Monday, March 31, 2014

Santana Row 2

Santana Row is one of the most successful mixed-use projects of all time in the US. It has been emulated by many, yet nothing has really taken off quite like this ten-year ongoing project. Federal Realty, the developers that continue to own and operate the Row, have reached a physical limit in expansion opportunity. After this next round of development which will include three giant office complexes and a flagship retail space to cap the street, they will be completely out of physical space needed to continue to expand. Well, that is until the announcement below.

Federal Realty is taking over 11.6 acres fronting Winchester where the current Century Theaters sit. I know there is a lot of controversy about this space. Personally, I think if it is going to be redeveloped then the ideal developer would be Federal Realty. They have clearly shown that they could make a successful project with a lot of complex moving parts come together. While they have not made any announcement as to what their exact plans are for the area, I think offices will be a greater part of the mix than the original Santana Row. San Jose needs more jobs at the moment than residential, especially in that general Midtown/Uptown area. I also think there is potential to integrate the new BRT into the new development, which I really hope they consider give the lack of current public transit access. A well integrated BRT line would be the next best thing to having Light Rail running between Downtown San Jose and Santana Row.

Regardless of whether you or for or against this project, this will definitely be something interesting to keep tabs on.

Federal Realty Investment Trust's West Coast president Jeff Berkes has issued the following statement:

 “We are excited to announce that Federal Realty has entered into a long-term ground lease with the owners of the 11.6-acre site fronting Winchester Boulevard, opposite Santana Row, that is currently occupied by Century Theaters.  We are working with the City of San Jose to explore several different development alternatives that will complement our existing property, Santana Row, and the surrounding community.  We look forward to commencing the public process. We have no further comment at this time.”
-- Jeff Berkes, President, West Coast Federal Realty Investment Trust

About Santana Row
Santana Row a 1.5 million square foot mixed used development in the heart of San Jose, California, is Silicon Valley's premier destination for shopping,
dining, living and nightlife. Surrounded by landscaped gardens, parks and plazas, Santana Row features over 70 retail shops, more than 20 acclaimed restaurants, a 212-room boutique hotel and six-screen movie theatre. In addition to the dynamic retail collection, Santana Row offers 622 residential units featuring a fitness center, rooftop pool and resort-living accommodations, and 65,000 square feet of office space at 300 Santana Row, its newest office address. Santana Row is a property of (NYSE:FRT), headquartered in Rockville, Maryland. For more information, please

About Federal Realty
Federal Realty Investment Trust is an equity real estate investment trust specializing in the ownership, management, development, and redevelopment of high quality retail assets. Federal Realty's portfolio (excluding joint venture properties) contains approximately 20 million square feet located primarily in strategically selected metropolitan markets in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and California. In addition, the Trust has an ownership interest in approximately 1.0 million square feet of retail space through a joint venture in which the Trust has a 30% interest. Our operating portfolio (excluding joint venture properties) was 95.3% leased to national, regional, and local retailers as of September 30, 2013, with no single tenant accounting for more than approximately 3.4% of annualized base rent. Federal Realty has paid quarterly dividends to its shareholders continuously since its founding in 1962, and has increased its dividend rate for 46 consecutive years, the longest record in the REIT industry. Federal Realty is an S&P MidCap 400 company and its shares are traded on the NYSE under the symbol FRT.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Wizard of Oz and Twister @ Hoover Theater

Playful People Productions has two family-oriented shows coming up at the Historic Hoover Theater.  The first will be a traditional musical rendition of The Wizard of Oz performed by their youth cast next weekend. The second is Twister, a parody performance by their teen and adult cast the following week (the Saturday show will benefit the Cindy Mulcahy Scholarship Fund). More information and links to tickets below.
Playful People Productions Presents:
The Wizard of Oz

After a tornado sweeps Dorothy Gale from her Kansas home, she lands over the rainbow and wakes up in Land of Oz. Dorothy and her three newfound friends journey on a quest to find heart, brains, courage, and most importantly, home. Click your heels together and join Scarecrow, Tin Man, Lion, Dorothy and her little dog Toto, as they journey through the magical land of Oz to meet the Wizard and obtain their heart’s desire. Join us for a musical adventure for the whole family!

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

Show Times:
Friday, April 4th  7:00pm
Saturday, April 5th 10:00am,  2:00pm and 7:00pm
Sunday, April 6th 10:00am and 2:00pm

Tickets available at
$12 attendees 12 and up, and $8 children 11 and under

Tickets at the door (30 minutes prior to curtain)
$15 attendees 12 and up, and $10 children 11 and under

Playful People Productions ALSO Presents:
Twister – a Wizard of Oz Parody 

After a tornado sweeps Dorothy Gale from her Kansas home, she lands over the rainbow and lands in Oz.  But the tornado has followed her to Oz and it keeps mixing up Dorothy and her three new-found friends on their quest to find heart, courage, brains and most importantly, home. Come along with us as we see the world over the rainbow in a whole new way in this mixed up twist on this classic musical. You will laugh out-loud and tap your feet to some familiar tunes for this surprising evening in Oz.
All Shows at the Historic Hoover Theater, 1635 Park Ave  San Jose, CA 95126

Show Times:
Friday, April 11th  7:00pm
Saturday, April 12th  2:00pm and 7:00pm*

Tickets available at
$15 per person in advance

Tickets at the door (30 minutes prior to curtain)
$20 per person

For questions:

* This show will be a fund raiser for the Cindy Mulcahy Scholarship Fund. This fund provides tuition assistance for Participants in need who so financial assistance so everyone can enjoy the excitement of live theater.

Playful People Productions provides a quality, caring environment in which children, youth & their families have positive theatre experiences, while being involved in many aspects of on-stage/ back-stage theatre. Our company fills a need of providing beginning through advanced theatre for the whole family to the community. The founders have expanded the program to include classes & summer camps.

Playful People Productions is run by mother-daughter team, Barbara Galiotto & Katie D' Arcey, who between them have approx 50 years experience in the musical theatre world. Both are Positive Discipline trained & worked as early Childhood Educators as well as in theatre. Both have worked as professional directors with children's theatre for many years.

For each production, Playful People Productions employs professional designers, artists, choreographers and directors to guide our students. The company also hires experienced college & high school students to do jobs in the production such as directors, stage managers, lighting, make-up, & set designers, choreographers and assistants. This allows students to gain work experiences in all aspects of theatre. The goals of Playful People Productions are: to provide the community with a variety of performing opportunities for children, youth & families to experience; to challenge young people in the community; provide a safe, caring environment; and to involve parents in a wholesome, well-rounded activity. The founders believe that a good theatre experience will greatly improve the lives of the children, youth and families in our community.

Skyline Condos

Housing prices in Silicon Valley are astronomical, but there are still a few good deals in town. Skyline was converted from a rental building to condos not long ago, and their one-bedrooms start at $370k. They also have special financing available that lets buyers own a home for just 3% down.

What I like about this location is that it is a stonesthrow away from both Downtown San Jose and Willow Glen, and it is right on both the Caltrain line and Light Rail. I heard that there can be some noise from the trains for some of the units, but besides that it looks like a great place to live at a surprisingly low price. The amenities include open floor plans, granite kitchen countertops, an outdoor kitchen/BBQ, and a swimming pool that they are adding by summer.

Speaking of the pool, they are doing a groundbreaking party & BBQ on April 5th, from 11am to 12:45pm. You can find out more info about this event over here. To learn more about the condos themselves, visit

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Saturday Stats: San Jose Ranked #5 Best City for Overall Well-Being

Gallup has ranked the best and worst cities for "well-being" and San Jose did quite well. The data is based on more than 500,000 interviews where people were asked about their emotional and physical health, their job satisfactions, community safety, and access to food, shelter, and health care. In overall well-being, San Jose came in 5th while SF landed the 9th spot on the list.

The top 10 cities for overall well-being:

1. Provo-Orem, Utah
2. Boulder, Colo.
3. Fort Collins-Loveland, Colo.
4. Honolulu
5. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif.
6. Ann Arbor, Mich.
7. Naples-Marco Island, Fla.
8. San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles, Calif.
9. San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, Calif.
10. Lincoln, Neb.

Source: USA Today, Hat-tip to Barclay Livker for sending this in!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Another San Jose IPO: A10 Networks

We have another public company in the area! Last week A10 Networks had their Initial Public Offering (IPO) and raised $187 million. A10 sells hardware that speeds up the delivery of web applications as well as manage bandwidth and network identity. The money will be used to build up the company's engineering, sales, and marketing departments. If you are looking for a tech job, now may be a good time to head over to the A10 website.

A10's corporate headquarters is located a 3 West Plumeria Drive in North San Jose.

Source: SVBJ

2nd San Jose Chick-fil-A Grand Opening on April 3rd

The first Chick-fil-A in Silicon Valley opened at the @First shopping center in North San Jose a couple years ago. On opening weekend, it had one of the longest lines I have ever seen for any restaurant. Chick-fil-A is hoping for a repeat of that success with their second San Jose restaurant at 2280 Monterey Road near The Plant. As is tradition, they will be giving away a free year supply of Chick-fil-A to the first 100 people in line. Bring a tent if you plan to be one of those people! (Side-note: entertainment, music, and food will be provided for campers.)

Chick-fil-A is also partnering with Sacred Hearts Community Service to host a food drive on April 2nd. For every five food items brought for the food pantry, guests will receive a coupon for a free Chick-fil-A entree. More info below in the press release.

April 3 Opening of San Jose’s Newest Chick-fil-A Restaurant Creates Nearly 70 Jobs;
First 100 Adults in Line at New Restaurant to Win Free Year’s Supply of Chick-fil-A Meals
New Stand-Alone Restaurant at 2280 Monterey Road to Host Food Drive with Sacred Heart Community Service
                SAN JOSE, Calif. (April 3, 2014) – San Jose’s newest stand-alone Chick-fil-A® restaurant at 2280 Monterey Road will open April 3, bringing nearly 70 new jobs and the chance for 100 adults to win free Chick-fil-A meals for a year as the chain marks the 50th anniversary of its signature Chick-fil-A sandwich.
                Chick-fil-A’s “First 100” event, which began as a way to celebrate the first stand-alone Chick-fil-A in Arizona in 2003, immediately became the cornerstone of every Chick-fil-A grand opening when the first person arrived more than 18 hours the day before, wondering where to get in line. Others soon followed and by the time the restaurant opened for business the next day, more than 100 were waiting.
                 Humbled and surprised by the dedication of its fans, Chick-fil-A quickly implemented the “First 100” at every grand opening and in the past 10 years has given away almost $21 million in free food at more than 750 grand openings.
The new San Jose restaurant will be the scene of the latest Chick-fil-A grand opening celebration. The first 100 adults, ages 18 and older with identification, in line when the doors open about 6 a.m. on Thursday, April 3, each will win a one-year supply of free Chick-fil-A® Meals (52 meals consisting of a Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich, medium Waffle Potato Fries™ and a medium drink) – a total of more than $30,000 in free food. The line officially opens at 6 a.m., Wednesday, April 2, with the free meal cards being awarded Thursday, April 3, around 6 a.m. The restaurant will open for business immediately thereafter. If there are more than 100 people by 6 a.m. on Wednesday, April 2, all 100 spots will be determined by a drawing held that morning with those selected needing to camp out to secure their spot. For complete rules, see Chick-fil-A First 100 Promotion.
In conjunction with the First 100 celebration, the new San Jose Chick-fil-A is partnering with Sacred Heart Community Service to host a food drive at the new restaurant between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m., Wednesday, April 2. Chick-fil-A Owner/Operator Shannon Balderas will award a coupon for a free Chick-fil-A entrée for every five non-perishable food items donated. Sacred Heart provides essential services, empowers people to improve their lives, advocates for justice and inspires volunteers to love, serve and share.
The new restaurant comes 30 years after Chick-fil-A first opened in California in a Cerritos mall in 1984. After 20 years of operating in several Southern California mall locations, Chick-fil-A opened its first two stand-alone restaurants 10 years ago in Chino Hills and Irvine in early 2004. The new restaurant on Monterey Road will be the second Chick-fil-A restaurant in San Jose, joining the first Bay Area stand-alone Chick-fil-A which opened on Headquarters Drive in 2012. The two are among 68 restaurants operating in California. The newest San Jose Chick-fil-A is the first of nine restaurants projected to open in California this year bringing nearly 600 new jobs to the state and is among 88 new locations the chain is opening nationwide this year, creating more than 6,700 new jobs overall. Chick-fil-A opened more restaurants than ever before in 2013 with 114 new locations added across the country. 
With a degree in kinesiology, Balderas graduated from the University of Texas and then pursued her Masters in social work at the University of Houston. After a career as a Houston Police Department lieutenant and District leader of security at Target, Balderas decided to pursue the dream of becoming a Chick-fil-A operator almost four years ago. A Santa Clara County resident, Balderas, her husband Rogelio and their family look forward to serving their community.
 “Our focus on freshly prepared food and personal customer service is as central to our new restaurant as it was the day Truett opened his first Chick-fil-A location,” said Balderas. “That commitment continues for me and my team members at our new San Jose location where we can’t wait to continue welcoming and serving our guests in the community.”
The new restaurant seats 111 and has warm colors and wood accents. It offers the convenience of free Wi-Fi and features the chain’s latest interior and kitchen design. Additionally, customers will find that the chain’s dual drive-thru ordering point design helps to expand its award-winning drive-thru service.  With a majority of customers at Chick-fil-A stand-alone restaurants choosing drive-thru, the ability for two drivers to simultaneously order should mean quicker service. Families can also enjoy the interactive play area. The restaurant is open Monday through Saturday from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., serving a full breakfast menu until 10:30 a.m.
It was 50 years ago that Truett Cathy first began serving his boneless breast-of-chicken sandwich, pressured cooked and served on a buttered bun with two crucial pickles, at the Dwarf Grill in Hapeville, Ga. It was the signature menu item when the first
Chick-fil-A restaurant opened in 1967 and though many other selections have been added over the past five decades, it remains the centerpiece of the menu as the chain has grown to more than 1,803 restaurants in 39 states and Washington D.C.
Chick-fil-A continues to win industry accolades including Men’s Health “Eat This, Not That” 2013 edition which again gave the chain high marks (A-) and named it one of the top two restaurants providing healthier menu options.
For more information on the San Jose Chick-fil-A restaurant visit on Facebook at Chick fil A Monterey & Tully.

About Chick-fil-A, Inc.
Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A, Inc. is a family owned and privately held restaurant company dedicated to serving the communities in which its restaurants operate. Credited with inventing the chicken sandwich, Chick-fil-A serves nutritious, freshly prepared food in 1,803 restaurants in 39 states and Washington, D.C.

Founded by S. Truett Cathy in 1967, Chick-fil-A produced sales of $5 billion in 2013. Chick-fil-A was recognized in 2013 as one of America’s “Most Inspiring Companies” by Forbes Magazine and “Best Places to Work” by Glassdoor™, among other honors. More information on Chick-fil-A is available on the chain’s website, located at

Thursday, March 27, 2014

March 2014 Downtown Dimension Highlights

Here are my notes from the latest edition of Downtown Dimension:
  • 43 new Downtown San Jose eateries have opened in the past 18 months, representing 20% of the total restaurants Downtown today [Josh: a bit less than 20%, but still a huge number]
  • Da Kine Island Grill opened on March 8th and Paper Plane opens next month.
  • The Downtown Street Life plan is gaining traction and will provide 40 different projects aimed at creating more comfortable spaces Downtown.
  • Blackbird tavern is now using the neighboring space for private parties and events.
  • Electric Cloud has moved its Sunnyvale headquarters and about 70 employees to 35 S. First St.
  • A 20,000 SQFT space at 130 Almaden will become Paul Mitchel The School, hosting 30 employees training 200-25 cosmetology students at a time.
  • Free ultra high-speed internet is being offered as an incentive for companies that choose to locate in one of six older Downtown buildings with high vacancies.
To read the full newsletter, click here!

2014 PAC*SJ Historic Photo Contest

In celebration of Preservation Month this May, the Preservation Action Council of San Jose (PAC*SJ) is hosting their 2014 Historic Photo Contest. In order to participate, all you have to do is send photos of historic structures or artifacts in San Jose to The name, category (student or adult) and a description of the photograph must accompany each photo submission. Also, photos must have been taken in 2013 or 2014 and should be in a jpg format. The deadline for submission is April 27th. The winners reception with awards and prizes will take place on June 5th at the Southern Lumber Company, 1402 Monterey Highway, San Jose.

"The mission of this contest is to promote historic preservation by raising awareness of San Jose's historic resources, to celebrate the efforts to preserve our city's history, and to recognize the irreplaceable historic resources that are threatened."

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Taurinus Brazilian Steakhouse in Downtown San Jose

Taurinus has just opened up where Nazca Peruvian Restaurant and Zenon's Peruvian were previously located at 167 San Fernando. They made some great renovations to the space by opening up the walls and ceiling and creating a giant open space. The new owners also greatly enhanced the bar space.

Taurinus is now the second Brazilian steakhouse in San Jose, where a couple months ago we had none. It compares quite favorably to Fogo do Chao in Santana Row and is slightly more traditional. There has only been one other Brazilian Churrascaria Downtown in the past, and it was Maceio on 1st Street. I think Taurinus manages to top Maceio at every level.

There are 14 different meats, which you can find listed below. They even have one of my favorite delicacies, chicken hearts! My favorite meat is usually the Sirloin/Picanha, but at Taurinus the Pork Ribs blew me away. As is expected at a Brazilian steakhouse, the meats keep on coming until you feel like you are about to fall over. They also serve you a side of Yucca, fried plantains, and awesome cheese bread.

As good as the meats were, their sidebar was equally as good and is perhaps the best side-bar for any Brazilian place I have been to. I highly recommend starting with a plate of rice, topping it with some beans, adding farofa (the powdery stuff), and topping it with some spicy oil. This will go well with any of the meats served at the restaurants and could even be a standalone meal. The side bar also features an assortment of cold cuts, veggies, salads, and deviled eggs. I would be willing to come back for the side bar alone.

Save some room for dessert as well. My wife and I shared a caramel flan (Pudim) which was delicious. I also have to mention that the service was exceptional throughout the meal. Fantastic addition to Downtown San Jose--the owners should be proud and I wish them a lot of success.

Ensemble SF Concert @ Le Petit Trianon on Monday

The new chamber music group Ensemble SF is performing at the beautiful Let Petit Trianon in Downtown San Jose on Monday (March 31st) at 7pm. The group consists of musicians from the SF Symphony, Ballet, and Opera orchestras. The concert will be family-friendly, dynamic, and will even include a tango dancer for one of the pieces.

To learn more about the group, visit To buy tickets, just head over here and put in the code "sjblog" for a $5 discount on both general and student/senior tickets.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

1908 - The Great Race

In the latest minute-long San Jose history lesson courtesy of WMS Media, learn about the 1908 Great Race and their pit-stop in Downtown San Jose! As an added bonus, here is a PDF from the Sourisseau Academy with several historical photos of San Jose.

1908 - The Great Race from WMS media Inc. on Vimeo.
Learn about how the 1908 Great Race route came through San Jose and how drivers stopped at the famous Lamolle French Restaurant on San Pedro and Santa Clara Street!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Ginormous San Jose Tech Campus Approved!

A campus of ten--yes ten--seven story buildings was just approved last week and is going to break ground this year where Bay 101 now sits. The project will span 2 million SQFT and employ up to 10,000 people. Whichever company occupies it will instantly become the second largest employer in San Jose next to Cisco. The company was not announced yet, but we know it will be a tech company, it's on the Fortune 100 list, and they already have some presence in Silicon Valley. My best guess is either Microsoft or Amazon.

The total cost to build out the campus will be at least $700 million. Another interesting fact is that the entire approval process for this mammoth project took only six months. The City of San Jose really fast-tracked this one and hopefully they will continue to keep up this pace for future development.

Source: USA Today, SocketSite IndiGoGo Campaign

A new community events website focused on Downtown San Jose is looking for crowdsourced funding to get off the ground. The mission of the project is better connect people, places, and events in our City's core. Matt Spergel, the proprietor of, also believes that this project has the potential to improve Downtown's image, bring more people Downtown, strengthen the community, and encourage new culture.

The perks for contributing to the campaign sound pretty great. They range from chocolate bars and t-shirts, to snacks at a variety of Downtown restaurants, invites to the launch party (complete with magicians, DJs, and laser beams). High rollers can even get a private dinner Downtown with Al Alcorn (the inventor of Pong), Lee Felsenstein from the Homebrew Computer Club, or even Daniel Kottke (Steve Jobs' hippie friend).

Please have a look at the campaign over here. Let's support these projects that will help make Downtown a better place!

DTSJ final from Matt Spergel on Vimeo.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

History San Jose Yard Sale Next Month

History San Jose is throwing Yard Sale in the Park on Sunday, April 27th from 10am to 2pm. Admission will be free to the public that day. Everyone is invited to host their own table, but the deadline to register is April 1st. History San Jose will even have their own booth with books and an assortment of items.

There will be food available (including Treat ice cream at O'Briens Cafe) and live music by Fiddle Road. For more info, check out the release below.


History San José to Host Yard Sale in the Park
Free Admission to History Park
Sunday, April 27, 10 AM to 2 PM
(Deadline to register for a booth is April First – No Fooling)
San Jose, CA – February 24, 2014 --- Springtime is house-cleaning time. Right? Well, right, with a little incentive. History San José will host a SpringYard Sale in the Park. It has been said that one person’s junk is another one’s treasure. So start cleaning.
The public is invited to host their own table and sell their wares at the Yard Sale in the Park at History Park, in Kelley Park, on Sunday, April 27 from 10 AM to 2 PM. Host your own booth of used lamps, grandma’s china, toys, and anything else taking up space at home. Booths of wares will be positioned inside the park. The deadline to register for a booth is April 1st --- no fooling.
“We love to host events in our own back yard at History Park,” said Juanita Lara, Director of Events of History San José. “The Yard Sale in the Park is a great venue because we have a 14-acre ‘backyard.’”
Even History San José’s Collection Center is getting in on the action. There will be an HSJ book booth, offering duplicate, unuseable, or deaccessioned books for sale, as well as an assortment of other items.
As always, food will be available for purchase, and O’Briens Café in the Pacific Hotel will feature San Jose own’s Treat ice cream. Live music by Fiddle Road and other food vendors will be a part of the Yard Sale event.
Registration must be received by April 1 --- no fooling; booths for non-members are $20 each; booths for members and affiliates of HSJ are free. Entrants must register to sell, and provide their own equipment, tables, chairs, canopies, etc.  Register by contacting Juanita or calling 408 918-1045.
Memberships are available from $50 by contacting Michelle Powers or 408 521-5016.
“The Yard Sale in the Park is better than a garage sale, a block sale, or sitting in your own driveway, added Alida Bray, President and CEO of HSJ. “It’s fun!”
For more information call 408 287-2290 or visit
History Park is located at 1650 Senter Road, between Phelan and Keyes at the south end of Kelley Park in San José, CA  95112.  For GPS tracking, History Park is at 635 Phelan Road in San José, CA  95112.
# # # 
About History San José: 
History San José is a non-profit organization that collects, preserves and celebrates the stories of diversity and innovation in San José and the Santa Clara Valley. HSJ manages one of the largest and most comprehensive regional history collections in the State of California, from 1784 Spanish governmental records to twenty-first century Silicon Valley technology. 
History San José     1650 Senter Road     San José, CA  95112      408.287.2290
Facebook: /historysanjose
Twitter: @historysanjose
History Park at Kelley Park is located at 1650 Senter Road, between Phelan & Keyes in San Jose. For GPS mapping use 635 Phelan Avenue. City parking is available for $6.  For more information or call 408 287 2290.

Potholes Along Foxworthy Avenue

It's clear we need to do some repairs on our streets, but it looks like someone took matters into their own hands to warn drivers of road conditions =). The sign below when up on Foxworthy between Meridian and Ross Avenue.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Saturday Stats: SAP Center Infographic

Check out the infographic below courtesy of that compares the SAP Center in San Jose to the average house in America.

Friday, March 21, 2014

San Jose Patent Office May Nab Retail Space

We already know that the US Patent and Trademark Office is taking up both the 14th floor of the San Jose City Hall and the second floor of the wing. However, it looks like they want even more space. The Patent Office has their eye on a 5,500 SQFT retail space on the first floor of the Council Wing. This space has been vacant since 2005.

The Patent Office would use this for public facing activities, which could help bring more activity to the area. It would have made a nice spot for a cafe as well, but I'm not going to complain. We want to advertise as much as possible that we have a satellite US Patent and Trademark Office in San Jose--the only one on the west coast!

Source: SVBJ

Thursday, March 20, 2014

February 2014 Downtown Dimension Highlights

Here are my notes from the latest edition of Downtown Dimension:
  • A Downtown San Jose Street Life Plan is being developed to guide PBID investments over the next 10 years. The plan encourages social interaction, is pedestrian friendly, will enhance the image and brand of Downtown, and will amplify pride in the community. 
  • Business licenses taken out within the Downtown Business Improvement District increased from 2,050 to 2,112, showing that more businesses are locating Downtown.
  • The San Jose Museum of Art has launched an online database of its permanent collection of more than 2,400 works of art. You can access these at
  • The Downtown First United Methodist Church across from City Hall held an open house and its first worship celebration on Jan. 12th.
  • Koji has remodeled and reinvented itself as Nomikai on 48 S. First St.
  • CREAM opened on Feb 1st at 27 Post St.
  • Ozu Sushi is now open at 86 S. First St. in the former Smile Sushi location.
  • The Louisina Bistro is open at 19 N. Market.
  • Curry Pundits is open at 30 E. Santa Clara St., Suite 130.
  • MUJI has started carrying a variety of Japanese snacks such as cookies, chips, crackers, candy, chocolates, teas, and coffees.
  • The City Department of Transportation intends to install 1,200 Smart Meters in the Downtown core by the end of March. Eventually users will be able to pay using their phones or download an app that will direct them to unused spaces.
To read the full newsletter, click here!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

On The Cusp Pop-up Shop @ Black & Brown

Shona Sanzgiri is a writer/editor from San Jose that has been commuting between New York and here for the last six months. He's trying to bring some elements from New York over here in a variety of projects. His latest one is a pop-up shop at Black & Brown on the Alameda  featuring the work of clothing designers, artists, photographers, and writers from both NYC and SJ.

Some of the items will include limited prints, photographs, clothing, accessories, and random curios & tchotchkes from places like Bombay's Thieves Bazaar, a photo-book by Diane Keaton, a napkin Harmony Korine once drew on, etc.

The pop-up shop will be open for two weeks starting March 22nd. The opening reception will run from 5pm to 8pm tomorrow and feature food & refreshments by Dena Cooks (Tunisian Table, America's Test Kitchen). For more info you can check out the On The Cusp website.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Affordable Housing Project Opening in East San Jose

Mayfair Court features 93 units of affordable housing across a 1.44-acre site at 65 McCreery Avenue. It has a surprising amount of amenities for this kind of project as you can see below. The total cost is going to be $23 million and it will include 56 two bedroom units that will rent from $663-1,129 and 37 three bedroom units that will go for $763-$1,301. Rents are based on family income, and you need to make less than $50,650 a year to even qualify. Needless to say the waiting list is already completely full.

Sleek interior finishes with floor to ceiling windows
Modern kitchens with energy efficient appliances and espresso cabinetry
Private patios and balconies
Energy efficiencies, including dual pane windows
Central heat and air conditioning
Spacious master suites with plush carpeting
Ceiling fans
Designer tile flooring
Wheelchair accessible

Gated Community
Fitness center with cardio equipment
Covered gated parking
Public Wi-Fi area
Fully furnished clubhouse
Computer center
On-site laundry facilities
Children’s playground area
Beautifully landscaped courtyard
Walking distance to shopping and restaurants
Easy access to public transportation
On-site maintenance
Recycling initiatives
Non-smoking community

Source: SVBJ

Licks Screening at Camera 12 Tomorrow

LICKS is filmed on location in the Bay Area with a cast and crew that was born and raised here. It was a first time experience for everyone involved, yet the movie has received quite a bit of attention after its premiere last year at SXSW. It is coming to San Jose for a one night screening at Camera 12 tomorrow. You can find out more about the movie over here.

LICKS follows the story of a young man, D, as he returns to his Oakland neighborhood after serving two years in prison for a robbery gone wrong. In the days after his release, we are taken into D’s world while he navigates the harsh realities that plague his inner city community. His judgment is tested by the insidious influences around him, forcing D to decide what direction to take his life.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Another Apartment Project Proposed for Midtown

Fairfield Residential is proposing yet another dense project for midtown over at 800 W. San Carlos where the Cheim Lumber Yard used to be. Unfortunately there has not been much movement on previous projects such as the Ohlone (with 800 units). This new proposal is still in the very early stages, but they are shooting for 315 apartment units. You can't make out too much from black and white drawing below, but it does look like the design will be more eye catching than many of the apartment projects that have been recently built. It kind of reminds me of The Pierce which will go up in Downtown's SoFA District.

The plans also include a respectable and appreciated 23,500 SQFT of retail/restaurant/office space on the ground floors oriented along West San Carlos. Lightrail will also be nearby, providing plenty of transit options thanks to a quick connection to Diridon. I really hope to see this come to fruition soon instead of linger like some of the other midtown projects.

Source: SVBJ

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Virgin American Leaving SJC

Some bad news today. Virgin America is leaving SJC.  I was really excited when they announced that they were coming to our airport, but was always worried they would be destined for failure from the start. Instead of adding a new route that would be a huge value add to Silicon Valley residents, they chose instead to go with four daily flights to LAX. Guess what, San Jose already had two dozen flights to LA each day.

If they went with a new route instead of a highly competitive one, they would have been much better off. ANA is doing really will with over 80% occupancy on their route to Japan. Hopefully future new carriers will be more like ANA and less like Virgin.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Saturday Stats: #1 Apartment Boom Town

SpareFoot ranked the top apartment boom towns in the US, and San Jose took the pole position on the list with San Francisco coming in 8th. The analysis looked at the total apartments per person, population growth, the percentage of people spending more than 35% of their income on rent (lower numbers are better), per-capita personal income growth, per-capita GDP growth, and growth in per-capita construction permits for new apartments. The article is an interesting read (especially on how Detroit made the list) and you can access it here.

The Way to San Jose
Here is SpareFoot’s ranking of America’s Top 15 Apartment Boom Towns, in descending order.
  1. San Jose, CA
  2. Austin, TX
  3. Houston, TX
  4. Grand Rapids, MI
  5. Nashville, TN
  6. Dayton, OH
  7. Portland, OR
  8. San Francisco, CA
  9. Dallas-Fort Worth, TX
  10. Oklahoma City, OK
  11. Seattle, WA
  12. Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN
  13. San Antonio, TX
  14. Des Moines, IA
  15. Detroit, MI
San Jose’s continued job growth, along with its shortage of affordable entry-level homes, encourages younger workers to look for apartments, said Matthew Mahood, president and CEO of the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce.

“The apartment housing market has responded to this increased demand and has built and will continue to build new projects. In fact, there are two high-rise projects being built simultaneously in downtown San Jose that will provide for nearly 700 for-rent units in the next two years,” Mahood said.

Source: The SpareFoot Blog

Friday, March 14, 2014

2014 State of the City Address

Below is a video of Mayor Chuck Reed's final State of the City Address. His speaking points included SJC, connecting BART to Downtown San Jose, the A's, community reforms, green-tech, budget deficits, homelessness, taxes, and public safety.

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BLINK Exhibit March 15th

from: Phantom Galleries by PG
San Jose Art Salon Presents BLINK.

Please join us for an art expo of vastly different styles that are sure to please the versatile taste of all art lovers.

Everything changes in the blink of an eye.

Opening event: Saturday March 15, 2014, 7-10pm, free

Art By:
  • Shannon Amidon 
  • AtreyArt
  • Anthony Barbaria 
  • Brande Barrett
  • Julie Barrett Bilyeu 
  • David Canavese 
  • Jennifer Pizarro-Cordiglia 
  • Lorinda Farfan 
  • Gretchen Kisler 
  • Mark Martinez 
  • Kristen Pollock
Music by: Alex Pansoy

Delicious treats provided by: TEA-Rex catering.

Exhibition runs from March 15th through March 29th.

Hosted by: 2905 Gallery, KLOK radio and Lourdes Morante-Mieses 
2905 South King Road, San Jose, CA

Thursday, March 13, 2014

New LPA Offices in Downtown San Jose

LPA is an Architecture, Design, and Master Planning firm that has taken over the old Northwester Mutual space at 60 South Market Street. Their portfolio is quite impressive and they are known for modern and sustainable projects. Have a look at some before (black & white) and after photos of their stunning new Downtown San Jose home.

Japantown Art Walk Tomorrow

Come check out a new Art Walk in Japantown featuring Empire Seven Studios, Cukui, and 2Twenty5. The galleries will be open until at least 9:30pm and there are a ton of great places in the area to grab a bite before or after the walk. I hope this becomes a regular event like South FIRST FRIDAYS!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Silvery Towers Approved by City, May Break Ground in 2014!!!

My favorite news always seems to come from Nathan Donato-Weinstein from the Silicon Valley Business Journal. Once in a while something comes along that really makes my day, and this would qualify.

The city council approved Silvery Towers today, a dual tower 643-unit rental project with a whopping 20,000 SQFT of retail on the ground floor to compliment the neighboring San Pedro Square Market. The towers will be 228 feet tall and look phenomenal. This would be one of the most modern, Silicon Valleyish designs of any high-rises Downtown. I especially like the LED lighting on the 3rd to last render below. This would also be the largest residential project ever built in Downtown San Jose.

It gets better... the developer (KT Properties) is already meeting with potential partners to get the $250 million to fund the project and is planning to break ground in 2014 with the first units ready to lease in 2016. Ideally both towers would be built simultaneously, although one would start six months before the second.

The SVBJ article dropped a few other interesting nuggets of information. The retail pavilion in front of the towers will have a rooftop terrace and a basement bar (Singlebarrel 2 anyone?). They also might be doing a rooftop cafe (!) on one or both of the towers. Good day indeed.

Source: SVBJ