Tuesday, June 30, 2015

2015 Downtown Doors

The popular Downtown Doors program has expanded to 100 locations in Downtown San Jose! 22 new works of art have been chosen among 133 submissions from students across 15 San Jose high schools. Each new work will be on display for several years before being replaced.

For information on the new artwork (including videos with the artists) as well as a handy map showing where all 100 doors are located, head over here!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Park View Towers Moving Forward!

The San Jose City Council unanimously gave the final approval to move forward with Barry Swenson's Park View Towers. The $150 million project includes two high-rise residential towers with 220 units. The former Church of Christ Scientist building will be restored an incorporated into the project, creating a nice juxtaposition of historic and contemporary architecture.

Barry Swenson will move the church (similar to how the Montgomery was moved to make way for the Fairmont annex), build underground parking spanning the entire site, and then move the church back to its final destination.

Park View Towers also includes a surprising amount of retail--18,000 SQFT! To put that in perspective, the entire San Pedro Square Market is about 25,000 SQFT. What they have planned for all that space is unclear, but I like the direction they are taking this project. Large amounts of residential and retail might just be the catalyst needed to revitalize St. James Square.

The goal is to break ground in 2016 and have the buildings ready for occupancy by 2018.

Source: SVBJ

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Aerial Photo of Downtown San Jose

This photo was posted in the San Jose Development Forum by cardinal2007. Amazingly, it was taken from a plane window on an early morning flight leaving SJC. Ken Sweezey took the photo in 2013. It's already missing several buildings (One South, Centerra, Courthouse, etc.). It would be interesting to see the same shot in 2018 after Silvery Towers, the Pierce, the Gateway Tower, the St. James Park Towers, Symphony Hall, AC Hotel, and the SJSU projects are complete.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Saturday Stats: San Jose Metro is One of the Most Dense in US

When you look at population density in cities, there are two that are always at the top of the list. New York City has 27,781 people per square mile while San Francisco has 17,858. However, when you look at the whole metro area instead of just the city, the list becomes surprisingly different. New York drops down to 5,319 people per square mile putting it in fourth place and LA comes in a shocking first place with 6,999 people per square mile. The SF-Oakland Metro holds onto second place with 6,266 and perhaps even most surprising than LA is that San Jose creeps up to third place with 5,820 people per square mile. I never would have guessed.

Source: SpareFoot

Friday, June 26, 2015

The Fencing Center is Celebrating Their Anniversary on July 5th

Not only are the U.S. National Fencing Championships in San Jose this year (June 27-July 6), but the oldest fencing club in Silicon Valley--and the largest fencing venue in the Bay Area by far--is celebrating the one-year anniversary of their new facility by unveiling two large sculptures on July 5th. The unveiling event will have food, drinks, and music and me emceed by Scott Knies (Executive Director of the San Jose Downtown Association).

To be honest, I had no idea we had such a prestigious fencing facility in San Jose. The Fencing Center has been responsible for Junior and Senior National Champions, U.S. Olympic Team members, NCAA all-Americans, and prominent international fencing officials and coaches. For more info, check out the press release below or head over to their website (wow, they managed to register the domain fencing.com).

SAN JOSE – With more than 4,000 athletes in town for the U.S. Fencing National Championships, the South Bay’s oldest fencing club, The Fencing Center of San Jose, will celebrate the one-year anniversary of its new facility with the unveiling of two sculptures by former U.S. Olympic fencer Peter Schifrin on July 5. 

The Fencing Center will host “A Celebration of U.S. Fencing,” open to the public, on July 5 from 6-8 p.m. The reception will feature a performance by Schifrin at 7 p.m. when his two fencing themed sculptures, “The Salute” and “The Final Touch,” are presented to The Fencing Center where they will be on permanent loan. 

The largest fencing tournament in the world, the Nationals will feature both individual and team events in three weapons – foil, saber and epee – with national titles awarded for both men and women in all age groups, plus berths on National teams.

While the National Championships take place at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center June 27-July 6, The Fencing Center welcomes all competitors to practice for free at its new 15,000 square foot club just south of downtown San Jose at 1290 S. First Street. 

The two bronze sculptures of fencers are the first sports-themed work Schifrin has created since his San Jose State University days as a young epee fencer who represented the U.S. in the 1984 Olympic Games. A former Fencing Center coach and now an art professor at Academy of Art University in San Francisco, Schifrin is known for his public art sculptures, notably Coyotes in San Jose and Confluence in San Francisco. 

“The Fencing Center’s dedication to the art of fencing continues through these powerful sculptures that celebrate the very joy of our sport,” said Sandeep Tawari, president of The Fencing Center Board of Directors.

Connie Yu, a long time coach at the club, commissioned the sculptures in homage to the legacy of The Fencing Center in San Jose. Yu, while a fencer herself, served on The Fencing Center’s first board of directors, and her three children, Jennifer, Jessica and Martin were all fencers, too.

“Fencing is an art form as well as a competitive sport. It’s not just about making the touches and winning,” Yu said. “I want to bring back the culture and pageantry that inspire people to be fencers, and having Peter’s sculptures here can help do that.”

The Fencing Center has a long association with downtown San Jose. Its first club opened in 1982 on the second floor of the old Mercury News Building at 10 Notre Dame Avenue, then moved to 40 North Street after incorporating as a non-profit organization, and finally operating for 18 years at 110 Stockton Avenue just behind the SAP Center until last year.

The Fencing Center boasts a long roster of members who have become Junior and Senior National champions, U.S. Olympic Team members, NCAA all-Americans, international fencing officials and prominent fencing coaches. The center continues its tradition of offering classes for all weapons and levels of fencing, including an introductory course, as well as being a host site for local and regional tournaments with 16 Olympic length strips, making it by far the largest fencing venue in the Bay Area. 

The special event on July 5 begins at 6 p.m. with food, beverages and music. The program will commence at 7 p.m. and be emceed by The Fencing Center’s first Executive Director, Scott Knies. There will be open fencing from 8 - 10 p.m. 

A $10 donation per person is suggested. 

For more information on The Fencing Center of San Jose: www.fencing.com

For more information on The U.S. Fencing National Championships: www.usfencing.org

"Behind the Magic of Performance" at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Joseph

The San Jose Dance Theatre and NoonArts & Lectures will be doing a community performance at the Cathedral today from 12:45pm to 1:30pm. San Jose Dance Theatre is a non-profit, pre-professional dance company focused on providing performance opportunities and training to Silicon Valley youth. All of the details are on the flyer below (click to enlarge).

Thursday, June 25, 2015

San Jose's Avago Buying Broadcom for $37 Billion

Avago is a chip manufacturer headquartered in North San Jose off of Trimble. They are buying Broadcom--one of their competitors--for $37 Billion. That is Billion with a "B" not a typo. The new combined company will be worth over $77 Billion and instantly become one of Silicon Valley's largest companies.

Broadcom is based in Irvine but has offices in Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, and San Jose. Given the large amounts of land in North San Jose well-suited for manufacturing companies, I wouldn't be surprised to see the new company consolidate all of their Silicon Valley operations in San Jose at some point in the future.

Source: SVBJ

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Stop the Oil Trains from Coming to San Jose

There is a plan in place to send mile-long trains carrying crude oil through San Jose. Over 500 trips would take place each year--and it will take about an hour for the train to pass through San Jose each time. Not only are they filled with carcinogens, but if there is an accident it will cause mass casualties and damage that San Joseans will be responsible for. I would highly encourage you to head over to this site and watch the 2 minute video with more information. We need to do everything possible to block this project from moving forward.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

San Jose Gets a Piece of Super Bowl 50!

Since it was announced that Santa Clara would host Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium next year, it was expected that the city of San Jose would receive some of the benefits as well. After all, our city is a lot closer to the game than San Francisco. San Jose hotels, tourist attractions, and entertainment venues will all do quite well during Super Bowl week. The good news is that the benefits are going to extend beyond that.

A few weeks ago the Super Bowl 50 Host Committee confirmed that one of the teams will be headquartered at the Marriott Hotel in Downtown San Jose and practice at Spartan Stadium. The team will literally be living in Downtown San Jose for the whole week. The hotel is right next to the San Jose Convention Center, The City National Civic, and The Montgomery Theater... I think the odds are quite good that the team will plan some events in the area much like the WWE did during Wrestlemania. There are already talks of using the SAP Center to stage the Super Bowl Media Day. Best of all, these benefits are coming to San Jose for free. Heck, SJSU is even getting a Football locker room upgrade out of this.

Fortunately, San Jose is planning to take full advantage of the situation. Our awesome Downtown Ice Rink in the Circle of Palms will be extended through February 7th and a "party zone" will likely be created Downtown for fans.

Who knows, by the next time a Super Bowl is hosted at Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara and San Jose might fully become the official host cities with the auxiliary events in SF.

Source: The Merc

Monday, June 22, 2015

Gateway Tower Update!

Nathan Donato-Weinstein from the Silicon Valley Business Journal has gotten his hands on the latest renders for the Gateway Tower in Downtown San Jose's SoFA District, and it looks magnificent! The Market St. side is a bit more straight-edge and traditional while the side on North First facing SoFA is is more edgy with just about every unit getting a corner view. This is exactly the type of design needed for the area and I love the use of a new yellow highlight color that doesn't really exist in the Downtown skyline today.

The building will be 24-stories and 270-units. It looks like the segregation between market rate and affordable units is gone. Unfortunately it also looks like the podium has been lowered to be on the 6th floor instead of the 7th, meaning the swimming pool will be a bit closer to the ground (it still should be higher up than The Fairmont or The 88).

Retail on the ground floor will clock in between 4,000 and 6,000 SQFT with the bulk of that at the corner of William and First Street. The parking structure would be towards San Carlos Street with one level below ground (and I'm guessing 3-4 levels above).

Oh, and the developer is also planning to build a 105-unit mid-rise across the street on land currently occupied by an Enterprise Rent-A-Car (3rd render below). SoFA is going to be booming in a few years!

Source: SVBJ

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Give Pokebowl a Home

Pokebowl is a popular Poke stand that is a staple of Friday Farmer's Market on San Pedro with a ton of loyal followers. They are are looking to open up a permanent location with both Poke bowls and Brazilian Acai bowls in the SoFA market by the end of the summer! Unfortunately they are about $35,000 short of what is needed to open up shop, so they decided to use Kickstarter to try to raise the remaining funds.

They have a lot of great rewards. For a $10 pledge, you get a limited edition "Stephen Curry" Poke bowl and a cup of fresh watermelon or pineapple juice. For $600 you get a year's worth of Poke. Their ultimate reward comes with a $5,000 Kickstarter pledge: a round trip ticket to Brazil for Carnaval 2016 and a live show, plus an exclusive catering event for 20 people.

Head over to the Pokebowl Kickstarter page to bring them to SoFA!

San Jose's Office of Economic Development Launches SJEconomy.com

San Jose boosters have gotten a new tool to promote business development in the area. San Jose's Office of Economic Development launched a new site last month with tons of great resources and statistics. It's very well designed, mobile-friendly, and is worth checking out right over here.


Dear Readers of SJ Economy News,

I hope you've noticed that we've stepped up our efforts over the last two years to produce fresh, useful communications materials that help you succeed in San Jose -- including this news brief, beautiful new online brochures, frequent news releases, and our active Twitter feed.

In this issue, I am very proud to announce our new website -- SJEconomy.com.  Through SJEconomy.com, you'll have easy access to information from your PC or mobile device.   The new site is organized by People, Places, Business, and How We Help in San Jose. It includes maps of growth areas, a real estate locator tool, compelling facts and statistics, CEO testimonials, and photos you can download and use.   There's  a special section serving Brokers and Developers. You can contact the Office of Economic Development and staff easily through the About page.

Please join me in thanking San Jose's amazing economic development team -- and especially the Project Lead Cara Douglas -- for creating this critical resource. I hope you enjoy previewing SJEconomy.com and use it as your "go to" San Jose business development site.

Please let me know what you think, and how we can improve further by contacting Cara Douglas, Senior Business Communications Manager.

Kim Walesh
Director of Economic Development
Deputy City Manager

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Sourisseau News: Fiesta De Las Rosas Parade

Check out the latest Sourisseau News video highlighting the Fiesta De Las Rosas Parade, which goes all the way back to 1896. You can think of this event as the predecessor to San Jose's Cinco de Mayo festivities and the Rose, White, and Blue Parade.

Fiesta De Las Rosas Parade from WMS media Inc. on Vimeo.
Santa Clara County's Rose-themed festival bloomed on and off from 1896 to 1969. Enjoy its history in photographs.

Friday, June 19, 2015

San Pedro Square Market Outdoor Cinema Series

San Pedro Square Market Special Events: Join SPSM this summer for 3 free movie nights! Bring the family and invite your friends to enjoy the summer weather, market eateries, and some of our favorite movies on the big screen under the SPSM Sign.

  • Hook: June 24th
  • Pitch Perfect: July 29th
  • The Avengers: August 26th

Bring your blankets and lawn chairs, and we'll see you at dusk!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Dine Downtown San Jose Restaurant Week - Kickoff is Tomorrow!

If you want great food at a great price, Dine Downtown San Jose starts tomorrow. 23 Restaurants will be offering 3 course prix-fixe dinners for $20, $30, or $40. Oh, and for the first time a few restaurants will be offering lunch specials (including Curry Pundits, The Fountain, Take One Pizza, and Tengu Sushi). You can find those here.

Of the participating restaurants, there are a few I need to call out specifically:
  • The Craftsman - this used to be "First to Market." They still have a lot of their classic items (the pimento mac & cheese is a must) and a mixology-grade cocktail bar, but freshened up the design a bit.
  • The Capital Club - private club on the top floor of the "Knight Ridder" building. This is your best chance to dine up there without having to pay the membership fees. The view from their massive outdoor balconies is incredible--no other place like this in the Bay Area.
  • Arcadia - Michael Mina's signature San Jose restaurant. Try the tuna tar tar and the foie gras sliders.
  • Nemea - The best Greek restaurant in San Jose.
  • Scott's Seafood - I know this is a chain, but there isn't another Scott's like this one. They just redid their outdoor patio, which is on the roof of a 7-story parking structure. Awesome view, great ambiance, and delicious food.
To see the full restaurant list, head over here!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Wednesday Wishlist: UC San Jose

Madison Nguyen--former San Jose District 7 Councilwoman--wrote a great article suggesting that the next UC campus should be in San Jose... and I couldn't agree more.

San Jose has more STEM jobs per capita than any other major city in the US (by far). There are so many in fact, that we rely heavily on importing talent from all around the world to fill them. Even then there are over 50,000 job openings today in Santa Clara County. The demand has never been greater for another world-class University in Silicon Valley to help increase our talent pool for highly skilled workers.

Madison Nguyen mentions new legislation to scout for a future campus that would have a specific focus on "STEAM" education: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math. She states that it is envisioned as a public CalTech at a far more affordable price. Hello, could there be any better location than San Jose for this?

I'll even add one more interesting suggestion that would sweeten the ROI for a UC San Jose, and that would be sharing resources with SJSU. Universities are expensive to build and maintain, so what if certain resources such as the MLK Library and Spartan Stadium could be shared between two world-class educational institutions and have operating costs split between them. Perhaps even some classes could be cross-listed, giving students at both Universities a greater range of educational options and electives. If there is one thing Silicon Valley is great at besides innovation, it's collaboration.

Read Madison Nguyen's opinion piece on UC San Jose over here. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Content Magazine Pick-Up Party Today!

Content Magazine's latest issues comes out today and explores how we connect with our community. As is the norm with Content, they throw a party for their subscribers and collaborators every time a new issue comes out. This time it will be hosted at Southern Lumber--a South Bay staple that will be closing its doors after 110 years of service.

At the party, Content will reveal the winners of the Visual San Jose 2015 photo contest. Subscribers get a signature drink and an appetizer for FREE and there is no cover charge for the event. If you aren't a subscriber yet, just head over here!

Music: Hill Man, Xiomyr, Beer: Santa Clara Valley Brewing
Food: Whole Foods
Sponsors: Southern Lumber, Filco Events, Whole Foods, Santa Clara Valley Brewing, Visual SJ, Pac SJ

CONNECT 7.2 Featuring: Ekaterinburg, Russia | Wayfinding | Blaise Rosenthal | Visual SJ Photo Contest Winners | Bay Area Glass Institute ArtKick: Nancy and Sheldon Laube | Jeffrey Brian Adams | CatapultWorks: Tom Beck | Shareology, Bryan Kramer | Clever Girls Collective: Cat Lincoln, Stefania Pomponi & Kristy Sammis | H & H Lighting | Wearhaus: Richie Zeng & Nelson Zhang | Bellabeat: Urška Sršen | Hacker/Founders: Jonathan Nelson | SETI: Drs. Jill Tarter, Nathalie Cabrol & Lori Fenton | Southern Lumber: Jeff Pohle | Knight Foundation: Danny Harris | Savory Kitchen: Colleen Janke | Nomikai: Kathy and Tone Tran | San Jose Jazz: Brendan Rawson & Bruce Labadie | Xiomyr: Billy Barnes & Koosha Araghi | Hill Man | Album Picks: Tommy Aguilar | Mike McGee

Monday, June 15, 2015

Summer Solstice Art Festival

The Triton Museum of Art is hosting the Solstice Art Festival this Saturday and its the first year where they have added music into the mix. Big Cat Tolefree is going to be the featured musician and they have a slew of performers throughout the day as well. Admission and parking are both free. Scroll down for more details.

Big Cat Tolefree Blues and Soul Band

From the inner-city limits of beautiful Oakland, California, Big Cat and his Hipnotic Band has single-handedly transformed the West Coast blues and soul sound with his trend-setting music and vocal style. Big Cat Tolefree opened for The Temptations, BB King and Jimmy McCracklin. He’s earned “New Blues Artist of the Year”, “Male Blues Vocalist of the Year” and Europe’s “Best Traditional Blues Artist” all in one amazing year. This will all be showcased in Santa Clara on Saturday June 20th.


10:00am – Tezkatiipoka Aztec Dancers
10:45am – Steelband Drummer
11:30am - Big Cat Tolefree Blues and Soul Band
2:00pm – Tabia African American Theatre Ensemble
3:00pm – Medieval Sword Fighting demo and lessons
4:00pm – Up a Notch Band – 80’s and 90’s rock


Pavillion at The Triton Museum

Market Gateway Tower in SoFA!!!

Look at what just returned from the grave! Back before the recession of 2008, there was a tower proposed for the triangular area where Market St. and First St. come together in Downtown San Jose's SoFA District. Currently there is a parking lot, a dry-cleaner, and a few single-story retail buildings on the site. I thought this project was gone from good, but Robertee from the SJ Development forum found a new permit application as well as some killer renderings for a potential tower on 470 S Market Street!

The project would be 255 feet tall, 23 floors, and contain 275 residential units. There would be BOTH market-rate and affordable housing and each would be completely separated. In fact, there is no point where the different unit types even touch one another. They even have different lobbies and elevators.

The Market Gateway Tower would have a swimming pool 70 feet above ground, which would be Downtown San Jose's highest swimming pool (perhaps even the highest in the Bay Area). On the bottom of the building would be a large retail pad for an art gallery, theater, or traditional retail. There would also be a smaller retail pad ideal for a restaurant. One cool item to point out is that the building appears to maintain the facade of several existing structures currently on the block. Above the retail would be five levels of parking.

I really, really hope this happens. SoFA has gotten some serious momentum this year and it will only get more after The Pierce is completed. Market Gateway Tower would be a game-changer for the area!

Source: San Jose Development Forum

Sunday, June 14, 2015

1st Official San Jose Mini Maker Faire!

History San Jose has recently announced that they are launching San Jose's first Maker Faire event. The event will celebrate and showcase inventors, tinkerers, builders, crafters, and other creatives. Instead of trying to describe it in any more depth than that, I'll let the one minute video below do the work.

The inaugural San Jose Mini Maker Faire will take place on Sunday, September 6th from 10am-6pm at History San Jose. For more information (or to register as a "maker") head over here.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

The Dancing Cat is Extending Its Stay in San Jose

Cat lovers of Silicon Valley, you can rejoice. The area's first pop-up cat adoption lounge, The Dancing Cat, is extending its stay!

The lounge, run by Ann Chasson and Mary Rubin, will be extending its stay for 6-8 weeks funded by several donations courtesy of San Jose City Councilmembers Raul Peralez, Pierluigi Oliverio, and Ash Kalra in addition to donations from several individual community members.
“The Dancing Cat brings together communities, and serves as an inventive business model that creatively reuses blighted space and provides an important service. I encourage residents of San Jose to visit the Dancing Cat right now so we can help it become a permanent local business in District 3.”Councilman Raul Peralez, City of San Jose Council District 3
The other day I made a reservation to visit the lounge with a friend. I already have a cat at home, but I wanted to check the place out for myself as well as play with the kitties! I had a great time taking photos of all the cats and gorgeous decor.

When you walk in you sign a waiver in a little foyer room (blocked off so the cats in the other room don't make a break for it.) Then you're granted access to the lounge! And wow.. what a wonderfully decorated space. Modern decor, white walls, and beautiful pops of color fill the room. There is a long picnic table in the middle of the room and couches and chairs at the end. Cat toys, trees, and other lounge-y spots fill the nooks and corners so the cats have plenty of places to sit as well.

You are free to bring in food and drink for yourself, or you can purchase a soda, have a cup of tea or coffee (I spotted a Keurig brewer - so maybe you can just bring your own cups if you wish!)

The building itself used to be a liquor store, so there are a series of glass doors that used to be the fridge. Each glass panel holds wonderful cat-themed paintings done by the group over at The Arsenal.

There is no need to rush to hang out with the cats either. Bring a book or your laptop, sit down and just hang out. The idea isn't to just pet/play with the cats here, it's also a cafe/lounge atmosphere. The day we went there was a mix of people, a couple sat on the couch and hung out with a sleepy kitten. Several older teens sat in a group on the floor and played with an older cat (while they stalked the spot on the couch near the kitten - that was amusing to say the least.)

While we were there, two cats were adopted! Rhett and Butler went to a happy home together. And that's the great thing about this place - people are able to hang out with these cats and kittens in a home-like environment to get to know them. Since opening on May 21, nearly ALL of the cats at The Dancing Cat, have been adopted - this includes typically difficult to adopt cats like senior cats, black cats, and bonded pairs.

The Dancing Cat is open from noon to 6 pm Wednesday through Sunday with extended hours on Friday and Saturday.  A limited number of people are admitted to the space at any one time in order to maintain a comfortable environment for both people and cats. Visitors are encouraged to reserve a spot online at www.thedancingcat.org.  The Dancing Cat collects an admission donation of $10 per hour and $5 for children under 10 years of age. A limited number of walk-ins can be accommodated as space allows.  

Saturday Stats: San Jose Metro is the Hottest Job Market in the US

According to new government statistics, the annual growth rates for total payroll jobs in Santa Clara County are up a staggering 6.1% year-over-year. This makes it by far the largest percentage gain in the country. The only metro that even came close was San Francisco/San Mateo, which posted a 4.9% gain. 3rd place was Orlando at 4.3% followed by Riverside up 4.1% and finally Dallas rounding out the top 5 at 4.1%.

Source: Siliconbeat

Friday, June 12, 2015

Scott's Seafood Launching Rooftop Lounge

Perched above a seven story parking structure, Scott's Seafood has the best view for any public restaurant in Downtown San Jose. To make full use of the location, they built an amazing outdoor patio with a giant fireplace and slick lighting. It has become one of my favorite hidden gems Downtown.

Starting this week, Scott's is turning the outdoor patio into a lounge complete with music, bottle service, and a late night food menu. The fun starts at 9pm and continues until at least midnight on weekends. This will provide yet another late night entertainment option in Downtown San Jose, and it will be on the classier side of the scale.

Scott's Seafood is located at 185 Park Avenue (park anywhere in the structure and take the elevator to the very top). For more info, follow their Facebook Page.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Thinkbiggersanjose is Expanding Content!

Mark from Thinkbiggersanjose--my favorite San Jose blog besides this one--has recently moved to One South Market in the heart of Downtown San Jose. He and his wife are coming from a traditional house with a back yard, and he's going to chronicle his transition from suburban living to full on urban-ness in San Jose. You can read his first post over here.

While we are talking about Thinkbiggersanjose, Mark also has a new post welcoming the "Awesome Foundation." This is a grassroots foundation that funds one awesome project a month (examples he gives are a 40 person hammock or creating an outdoor courtyard learning space for kids). Check out his post over here. To submit ideas and learn more about the San Jose Chapter of the Awesome Foundation, head here.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Xactly Hoping to Raise $75M in IPO

Xactly--located in Downtown San Jose--has filed for an IPO with the New York Stock Exchange (ticker: XTLY). This would make it the second Downtown tech company to IPO this year. Apigee was the first and Intacct could be next in line later this year.

Xactly provides software and services that helps companies manage compensation for their sales teams. It's a hot market and they have been growing very quickly. Their revenue has grown 68% to $61 million over the last three years.

After the IPO comes to fruition, that will bring a lot more dollars into the local economy as most of their employees live in the South Bay. Hopefully some will decide to move Downtown and help keep the amazing momentum going!

Source: SVBJ

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

June 2015 Downtown Dimension Highlights

Here are my notes from the latest edition of Downtown Dimension:
  • Property owners, business owners, and residents are generally satisfied with Downtown conditions based on the annual PBID survey:
    • 76% see an improvement in cleanliness year-over-year
    • 45% see an improvement in safety year-over-year
    • 70% see an improvement in image year-over-year
    • 89% are satisfied with overall condition of Downtown
    • 93% approve of Groundwerx clean teams
    • 77% approve of Groundwerx ambassadors
    • 92% approve of beautification projects
    • 71% approve of tree maintenance
  • 3 Shows at Music in the Park! Advance tickets are $10 at http://www.musicintheparksj.com
    • June 18th - Freshlyground (Afro-pop), Sister Carol (Reggae), DJ Robert Rankin
    • July 17th - P'al Bailador, Julio Bravo y su Orquesta Salsador (Salsa)
    • August 28th - Grammy Award winners Los Lonely Boys (rock 'n' roll), J.C. Smith Band
  • Dine Downtown is returning for a 7th Year from June 19-28. Three course meals start at $20/person at dozens of Downtown San Jose Restaurants. For the first time, several eateries (including Curry Pundits, The Fountain, Take One Pizza, and Tengu Sushi) will have lunch specials.
  • The BIG Lunch is a new program starting 11:30am on June 24th where you can grab lunch from a nearby restaurant, head to Paseo de San Antonio, and have a communal lunch break with fellow Downtowners. There will be music, drawings for prizes, and many restaurants will have to-go lunch specials.
  • San Jose and the NHL have agreed to extend their contract, meaning the Sharks are guaranteed to continue playing at SAP until at least 2025. The Barracuda will also start playing in SAP this Ocrober (Sharks affiliate from the American Hockey League).
  • A city advisory committee recommended SJSU manage the former Rep Theater. SJSU is asking for an initial five-year contract and if all goes through the Theater could be back in operation by the Fall.
  • Team San Jose is getting $5.7 Million to rehabilitate the Convention Center, Center for Performing Arts, California Theatre, City National Civic, and Montgomery Theatre.
  • The Children's Discovery Museum is getting $350,000 for a new sculptural fence to allow for more exhibit space.
  • Creative Marketing Concepts (a SF firm) opened a South Bay location at 15 N. Market St. with an on-site studio.
  • St. James park is getting a full calendar of events this summer:
    • Mon, Wed, and Fri from noon to 1pm starting Jun 29 - Yoga, games, soccer, and food trucks
    • Tues from 6:30-8pm starting Jun 29 - Informal music, poetry, and spoken word nights. Some nights will have food trucks.
    • Thur from 6:30-8pm starting June 25 - Signature performance series with professional musicians.
    • Sat afternoons, Jun 27, Jul 25, Aug 22, and Sep 19 - Drum circle and dancers
    • The City of San Jose will also dedicate an events coordinator to St. James Park for year-round programs. 
To read the full newsletter, click here!

Monday, June 8, 2015

The Knight Foundation Awards 13 Grants to Improve Downtown San Jose!

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced a total of $620,000 in grants to projects that will make Downtown San Jose a more interesting, fun, and safe place. 13 different projects received funding, and a lot of the recipients should be familiar to readers of this blog. Reading through the grants, I think we all have a lot to look forward to Downtown! Here are the winners:
  • Wreck Studios received $10,000 to creating “The Exhibition District,” a project to convert 40,000 square feet of vacant wall space downtown into an outdoor art gallery.
  • San Jose Parks Foundation received $75,000 to expanding its “Summer in St. James Park” series of movie nights, concerts, exercise classes and other public events.
  • Moveable Feast received $19,200 in support for a monthly pop-up dinner series in city neighborhoods where diverse city leaders will discuss and act in support of the future of San Jose.
  • City ID, a New York- and London-based urban planning and design firm, will use a $129,927 grant to develop a “way-finding” strategy including signage and other ideas that would help visitors find the city’s Downtown amenities.
  • Content Magazine/Silicon Valley Creates. The magazine received $75,000 to pursue ways to engage the community in city life and develop a sustainable business model.
  • CreaTV received $11,250 to expand its “We are San Jose” storytelling campaign that collects video stories of city residents.
  • Destination: Home, a project of the Health Trust to find solutions to the county’s homeless problem, received $75,000 for a feasibility study and fiscal plan to identify pathways for housing and employment for the homes.
  • Downtown Streets Inc., a nonprofit that provides work opportunities for the homeless, received $25,000 to create a mobile coffee cart in St. James Park that would employ some of the homeless who congregate there.
  • Greenbelt Alliance, a nonprofit that protects open spaces in the Bay Area, received $75,000 to help create “urban villages” composed of mixed-use, walkable neighborhoods with housing options across income levels.
  • Housing Trust Silicon Valley received $75,000 to establish more affordable and equitable housing policies through educational, community problem-solving and research activities and partnership building.
  • Joint Venture Silicon Valley Network/Valley Transportation Authority received $15,000 for “Hack My Ride 2.0,” a three-month online app design challenge open to anyone in the world and focused on transforming mobility in Silicon Valley.
  • Metro Newspaper Silicon Valley received $10,000 to pay for a monthly full-page ad promoting SoFa.
  • San Jose Public Library received $25,000 to reimagine underused spaces through the “Pop-Up Mobile Makerspaces” project with Okada Design.

Source: SVBJ

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Playful People Productions Presents: Disney’s The Aristocats KIDS

What's a cat to do? In Disney's The Aristocats KIDS, Madame's jealous butler Edgar cat-naps Duchess and her Aristokittens and abandons them in the Parisian countryside. Luckily, Thomas O'Malley and his rag-tag bunch of alley cats come to their rescue! This fun musical, based on the Disney film, features many of your favorite characters from Thomas O’Malley the Alley cat to Amelia and Abigail the bold Geese Sisters

This feline adventure is sure to get you tapping your feet to its upbeat, jazzy beat with a score that includes the Disney favorites "The Aristocats," "Scales and Arpeggios" and "Ev'rybody Wants to Be a Cat.”

Our shows often sell out prior to the show weekend. Be sure to buy your tickets early, you won’t want to miss out on this fantastic production.

All Shows at the Historic Hoover Theatre, 1635 Park Ave  San Jose, CA 95126

Show Times:
Friday, June 19th - 1:00 and 7:00pm
Saturday, June 20th - 11:00am, 2:00pm, 4pm  and 7:00pm
Sunday, June 21st - 11:00am, 2:00pm and 5:00pm

Tickets available at www.playfulpeople.net
$12 attendees 12 and up, $8 children 11 and under,  and $6 Children’s floor seating

Tickets at the door (30 minutes prior to curtain)
$15 attendees 12 and up, $10 children 11 and under, and $6 Children’s floor seating

For questions: barb@galiotto.com

Founded in 2010, Playful People Production’s mission is to provide a quality, caring environment where children, teens and their families can have positive theater experiences. We strive to involve all family members in the many aspects of on stage and backstage theater in a safe and fun environment and offer participation in theatrical productions, classes, summer stock and camps for ages 3-93.

Playful People Productions is run by a mother-daughter team, Barbara Galiotto and Katie D’ Arcey, who between them have approximately 50 years of experience in the musical theater world. Both are Positive Discipline trained and worked as early Childhood Educators as well as in the theater.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Saturday Stats: San Jose Metro Tops Nation For Job Opportunities

According to a new annual survey by Glassdoor, the San Jose Metro came in #1 in the country for job opportunities! San Jose has a total of 51,439 job openings and a median base salary of $99,000.  The best part is that wasn't the only job related statistic we scored high in. We ranked #2 when it comes to job satisfaction.

After aggregating all of the metrics, our overall job ranking was #7 out of the largest 50 metros in the US. We were brought down by having the 5th lowest cost of living in the survey. My question is which are the metros with a higher cost of living? I'm surprised we weren't at the very bottom of the list.

While the cost of living is high, the sheer number of opportunities, high salaries, amazing weather, and great people more than make up for it.

Source: GlassdoorSiliconBeat

Friday, June 5, 2015

The SubZERO Festival Kicks off Tonight!!!

One of the best Arts Festivals in the Bay Area kicks off tonight and continues all the way to tomorrow night in Downtown San Jose's SoFA District. Below is the description straight from the SubZERO website:

Focused on emerging and present subcultures thriving in our region, SubZERO is a DIY, artistically bent, hi/lo-techno mashup where street meets geek. Come downtown on June 5th & 6th to San Jose's SoFA District from 6pm 'til midnight for an inspired evening of arts & culture. In addition to the South FIRST FRIDAYS monthly art walk you'll find outdoor stages of entertainment plus artists, performers & musicians celebrating the indie creative spirit!

Even that might be underselling it. There are hundreds of art exhibits and live performances spanning multiple blocks, all of them free. Three different stages will be playing live music. 13 Food Trucks will keep you nourished and a beer garden focusing on local craft beers will help your brain absorb all of that art and culture.

Hope to see you guys there! To see the full list of galleries, artists, vendors, musicians, food trucks, and craft brewers head over to the SubZERO website! 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

San Pedro Square Market 2nd Annual Wine Pour

The San Pedro Square Market is hosting its 2nd Annual Wine Pour in late June, featuring a both large selection of unique wines and SJ MADE vendors. Pre-sale tickets are available right now! Scroll down for all of the details.

Please Join us for San Pedro Square Market's 2nd Annual Market Wine Pour on June 27th, 2015 featuring Summer Popups by SJMADE!

Sample different wines while strolling through booths filled with unique creations made by San Jose artists. We will be closing down St. John street in order to provide a large selection of unique wines and vendors. Event is free to all ages.

If you are interested in sampling our wines, tasting tickets are $40 pre-sale and include a souvenir glass, $10 gift card to be used at participating San Pedro Square Market restaurants, and 5 drink tickets for 3-oz pours of your favorite wines. Additional drink tickets will be available for purchase at the event. Tickets will be $50 day of event if we don't sellout first, so get your tickets early!

Wine Tasting begins at 1pm, check-in starting at 12pm. Come early and stay late to enjoy the SJMADE Vendor Faire from 12pm-7pm.

We hope to see you there!


Confirmed Wines:
Jaume Serra Cristalino Brut
Condes de Albarei Albarino
Pata Negra Verdejo
Pata Negra Rioja
Conde de Valdemar Riojo
Belle Ambiance Chardonnay
Belle Ambiance Cabernet Sauvignon
Massimo Sauvignon Blanc
Irony Pinot Noir
Handcraft Petite Sirah
Buena Vista Chardonnay
Buena Vista Cabernet
Buena Vista Merlot
Buena Vista Zinfandel
Buena Vista Pinot Noir
Clos Lachance Chardonnay
Clos Lachance Sauvignon Blanc
Clos Lachance Cabernet
Clos Lachance Zinfandel
Clos Lachance Meritage

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

49ers Legend Roger Craig and San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo to Run with Dozens of Kids on National Running Day

Later today there is going to be a big announcement regarding San Jose's Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon in September. I don't have any details yet besides what is on the press release below, but the announcement is going to take place between 11am-11:30am at the Children's Discovery Museum in celebration of National Running Day (today). After the announcement comes in, I'll revise this post with the news (feel free to post in the comments if you get the info before I do).

Mayor Sam Liccardo and San Francisco 49ers legend Roger Craig will join community leaders in celebration of a marquee announcement for Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose Half Marathon, aimed at getting Bay Area kids healthy and active. 

  • Mayor Sam Liccardo, City of San Jose 
  • Karolyn Kirchgesler, Team San Jose CEO
  • 49ers legend Roger Craig, Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose Founder 
  • Bekah Holt, Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose Event Manager
  • Mario Fraioli, author of The Official Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series Training Guide
  • Local sports mascots 
  • Live music and community leaders
When: Wednesday, June 3 (National Running Day) / 11:00 am – 11:30 am

Where: Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose / 180 Woz Way, San Jose, CA 95110

  • Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose Half Marathon is celebrating its 10th anniversary by unveiling new race elements on National Running Day
  • New race for kids encourages a healthy lifestyle and combats childhood obesity 
  • City officials will share the positive impact the race has on the community including the 2014 economic impact from race weekend

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Santana Row June-Aug 2015 News and Events

San Jose, CA   (June 2, 2015)   - Great weather brings out the best of Santana Row and June highlights include the annual summer fashion shows, a tradition at The Row! A cooking demo with a famous chef, a grand opening for a new retailer and perennial favorites Mommy & Me and Cars & Croissants add up to a busy month!
Summer Yoga Series
Every Saturday, through September 12
Registration at 8:30, yoga at 9 a.m., Park Valencia
Join yoga enthusiasts for free yoga every Saturday, presented by lululemon athletica.
Practice your sun salutations under the sunshine at Park Valencia, near Maggiano’s restaurant through September 12. The complimentary classes are held outdoors, with registration opening at 8:30 a.m. each week. For more information, contact lululemon, 408.557.8721.
Annieglass Grand Opening, a benefit for EMQ FamiliesFirst
Thursday, June 4, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Annieglass celebrates its new location at Santana Row with a grand opening to benefit party for EMQ FamiliesFirst, a nonprofit organization that helps California children and families in crisis. Ten percent of proceeds from the sales on June 4 will be donated to EMQ. Combining sustainably handcrafting luxury glassware since 1983. The store opened at Santana Row in mid-April and is located next to Left Bank Brasserie.  
Santana Row’s Annual Poolside Soiree, a Benefit for Pets in Need
The annual summer fashion shows take place at a new venue with stylish surprises and special guest emcee Kira Klapper of NBC Bay Area
Saturday, June 6, 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. at Misora Resort-Style Residences
Santana Row’s marquee summer event returns for the seventh year to a gorgeous new poolside: Misora, Santana Row’s newest resort-style residences, will be the catwalk location for the first time. 
Kira Klapper of NBC Bay Area will emcee the two shows, benefitting Pets In Need, an animal shelter dedicated to placing dogs and cats into loving home. Santana Row is donating 15 percent of ticket sales proceeds to the non-profit organization.
The afternoon shows will feature scenes of the season’s best looks from Santana Row retailers such as Scotch & Soda, Letarte Swimwear, Annieglass, Ted Baker, Boutique Harajuku, Bonobos, H&M, Calypso St. Barth and Franco Uomo.
Details: The fashion shows take place at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.  
Tickets are $50 and available now at  www.SantanaRow.com   or at the concierge office. Registration begins at Santana Row Park at 12:45 p.m. for the 1 p.m. show and 3:45 p.m. for the 4 p.m. show. 

Included in the price is poolside seating to view the show, access to the Beauty Lounge, pre-event champagne and a specialty drink created by Austin Cocktails. There will also be light hors d’oeuvres, a Passion for Fashion shopping card that entitles guests to discounts around The Row, prize drawings and in-store after parties.

Guests will get a chance to see what luxury living is all about at Misora, the 212-unit resort-style residence. Completed last year, it boasts such amenities as a lounging pool with cabanas and a lap pool, concierge services, private cinema, fitness studio, chef’s demonstration facilities, wine lockers and a wine tasting room.

About Pets in Need: Pets In Need was established in 1965 with the goal of saving the lives of animals in need. It is Northern California’s first “No-Kill” animal shelter, which means that the organization places all the cats and dogs that come through its doors into loving homes. For more information, please go to  www.petsinneed.org.

About Kira Klapper/NBC Bay Area:  Kira  anchors Today in the Bay on Saturday mornings on NBC Bay Area.   Since joining the NBC family, Kira has become passionate about helping to find homes for animals at Pets In Need, Northern California's first no-kill shelter located in Redwood City.
Prior to NBC Bay Area, Kira was a reporter and substitute news anchor at ABC7 News / KGO-TV in San Francisco. Kira's on-air career began in Mankato, MN, where she was a reporter, anchor and producer.
In her spare time, Kira enjoys traveling, trying the newest San Francisco restaurants, live music at concerts and running  half marathons.

About Clear the Shelters:
Join NBC Bay Area on Saturday, Aug. 15, 2015 for Clear the Shelters. All NBC television stations will join together to get as many adoptable pets into loving homes throughout the country.
Mommy & Me and Daddies, Too, “Into the Wild!”
Tuesday, June 9, 10 a.m. to noon, Park Valencia
The popular kids’ club features free entertainment, interactive games, hands-on activities and educational activities designed for parents and their pre-school aged children. Join us for “Into The Wild” where families are invited to take a walk into the wild side with a special performance from The Happy Birds. Also enjoy arts and crafts, face painting, music, balloon art, story time and more. Meet us in Park Valencia in front of Maggiano’s to pick up your activity sheet.
Details: 10 a.m. to noon at Park Valencia. Mommy & Me is a free kids’ club held on the second Tuesday of every month from May through December. For more information, call 408.551.4611 or visit  www.SantanaRow.com.
lululemon athletica presents Cooking with Hugh Acheson
Tuesday, June 9, 6 p.m., Santana Row Park
James Beard award winner and celebrated Top Chef finalist Hugh Acheson will make a special appearance at Santana Row Park with a cooking demonstration beginning at 6 p.m. He’ll be preparing recipes from his latest book,  The Broad Fork. Following the demo, Acheson will be at lululemon for a conversation and Q&A with Bay Area food writer  Carolyn Jung of Foodgal.com, also a James Beard award winner. He’ll be signing his book at the store from 7 to 8 p.m. This event is free and open to the public. For more information contact lululemon athletica, Santana Row at 408.557.8721.
Cars & Croissants
June 27 and every fourth Saturday of the month
9 a.m. to noon
Santana Row partners with 100 OCT to present Cars & Croissants on The Row, a monthly gathering for exotic car owners and car enthusiasts. On the fourth Saturday of the month through December, exotic car owners are invited to park on Santana Row Boulevard from Alyssum Lane to Tatum Boulevard, display their cars and mingle with other enthusiasts. The morning meet-up for coffee, croissants and cars drew 400 people and 60 cars during the first event and continues to grow in popularity.  
A look ahead to July and August…
Mommy & Me and Daddies, Too: “Celebrate Summer!”
Tuesday, July 14, 10 a.m. to noon
School is out, the sun is shining, let’s celebrate! The popular kids’ club features free entertainment, interactive games, hands-on activities and educational activities designed for parents and their pre-school aged children. Join us for live musical performances by Andy Z and take participate in programs by the San Jose Public Library. Also enjoy arts and crafts, face painting, music, balloon art, story time and more. Meet us in Park Valencia in front of Maggiano’s to pick up your activity sheet.
Details: 10 a.m. to noon at Park Valencia. Mommy & Me is a free kids’ club held on the second Tuesday of every month from May through December. For more information, call 408.551.4611 or visit  www.SantanaRow.com
Cars & Croissants
July 25 and every fourth Saturday of the month
9 a.m. to noon
Santana Row partners with 100 OCT to present Cars & Croissants on The Row, a monthly gathering for exotic car owners and car enthusiasts. On the fourth Saturday of the month through December, exotic car owners are invited to park on Santana Row Boulevard from Alyssum Lane to Tatum Boulevard, display their cars and mingle with other enthusiasts. The morning meet-up for coffee, croissants and cars drew 400 people and 60 cars during the first event and continues to grow in popularity. This event is free and open to the public.
Santana Row Beer Walk
Wednesday, July 29, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Stroll The Row and sample 20-plus beers while enjoying the shopping and dining incentives offered during the third annual Beer Walk! Cool off with a walk around Santana Row while tasting brews from microbreweries. The beer stops are stationed in a restaurant or shop for easy sipping and strolling. Tickets are $30 and available at  http://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-beerwalk-santana-row-tickets-16921167668.
Mommy & Me and Daddies, Too, “Movin’ & Groovin!”
Tuesday, August 11, 10 a.m. to noon, Park Valencia
The popular kids’ club features free entertainment, interactive games, hands-on activities and educational activities designed for parents and their pre-school aged children. Enjoy a dance-themed Mommy & Me with Ballet San Jose and Andy Z. Also enjoy arts and crafts, face painting, music, balloon art, story time and more. Meet us in Park Valencia in front of Maggiano’s to pick up your activity sheet.
Details: 10 a.m. to noon at Park Valencia. Mommy & Me is a free kids’ club held on the second Tuesday of every month from May through December. For more information, call 408.551.4611 or visit  www.SantanaRow.com.
Cars & Croissants
August 22 and every fourth Saturday of the month
9 a.m. to noon
Santana Row partners with 100 OCT to present Cars & Croissants on The Row, a monthly gathering for exotic car owners and car enthusiasts. On the fourth Saturday of the month through December, exotic car owners are invited to park on Santana Row Boulevard from Alyssum Lane to Tatum Boulevard, display their cars and mingle with other enthusiasts. The morning meet-up for coffee, croissants and cars drew 400 people and 60 cars during the first event and continues to grow in popularity. This event is free and open to the public.
Twitter Promotion @SantanaRow invites Tweets and Instagram tags  
For a Chance to Win Gift Cards to Restaurants at The Row
Santana Row’s Twitter campaign and photo contest continues through the @SantanaRow Twitter handle. The contest invites anyone at Santana Row to Tweet or Instagram photos of a new outfit, haircut, meal, event or artsy shots and then tag it with the hash tag #LifeonTheRow. Every month, Santana Row will post an album on Facebook with all of the photos with the #LifeonTheRow hash tag. The person who took the best or most original photo will win a gift card to a Santana Row restaurant.
About Santana Row
Santana Row, a 647,000 square foot mixed-use development in San Jose, CA, is Silicon Valley’s premier destination for shopping, dining, living and working. Santana Row features over 70 shops, 20 restaurants, a boutique hotel and movie theatre. In addition to the dynamic retail & restaurant collection, Santana Row offers 615 luxury rental homes, 219 privately owned condos and 65,000 square feet of Class A office space. Santana Row is a property of  www.federalrealty.com   (NYSE:FRT), headquartered in Rockville, Maryland. For more information, please visit  www.santanarow.com.
About Federal Realty
Federal Realty is a recognized leader in the ownership, operation and redevelopment of high-quality retail based properties located primarily in major coastal markets from Washington, D.C. to Boston as well as San Francisco and Los Angeles.  Founded in 1962, our mission is to deliver long term, sustainable growth through investing in densely populated, affluent communities where retail demand exceeds supply.  Our expertise includes creating urban, mixed-use neighborhoods like Santana Row in San Jose, California, Pike & Rose in North Bethesda, Maryland and Assembly Row in Somerville, Massachusetts. These unique and vibrant environments that combine shopping, dining, living and working provide a destination experience valued by their respective communities.  Federal Realty's 90 properties include over 2,600 tenants, in approximately 21 million square feet, and 1500 residential units.   

Federal Realty has paid quarterly dividends to its shareholders continuously since its founding in 1962, and has increased its dividend rate for 47 consecutive years, the longest record in the REIT industry. Federal Realty shares are traded on the NYSE under the symbol FRT. For additional information about Federal Realty and its properties, visitwww.FederalRealty.com.