Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Free New Year's Eve Party at the San Pedro Square Market!

The San Pedro Square Market is doing another special event this year for New Year's Eve. The theme for 2015 is super heroes and villains, so come dressed up as your favorite. Instead of spending big bucks to go to formal NYE events, you can pay no cover and enjoy all of the reasonably priced food offerings at the Market this New Year.

DJ Danny G will be spinning from 9pm to 1am at the Garage Bar. There is no additional link or registration, just show up and have fun!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The San Jose Downtown Association Looks Back at 2014

The SVBJ has a great photo recap of the Downtown Association's annual review of the year's business developments. 2014 was a great year for Downtown. One South Market and Centerra were both topped off and will be available for leasing next year, half a dozen other residential projects are close to moving forward, a new hotel will soon break ground, the new courthouse is moving along nicely, and the San Pedro Square Market continues to thrive and bring people to Downtown. Office vacancy plummeted and more tech companies are moving Downtown month after month.

The Association also took a look forward at 2015, where their key priorities will be St. James Park revitalization, addressing homelessness, and building up San Jose's identity. To have a look at the summary of the presentation, just hit the source link below.

Source: SVBJ

Monday, December 29, 2014

PunchPie's San Jose Restaurant Specials

PunchPie is a San Jose-based affinity program for restaurants. Instead of using a punch card (e.g. buy 10 sandwiches, get one free), you can use an app on your phone. I hate carrying around a bunch of cards in my wallet for the lunch places I frequent, so this really comes in handy.

There are over 100 restaurants using PunchPie and 57 of them are in San Jose, including some of my favorites like Spuds, On a Roll, Bibo's NY Pizza, Punjab Cafe, Beach Hut Deli, and Caspian Village. Instead of just getting a free offering after a certain number of purchases, there is also a first visit bonus at all PunchPie restaurants.

Below you can see the full list of San Jose restaurants and their promotions. There is really no downside here so download the app, support a local business, and enjoy discounts at a ton of restaurants.

You can download the app here!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

152 Terraine Street Torn Down

Some bad news today--unfortunately the historic Vogliazzo house at 152 Terraine Street was not able to be saved. The plan was to move it to Little Italy, but not enough money was not raised.

The home was razed to make way for the Silvery Towers project, which is supposed to officially break ground in April. However, it would have been nice to preserve this house and move it somewhere else in San Jose.

Destruction of 152 Terraine Street from WMS media Inc. on Vimeo.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Saturday Stats: 2014 End-of-the-Year Meta Post!

Its that time of the year again where we can look back and see all of the accolades San Jose has collected in 2014. This year's list is the longest I have compiled so far. Thank you to everyone that has sent in links for these articles!

This year we have gotten everything from the smartest city, the best big city for jobs, the best city for small business, the city with the highest pay, and even the happiest city to work in. For the first time we even landed on a "coolest city" list.

Check out the impressive meta-list below and for links to the articles head over to this Google doc.

#1Best City to Flip a House24/7 Wall Street2014SF #2
#1Smartest City in AmericaTODAY Show2014
#9City with Momentum in the WorldJones Lang LaSalle 2014SF #1, NY #6
#2Top Performing Rental Market in the CountrySVBJ2014SF #3
#9Best City for Female EntrepreneursNerdwallet2014SF #2
#1Apartment Boom TownSpareFoot2014SF #8
#5Best City for Overall Well-BeingUSAToday2014SF #9
#3Lowest obesity rate for metros larger than 1 million peopleGallop2014SF #3
#11Top City for Millennials to Live, Work, and PlayHuff Post Collecge2014SF #5, NY #1
#1Best Big City for JobsForbes2014SF #2, NY #7
#2Safest City of DrivingNBC2014NY #1, SF did not rank
#1Best City for Small BusinessBiz2Credit2014SF #5, NY #7
#6Healthiest City in the USACSM2014SF #5, NY #24
#3Most Upward Mobile City in the USThe Atlantic2014SF #5, NY #10
#1Happiest City to Work InCareerBliss2014SF #3
#1Best City to Work InGlassdoor2014SF #2, NY did not rank
#1Best City for STEM GraduatesNerdWallet2014SF #5
#16America's Coolest City 2014Forbes2014SF #5, NY #11
#1Most Expensive Metro in the USSocketSite2014SF #2
#19Top City for CulturePropertyShark2014SF #16, NY #13
#7Top Place in the US to Cool Off Before Summer EndsSpareFoot2014
#2Best Job Market in the US for Recent GradsThe Atlantic2014SF #1, NY #28
#7Most Educated City in the USWalletHub2014SF #14, NY #51
#5Best City to Trick-or-treat InZillow2014SF #1
#1Easiest City for Finding a JobForbes2014SF and NY did not rank
#1City with the Top Median PayForbes2014SF #2, NY #8

Friday, December 26, 2014

Content Magazine Aquired by SV Creates

My favorite local publication--Content Magazine--is merging with SV Creates starting in January. I think this is great news on both sides. SV Creates will get a kick-ass magazine that is very much in tune with the arts and creative community in San Jose. Content will have access to greater resources and distribution channels.

For the offical announcement from Daniel Garcia (Content's founder), just scroll down. I wish both Content and SV Creates the best of luck and a huge congratulations!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas Everyone!

We would like to wish all of our readers and their families a joyous Holiday Season!

To get into the spirit of the holidays, have a quick look at this great video put together by Team San Jose featuring a dozen San Jose landmarks!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Food Trucks Coming to Plaza de Cesar Chavez Downtown!

Moveable Feast is planning to expand to its birthplace, Downtown San Jose. The goal is to have a weekly food truck event at Plaza de Cesar Chavez every Friday. It would be a mid-sized gathering of 5-6 trucks along with live music. Moveable Feast still needs to final approval from the city, but they are confident their plan will be approved.

Ryan Sebastian, the founder of Moveable Feast, believes that these events are key to bringing more people to Downtown San Jose and making it a destination. He believes there are still many San Joseans that are afraid of Downtown, and events like this will help change that brand perception.

The best case scenario would place Moveable Feast in the park beginning this February.

Personally, I would love to see this taken a step further and have a permanent area dedicated to food trucks (and retail trucks) with daily events. There would have to be enough demand, but that could really become an anchor for one of the best urban parks in San Jose.

Source: SVBJ

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Lou's Beach Shack Coming to San Pedro Square Market!

A direct descendant of the famous Lou's Village Restaurant, Lou's Beach Shack will offer fresh seafood in a scaled down venue. The new eatery will be in the "Garage" area of the San Pedro Square Market next to B2 Coffee and will be open from 11am-10pm, 7 days a week.

The menu looks impressive and will give the Market several food options not provided by any of the other vendors today. You'll find everything from Clam Chowder, Calamari, Oysters, Lobster Sliders, Artichoke Hearts, and Cioppino. Check out the full tentative menu below.

For more information, head over to the Lou's Beach Shack website.

Served 11am-10pm 7 Days

Our Famous Deep Fried Calamari    8.95
Fish 'n Chips   8.95
Boston Style Clam Chowder 5.95  Quart 13.95
Bay Calamari Steak Sandwich 8.95
Walkaway Shrimpy    7.95
Today's Oysters on the Half 2.00 ea..
Little Lobster Sliders 14.95
Caesar Salad   8.95     With Shrimp 13.95
Top Loaded Grilled Cheese Sandwich   7.95
Oh. My. Cod Fries  7.95
Deep Fried Castroville Artichoke Hearts  7.95
Capitola Fries a la Babe   5.95
Chickie's Cold Slaw  5.95

Chocolate Dipped Frozen Banana  5.95
with nuts add .75

Snow Ball
Raspberry, Blue Berry, Egg Custard

Orange Freeze  5.95

Iced Tea, Lemonade
16 oz  3.95     32 Oz  5.95

Fridays 5PM-9PM feature oysters of the day on the half @1.75 ea
(until gone)
Sunday is Family Poor Man's Cioppino Day 15.95/person while it lasts
(no nut crackers required)
Remember Tuesday is Red's Shrimp Tamale Day 8.95 ea

Monday, December 22, 2014 is Moving to Downtown San Jose!

One of the leaders in tech-related recruiting is finding its way Downtown. has just leased 16,000 SQFT at 225 W. Santa Clara St., which is quadruple the amount of space they currently have in Santa Clara. They will be taking over the 11th floor of the building which also houses Deloitte. The new space will give them the ability to hire about 50 more employees in addition to their current Bay Area headcount.

To top off the good news, will also be bringing its headquarters to the same location. Currently Slashdot (which is owned by the same parent company as Dice) is headquartered in San Francisco.

Office locations all up and down 101 were evaluated, and access to Caltrain and amenities such as the San Pedro Square Market were key drivers in the final decision. I'm sure it also helped that they will be able to put Dice signage somewhere on the building.

It's great to see tech tenants continuing to come Downtown!

Source: SVBJ

Sunday, December 21, 2014

San Jose Lands GX3 - Everyone Games

GX3 is an eclectic video game convention that was started a few years ago. It was previously called GaymerX and targeted at the LGBT community, but now the event is being marketed to all gamers. This year they are going by GX3 with the tagline "Everyone Games." The past two events have been held in San Francisco, but the San Jose Marriott will claim this event for 2015 (Dec 11-13).

For more details, check out this Kickstarter page or hit the source link below.

Source: Joystiq

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Saturday Stats: San Jose is the #1 City For Median Pay

Payscale looked at the US cities that took home the largest (and smallest) paychecks and its no secret who is sitting at the top of the list. Payscale looked at early career, mid-career, and overall median pay for employees with at least a bachelor's degree.

In the San Jose metro, the median salary is an astronomical $103,500 with mid-career pay hitting $142,600. San Francisco came in at a distant second with median pay clocking $82,200. New York was surprisingly in 8th place with a median pay of $70,700.

To see the full list and a slideshow, just head over to the link below.

Source: Forbes

Friday, December 19, 2014

Women's Olympic Gymnastic Trials Coming Back to San Jose!

San Jose will once again host the Olympic Trials for Women's Gymnastics. This event will determine who will represent the US in the 2016 Olympic Games (Rio de Janeiro). The trials will bring tens of thousands of visitors to Downtown San Jose and have a significant impact on the local economy that weekend.

Tickets range from $115 to $875 and you can be placed on the priority list with a 25% deposit over here.

As a side-note, check out the awesome banner they created below with several iconic San Jose buildings.

Source: SVBJ

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Downtown San Pedro Square Market #3?

The San Pedro Square Market set off a chain reaction in the Downtown San Jose food scene unlike any other I can remember. Not only is the original SPSM looking to capitalize on its success and substantially expand over the next few years, but it seems like everyone is now jumping on the market concept to try to be the next SPSM. A few months ago, the second Downtown market officially opened its doors with two great vendors. By the end of next year, the SoFA Market should be completely leased out and act as a key anchor in the neighborhood.

Now, get this... there are plans for a THIRD market near San Jose State University called Metro Public Eatery and Bar. This will be next to the Grocery Outlet on the corner of Sixth and Santa Clara. The size of the space is 10,000 SQFT and it can support up to 10 eateries! There will also be a full-service speakeasy-style cocktail bar and a special events area for private parties.

Like the other Downtown markets, there will be no chains. Some of the planned eateries are a kabob-style restaurant with exotic meats like bison and alligator, a fish taco stand, a Japanese burger bar, tapas, and a pastry shop. You can also expect live music and entertainment on the weekends.

The new market will also try to differentiate itself with a modern industrial design targeted to students and office workers Downtown. Currently the Metro Public Eatery is in permitting and scheduled to open by the end of 2015. I can't wait!

Source: Spartan Daily

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Wednesday Wishlist: Interactive Pedestrian Games

Some innovative Germans have come up with a pretty creative way to entertain pedestrians that are waiting at a crosswalk. Instead of just hitting a button and waiting for the walk sign, you can play a game of Pong with someone across the street. It's a slick idea that is being used in at least two different intersections in Germany and I think it would fit well in Silicon Valley's culture.

I think the urbanists that read this blog would agree that ideally there would be no crosswalk buttons and all the streetlights would be optimized for pedestrians. However, there are several intersections where that just won't work such as Market and San Carlos... which also happens to be in front of the Marriott, St. Claire, Plaza de Cesar Chavez, and a stones-throw away from the Convention Center. With so many visitors coming to this intersection, what better place to show a little digital creativity in our public infrastructure?

Source: Autoblog

STREETPONG from HAWK Hildesheim on Vimeo.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Winchester Mystery House - Spirit Of Christmas Tours

This year the Winchester Mystery House is getting into the holiday spirit with special Victorian-style "Spirit of Christmas" tours. The epic mansion will feature 100,000 Christmas lights, carolers, dozens of trees, and over a thousand feet of garland.

In addition to the regular 65-minute daytime tours of the mansion, they are adding new 50-minute evening tours that focus on the history of Christmas at the mansion and Mr.s Winchester's philanthropy. These tours start at 5:20pm and will only be available December 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, and 28.

Scroll down for more information and click here to book tickets.


Special Holiday Evening Tours are on sale now!

Come celebrate the Victorian “Spirit of Christmas” at Sarah Winchester’s glorious mansion, beautifully decorated for the holidays. Enjoy dozens of trees & wreaths and over a thousand feet of garland gracing the fireplaces and stairways. The festive glow of 100,000 sparkling lights and the sounds of Christmas Music and Carolers warmly welcome you and filling the air and your heart.

Our traditional year-round 65-minute daytime tours of Mrs. Winchester’s 160-room mansion are offered daily from 9am-5pm and will have a touch of Christmas Spirit throughout!

Don’t miss our special holiday evening tours! Join our guided 50-minute “Spirit of Christmas Tours” through the festive Mansion and learn about the history of a Victorian Christmas at the mysterious Mansion along with the more philanthropic side of Mrs. Winchester, while the festive sights and sounds set you in the mood for the season. This is the perfect place to start a wonderful holiday tradition for the whole family. Our special holiday tours start at 5:20pm and are offered on the following evenings in December: 12th-13th, 18th-21st, 26th-28th.

More Fun Activities:

  • Santa Claus
  • Christmas Carolers
  • Victorian Characters
  • Family Christmas Photos
  • Hot Cider to warm you up

Don’t forget to stop in our Gift Shop for ornaments and gifts you won’t find anywhere else, such as vintage toys, Western items, jewelry and decorative glassware.

It’s the season to give!
Spread the joy and save! Bring at least 2 canned food items for Second Harvest Food Bank and save $3 off the day or evening admission! The Winchester Mystery House will also match whatever is brought in! Second Harvest Food Bank Drive: donate & save from 11/24 – 12/15/14.
(Limit one discount per person/ per item brought. Not good with any other offers. Valid for in-person purchases only.)

Monday, December 15, 2014

Federal Realty's Sequel to Santana Row Begins to Take Shape

Federal Realty has begun revealing conceptual plans for the site parallel to Santana Row where the domed Century Theaters currently sit. The biggest surprise for me is a 14-story office tower, since Federal Realty has seemed hesitant to utilize high-rises in any of their Silicon Valley projects. The tower (in purple below) would be right across the street from a Santana Row retail corner previously housing Eli Thomas and a kitty corner away from another 232,000 SQFT speculative office building that Federal Realty has just begun work on. The new tower would be 189 feet tall and have 126,000 SQFT of available office space.

Also part of the plan is nearly 1,000 apartments spread across multiple 6-7 story buildings. The project will only have 45,000 SQFT of retail, and that will likely be for a grocery story. So don't expect a true extension to Santana Row here, this will mostly be a residential and office development. To service all these new buildings will be 2,000 parking spaces, but none of it will be at-grade, All the parking will be in hidden structures above or below ground to really make it feel like a walkable, pedestrian-friendly neighborhood.

You also might notice one dome in the drawing below. The Century 21 dome will be saved, though what it will be used for is unclear. After the realignment of Olsen Drive it will become a dominant architectural feature in this new project. Also note the new public park next to the Winchester Mystery House.

The timeline is not clear, but this will be one project we should keep a close eye on!

Source: SVBJ

Sunday, December 14, 2014

San Jose Pop-Up Project Map

Shop local this Holiday Season! There are 23 great shops in Downtown San Jose this holiday season, nine of which are pop-ups. Visit them all using the handy map below!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

SantaRun Silicon Valley

Tomorrow there will be a 5k Run/Walk in Downtown San Jose that will benefit Christmas in the Park and Downtown Ice. Dressing up as your favorite holiday character is highly encouraged. The festivities begin at 1pm and the race itself starts at 3pm. For more info head to

Join us on Sunday, December 14, 2014 at 3:00 PM for the TiVo “Santa Run Silicon Valley”, a new tradition in San Jose benefiting our favorite holiday traditions; Christmas in the Park and Downtown Ice. Festivities kick off at 1:00 PM on race day with the race starting at 3:00 pm. The TiVo “Santa Run Silicon Valley” is a 5K Run/Walk that is fun for the whole family. We encourage you to dress up as your favorite holiday character or tradition; Santa, Mrs. Claus, the Grinch, reindeer, elves, dreidel, menorah, ornaments, tree, candlestick. The ideas are limitless. You can do it as a group too! Bring the whole family for a day of fun; looking at festive displays, community trees and watching live entertainment at Christmas in the Park. Or, warm up those legs before the run and skate at Downtown Ice under the lighted palm trees or warm up with some hot chocolate. Either way, grandparents, parents and kids alike will all enjoy the timeless memories these great activities have to offer.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Content Pick-Up Party + 3rd Anniversary Celebration!

My favorite local magazine is celebrating 3 years in print today! Subscribers can come to the former Rep at 101 Paseo de San Antonio between 7-10pm tonight to pick up the latest issues called "Dine." Of course, Content isn't your ordinary magazine, so they are also throwing in a free drink from local breweries (Hermitage, Laguintas, or Gordon Biersch) and music by Cado and Tim Atlas whom are featured in the issue.

While you are there, check out the pop up shops spread across the ground floor of the Rep lobby. These include The Usuals, The Die Hard Co, Curate Good, Empire Seven Studios, Jen's Cakes, and Liquid Bread!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Holiday SJMade @ San Pedro Square Market This Weekend!

If you want to shop local this holiday season, you have to check out the special Holiday version of SJMADE at the San Pedro Square Market this weekend. You will be able to find all sorts of goodies from San Jose labels, brands, entrepreneurs, and artists. The event will run from 11am-6am both Saturday and Sunday.

Holiday SJMADE is back!!!

December 13th-14th, 2014

San Pedro Square Market
87 N. San Pedro Street,
Downtown San Jose

Yes we know, it's been a couple of years since the last Holiday SJMADE but it's back and better than ever!

Are you on the hunt for those unique, fun, one-of-a-kind gifts?  Whether it's for your Mom, your BFF, or your cousin's best friend's brother's great aunt who you've never met, you'll find the most awesome gifts for everyone!

So pack your holiday spirit in your reusable bag and get to the Holiday SJMADE on December 13th & 14th from 11am to 6pm at San Pedro Square Market.

Attending SJMADE is the best way to shop local this holiday season!
San Jose Made (SJMADE) is a vendor fair for local San Jose makers, labels, brands, small businesses, and artists showcasing and selling current projects and goods.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

December 2014 Downtown Dimension Highlights

Here are my notes from the latest edition of Downtown Dimension:
  • Several formerly homeless people are getting to celebrate the holidays in their own homes thanks to the cleaning ambassador program at Groundwerx, which recruits homeless individuals to volunteer in exchange for food and housing assistance. Out of the 19 volunteers, 8 have found permanent employment.
  • Nine Pop-up store are joining established small businesses to take the Downtown San Jose retail scene to the next level. Most are clustered around The Rep and you can find a map over at
  • Downtown residential high-rises are exempted from a new $17-per-SQFT housing impact fee for five years.
  • An 8-story, 194-unit residential building ha been proposed for the San Pedro Square parking lot next to the Old Spaghetti Factory. It may have retail on up to three sides and will create a new paseo. Unfortunately the buildings housing Satori, Los Cubanos, and the San Pedro Bistro will have to be torn down to make way for the project. All three are great places that I hope will relocate Downtown.
To read the full newsletter, click here!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Whole Foods San Jose Grand Opening Today

The other day I had the opportunity to eat dinner at one of the most anticipated new spots in Downtown San Jose. This place, known for its food, also has a microbrewery and tap-room on site. Today, December 9th, is the official GRAND OPENING!

Of course, I'm talking about the new Whole Foods on the Alameda!

As part of a media tour, they served us several delicious courses of food that you can easily find within the store itself. But I'm jumping ahead.

Here's a rundown of what I saw, heard, etc.. 

It's been awhile since I've driven past Stockton/The Alameda area. I was driving down Stockton and completely passed up the parking lot entrance (oops) - so a quick u-turn later, I was back in business.

The place is huge and it's quite pretty from the outside. It's not a stuffy looking grocery store. Colorful and modern design elements are everywhere. They used a lot of locally manufactured, reclaimed, and recycled materials to decorate the store. I loved it! 

Meat Department:
We learned about their rating system (displayed above the counter) -- the higher the number, the better that the animal was treated. Nice to know. 

Also, they have a big ole container full of bacon. 

Cheese Department:
They have many different kinds to choose from, and it is nice to know that if you are curious they'll bust one open for you on the spot and give you a taste. I picked up one package of a cranberry-orange cheese. I neglected to ask what the heck do I eat with that? Or what do I prepare it with? Next time I will ask.. and someone will tell me. Because that's how it works. ;)

The Berliners:
Custom-filled donuts made on the spot. Just for you. Maybe for your friends, if they're lucky.

Their official pizza dude (Matthew Driscoll) is on the U.S. Pizza Team. Look at him go!

Then I tasted their pizza - super yum. Did you see that fancy shmancy brick pizza oven too? Game nights are going to be filled with people buying some pizza or a hockey-themed (cute) sandwich and heading up the patio for a beer. (WHAT? Beer you say?! Keep reading...)

San Jose is home to the company's first on-site microbrewery and tap room in California called Mission Creek Brewing Company. 

"Mission Creek Brewing Company is located in a two story, 5,600 square-foot 'outbuilding' separate from the main store itself. The ground floor houses coffee and fresh juice bars, along with some seating. The second floor is home to the tap room, with eight bar seats, a birds-eye view of the brewery, and access to outdoor seating for around 75. A retractable roof and outdoor heating protect guests in inclement weather."

Neato, right? Here's the view from the patio.

As part of the tour/media day, we were treated to a three-course dinner (or .. is it five when you count the starter and dessert? I clearly don't have to many "course" meals…) The spread of tasty nibbles were delicious and the decor on the tables quite nice!

I have to say, everything was delicious. Not twisting my arm to say it at all. That's one of the things I really like about Whole Foods. If I was out running errands at one of my old jobs, I might find myself near the Hamilton location. I'd run in to their prepared foods section and try not to go too crazy buying things. They have a TON of delicious things to try. So I knew going in I was going to be enjoying my meal.

And lastly, we got a little sweet goodie bag with various products they carry in the store:

Now, some people flat out won't go to Whole Foods because products are not the cheapest in the land. No, they're not. You will be paying a decent amount for some products. But, don't let that stop you from ever going there. Buy some treats, try something new that nobody else carries. Want to make a nice gift basket for someone? This is a perfect place for that. Do you work downtown and want to grab a bite to eat - like I mentioned above, their prepared foods department (bakery, pizza and sandwiches, etc) have a ton of delicious options. Treat yourself! Or maybe you run a business nearby and you need to get some food for a client coming in for a lunch meeting? Swing by there and pick up a spread. If it's not your go-to grocery store, it certainly can be a place to stop by occasionally. Don't rule it out!

I'm hungry now just thinking about all the goodies.. so I'm gonna munch on some of my lemon pistachios.. or maybe a carrot cake cupcake.. 

Instagram: @WholeFoodsMarketSanJose


From Dec. 11-24, the store is hosting “The Great Holiday Giveaway,” offering one gift with a value up to $200, via its Facebook page and

Sourisseau News: Car Culture

The latest edition of Sourisseau News offers a glimpse at early car culture in San Jose. You'll even find a photo of the famous (infamous?) Letcher's Garage, the very first garage on the west coast and the site of a gruesome domestic murder/suicide. Watch the full two minute video below!

Car Culture from WMS media Inc. on Vimeo.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Julian Street Realignment Bringing More High-Rises Downtown!

Nathan Donato-Weinstein from the Business Journal always seems to publish at least one story a month that really gets me excited about development Downtown. His latest treasure is for SVBJ subscribers only, but the gist is that the Julian Street realignment is almost a go and it will bring some really sweet projects to the northwestern corner of Downtown San Jose.

Currently, Julian street has an awkward curve design to make it easy to get the Highway 87, but makes several blocks completely useless from an urban design perspective. San Jose is about to collect a $24 million state infrastructure grant to correct this design mistake from the 70's and revert Julian back to a traditional grid ripe for development.

In total, there will be over 1,000 residential units in this North San Pedro area consisting of townhomes, midrises, and towers. Earlier this month, Barry Swenson submitted plans for a the 18-story beauty pictured below with 313 units and three stories of parking. The tower would be located at the corner of Terraine and Basset. Barry Swenson is also planning a second tower with 200 units at Devine and N. San Pedro. If that isn't enough new development for you, First Community Housing is planning a 135 unit mid-rise in the area and Intracorp has four projects ranging from a 408-unit apartment building to townhomes.

All this would come together superbly with Centerra, Silvery Towers, and the San Pedro Square Market expansion!

Source: SVBJ (Subscription Required)

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Mark Your Calendars: Rockage 4.0 February 6-8th!

One of my favorite events Downtown combines both retro video games and live music with local bands. Spread across three days, there will be over 30 indie rock bands, chiptune artists and DJs, and 50 rare classic cabinets and pinball machines, and tons of classic game vendors. New this year will be a third stage and a partership with MAGFest, whe east coast video game music and geek culture festival.

I'll have more info closer to the event, but if you are interested I would recommend following them here:

Saturday, December 6, 2014

CBS: San Jose Rolls Out Welcome Mat For Bustling Downtown

Last weekend there was a great story on CBS Local about Downtown San Jose. This gist is that Downtown is becoming Silicon Valley's new housing hot spot, with multiple high-rise residential buildings on the way and easy access to amenities, culture, and transit.

The new buildings will be targeting tech workers, with rents in the $3,000/mo range. The story mentions that there are already 90 tech companies in the Downtown core, but avid readers will remember that we now have over 100!

You can find the video and transcript below.

Source: CBS Local

Text from the video:

SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — The city of San Jose is rolling out the welcome mat for tech workers and businesses to move to the city’s changing downtown.

At a massive new high rise apartment building, workers are laying the groundwork for a new kind of downtown San Jose, one with thousands of new residents who are younger and hipper.

“We’re making San Jose more and more hip every day,” said Mayor-Elect Sam Liccardo. “But it’s not happening from city hall, it’s happening because of the creative people who already live there.”

People like Jeff Michaud, a manager in a Silicon Valley tech company, who just moved here from Austin. “A fair number of my co-workers live in San Francisco and commute down, I’m not a big fan of the commute,” Michaud said.

His new home has gorgeous views with restaurants, shopping, entertainment and mass transit all just steps away.

“There’s a lot to do, especially beneficial when you come home late from work. You don’t feel like cooking, I don’t have to worry about that,” Michaud said.

With three cranes in the air, and at least six more condo and apartment buildings on the way, Downtown San Jose is the new housing hot spot in Silicon Valley.

Even with rents already in the $3,000 a month range, high-tech workers with comfortable paychecks will fill up the buildings fast according to one realtor, causing a welcome economic ripple effect for other businesses.

“The more people you bring, the more that will follow,” said Michael Murphy of Silicon Valley Lofts and Condos. “So we’ll probably see a lot more activity from a retail perspective with those people here.”

Ninety high tech companies are now located in the downtown core, one of them is Xactly. It makes sales-oriented software for companies such as Coca Cola.

CEO Chris Cabrera said the company was lured by the prices. “When we first came to San Jose, it really was because it was the best deal in town. And when we came down here, it really was an unexpected surprise,” he said.

The company is now doubling down on office space, relocating to a bigger building nearby for its growing workforce. “If we try to move, our employees would revolt because they love it,” Cabrera said.

Downtown’s vacancy rate has gone from 29 percent to 18 percent in the last two years. But large holes and empty storefronts remain, including the failed San Jose Repertory Theatre, which is now vacant.

The city is countering with a big marketing push playing up the downtown’s live/work environment.
Lee Wilcox of the San Jose Office of Economic Development said, “The amenities, the talented work force, there are great opportunities for companies to take advantage of what San Jose has to offer.”

And for the first time, San Jose made Forbes list of America’s Coolest Cities. San Jose was 16th on the list, tied for Los Angeles.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Hark Holiday Show at KALEID Gallery

Today there is a holiday art show at KALEID Gallery Downtown (next to Flames). The show runs from 7-11pm and features work from over 60 artists, including one of my personal favorites--guerrilla photographer Josh Marcotte from Lost San Jose. Give the gift of local art this holiday season!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

New Costco Officially Coming to South San Jose

Last week developers confirmed that a new Costco would be coming to South San Jose on a 76-acre parcel near the intersection of Highway 85 and Monterey Highway. This will be San Jose's 4th Costco--the other 3 are in Almaden, North San Jose, and off Tully.

The Wholesaler will be part of a project that includes up to 780 residential units, 154,000 SQFT of retail, and 260,000 SQFT of office or R&D.

Given the large number of people that currently live in this part of South San Jose (as well as future residents from all the new development there), this should benefit an area that is under-serviced by retail. I will also mention that this will be the closest San Jose Costco to a Caltrain station, not that I foresee anyone carrying reams of toilet paper on the train.

Source: SVBJ

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Wednesday Wishlist: 2024 Bay Area Olympics

San Francisco has officially put in a bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics  at an estimated budget of $4.5 billion. However, given SF does not have the resources or space to host this alone, the plan includes utilizing facilities all around the Bay Area including Levi's Stadium and Avaya Stadium (the new Earthquakes Stadium). So in a nutshell, SF would take on all of the risk and financial costs while San Jose would benefit from locally hosted events, economic impacts, and having easy access to all Summer Olympic games. It sounds like a win to me, similar to having Levi's stadium in Santa Clara.

What would you guys think about a 2024 Bay Area Olympics?

Source: SVBJ

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Voxel Cloud Art Installation Planned For The Pierce!

The Voxel Cloud could easily become the single most impressive art installation in Downtown San Jose. The roof of The Pierce (an apartment building currently under construction in SoFA) will have thousand of LED lights to create a virtual cloud of dynamically changing lights. This is part of the Illuminating Downtown project which will also illuminate two overpasses Downtown, where Highway 87 passes over Santa Clara and San Fernando.

Have a look at the full two minute video below to get an idea of what it will look like. I can't wait to see this in action!

Source: Robertee from the San Jose Development Forum

Monday, December 1, 2014

New Live-Work Project in Downtown San Jose

Barry Swenson Building is finally moving forward on a half-acre parcel that was acquired almost 15 years ago. The empty parking lot at the corner of N. 4th St. and E. Julian St. will be transformed into a modern and unique 13-unit live-work project. These types of projects are very rare in Silicon Valley. The ground floor is setup to accommodate small businesses such as an office or store while the owners of the business would live upstairs. There is also the option to do nothing on the ground floor and live in it as a 3-story townhome.

It's a great concept that I hope we'll see more of in San Jose. In other areas these types of projects have helped transform neighborhoods. With one the highest rates of entrepreneurship in the country, this seems like an ideal time for live-work units in San Jose.

Barry Swenson Builder is going to self-fund the project, which means it can start construction immediately after getting all of the entitlements (targeted for summer).

Source: SVBJ

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Searchlight San Jose: Setting Sail on the Mighty Guadalupe

Brown water adventures in San Jose... what?? Searchlight San Jose has discovered that you can do urban kayaking runs up the Guadalupe River! Head over here for all the details and check out the video below of the Stanford Kayak Club pulling off some impressive tricks near 880.

Oh, and while you are at Searchlight San Jose, you might as well "Dress Up Quetzy." Quetzy is the nickname for the statue in the middle of Plaza de Cesar Chavez that looks like a giant turd. Not a bad idea considering that any changes you make can only be an improvement over what it looks like today. This reminds me of the famous Manneken-Pis statue in Brussels that gets dressed up regularly for special events.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Milpitas Getting Massive 18-Story Tower - 4th Tallest Building in Santa Clara County

This is going to be one of the rare posts here that is not directly tied to San Jose. This news represents that times are changing in Silicon Valley and residents are going to have to start becoming more and more comfortable with high-rise buildings, even outside of traditional urban centers like Downtown San Jose.

Milpitas is about to get a whopper of a tower. While it looks short below, the proposed 18-story tower would be 277 feet high. This makes it taller than the Sobrato Tower, Three Sixty Residences, the San Jose Marriott, any of the Adobe Towers, and the Fairmont Hotel. It would be more than double the height of any building currently in Milpitas. The fact that it looks stubby belies its true size. Only 3 structures in Santa Clara County would be taller, meaning it is extremely wide and a gargantuan building for the South Bay.

The Milpitas tower would be mixed-use in every sense of the terminology. The first two floors would consist of 150,000 SQFT of retail, the third floor would have 50,000 SQFT of office space, and the next 15 floors would have 375 for-sale condos (average of 25 per floor). There is also an attached 8-story parking garage.

The tower is going to be built on three-acres that used to be a former Chevrolet dealership between two Asian-themed shopping centers. Price tag? Expect something in the $250 million to $300 million range. The builder (Singpoli) is already assembling a construction team and is planning to break ground in the next 12 months.

List of Tallest Buildings in Santa Clara County

  • The 88 (San Jose) - 286 feet
  • San Jose City Hall (San Jose) - 285 feet
  • Hoover Tower (Stanford) - 285 feet
  • Landmark Tower (Milpitas) - 277 feet
  • Sobrato Office Tower (San Jose) - 270 feet

Source: SVBJ

Friday, November 28, 2014

San Jose Harvest Festival Kicks Off Today

The San Jose Harvest Festival starts today and continues all the way through Sunday. Instead of going to the mall, why not look for more unique and personal gifts at one of the largest indoor arts and crafts festivals. Over 24,000 items will be available for purchase, all handmade in the US.

The event is located at the San Jose Convention Center and also includes live music, entertainment, and kid's zone, and festival foods. Tickets are $9 for general admission, $7 for seniors, and $4 for kids. For more information, head over here.

Top Rated Craft Show Boasts Shopping, Music, Food and Prizes

(San Jose, Calif.)--- Don't be fooled by empty "door buster" deals designed to lure you to the Big Box retail stores this Black weekend. For a truly enjoyable shopping experience, visit the San Jose Harvest Festival®, November 28-30 at the San Jose Convention Center, and help support the independent artisan instead.

The San Jose Harvest Festival® is one of the largest indoor arts and craft shows on the West Coast and was recently rated among the top 200 craft shows in the country.  The show offers over 24,000 handmade arts and crafts, including original art, jewelry, photography, clothing, specialty foods, holiday decor, and more.

Many of the artists at the Harvest Festival offer bargains and show specials that can only be obtained at the event. Plus, attendees can meet the artists and can often get their purchases personalized. There will be a grab bag prize drawing each day, and the Grand Prize drawing, happening of the show, features a brand new ipad mini.

Throughout the weekend, the Harvest Festival offers upbeat live music, including performances from Tom Rigney and Flambeau, a band that blends American Roots styles into a completely original sound, mixing infectious grooves with deep musicality and spectacular solos. On Saturday afternoon, there will be a special one time performance by the Sweet Adeline's.

Gingerbread on the Go will co-host the KidZone and will feature make-and-take gingerbread cookie projects. Nature of Art for Kids, an eco-friendly company offering non-toxic art supplies for children, will also be participating by offering crafts using "green" and repurposed materials. Plus, parents can stop by the New York Life booth to obtain a free Child ID kit.

The Harvest Festival will welcome back its official non-profit partner, Humane Society Silicon Valley, a charity committed to animal welfare in every facet. Humane Society Silicon Valley (HSSV) will receive half of the proceeds from shopping bag sales and all of the proceeds from the bag and parcel check.

Loaves and Fishes, a San Jose based non-profit organization which serves free, nutritious meals to the working poor, families, homeless and seniors, will be the food donation partner for the show. Anyone who brings a monetary or non-perishable food donation to the show will receive $2 off their admission.