2012 has been a good year for San Jose. The San Pedro Square Market has exploded, showing everyone that it is possible to have a successful new project in Downtown San Jose. The 49ers stadium and Earthquakes stadiums broke ground, both of which will contribute heavily to expanding our entertainment options and attract more tourism dollars into Silicon Valley. A flagship retailer, Muji, announced plans to come Downtown. The overall economy improved, unemployment fell, and millions of square feet of new office space are in the pipeline.
So what will 2013 bring? I think it's only going to get better, regardless of what happens with the fiscal cliff. Specifically, here are my predictions for the new year:
1.) More than two high-rise buildings will break ground in Downtown San Jose. We know about the Carlyle and One South Market, but I think we will see at least one more.
2.) A major transportation project will be greenlit: be it a BRT line, a Lightrail Expansion, or funding for the subway portion of the BART expansion to San Jose. The number of transit riders and bicyclists will rise.
3.) San Jose will have a stronger brand and identity by the end of the year. Many new cultural and art projects will happen Downtown, helping San Jose feel and look like the Capital of Silicon Valley.
4.) The Sharks will be back with a vengeance for the 2013-2014 Season.
5.) Downtown San Jose Office Vacancies will fall below 10%.
6.) The number of restaurants in Downtown San Jose will break 250 for the first time in history.
7.) We still have no decision on the A's stadium. However, you can expect a decision in 2014 before Bud Selig retires.
8.) San Jose will continue to dominate national rankings in salaries and quality of life.
9.) We will maintain our status as the safest US city with over 500,000 residents.
10.) The Golden Triangle and North First Street developments will accelerate, and we will attract at least one massive tech company to relocate to San Jose to compliment what is the largest cluster of tech companies in the world by a huge margin.