. 

To learn about the company and the new office, please have a look at the press release below. FYI, they are aggressively hiring. These positions are a great way to get your foot in the door if you are interested in moving into tech, Customer Service, or Customer Success. 
San Diego — Intelicare Direct (ICD), a leading customer service solutions company with offices in Las Vegas and San Diego, is opening its third state-of-the-art building in San Jose, Calif. The expansion to the Bay Area continues a commitment by ICD to provide high quality customer service for its clients that remains based in the United States.

On Wednesday, September 2 at 12:15 p.m., a ribbon cutting ceremony will take place with San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo. Intelicare Direct will also host an open house job fair following the ceremony.

“We are excited to be creating over 350 jobs in the Bay Area as we pursue our goal of providing the world’s best customer service experience for our clients,” said Gabriel Bristol, President and CEO of Intelicare Direct. “It’s important to us that as we grow, this work continues to be performed in the U.S. and San Jose, the heart of Silicon Valley and a bustling hub of technology, is just the place to do it.”

An ambitious project, the goal of this new San Jose office is to not only create a customer service contact center unlike any other, but also to make sure that the space reflects the value of those performing the work. The new office mirrors the company’s unique values and culture, which are in part responsible for the success the company has enjoyed. ICD pays a livable hourly wage, weekly bonuses and provides health and disability insurance for all its employees. The company is famously dog friendly and allows employees to bring their children into the office as well.

“Customer service workers have long been denied the kind of respect they deserve. Without these hard working agents, most companies simply couldn’t function, and yet too often they’re relegated to the basements with sub-par equipment and even poorer working conditions,” said Bristol. “All too often these jobs are shipped off to parts of the world where the work can be done for pennies on the dollar. This fails to recognize the importance of their contribution and this new location has been built to serve as a paradigm shift in that thinking.”

The goal was to create the world’s most technologically advanced and aesthetically pleasing call center to provide first class customer service in an open and nurturing environment. Bristol has equipped the new location with state-of-the-art Apple technology, ergonomic workstations and, unheard of in the customer service industry, flexible workstations. Employees will be able to work remotely anywhere in the building they find comfortable because their wireless laptops will be able to be used anywhere in the center.

Below are a few highlights of what makes the San Jose office unique:

  • All employees will have Apple MacBooks, which will allow them to work from anywhere in the office.
  • In addition to traditional workspaces, there will be several creative workspaces, which will allow employees the flexibility to answer customer calls from almost anywhere in the building.
  • ICD believes workplaces should encourage being healthy so there will be a gym with exercise equipment.
  • ICD is a child friendly workplace, as parents should not have to worry if there is ever a breakdown in childcare. The new offices will ultimately have day care with tutors.

Intelicare Direct is a fast-growing, full-service customer support company, which acts as an external customer service department. The company provides customer care that’s friendly, reliable and professional. By providing industry-leading customer satisfaction, businesses can focus on building profits instead of costly infrastructure.

In just under two-and-a-half years during his tenure as CEO, Bristol has grown the company from just 60 employees working out of a warehouse to an estimated 800 employees by the end of the year.

“Intelicare Direct has built and maintains a strong and supportive company culture where employees’ happiness comes first and success is measured by more than the number of calls handled. Commerce and compassion can reside in the same space,” said Bristol. “We attribute our success to our people and look forward to continuing to reform the call center corporate culture.”

Employee satisfaction is the foundation that has enabled Bristol and Intelicare Direct to successfully develop turnkey solutions, effective customer care, and sales programs for small and medium-sized businesses.

About Intelicare Direct: Intelicare Direct is a leading customer service solutions company based in America, offering businesses effective ways to improve customer satisfaction, sales and quality assurance. Intelicare Direct increases companies’ bottom lines by catering to their number one asset--the customers. Intelicare Direct’s services include Inbound Customer Service, Technical Support, Outbound Sales, Lead Generation, and Reporting. For more information please visit

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Saturday Stats: San Jose Metro is the Most Expensive in the US

For single-family homes, San Jose is the most expensive metro in the nation. The media selling price for a single-family home has increased by 8.9% this year to a mind-numbing $980,000.

San Francisco was second on the list with a median sale price of $841,600, which is up 9% over last year. Keep in mind these are metro areas, not just the city itself. Oakland and Fremont are bringing down the median for San Francisco, just as Palo Alto and Mountain View and increasing the median for San Jose.

Source: SocketSite

Friday, August 28, 2015

Silicon Valley Pride Parade & Festival this Sunday!

Silicon Valley Pride is celebrating their 40th anniversary this Sunday with a huge parade and festival. The parade starts at 10:30am on St. John and ends at Park Avenue. Immediately after is a Festival on Almaden Boulevard (entrance at Park Avenue and San Fernando) that runs from noon to 7pm. There is also a family garden with activities for kids from noon to 4pm. Tickets are $10 online or $15 at the event.

Purchase tickets here or learn more about the event and see the full lineup here.

P.S. Great logo.

Bacon Festival of America - Sep 5 & 6 @ Plaza de Cesar Chavez

Bacon, craft beer, wrestling, food trucks, bacon, fire pits for s'mores, live music, classic games, and bacon--what could be better this Labor Day Weekend? Oh, and did I mention there will be bacon? The 3rd annual Bacon Festival of America is coming to the heart of Downtown San Jose in one short week and you won't want to miss it!

This year there are a few new elements to the event. There will be a signature beer they are calling PBRB, which is Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer + bacon bits. Also new is a family camp where you can roast bacon chocolate s'mores over an open flame (awesome!). They even launched bacon into space earlier this week.

Estimated attendance is 15,000 people over the two day event. The Bacon Festival will run from noon to 7pm on September 5th and 6th at Plaza de Cesar Chavez.

You can order your tickets now over here! You can also buy tickets at the door, but they will be slightly more expensive.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Italian Family Festa is This Weekend!

The 35th annual Italian Family Festa is coming to Little Italy San Jose this Saturday and Sunday. There will be free entertainment, a grape stomp, bocce ball, wine tasting, arts & crafts, and of course tons a great Italian food. Last year I remember the fried zuchinni, meatball sandwiches, and eggplant pesto sandwiches being fantastic.

The event runs from 11am to 8pm on Saturday (August 29th) and 11am to 6pm on Sunday (August 30th). 35,000 people are expected to attend and seating is limited, so bring a lawn chair if you plan on staying for a while. You can see the full schedule below. Head over to the Italian Family Festa website for more info and details.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Sugarfina--the First-Ever Candy Boutique for Grown-Ups--Opens New Shop in Santana Row

Sugarfina is an innovative candy store for adults featuring the highest-quality candies from around the world. They have everything from peach bellini gummy bears to Tahitian vanilla malt balls to 24K gold-coated Champagne marshmallows. Two thirds of what they carry are not available anywhere else in the US.

Their Santana Row store will be the first in Silicon Valley and the only Northern California store outside of San Francisco. To learn more about the company, check out the press release below or visit their website over here.

LOS ANGELES, CA –  San Jose will get a little bit sweeter when Sugarfina, the world’s finest candy boutique, opens their doors at Santana Row on August 21st, the third boutique in the Bay Area. The store will feature the brand’s signature aqua Bento Boxes, a luxurious candy gift box, and encourage guests to customize their own box by selecting from over 150 candies from around the world, two-thirds of which are not available anywhere else in the U.S. Sugarfina candy consultants will offer complimentary samples and assist guests in choosing the perfect candies based on their taste profile.

Sugarfina made its debut August 2012 selling its premium curated confections online – cocktail candies, including Champagne Bears®, Cuba LibreTM (spiced rum and coke gummies) and Peach BelliniTM gummies are top-sellers – and quickly flourished into a must-have high-end candy brand. Sugarfina opened its first retail store in Beverly Hills in 2013 and now has six boutiques in California.

“We created Sugarfina because the candy store of our dreams didn’t exist and we’re delighted to open a new boutique in San Jose,” say co-founders and sweethearts Rosie O’Neill, former director of marketing for Barbie, and former video game entrepreneur, Josh Resnick. “We dreamed of gourmet sweets made with premium ingredients -- candy that’s as beautiful to look at as it is to taste – and our new stores bring delicious, never-before-seen candies to San Jose.”

Sugarfina’s crisp aqua-and-white retail boutiques are designed to transport guests to “grown-up candy heaven,” with hundreds of beautiful candies displayed in modern Lucite cubes. Named one of the ten most beautiful candy shops by Architectural Digest, Sugarfina’s newest outpost in San Jose will feature a bright white design with glossy white fixtures, antique brass accents, an aqua
neon “candy” sign, and a statement art wall consisting of handmade white paper flowers, the perfect backdrop for a sweet selfie.

The Sugarfina store will also feature:

  • “Design Your Own Bento Box” Wall: Guests can select an empty 8-piece or 3-piece Bento Box and build their own gift box from the wall of 125+ Lucite candy cubes. More than 2 billion custom bento box creations are possible.
  • Top Shelf Candies: One area of the store is dedicated to "top shelf" candies -- exotic offerings from around the world such as Raindrops & Roses from Italy, Kyoto Blossoms from Japan, and interlocking chocolate wedding rings from Greece. Each candy will have its story featured alongside it in a beautiful display.
  • In-Store Sampling: Sugarfina associates offer two complimentary daily samples, with a selection that rotates weekly. In addition, guests may sample most candies in the boutique upon request.
  • Candy Labeling: There will be an icon-based program that identifies which candies are vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, fat-free, kosher, dairy, and all-natural.
  • Candy Concierge: The Sugarfina Candy Concierge will provide a wide range of services, such as custom and corporate gifts, private events, dessert bars, candy tastings and even marriage proposals. Guests may book an in-person appointment by calling 1-855-SUGARFINA or emailing

The Sugarfina boutique at Santana Row is located at 377 Santana Row, San Jose 95128, across from Ted Baker. Boutique hours are: 10am-9pm Monday through Thursday, 10am-10pm Friday and Saturday,11am-8pm Sunday. The store can be reached at 1-855-SUGARFINA.

About Sugarfina:
Sweethearts Rosie O’Neill and Josh Resnick have dreamed of opening a luxury candy boutique ever since their third date, a screening of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. They fell in love over the unique and delicious candies they tasted while traveling and were inspired to bring a new concept in gourmet candy to the United States. Having personally taste-tested thousands of candies from dozens of countries, Rosie & Josh consider themselves true “candy connoisseurs.” Before Sugarfina, Rosie and Josh had every kid’s dream job - Rosie was director of marketing for Barbie, and Josh was the co-founder and President of Pandemic Studios, a major video game developer. To learn more about Sugarfina, visit the company's website at

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

New World-Class Tower Proposed for Downtown San Jose!!!

If you are wondering why I began today's post with a photo, it is because I was almost lost for words when I read Nathan Donato-Weinstein's article in the Business Journal. This high-rise proposal is easily the most impressive I have ever seen in my lifetime for Downtown San Jose! 

The City of San Jose has been shopping around for a developer to come in an build out a killer project in one of Downtown's best locations right behind the Tech Museum. Of the four proposals they received, they have chosen to move forward with one by Insight Realty, which includes a design by Steinberg Architects (same architect that did The Tech). It looks like they made the right choice.

This would be the most "mixed-use" high-rise tower in San Jose, and maybe even in the Bay Area. This project would include a 60,000 SQFT expansion of the Tech Museum on the ground floor, 210,000 SQFT of "creative office space" on the next five floors, twelve stories of condos, then three stories for an upscale boutique hotel, and finally a floor of luxury penthouse condos. The tower would rise 270 feet tall and have a cascading effect that would bring green balconies and terraces to a huge portion of the building. It looks like they would even turn the roof of The Tech into a park! 

I don't even know where to begin with how excited I am, and and the impact this would have Downtown! As opposed to just being residential, it will bring some much needed hotel and Class A office space Downtown. This would be the first new office space built Downtown since 2010. Each component of the project has a symbiotic relationship with the rest. The park could be used by office workers during work days and residents and hotel patrons during nights and weekends. The hotel amenities would be accessible to residents as well. Parking could be shared between office workers and residents since they have separate peak demand cycles. The list goes on and on.

As for location, it could not be more central Downtown. Plaza de Cesar Chavez, the Convention Center, the Center for Performing Arts, the City National Civic, the Montgomery Theater, The Guadalupe River Park, and of course the Tech are all immediately accessible. Across the street you will find the Adobe's Headquarters and the Riverpark Towers with two of the fastest growing tech companies in San Jose, Xactly and Intacct. If you draw a circle a 10 minute walk from the proposed project, it will include San Pedro Square, SoFA, Camera 12, most companies on Santa Clara Street, and about 150 restaurants. If you go out 15 minutes, you can add the SAP Center, Diridon Station, and SJSU to the list.

Last, but definitely not least... the building has landmark-grade architecture. I would be 100% satisfied if the design did not change one bit between now and when the shovels hit the ground. Even better is the fact that it would replace two of the most dilapidated and ugly buildings Downtown. (Update: these two structures are just outside the scope of the project, although I can't imagine the building on the corner staying there for long.)

If all goes well, the City of San Jose and Insight Realty could finalize the deal within six months (hopefully much sooner). No construction start date is listed in the article, but late 2016 might be feasible if the deal gets wrapped soon. Exciting times ahead!

Source: SVBJ