Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Almaden retail plan estimated at $30M-$50M - Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal

There's a massive retail development being planned right around the corner from Westfield Oakridge and Almaden Plaza called Almaden Ranch. After being built, this should bring the total retail in the area to nearly 3 million sqft, perhaps giving Valley Fair/Santana Row some competition for shoppers' attention. Hopefully they're able to squeeze in a few unique stores and restaurants in between the anchors. Here's the summary from the Business Journal:
  • 350,000 - 400,000sqft of retail on 40 acres of agricultural land
  • 2 anchors, a few sub-anchors, restaurants, small shops, and a gas station (20-30 tenants)
  • Speculated anchors include Lowe's, JCPenny, and The Home Depot
  • Potential Spring 2012 opening 
For more information, have a look at the full article right over here: Almaden retail plan estimated at $30M-$50M - Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

BART to San Jose Inches Closer to Reality

According to the Transbay Blog, it looks like we are a tad bit closer to getting BART in our neck of the woods:


Record of Decision issued for BART to San Jose

25 JUNE 2010
by Eric
BART to San Jose has advanced one step forward in the New Starts process.  The Federal Transit Administration has now issued a Record of Decision (ROD) for the BART extension, which marks federal approval of the project’s environmental impact statement.  The ROD only covers the initial phase between Warm Springs and Berryessa, including two new stations at Milpitas and Berryessa.
VTA seeks a $900 million federal contribution toward the $2.1 billion Berryessa extension.  The ROD qualifies VTA to move forward in the process, and the next step is to execute a Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) in February 2011, which would allow VTA to obtain the federal funding it needs to build the project.  Construction could begin in 2012, and revenue service could commence in 2018.


Saturday, June 26, 2010

Saturday Stats: San Jose ranks 16th in Volunteering

According to the Business Journal, we ranked 16th in volunteering among 51 large cities in the country. Looking at it from the state level, California ranks 41st in the nation. So essentially, we're a standout from a low-ranking state!  For the full article, click here.

SJC Gains Yet Another Flight (Kauai, HI)!

San Jose International's opulent expansion already seems to be paying dividends. Alaskan Airlines is adding yet another direct flight to Hawaii. They added Maui and Kona flights earlier this year, and now Kauai is receiving SJC express treatment. Fares will start at $179 each way and flights kick off March 27th, 2011. More info in the San Jose Business Journal.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Sharks Re-Sign Marleau and Pavs

Many Sharks fans rejoiced yesterday as news surfaced of the re-signing of the Sharks' playoff heroes: Joe "Pavs" Pavelski and Patrick Marleau. This is great news as both players are integral pieces to the team's success.

Not surprisngly, fans grew nervous of the futures for some of the fan favorites, especially due to the decision to not re-sign Evgeni Nabokov. In addition, the NHL had some interesting trades, notably the Chicago Blackhawks' decision to deal playoff hero Dustin Byfuglien to the Atlanta Thrashers and the Montreal Canadiens' decision to deal their "brick wall" goaltender Jaroslav Halak (who had led the team past two powerhouses: Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals and Malkin and the Pittsburgh Penguins) to the St.Louis Blues. These decisions alone make the prospect of trading big names something less of a surprise. Fortunately, two team favorites re-signed to stay with Silicon Valley's favorite and most popular sports team.

Pavelski signed a four year, $16 million contract to stay with the Sharks. With his strong post-season performance, Pavelski is just too valuable of a player to dish out, and the Sharks know it. Additionally, given the Sharks have consistently made playoffs each year, only to eventually lose, the team's management understands they cannot be pulling any punches with stacking their team. Strong playoff performers are a must. Although Pavelski managed a respectable 51 points during the regular season, he flourished in the post season with an amazing 17 points in 15 games, including 9 goals - a statistic he led the NHL in for a period of time.

As important as it may be to have strong regular season performers to qualify for playoffs, it does not get you the Stanley Cup.

This is why it was also smart to re-sign Patrick Marleau. Marleau has spent his entire NHL career with the Sharks, after being drafted second overall in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft (coincidentally behind the first pick Joe Thornton, who went to the Boston Bruins for his first eight seasons before coming to the Sharks). Although Marleau got off to a slow start in the 2010 playoffs, he quickly proved critics wrong by scoring in the most critical of times. Notably, his goal against the Detroit Red Wings in Game Five at the HP Pavilion was critical in vaulting the Sharks past the Red Wings into the next stage of the playoffs.

As an opinionated San Jose Sharks hockey fan (and occasional hockey player), I have confidence the Sharks will be able to build a lethal squad this year. Although the choice not to re-sign Nabokov was an emotional one for me, I am sure a lot went into the decision and I wish him the very best. My confidence for this year, however, was solidified when I agreed to another year of season tickets.

Keep your eye out on this blog for more updates. The 2010 NHL Entry Draft takes place in Los Angeles this weekend, so keep your eye out for new young prospects.

Here's to the next successful year!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The San Jose Sharks - An Update

Now that the playoffs are over, I need to discard any animosity I have for the Chicago Blackhawks and congratulate them on their Stanley Cup win. It was deserved, they played very well, and not to mention, up until their win, the Blackhawks had the longest Cup drought out of any active NHL team - 49 years.

Now the 2009-2010 season is over, preparations for next season begin. Before I get into the current details, I would first like to congratulate the San Jose Sharks on their twentieth anniversary! For longtime Sharks fans like myself, I am sure we all remember those days of trekking all the way to the Daly City's Cow Palace to catch the first two seasons of hockey while the then-named San Jose Arena was being built. Silicon Valley hockey fans owe it to the Sharks for creating one of the country's most loyal and exciting sports franchises, and to further illustrate my point, San Jose can now be accurately called a hockey-loving "fin"atical home base! Since the Sharks came into prominence, new teams and even new ice rinks have been springing up all over the Silicon Valley and the Bay Area. Ice hockey went from unusual to mainstream.

Although the Cup has yet to come to San Jose, the team's promising results, stemming from many consecutive playoff entrances in the top-seeded position and the willingness to form a strong group of players, make that current dream a very possible reality in the near future. General Manager Doug Wilson, himself an ex-Shark (also the franchise's first Captain) with a very respectable NHL career, has been making great decisions, and as long as he remains at the helm, fans can expect great things out of the Sharks.

This, of course, brings us to some vital updates made between the playoffs and today. Despite the 2010 NHL Entry Draft taking place this weekend, where the Sharks have the 28th pick in the first round, there were a couple of big decisions that took place, as many of you fans know, with (expected) mixed emotions.

The first of which, and to me the most significant (and emotional), was the Sharks' decision not to re-sign star goaltender Evgeni "John" or "Zhenia" Nabokov, who as of now is an unrestricted free agent. Nabokov was originally picked up by the Sharks (the only NHL team he has played for) in the 1994 draft, although he never played until 2000, when he eventually replaced Steve Shields as the main goaltender of the team. As the starting goaltender, Nabokov had a very impressive campaign, putting up high save percentages and wins, helping lead the Sharks to consecutive playoffs.

Although it is hard to justify the means for trading Nabokov, there is a lot of talk about the salary cap hindering the ability to pay him, one of the NHL's best netminders. While some critics peg his inability to play in clutch situations, namely the playoffs, most of this criticism comes from frustrated fans who fail to recognize the great many fantastic saves he does make. Overall, however, there is a general outcry from loyal Sharks fans, the great majority of which claim he will "truly be missed." That is true. We will all miss you, Nabby!

The second piece of news came a couple weeks ago when Sharks' team captain and defenseman Rob Blake announced his retirement from hockey. Blake is mainly noted for his leadership both on and off the ice and his long campaign as captain of the Los Angeles Kings and his Stanley Cup win in 2001 with the Colorado Avalanche. He had a stellar NHL career, complete with multiple All-Star appearances, selection for the NHL First All-Star Team (in 1998), and winner of the prestigious defenseman award, the James Norris Trophy, also in 1998.

Thank you, Mr.Blake, for making your last great season in San Jose. We are honored to have had you here!

As new decisions and updates take place, I will try to keep them updated here. Thank you to all of you loyal fans who have supported and will continue to support your San Jose Sharks!

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Usuals Present Works by Al Preciado

Looks like there's a party this Friday at San Jose-centric clothier, The Usuals! Why not swing by and check out some local art, free munchies, and perhaps grab an I [Heart] SJ shirt while you're at it? Info from Facebook below:


Friday, June 25, 2010
6:00pm - 9:00pm
The Usuals, 1020 The Alameda, San Jose, CA 95126


On June 25th at 6pm, The Usuals are excited to open Al Preciado's recent works in "Transformations." Please join us for a night of great artwork by Al, a little music, and light refreshments. See you soon...

Friday, June 18, 2010

Merc Article on the 49ers

Last week there was a great article in the Merc about the 49ers moving down south, definitely worth a read!

My favorite lines from the article:

  • Did you feel it? The gravitational center of Bay Area sports shifted southward Tuesday night. [referring to Measure J]
  • Think about it. If Santa Clara County has the largest population in the nine-county Bay Area (fact) and has the most enthusiastic sports fans (opinion), then why shouldn't it also possess the home field of the Bay Area's most popular team?
  • When the Super Bowl is played here in 2018 or 2019, do not forget this moment. It did not happen by accident. The whole project took a leap of faith by both the 49ers and a city that was willing to take a gamble that joining the limited ranks of NFL cities would be a net benefit, not the horrible tragedy that anti-stadium voices proclaimed.

Click here to read the full article!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Update on the Mmoon!

We have a quick update on the Mmoon, the empanada purveyor taking downtown by storm this summer. Their website is set to go live on July 1st and they are planning to have their soft opening on July 29th if all goes well! I also have an updated mission statement:


We believe that empanadas made at the Mmoon are out of this world.  Simple quality makes each empanada special. Our mission at the Mmoon is to offer quick service and quality food at an affordable price.

We are passionate about understanding where our food comes from, how it is produced and how far it is shipped before it lands at the Mmoon. Close partnerships with our suppliers ensure that our standards and values are aligned.

Our menu is simple and designed to keep the focus on providing quality, quick service gourmet food. We offer eight different types of freshly baked empanadas, an assortment of salads, homemade dressings and sauces, and a selection of beverages. 

The Mmoon provides a dining environment equal to the quality of its food. When customers walk through the door, they are greeted by staff who are proud to welcome them into a space that is sparkling clean, visually cool and eclectic; and filled with good music.

At the Mmoon, we value integrity, honesty and creativity. We respect our relationships with each other, our customers and the planet at large.

Welcome to the Mmoon.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Good News for the San Jose A's =)

Joann Freda from San Jose Day-by-Day is the first blogger to break the news... the city council approved the EIR tonight for a pro baseball stadium in downtown San Jose! Thanks to everyone that attended the meeting to show their support.


tuesday, june 15, 2010

The A's May Have Just Moved One Step Closer to San Jose

People leaving the city council meeting tonight

Tonight I attended a city council meeting during which the council voted to certify the environmental impact report concerning a major league baseball stadium in downtown San Jose.  I have been an A's fan for about 28 years, ever since my oldest daughter started earning A's tickets by reading books for the A's reading incentive program.  Tonight the council heard many people speak on concerns about noise, parking, traffic and more.  But the council never lost sight of the immeasurable positive impact a major league baseball team can have on a city.  Go A's! 

Monday, June 14, 2010

Baseball San Jose: You're up to bat, San Jose!

Tomorrow we have a chance to help bring pro baseball to San Jose! The Baseball Stadium EIR is on the city council agenda, and the more people that can attend and show their support the better. Shills from the San Francisco Giants will no doubt be on hand to do whatever they can to block the move, so we need all the positive reinforcements we can get! More info below from Baseball San Jose:

Here is an invitation from Michael Mulcahy, Pro Baseball for San Jose Co-Chair, for everyone to attend tomorrow's very important San Jose City Council meeting concerning the ballpark's Environmental Impact Report:

Dear Baseball Supporters: 

Tuesday night, June 15 at 7pm, the San Jose City Council will consider the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Downtown San Jose Ballpark site. This will be another important opportunity for the public to weigh in with its support as we work to bring the A's to San Jose and make the Ballpark a reality while generating the jobs, economic development and tax revenue that our city needs so badly. And let us not overlook the value of community pride, international recognition and identity driven by major league sports. 

We realize this is a busy time of year but please plan to join meand Susan Hammerand many of our supporters in attending the meeting and expressing your support for the EIR and the Ballpark plan. As you may have read in the Mercury News, last month the SF Giants' attorneys, under cover as Stand for San Jose, attempted to derail the Planning Commission's approval of this very same EIR and we expect them to do the same next week. This SF Giant’s backed organization is working hard and relentlessly to deprive our City of charting its own course. It's time now for our group and our broader community to step up and make our voices heard in support of our own future. 

It’s time for the real San Jose to stand for San Jose! 

I look forward to seeing you Tuesday night. Please spread the word to your personal network of San Jose and ballpark supporters that this will be an important evening. We would appreciate knowing if you can attend, so please reply

Michael Mulcahy 
Co-Chair, Pro Baseball for San Jose

Again, the City Council meets:

Tuesday, June 15th @ 7 PM
San Jose City Council Chambers
200 East Santa Clara Street, San Jose

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Saturday Stats - America's 17th Most Walkable City

One a scale of 1 to 100, San Jose snagged a walk score of 55... which isn't too shabby. 55 is enough to top Las Vegas, Atlanta, Detroit, Dallas, Phoenix, Austin, and San Antonio. This score will undoubtedly improve as we've ran out of land to build on (except for Coyote Valley) and density is increasing throughout the city, not just Downtown and Midtown. Almost all new housing developments are multi-family or townhomes. In addition, I think San Joseans are starting to come around on the concept of being less reliant on cars and looking for homes in walkable/bikable neighborhoods. Full list below of the top 40 walkable cities in the US:

America's Most Walkable Neighborhoods

Find the most walkable neighborhoods in the top 40 U.S. cities.
CityScoreMost Walkable Neighborhoods
36Oklahoma City43No Zillow neighborhood information available
37Indianapolis42No Zillow neighborhood information available