Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year Predictions for 2013

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.

18 comments:

  1. Josh,
    Happy New Years! Nice list, but I disagree with you on the A's to San Jose decision. I believe 2013 will be the year of San Jose's freedom from the Giants. However, we probably won't be seeing Cisco Field downtown until 2018. Based on recent quotes from Lew Wolff, Bud Selig, and Billy Beane, a decision re A's to SJ is near. What I think will happen is the Giants will be allowed to fully pay off AT&T Park by 2017. After 2017, Santa Clara County (or perhaps the entire Bay Area) will revert to shared territory status like the other MLB two-team markets; thus allowing the A's access to San Jose. One way or another, San Jose will be finally free at last, free at last! Cheers and here's to 2013!

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    1. I hope you're right, that would work for me! =)

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  2. Nice wish list. For #2 I'd like to see the BART subway funded. Even though it's an outrageous amount of money, the extension into San Jose needs to come downtown! Also, light rail (or equivalent) to SJC would be great and would give a shot in the arm to ridership. Admittedly, that one appears to have gne off the radar lately. The 2 lightrail extensions I have read about recently (East San Jose (Capitol) and Los Gatos (Vasona) are expensive and have low rider projections - I'd be amazed if they ever get funded.

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    1. Anon,
      I've read that we might see a push to make the BART tax (1/2 cent tax measure through 2036) permanent, which would allow further bonding capabilities for the downtown subway. I've suggested to make the downtown subway less expensive, ending the BART line at a Diridon subway terminus vs looping north to Santa Clara. Electrified Caltrain will make BART service from Diridon to Santa Clara redundant anyway (IMHO).
      Respectfully disagree with you on the proposed Eastridge LRT extension. As an Evergreen resident, Eastridge is a major shopping and transit center that should warrant a LRT extension. The same cant be said about Los Gatos, which I don't think would generate a lot of transit users.

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    2. I'm only going by the ridership projections which tend to be aggressive anyways. I have no problem with the extension....just not sure where the money will come from :)

      That's interesting to hear about extending the tax.

      I agree about the redundancy with Caltrain(electification). I never quite got why they wanted to extend it to Santa Clara anyway. Now that I think about it, wasn't it suppossed to be the end-point for a people mover that would run from Metro Light rail station to Santa Clara Caltrain station via SJC? Kinda like what that #10 VTA bus does now.

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    3. I believe the proposed BART line from Diridon north to SC (in a subway past 880) was meant to serve a proposed BART maintenance yard near the airport/Earthquakes SSS. This maintenance yard is no longer planned, as the existing East Bay maintenance yard in Hayward will be expanded instead. Perhaps planners were also anticipating a final BART link from SJ/SC to Millbrae/SFO; also redundant IMHO with enhanced Caltrain/future HSR. Anyhow, a BART subway terminus at Diridon now makes to much sense (funding, planning wise) IMHO. Hopefully someone is listening...(probably not)

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  3. I've eagerly awaited San Pedro Market but every time I go by there it looks like a ghost town. And not one person I've asked has ever heard of it. Very disappointing.

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    1. I went there once and was letdown. However, I will give it another chance based on Josh's boosterism!!! The issue for me is that it's just not what I was expecting. I know it's been discussed before on the blog, but Pike Place market it aint!!!

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    2. Are you just driving by? It's pretty cold outside so I doubt you will see many people walking around until it warms up. Go in there during lunch or dinner times any day of the week, there will definitely be people. You'll get live music on Fri and Sat as well.

      I would recommend trying Pizza Boca Luppo, Little Chef, and Sama Zama first, with Treatbot for dessert. Then trying out all the vendors because really, there isn't a bad place in there.

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    3. 4.5 stars on yelp with 153 reviews. I'd say word is getting out.

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  4. #5 - would be nice, but isn't it ~20% now. In other words, we are gong to drop the current vacancy rate in half?

    #10 - we should definately aim to achieve this. We have the room! I'd like to see 4 or 5 big lease deals. We've kinda missed the boat with this latest boom in tech (it's mostly Sunnyvale) but the city have got aggressive with incentives so time will tell.

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    1. Kind of building off anons thought; in 2013 SJ should "Raise the roof!" on North First Street. A sky's the limit building height (allowable by the FAA of course), perhaps 600-700ft, on N1 with plenty of incentives offered. Last thought from me for 2012; see you on the other side!

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    2. I hope to see that as well! As least Samsung is pushing 2 stories to 10 stories. I have a feeling future projects will be higher than what we have been used to and there are a lot of old buildings to redevolop on first.

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    3. And a key part of the Samsung project - and you hit upon it - is that they are redeveloping and existing site. As you say, pushing 2 stories to 10. I hope to see more of this "re-use" development. Thanks for your excellent blog.

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    4. Now that we're on the other side (2013), time to get busy with ideas. Josh, just doing some crude research of Las Vegas Mccarran airport and San Diego airport (runway positions, flight paths, distance to select skyscrapers), I've figured that North First Street from 101 north to Tasman could accommodate towers with a maximum height of 650 ft. High-rises in the 500-600 ft. Range should be no problem for this stretch of North San Jose. Perhaps in the coming year(s) we could push city planners, pols to consider a sky's the limit in North SJ.

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    5. http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/blog/2013/01/its-official-fico-moving-to-san-jose.html

      Not sure how big or whether this classifies as a tech company ... but it's a nice win for San Jose

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  5. Vacancy rates for downtown office will fall to 15%, not 10%. A's will never come to San Jose, thanks to cowardly, Bud. Sadly, none of the residential highrises(apt) will get off the ground despite going through permit process because of the way the city's planning department handling these projects and financial backers' last minute cold feet. Samsung will go ahead with half of the anounced project, including atleast of the 10 story building. N 1 office project will not get built, atleast for the next 3 years, if at all. The restaurants count will hit 250 downtown. Sharks will play in 2013/2012 to a decent turnout due to extremely low ticket prices to lure fans back only to have a low turnout later in the season due to fans' discontent with NHL. The Family courthouse 9 story building on Market St will break ground by late fall. The best shot for residential building to go up is the Symphony apt. building for San Jose St. students by early 2014 as a 15 story tower next to the church being built across the street from city hall. San Pedro Sq. Market will do fine, not great in 2013, and it'll take several years for the owners to break even and even longer to make a profit, if that ever would be the case. North San Jose will see more office construction along with more apartments. Nope, the city will definitely not reach the billion dollar mark for construction permits evaluation in the 6 month period predicted by the city of San Jose, ofcourse not! It'll reach slightly over the half billion dollar mark in the 6 month period. There you have my predictions for 2013!

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  6. Weren't any downtown high rises required to break ground by 12/31 to take advantage of city incentives? Or are we just glossing over that?

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