Born and raised in San Jose, I've had the opportunity to witness this city's amazing transformation from a midsized suburban town into the 10th largest city in the US, the capital of Silicon Valley, and a incubator for innovation and entrepreneurship. The goal of this blog is to highlight new developments in San Jose as well as to visually show a side of the city that many people haven't seen before. Major changes are underway, and there hasn't been a better time to be a San Josean. Cheers to the future!
I still stand by this statement today, but I have to admit that this really doesn't tell the full story on the blog's origins. Five years ago it was estimated that San Jose broke one million residents. I thought this was a cause for celebration, but I noticed in a couple of online forums when the news broke out instead of congratulating San Jose, the city was getting berated. Posters complained about San Jose's lack of culture, development, and downtown area. In essence, the theme was that San Jose did not deserve to be a city of a million people. Of course, the guys from Skyscraper City and I quickly rose to the challenge and vehemently defended our city. However, I didn't think that was enough. I wanted to prove to the world that San Jose is already a great place and it is developing and innovating at a rapid pace. That was the real impetus for the blog.
When the official census numbers came out a year later in 2010, San Jose did not hit the million mark in population. The figure came out to only 945,952 residents, definitely a disappointment.
Fast forward to 2014. San Jose is again estimated to have hit the million mark, except this time it is an official government statistic and will almost certainly stick by the time the 2020 census comes around. The exact figure released by the California Department of Finance is 1,006,892 residents.
This time the reaction is quite a bit different. There is very little negativity or mockery coming from the news, and even a few San Franciscans have offered congratulations on online forums. It you look at the San Jose of today, it is very different than five years ago. Downtown is booming. The restaurant scene has exploded, multiple cranes are up for major projects, the San Pedro Square Market is bringing people from across the Bay into the area, the convention center is expanded, and I have never seen so many people on the streets over the weekends. As far as infrastructure goes, San Jose is getting BART in a few short years, it will be the core of a new and extensive Bus Rapid Transit system, and Light Rail is going to get several improvements and a new line. In terms of pro sports (a big draw), over the last five years two major stadiums were approved in the area and are well under construction: the Earthquakes stadium at the edge of Downtown and the $1.3 billion Levi's Stadium less than a mile away from San Jose's border. Both will have a big impact on tourism and the area's brand. Lastly, over the last half decade millions of square feet in office have been added with several million more to come. San Jose has become a clear choice for large tech companies that need a large amount of space as well as startups looking for a more urban atmosphere and public transit.
The last five years have had their ups and downs, but I think we are hitting this marker on a very high note. The next five years are going to be much more exciting and I can't wait to see where we'll be in 2019.
Hope you all have a great weekend, Cheers!
|Photo by LastLightBender|