Sunday, January 31, 2016

VTA Plan for the Super Bowl

There are going to be some major VTA route changes during the Super Bowl next week. The most substantial of which is a complete closure of Light Rail in front of the stadium itself. If you are one of the lucky ones with Super Bowl tickets and are planning to take Light Rail to the big game--or you just plan on using Light Rail at any time on February 7th--you should watch the video below.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Quick Look at Plaza de Cesar Chavez Decorations

As part of the Super Bowl festivities in San Jose, Plaza de Cesar Chavez has been transformed with state-of-the-art lighting. Below is a CBS segment showing what the park currently looks like. Every day until there Super Bowl there will be live music, games, and even a beer garden in the park.

Source: Hillrise at the San Jose Development Forum

San Liccardo and Jim Plunkett Welcome Super Bowl Fans

Team San Jose has created a short video with our mayor and San Jose-native Jim Plunkett. Stay tuned over the next week for more info on all the great San Jose events happening during Super Bowl week.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Olympics Skaters Celebrate Reading at Downtown Ice Tomorrow

Photos by Daniel Garcia

SAN JOSE - U.S. Olympic skaters Kristi Yamaguchi and Polina Edmunds join Yamaguchi's Alway’s Dream Foundation, Hicklebee’s Bookstore and Hawaiian Airlines/Kristi Yamaguchi Downtown Ice to promote reading in a unique program combining books and winter dreams.

Polina Edmunds and the San Jose Skaters will kick off the event with a performance of "Skating in Fairytales" on downtown’s outdoor ice rink. After the performance, Yamaguchi will read from the children’s books she’s authored. Hicklebee’s Bookstore will temporarily set up shop at the rink, with shelves of Yamaguchi’s two children’s books, It's a Big World, Little Pig! and Dream Big, Little Pig!, for sale.

When: 11 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 31
Where: Hawaiian Airlines/Kristi Yamaguchi Downtown Ice, 120 S. Market St.,San Jose
Cost: Free to watch the performance and join the reading; regular admission for those wishing to skate after the performance.

About Kristi Yamaguchi: An Olympic Gold Medalist figure skater (1992), Yamaguchi is also the author of two children’s books and a philanthropist who founded the Always Dream Foundation.

About Kristi Yamaguchi’s Always Dream Foundation: Founded in 2012, the Always Dream Foundation’s Always Reading program focuses on early childhood literacy through innovative reading programs designed to support underserved children and encourage families to read together.

About Polina Edmunds: Edmunds is the 2015 Four Continents Champion, 2014 U.S. Senior Ladies Silver medalist, a 2014 U.S. Olympic figure skating team member and 2014-2015 World Team Member.

About Hawaiian Airlines/Kristi Yamaguchi Downtown Ice: Operated by the San Jose Downtown Association for 12 years at the Circle of Palms, San Jose’s outdoor ice rink is one of the city’s most beloved winter traditions. The unique circular rink incorporates 32 palms into the skating experience. This year, the rink extends its season to help celebrate Super Bowl 50. It will remain open an extra month, closing Feb. 7.

About Hicklebee’s Bookstore: San Jose’s favorite children’s bookstore, Hicklebee’s offers extraordinary books for the entire family.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

San Jose's OneRent Raises Funding

OneRent is an online platform for both renters and property managers. The solution allows property owners/managers to easily showcase available units, process background and credit checks, and book property showings. For renters it allows online lease signings, paying rent online, and online or text-based submission of maintenance requests.

The company has just announced that it raised $1.5 million in funding and that they are expanding their offering to Seattle, their first territory outside of the Bay Area. Property management seems like an old-school industry ripe for disruption, and I wish them all the best.

OneRent is located in Downtown San Jose at 75 E. Santa Clara Street, Suite #1250.

Source: SVBJ

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Wednesday Wishlist: Dual-Purpose Architecture

I ran across an article showcasing several buildings that you can actually sled, ski, and snowboard on (images below). The first image is for a building in Kazakhstan that uses synthetic snow-like material, making it functional year-round. The last one is in Dubai, a city that doesn't exactly get a lot of snow. That one also happens to be fully enclosed.

I love the idea of a building having multiple purposes and could not help but to think about which kind of dual-purpose structures would make sense in San Jose. Most of the roofs in Downtown San Jose are completely underutilized. There is potential for gardens/parks (like Vancouver), swimming pools, and urban farms. What sort of dual-purpose structures do you think would make sense for us?

Source: inhabitat

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Santa Clara Valley Brewing hosts inaugural beer dinner

One of our local San Jose breweries - Santa Clara Valley Brewing (101 East Alma Ave.) - will be hosting its first ever beer dinner Wednesday, Jan. 27 starting at 6:30pm.

Tickets are $70, and based on the menu as well as the brewery's well-regarded reputation, the event looks to be a good one.

Beef Slider with Caramelized Onions and Sauteed Mushrooms
Paired with Dry Creek Blonde Ale

First Course
Electric Tower Beer Cheese Soup
Paired with Electric Tower IPA

Second Course
Seared Local Halibut with Cardamom and Coriander Scents, Wilted Spinach, Butter Braised Baby Carrots, Meyer Lemon Oil Paired with Saison

Third Course
Pot De Creme
Paired with Peralta Porter

 I've written a bit more about this event over at


Work Begins on New Bay 101 Casino, Hotel, and Office Project

Bay 101's time in its current form is limited. Their current lease expires on November 2017 in order to make way for a massive office development. The good news for local gamblers is that work is already moving forward on the casino's future home near M8trix, the only other casino in San Jose. The new project is going to be far more elaborate than Bay 101's current facility and includes two new full-service hotels totaling 414 rooms and a nine-story office tower.

The casino portion will have 49 tables, the maximum allowed by current San Jose regulations. The first hotel will be a seven-story Hilton with 174 rooms. The new casino should be operating by September 2017 (assuming there are no delays) and that Hilton is slated to open in early 2018.

The second phase of the project will have a 10-story hotel with 210 rooms and a 240,000 SQFT office tower which will only be built when there is a tenant in tow.

Source: The Merc

Monday, January 25, 2016

Signature Flight Support's SJC Terminal Nears Completion

The new 10,000 SQFT terminal for corporate and private aviation at San Jose International looks just about ready based on Viki Thompson's photos in the SVBJ. The building has everything an executive could want in a facility. There is a kitchen stocked with snacks, conference rooms, co-working spaces, free magazines, and best of all there are no TSA security hassles to slow you down. You can be in one door and out the other in no time at all.

The project cost $82 million and also includes 250,000 SQFT of hangar space. About 150,000 SQFT of that space was supposed to house private planes for Google executives; however, now that they have control over Moffett Federal Airfield they will be subleasing the whole facility. This will provide a nice opportunity for larger tech companies in Silicon Valley that own a fleet of planes. Signature Flight Support already has 14 leases for the new hangar space, representing the full amount originally earmarked for Google. They expect to be fully leased within a matter of months.

As for the city of San Jose, the new facility will bring in $2.64 million each year in rent payments. There will also be some branding benefits for San Jose. For example, both the NFC and AFC champions will be flying into San Jose for the Super Bowl, and you can guess where the planes will go.

Source: SVBJ

Sunday, January 24, 2016

SJSU Drone Footage

In yet another Downtown San Jose drone video, you can explore the San Jose State University campus while listening to catchy music.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

New Aerial Photo of Downtown San Jose

A Flickr user that goes by bior snapped a surprisingly good photo of Downtown San Jose from an airplane earlier this month. The shiny blue One South building really pops in the photo. Besides the Tech Museum, it is easily the building that stands out the most in the skyline. Click the image below to enlarge.

Source: Frostys from the San Jose Development Forum

Friday, January 22, 2016

Miss Shevaughn & Yuma Wray Playing at Art Boutiki Tomorrow

January 23rd, 2016: Miss Shevaughn & Yuma Wray play an intimate duo set at Art Boutiki. The set will feature their trademark harmonies and broad palette of instrumentation including guitars, banjo, keys, mandolin, and percussion.

The show will be the band’s first visit to San Jose. They are playing in support of their latest album, Lean Into the Wind, Listen and Download Here which ended up on several best of 2014 lists, including NPR’s Sound Opinions “Buried Treasures” show and end of the year mix tape.
Melodic and dynamic, deeply personal and political, Miss Shevaughn & Yuma Wray’s music is tough, emotionally resonant and intellectually challenging. The band successfully melds roots, psych, folk, country and garage rock in the Laurel Canyon tradition with social commentary and 90’s indie sensibility.

Locals Elflock and Wallace will also play.

What Folks Are Saying:
"On their latest album, Lean Into the Wind, Americana rockers Miss Shevaughn and Yuma Wray go all Flying Burrito Brothers with a SoCal-influenced set of new songs. [The track] “Coyote” tells you everything you need to know about what this super fine band of players has up their sleeves this go-around. Killer harmonies, warm countryesque textures, and the winsome voice of Miss Shevaughn, who channels her very own Emmylou Harris on this gorgeous tune." - POPMATTERS

“This record is one of my favorite releases of 2014. It is a wild ride that reflects the recent times Miss Shevaughn & Yuma Wray have been through. The songs are a mix of joy, anger, determination and fear that will have listeners feeling the same way. If you are looking for meaning music then this is where to find it, if not then do your searching elsewhere. Give Lean Into the Wind a listen and become a fan.” – Atlanta Examiner

“Every beat, every note from Yuma Wray's off-kilter licks, every distinctive moan and tremble delivered by Miss Shevaughn is carefully, beautifully placed. A stunner.” – NO DEPRESSION

“Lean Into The Wind is not just one of the best albums we’ve heard lately, it’s one of the best albums we’ve ever heard. It’s worth the money to buy it. It’s worth the time to listen to it. It’s worth preserving for the future just as it gives us delight and insight on our today. Essential.” – Rust Magazine

“Lean Into the Wind is a landmark achievement, a triumphant document of the human spirit’s capacity for sacrifice and survival.” – Bucket Full of Nails

“When Gram Parsons coined the term ‘Cosmic American Music’, I’m pretty sure that Lean Into The Wind was exactly the sort of thing he had in mind: a heady blend of country, rock and psych, bound together in otherworldly voices, at times as beautiful, fragile and elemental as the finest crystal, and then at turns delivering heft, warp and gritty weft.” – Skin Back Alley

"A cosmic Americana band that pulls from classic country and rock from the ‘60s and ‘70s, heavily influenced by Led Zeppelin, Little Feat and Fleetwood Mac, tempered by a little Joni Mitchell." - ASHEVILLE CITIZEN TIMES

"Lean into the Wind" is one of the most refreshing new albums of 2014. It’s oddball original sound and vision flavored with that sweet late 60’s Southern California magic. Steeped and boiled to perfection with an underground/avant garde-country vibe that warms the soul with it’s heebie-jeebie mojo. It lives somewhere between the International Submarine Band and a female fronted classic Pink Floyd. Great songwriting and killer hooks abound on this psychedelic ride to the promised land.” – Empty Bottles and Broken Souls

Thursday, January 21, 2016

VTA FLEX Program

One of the many challenges of public transit in Silicon Valley is that both offices and homes are spread out over a large area. This makes point-to-point transit available only in a few limited areas. VTA has just launched an innovative program called FLEX to help address this issue.

FLEX is an on-demand transit system where you use an app to request a pickup and drop-off in one of many designated service stops in North San Jose. Software will then automatically route vehicles to pick up other customers along a similar traffic route. There are no set schedules, the whole system is on-demand. Payment is even done via the smartphone app. You can think of it as a public version of UBERpool.

The vehicles that will be used for FLEX are ADA-accessible buses with capacity for 26 passengers and two bikes. Service is available Monday through Friday from 5:30am to 8:30pm and the cost is only $2 during off-peak times and $3 during peak times.

If the program is successful, you can expect other areas to get a similar service in the future. For more information click here.

What is it?

FLEX is an On-Demand, shared-ride public transit service. Other riders that have similar travel destinations may be picked up and dropped off during the course of your ride.
FLEX is ideally suited for smartphone users. Riders can use the app to request a ride.
FLEX Service Area

Scheduling a Ride

On the App – easiest
On the Web - please visit

Service Days & Times

FLEX’s service area is approximately 3.25 square miles in North San Jose (surrounding VTA’s Tasman Light Rail Station)
Boundaries are

  • North – Route 237
  • South – Montague Expressway
  • East – Coyote Creek
  • West – Guadalupe River

Monday – Friday; 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

  • Peak Hours 5:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.; 3:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
  • The last Flex ride MUST be completed by 8:30 p.m. 


Single Ride - $2.00 (Off-Peak Hours)
Single Ride - $3.00 (Peak Hours)

No Shows/Cancelations
Customers who fail to cancel a ride before the bus is dispatched or have failed to show up for their rides will be charged the regular fare.

You can download the VTA Flex Fact Sheet here.


What VTA fare can I use on FLEX?
Currently you must pay for your ride using an account that you set up on the FLEX app.  Once you complete your ride on FLEX your account will be charged.  FLEX does not accept Clipper cards, VTA Monthly Passes, VTA Day Passes, VTA Express Day Passes, Cash, Eco Pass nor any other VTA forms of fare.

How do I know if I’ve been assigned a driver?
You will be notified via text message when booking through the app.  If booked over the phone, the customer service representative will let you know once you’re assigned a driver and their estimated time of arrival.  You can also check out the web or app to see real-time updates about your requested ride.

How long does it take for my driver to pick me up? Can I track my driver?
It depends on trip requests at any given time.  The web and app interface will show you an estimated time of arrival, based on the driver’s GPS location and current trip load.

Where will I wait for the FLEX bus?  Are there bus stops?
X marks the spot!  The app will provide you walking directions to the FLEX stop where you will be picked up. The stops are marked with FLEX floor decals.

Can I bring an Animal onboard FLEX?
Only service animals are welcome on FLEX.  The animal must be under the control of the passenger throughout the trip and while boarding and exiting. Service animals may sit on the floor or in the rider’s lap.  Service animals may not sit in a passenger seat.

Can I contact the driver?
No, you cannot contact the driver, but you can determine the driver’s location through the real time mapping on the app.

If I cancel my ride request, then make another one, will my request go to the end of the request queue?
Yes, every time you cancel and resubmit a request, the process starts all over again.  Your request will be put at the end of the queue and then be assigned to the next available driver.

I don't have a smart phone, can I create my account online?
Yes, you can create your Flex account through the web on this page.

*FLEX is a pilot program and the fare structure may change during and/or after this pilot program phase.  Please continue to check this page for updates.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Knight Cities Challenge Names Eight San Jose Finalists

Last week the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced 158 finalists across 26 communities in their second annual Knight Cities Challenge. The contest is a national call for ideas that will make local communities more vibrant places to live and work. The three main themes of the contest are helping cities attract and keep the best talent, expanding economic opportunities, and encouraging civic engagement. 

Eight San Jose proposals made the cut and are finalists. Winners will be announced in the Spring and will receive a share of $5 million. All of the San Jose projects sound fantastic to me. Have a look at the list below and let us know which sound most worthy of funding.

San Jose Knight Cities Challenge Finalists

Urban Food Hub by Veggielution (submitted by Cayce Hill): Increasing economic opportunity with a community hub in Emma Prusch Park that connects food entrepreneurs and residents through a market, classes and other events that celebrate San Jose’s history and culture.
Smart Street by San Jose State University (submitted by Jerry Gao): Creating a “smart street” that showcases cutting-edge technology, helps to attract more people to the city and bolsters San Jose’s brand identity.
Post Street Night Market (submitted by Justin Triano): Expanding economic opportunity with a recurring night market that features local crafts, food and entertainment.
SITability Project by URBAN SPACEship (submitted by Leemor Chandally): Creating a network of modular street furniture designed to encourage interaction between people in public spaces.
San Jose Local Maker Incubator by Local Label dba San Jose Made (SJMADE) (submitted by Marie Millares): Increasing economic opportunity with a business incubator for local makers and artists seeking to turn their passion into a full-time job.
East Side Linear Park by San Jose Department of Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services (submitted by Marybeth Harasz): Increasing civic engagement by having residents help convert a public street into a new linear park along Havana Drive in East San Jose.
Green Necklace by Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition (submitted by Shiloh Ballard): Expanding public space and increasing community connections by permanently opening trails along San Jose’s closed canal system to pedestrians and cyclists.
The MayFeria by School of Arts and Culture at Mexican Heritage Plaza (submitted by Tamara Alvarado): Increasing civic engagement and expanding economic opportunity in San Jose’s Mayfair neighborhood with The MayFeria, which will consist of folklife events, a community task force, and a coordinator to help identify and make better use of cultural and civic assets.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

San Jose Pavilion Coming to Super Bowl City

It is extremely rare that I post about an event happening in San Francisco, but this deserves a mention. "Super Bowl City" is a village for football fans that is being setup on Market Street between Main and Spear Streets in SF from January 30th through February 7th. San Jose is actually going to get its own pavilion in the village, which will showcase attractions and activities that are only found in San Jose. This might be the first time I've heard about San Jose getting promoted at a major event like this up north--expected attendance is in the hundreds of thousands.

For more details, you can read the full press release below. If you plan on staying local, there are many Super Bowl events happening in Downtown San Jose.

San José knows the way to Super Bowl City
San José Pavilion a must-do stop at San Francisco-based fan village during Game Week

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Today, the City of San José and Team San Jose announced that, during Game Week, the free-to-the-public fan village will include the San José Pavilion, a cultural space showcasing attractions and activities found only in San José.

“San José is home to a number of world-class attractions and a truly unique innovative spirit,” said Mayor Sam Liccardo. “This is a great opportunity for Super Bowl visitors, and other Bay Area residents, to explore many of the things that make San José such a great place to live, work and play.”

Super Bowl City presented by Verizon is open from Saturday, Jan. 30 through Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016. The pavilion is located on Market Street between Main and Spear Streets in San Francisco.

“San Jose’s presence in Super Bowl City is a tremendous opportunity to promote our destination to visiting fans and locals who may not know all that our city has to offer,” said Team San Jose CEO Karolyn Kirchgesler.

Activations in the San José Pavilion will include local cultural treasures, city concierges, hackathons, innovation stations, robot wars, and more. Programming for San José’s presence in Super Bowl City is produced by Team San Jose, San José’s Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“Super Bowl 50 provides us with an opportunity to shine a light on the entire region,” said Keith Bruce, CEO of the Super Bowl 50 Host Committee. “We’re excited for the City of San Jose and Team San Jose to join us in Super Bowl City and celebrate the festivities with fans from around the world.”

Super Bowl City presented by Verizon is the Host Committee’s fan village designed to celebrate the milestone Super Bowl 50 and to highlight its unique place in the Bay Area.

For the latest information on Game Week happenings in San José, visit

About Team San Jose
Team San Jose (TSJ) is an innovative partnership unifying the San Jose Convention and Visitors Bureau, hotels, arts, labor and venues to deliver an exceptional visitor experience. TSJ manages the San Jose McEnery Convention Center, California Theatre, Center for the Performing Arts, City National Civic, Montgomery Theater, Parkside Hall, and South Hall. For more information, visit

About San José Office of Economic Development
The San José Office of Economic Development is committed to a vital, competitive local economy that increases prosperity for people and companies. OED guides economic strategy, provides assistance for business success, connects employers with trained workers, and provides arts and cultural resources to our community. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter: @sjeconomy, #sjplace.

About the City of San José
From its founding in 1777 as California's first city, San José has been a leader, driven by its spirit of innovation. Today, San José is the largest city in Northern California and the Capital of Silicon Valley—the world's leading center of innovation. The city, the 10th largest in the U.S., is committed to remaining a top-ranked place to do business, to work and to live. For more information, visit

Monday, January 18, 2016

Eastridge Mall Gets Sold, Redevelopment Planned

Majority ownership of Eastridge Mall is moving from General Growth Properties to Pacific Retail Partners and Silverpeak Real Estate Partners. While those names likely don't mean much to you, the new owners are planning to revitalize the 1.4 million SQFT mall. They will be investing $15 million off the bat and have already announced that H&M is going to be one of the new tenants. The popular clothing store is going to take a 23,000 SQFT space in Eastridge, roughly the same size as the Santana Row location. You can also expect new paint, landscaping, signage and a revamped play area and food court.

In the SVBJ article, there is mention of bringing in an Asian grocer. I can see something like a 99 Ranch Market doing very well here.

The last Eastridge renovation was in 2007 and included a $140 million expansion. Currently the mall is 97.3% leased, which is a very strong number given that retail is slowly trending away from malls. The purchase also includes tons of developable land circling the mall. I'm sure that building on that extra property will only become more lucrative after the Bus Rapid Transit system running from Downtown San Jose to Eastridge is completed at the end of this year.

Source: SVBJ

Sunday, January 17, 2016

New Safeway Opens in Willow Glen

Safeway has announced that they are opening a new full-service store in Willow Glen this summer. The 23,200 SQFT store will be located at 1489 Bird Avenue, the former site of a Fresh & Easy. It will have both local and organic items, a full butcher block, full-service deli, and floral design area.

San Jose's new Safeway will generate 100 jobs and fill an important need for more groceries in the Willow Glen community.

Source: SVBJ

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Oracle "Supergraphic" in Downtown San Jose

Just in time for the Super Bowl, Oracle has put up one heck of a banner on their high-rise in Downtown San Jose. Apparently they did this without getting permission from the city, which has ordinances against signs this large. However, Scott Knies from the San Jose Downtown Association is arguing that those ordinances should be relaxed for temporary world-class events like the Super Bowl. What do you guys think? Should we allow this kind of signage Downtown?

Source: The Merc

Friday, January 15, 2016

If you are a fan of skateboarding, Empire Seven Studios has a great new exhibit for you. They have works from over 40 artists in tribute to Jim Phillips, both an artist and skateboarding icon. There is an opening reception tomorrow from 7-10pm. The exhibit will be at Empire Seven Studios (525 N. 7th Street) until January 30th.

Featuring over 40 international and locally curated artists:
Jason Adams, Jason Arnold, Ben Alexy, Lou Barberio, John Barrick, BB Bastidas, Bigfoot, Andrei Bouzikov, Blake Brand, Todd Bratrud, Steve Caballero, Thomas Campbell. Nathan Carrico. Sean Cliver, Sam Davidson, Ken Davis, Tim Diet, Dirty Donny, Eric Dressen, Jessica Eastburn, Tyler Emanuel, Jeremy Fish, Drew Flores, Israel Forbes, Justin Forbes, Amanda Fox, Mark "Fos" Foster, Todd Francis, Colin Frangicetto, Funeral French, Nicky Gaston, Erlin Geffrard, Mike Giant, Benny Gold, Mark Gonzales, Abel Gonzalez, Scotty Greathouse, Andres Guerrero, Harv, Keith Haupt, Mark Heredia, Ben Horton, Paul Imagine, Aye Jay, Jay222, Andy Jenkins, Jesico, Jason Jessee, Tyson Johnston, Natas Kaupus, Eric Kneeland, John Lucero, Frances Marin, Keith Meek, Zack Morrissey, Jeff Meadows, Mesngr, Mouse, John Munnerlyn, Lucas Musgrave, Steve Olson, Opski, Mitsy Avila Ovalles, Judi Oyama, Kyle Pellet, Jim Phillips Sr., Jimbo Phillips, Colby Phillips, Pitchgrim, Andy Pitts, Ben Ramey, Brian Romero, Drew Roulette, Crab Scrambly, Michael Siebon, Skinner, State of Grace Taki, Jai Tanju, Jeral Tidwell. Mark Widmann, Tosh Woods, Makoto Yamaki
...and many more!''

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Distribution Center Planned for South San Jose

There have not been talks of major development in the Coyote Valley region since plans for Cisco's new 6.6 million SQFT headquarters fell through in the early 2000s. That will soon change, but the development is not what you would expect. The Panattoni Development Company has submitted an application for a 517,000 SQFT warehouse and distribution center. The building would have 36-foot-tall "clear heights" and a high-tech sprinkler system, making it very attractive to companies like Amazon.

E-commerce companies are scrambling to build distribution and logistics centers to keep up with demand. Over six million SQFT of industrial buildings in the Bay Area have been repurposed for commercial, residential, or some other use. Only three million SQFT of new industrial space has been built to replace what was taken away. That leaves high demand for industrial space with limited areas that allow for industrial development.

The proposed project is only 20 miles away from the bulk of the Bay Area's population and is conveniently a reverse commute. Panattoni plans to develop it speculatively, meaning they are willing to construct it even without a signed tenant. If the stars align, they could start construction this September.

This won't be the only new industrial project in the area. Panattoni is also building a new warehouse for DBI Beverage just a few miles north along with another 111,000 SQFT warehouse that is not yet leased.

Source: SVBJ

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

January 2016 Downtown Dimension Highlights

Here are my notes from the latest edition of Downtown Dimension:
  • Two new illuminated art projects are now open underneath Highway 87 at Santa Clara Street and San Fernando Street. The interactive projects will make people feel safer and also bring unique artwork to the streets of San Jose.
  • There will be several activities in relation to the Super Bowl this year:
    • Plaza de Cesar Chavez will have a beer garden, cafe, games, interactive lighting, and music from January 29th to February 7th.
    • Part of San Pedro Square will be closed off to create a football-themed atmosphere.
    • Downtown Ice will have an extended season and be open daily until February 7th.
    • South First Fridays presents SoFA's WINTER MRKT will be on February 5th and have a Super Bowl theme
    • Guadalupe River Run on February 7th.
    • The NFC champion team will be staying at the Marriott Hotel.
    • An NFL merchandise store will open at 300 S. First St.
    • The Super Bowl Opening Night will be at the SAP Center on February 1st
  • San Jose State University will operate and manage the Hammer Theatre Center for the next three years (formerly the Rep). SJSU will produce events and rent the theater to arts groups. Events could begin this year.
  • A new Barber's mural has been painted outside the shop at 332 E. Santa Clara Street.
To read the newsletter, click here!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Plaza de Cesar Chavez Hosting Light Shows, Cafe, and Beer Garden During Super Bowl Week

Downtown San Jose has ambitious plans for Super Bowl Week. Plaza de Cesar Chavez is going to be transformed into the epicenter of South Bay festivities thanks to $150,000 in privately funded improvements (split between the Adobe Foundation and the Knight Foundation).

The trees will be lit with animated LED displays that are synchronized with both live and recorded music. There will be a new cafe and beer garden open from noon until 10pm and well as food trucks along the perimeter of the park. They will even have games for visitors such as a scaled-down football field and ping pong tables.

Some of the attractions will be used to showcase what can be done in urban parks, while some others like lighting improvements and new furniture will be permanent. That is a big win for our top park in Downtown San Jose. Hopefully we will do more events like this in the future. A permanent cafe in the middle of the park would not be a bad idea either.

You will be able to check out the new and improved Plaza de Cesar Chavez from January 29th to February 7th.

Source: SVBJ

Monday, January 11, 2016

More Info on the "Greyhound Bus" Towers

KT Urban has to be the most prolific Downtown San Jose developer right now. They were responsible for Axis, One South, and played a big part in Silvery Towers. Those three also happen to be among the most impressive projects in the area. KT Urban has built a strong brand for themselves--they know how to move projects forward and deliver a quality product. That is one of the reasons why I was excited when they proposed the largest residential project in the history of Downtown San Jose last month.

KT is looking to build 708 residential units in an area currently occupied by a Greyhound Bus station. The project consists of two towers, one would be 24 stories (251 feet tall) and the other would be 23 stories (241 feet tall). There would be 13,5000 SQFT of retail on the ground floor, mostly along Post Street. The location is also very central, with easy access to most of Downtown's amenities.

A few more details have leaked out. The project would include a five-story 708 space parking garage, two levels would be above ground and three under ground. If this number is correct, that means there would only be one space per unit built. Since some spaces will be reserved for retail, this means that there is an assumption that not everyone who has a unit is going to purchase a parking space. This would represent a substantial change of in mentality for the area. Perhaps not everyone needs a car in San Jose. The new project will be close to Light Rail, Bus Rapid Transit, Caltrain, some of the best bike lanes anywhere, and eventually BART. If they only build 708 parking spaces, this could represent the beginning of a new era for Downtown.

Speaking of transit, the article referenced below mentioned that the Greyhound station will likely move to Diridon Station. That seems like a much more appropriate location and I wonder why it was not located there in the first place.

There are now 8,629 residential units that are either existing, under construction, or proposed in Downtown San Jose. That is the largest number in history, and the way things are going we may see it rise even further in 2016.

Source: The Registry

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Downtown San Jose Drone Footage

A few people have been bringing drones to Downtown San Jose and capturing some impressive aerial footage. You can two of the best videos below. It would be interesting to see this same footage during December when all of the holiday decorations are up.

Source: Dirt Patch and Cardinal2007 from the San Jose Development Forum

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Saturday Stats: San Jose has the Longest Life Expectancy of all US Metro Areas

San Jose has always ranked highly in terms of healthiest metros. Combine that with the great moderate weather and enough income to afford proper medical care, and you will naturally get to this latest stat. The San Jose metro has the highest life expectancy in the United States, clocking in at 82.7 years.

San Jose's smoking rate is only 10.3% versus a national average of 20%. Obesity in San Jose is at 20.5% versus a national average of 27%. Another interesting stat is that the San Jose Metro has the lowest mortality rate from all causes of any other Bay Area region.

So in conclusion, if you want to live a long time you are in the right place!

Source: SVBJ

Friday, January 8, 2016

Topgolf Considering San Jose for first Bay Area Location

Topgolf is like a collision between a driving range and a Dave & Busters. They have 20 locations across the US, which are huge regional entertainment draws and can command multi-hour wait times to get in. Each location typically has a high-tech three story driving range, multiple restaurants and bars, and business centers for corporate events. The balls have embedded micro-chips that let you know how close you came to hitting various targets on the field. Players are scored based on accuracy and distance. The experience is closer to a trendy bowling alley than a traditional driving range.

The location that Topgolf is eyeing is Pin High Golf Center in Alviso. The project could be part of a new retail center that would include up to 100,000 SQFT of retail and a 200-room hotel. This area is just down the street from the @First Shopping Center and around a mile away from Levi's Stadium and Santa Clara's planned shopping and entertainment center. Not only would it help capitalize on events happening in Santa Clara, but it would help service North San Jose where retail is still scarce.

The only other planned California Topgolf location so far is in Sacramento, and that will open in November 2016.

Source: SVBJ

Thursday, January 7, 2016

San Jose-based Nutanix May IPO This Month

Nutanix offers storage and visualization solutions that are used in data centers around the globe. The company will likely be one of the first Silicon Valley IPO this year and is hoping to raise $200 million. The company currently has 1,368 employees and revenues of $241 million a year. You will be able to find them under the NASDAQ symbol of NTNX.

The company is headquartered near SJC at 1740 Technology Dr #150. The infusion of money will mean more growth for the company, additional job openings, and an opportunity for current employees to cash in some of those shares and contribute to the local economy.

Source: SVBJ

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Wednesday Wishlist: E-paper Signs for Transit

London has become one of the first cities in the world to test out using e-paper signs to provide real-time transit information at its bus stops. The signs show how long until each bus arrives, but they can also provide additional information by using three buttons below the display.

What is really nice about e-ink is that it uses almost no power. This is the same technology that is used in the Kindle. It can display what is on the screen indefinitely without using any electricity, energy is only used when the screen updates. These signs can be solar powered and in London they will use 3G data to get updated information. The fact that you would not have to plug them in anywhere makes them relatively easy to roll out and install.

These types of signs would be great for VTA's growing bus network. Light Rail is already getting color flat-screens. E-paper signs would provide a less expensive alternative for VTA's hundreds of bus stations. They could also be used to show ads and other information to help cover their costs.

Source: Engadget

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Adega Restaurant Review

I was initially heartbroken when Sousa's, the only Portuguese sit-down restaurant in Silicon Valley, closed earlier this year after a 33-year run. Ordering Sousa's for special occasions was a family tradition of ours. However, it is time for a new generation of chefs to carry the torch and bring their own unique spin to Portuguese cuisine.

The restaurant was sold to husband-and-wife chef team David Costa and Jessica Carreira along with Carlos and Fernanda Carreira (Jessica's parents). Jessica was born and raised in San Jose. She studied cooking at the Cordon Bleu and then went to Portugal for three years to master Portuguese cuisine. By age 20 she became the head pastry chef at Restaurant Eleven, a Michelin-star restaurant in Lisbon. That is also where she met her husband David Costa. David had been cooking for over ten years and believes in transforming traditional dishes without destroying the original flavor. He has worked at several notable restaurants in addition to Restaurant Eleven and was the sous-chef at the Four Seasons Hotel in Lisbon.

With Adega (which means wine cellar), David and Jessica have realized their life-dream of opening their own Portuguese restaurant. There is character in every corner of the space. Much of the furniture is hand made, original tools used in wine-making are hanging on the walls, there is a traditional tile mosaic on the back wall, even the plates and dishware are imported from Portugal. True to the restaurant's name, Adega's massive collection of Portuguese wines is one of the first things you'll notice when walking in. It is immediately clear that this is not a cookie-cutter restaurant.

Before I get to the food, let me just say I am Portuguese-American and have been eating amazing home-cooked Portuguese meals for 35 years. I've visited Portugal over 20 times and have had countless amazing, authentic meals there. The dinner I had at Adega in San Jose, was easily one of the top five Portuguese meals I have ever had in my life. I think the food here is something that everyone can appreciate, even if you have never had a Portuguese dish before. This could very well be the best fine-dining restaurant in San Jose right now.


House-made hummus and Portuguese bread - These comes complimentary. The hummus is a unique blend and may change from one visit to the next. The marinated olives are perfect to nibble on while you browsing the menu and wine list.

Pork belly, pea puree, poached quail egg - A must-order dish! Pork belly has become very popular in the US over the last few years. This combines perfectly cooked slices of pork with an outstanding pea puree that could stand on its own. Add the quail egg and you have magic on a plate. The presentation is also gorgeous.

Sweet prawns in a buttery garlic sauce - This is a very simple dish that is exploding with flavor. I forgot to ask how long the prawns are marinaded for, but I imagine it is a very long time. These were so good that we were looking around the table to see other's reactions when they bit into the shrimp.

Rabbit terrine with pine nuts, pistachios and cous-cous salad - Rabbit is not something you see often on American tables, but it is a popular staple of Portuguese cooking. The taste is similar to chicken and is not gamey at all like other "exotic" meats. At Adega, it is prepared perfectly in a terrine mixed with nuts and each slice sits on a bed of cous-cous. The sweet sauce on the bottom is what really elevated the whole dish for me and made it all come together. If you are adventurous, you have to try this one.

Octopus salad with roasted red pepper sauce - As beautiful as this dish was, I could only try a small bite since I'm allergic to raw onion. Everyone else at the table had no problem cleaning this plate.


Fresh cut kale, chourico bits, cream of potato (Caldo Verde) - This is as traditional of a Portuguese soup as you can get. It tastes just as good as how my grandmother made it, but Adega dresses up the soup with a modern presentation I have never seen before. It tastes as good as it looks.

Seafood bisque, aspic of lobster & oysters - Absolutely delicious. This is as good as any soup I have ever ordered at a Michelin-star restaurant. The soup is poured over the seafood table-side.


Ribeye steak, crispy Iberico ham, fried egg, fried potatoes (Bife a Portuguesa) - Wow, what an amazing and fun interpretation of a Portuguese classic. Usually this is a marinated flat-iron steak topped with an egg and french fries, but Adega has put a tuxedo on this traditional dish. They use a premium Ribeye which comes medium-rare and sizzling on a hot stone (similar to Rok Bistro). You can leave it on the stone to cook to your favorite temperature and then combine it the accompaniments on the neighboring plate.

Braised beef, roasted taro root puree, sauteed spinach (Alcatra e Inhame) - Another outstanding beef plate. This one is less interactive than the Bife a Portuguesa, but combines melt-in-your-mouth beef with taro mashed potatoes and surprisingly flavorful spinach. This was one of my wife's favorites.

Sea bass cooked with potatoes, bacon, green beans - The fish was flaky, crispy, and moist all at the same time. The texture was excellent and it had the right amount of spices.


Fried coconut rice pudding, passion fruit sauce, mojito sorbet (Arroz Doce Adega) - This might be the best Portuguese dessert I have ever had. It was not a traditional rice pudding like what I was expecting. You have three fried pastries filled with coconut rice and combine those with the passion fruit sauce and mojito sorbet in the middle. I could have eaten a half-dozen of these. This is another must-order item.

Flan pudding, caramel tile, caramel sauce, vanilla ice cream - This is definitely not your traditional flan. I like this version much more and my table devoured the flan in about 20 seconds.

Orange roulade cake, cream cheese, in cardamom sauce - I don't think I have ever had this before in Portuguese cooking so I have nothing to compare this to. It was sweet, decadent, and the cake was the perfect sponge for the sauces and cream cheese.


Adega has what is likely the largest collection of Portuguese wines of any restaurant outside of Portugal. Chef Jessica's parents are both in the wine industry and have used their connections to get over 200 different types of wine across multiple regions of Portugal. You will probably need some help picking a wine similar to what you are used to, but I would recommend being adventurous and trying something that you will never find anywhere else. My pick would be a "Green Wine" (Vinho Verde), which comes from one of two varietals exclusive to Portugal. The cost for these is very inexpensive and Adega has some of the best ever made.

For dessert, you can add a shot of Port, Madeira, or Moscatel to help close out a wonderful meal. They have suggested pairings for each dessert and the cost is only $5.

Adega also has a selection of Portuguese beers and sodas. If you are going non-alcoholic then I recommend the passion fruit soda.

In conclusion, you should book a reservation ASAP before the word gets out. Adega is San Jose's best shot at getting its first Michelin Star Restaurant in 2017 and is a shining example of what the next generation of San Jose restaurants could be.

Adega is open for both lunch and dinner at 1614 Alum Rock Avenue. Hours are 11:30am to 2:30pm and 6pm to 10pm Wednesday through Sunday. Parking is available behind the restaurant, across the street, and valet parking is available on weekends. You can book a table from the Adega Website.