Saturday, February 28, 2015

San Jose Ranks as 6th Most Racially and Linguistically Diverse City in America

WalletHub has crunched Census data and ranked the 350 most populous US cities on racial and linguistic diversity. San Jose fared extremely well and came out as the 6th most diverse city in the country. San Francisco was 13th and Oakland was 14th. Also worth noting is that San Jose came in 5th specifically for language diversity and Sunnyvale came in 3rd.

Source: KQED News

San Jose is America's #1 Most Innovative Tech Hub

This may not come as a shock to anyone in Silicon Valley, but the San Jose metro has been ranked as the most Innovate Tech Hub in the US by a mile. The key factors that led to this concusion were the number of patents per 1,000 residents, the financial support behind innovation (VC funding), and the economies of agglomeration (were companies like startups are clustering together). San Francisco came in a distant third based on the scores. Surprisingly, Boulder made it to second due to substantial startup clustering. Also worth noting is the fact that San Jose has 27 patents filed per 1,000 residents, which is dramatically higher than any other city in the US.

Source: NerdWallet

Friday, February 27, 2015

Boston Properties Planning New Tech Campus in North San Jose

Three aging buildings at Boston Properties' North First Business Park are being cleared to make way for a brand new tech campus that could have up to 1.5 million SQFT of office space across seven buildings between 5-11 stories. However, it looks like these will likely not be built speculatively. Boston Properties is waiting for an anchor tenant before beginning construction.

There would be some retail included as part of the project along North First and some of the parking will be underground. The new campus will either be built in two or three phases depending on how large that first anchor tenant is. More details in the source link below.

Source: SVBJ

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Tons of New Santana Row Stores

Several new Santana Row stores have either opened in the last few months or are about to open. These include Annieglass, BoConcept, Bonobos Guideshop, Lou & Grey, Letarte Swimwear as well as two new places to eat: Pressed Juicery and Roots & Rye. You can read all about the new stores and eateries in the press release below!

San Jose, CA (Feb. 18, 2015) – New-to-the-area stores and eateries are enlivening the always-evolving scene at Santana Row. Next month, iconic Bay Area glassware company Annieglass is opening a retail store conveniently located for out-of-town visitors and local collectors. Also gearing up for a spring opening, Roots and Rye, a restaurant/whiskey lounge by renowned Bay Area restaurateur Chris Yeo.

Recently-opened shops new to the San Jose area include Pressed Juicery, offering healthy hydration; BoConcept, providing furniture and professional interior decorating services in one stop; and Bonobos, a menswear store that combines the best of e-commerce and bricks-and-mortar retailing and could become the future of shopping.

Update on parking - An additional 750 parking spots are now available at Santana Row. The new spaces include:
More than 650 spots are available at Santana West, the parking lot on Winchester Boulevard next to the Winchester Mystery House.
More than 300 spaces can be found behind Misora and Levare, the luxury apartment communities on Hatton Street.
Subtracting 180 spots for the new construction going on at 500 Santana Row, it’s more than 750 new spaces. It brings the total to more than 3,800 parking spaces at The Row!

Opening March 2015

Annieglass sustainably produces luxury, handcrafted glass tableware completely in the United States. Studio-headquartered in Watsonville and founded in 1983 by award-winning artist Annie Morhauser, Annieglass captures the beauty of imperfect, handmade glass through a special “slumping” process that ensures dishwasher safety and durability. One of the very few American-made glass studios still in production, Annieglass can be found in the finest stores, on many bridal registries and is collected by celebrities and used by professional and home cooks worldwide. In 2006, Annieglass became part of the Smithsonian Museum of American Art’s permanent collection and most recently won the ARTS Green Award for Eco-Sustainability.

Santana Row marks the company’s newest venture. The 1,179 square-foot store, located next to Left Bank Brasserie, will feature Annieglass’ handmade glass tableware, gifts for the home and a beautiful selection of jewelry from around the globe.

Roots and Rye restaurant and bar
Opening spring 2015

A warm and inviting gastro-lounge, Roots and Rye plans to specialize in whiskey-based cocktails and a progressive American menu featuring rustic and familiar flavors that showcase local products and ingredients. The 6,384-square-foot space will feature stylish, comfortable seating, communal table options and an inviting patio, in addition to an open kitchen and an expansive whiskey collection behind the bar. It is the newest dining venture of the Straits Restaurant Group, which owns Straits and Sino on The Row.

The restaurant will be located near Park Valencia, next door to Maggiano’s Little Italy in Park Valencia. In the coming weeks, please check for updates.

Opened February 7, 2015

BoConcept is the brand name of Denmark’s most global retail furniture chain offering contemporary furniture and professional, customized consultations in one stop. Visit the 3,603-square-foot store to update your home with modern-design furniture and get advice from skilled interior consultants who can help you make inspired choices for your rooms.

It’s an affordable luxury concept that takes the anxiety out of shopping for furniture.
Located next door to The Container Store, the Santana Row location is the second to open in the Bay Area. BoConcept began in Denmark in 1952 and is now in 60 countries.

Bonobos Guideshop
Opened late January 2015

The e-commerce-based menswear company opened its second Bay Area “guideshop,” where shoppers can touch and feel the clothing and find the perfect fit with the help of experienced staffers. Customers will then be sent their purchases a few days later. The 1,489-square-foot Santana Row space next to lululemon athletica features Bonobos’ signature chinos, khakis, shirts, blazers and seasonal clothing. Appointments are advised, but walk-ins are welcome. Bonobos founder is Andy Dunn, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and Stanford University graduate.

Lou & Grey
Opened holiday 2014

From the company that owns Ann Taylor and Loft, the Lou & Grey store feature women’s clothing described as “easy, texture-rich essentials for every day.” Pieces include comfortable, yet stylish pants, casual dresses, sweaters, jackets, T-shirts that can be worn for work, play our lounging. The 2,514 square-foot-store is located next to Madewell. The store hosts a  spring trends shopping event with blogger Jeanne Chan from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 1.

Pressed Juicery
Opened holiday 2014

Offering juice cleanses and cold-pressed juices, Pressed Juicery opened its first San Jose location on Olin Avenue, near Urban Outfitters. The 893-square-foot store features drinks that are blended daily and personalized to your taste and lifestyle. The juices are made with a hydraulic press, a machine that squeezes an entire fruit or vegetable into a pulp, extracting three to four times more than the average juicer. Founded in Southern California, its top menu items include Greens 2 (a blend of kale, spinach, romaine, parsley, cucumber, celery, apple and lemon), Detox 2 (pineapple, green apple and mint) and Almond Milk (almonds, dates, vanilla bean, sea salt and filtered water).

Sunglass Hut
Opened holiday 2014

There’s always a need for shades in California and Sunglass Hut carries a big selection of brand name and designer eyewear for men, women and children. The store is located next to Pizza Antica restaurant.

Letarte Swimwear
Opened late fall 2014

Offering stylish bathing suits and cover-ups perfect for tropical travel, the Maui-based brand, created by sisters Lisa Letarte Cabrinha and Michele Letarte Ross, opened a 1,080-square-foot store on Santana Row, next to Gucci. The label, started in 2000, includes swimwear, coordinating cover-ups and sportswear.

The Hawaiian authenticity and exclusivity of the Letarte label blends a bohemian island essence with chic global aesthetics that the duo have made recognizable around the globe. Lisa is the sister who designs and lives in Maui. She infuses her jet-setting island lifestyle and the spirit of Aloha into Letarte's signature trademarked prints, intricate adornments and lavish detail.

About Santana Row

Santana Row, a 647,000 square foot mixed-use development in San Jose, CA, is Silicon Valley’s premier destination for shopping, dining, living and working. Santana Row features over 70 shops, 20 restaurants, a boutique hotel and movie theatre. In addition to the dynamic retail & restaurant collection, Santana Row offers 615 luxury rental homes, 219 privately owned condos and 65,000 square feet of Class A office space. Santana Row is a property of (NYSE:FRT), headquartered in Rockville, Maryland. For more information, please visit

About Federal Realty

Federal Realty is a recognized leader in the ownership, operation and redevelopment of high-quality retail based properties located primarily in major coastal markets from Washington, D.C. to Boston as well as San Francisco and Los Angeles.  Founded in 1962, our mission is to deliver long term, sustainable growth through investing in densely populated, affluent communities where retail demand exceeds supply.  Our expertise includes creating urban, mixed-use neighborhoods like Santana Row in San Jose, California, Pike & Rose in North Bethesda, Maryland and Assembly Row in Somerville, Massachusetts. These unique and vibrant environments that combine shopping, dining, living and working provide a destination experience valued by their respective communities.

Federal Realty’s 89 properties include over 2,600 tenants, in approximately 20.2 million square feet of retail space, and 1,500 residential units. Federal Realty has paid quarterly dividends to its shareholders continuously since its founding in 1962, and has increased  its dividend rate for 47 consecutive years, the longest record in the REIT industry. Federal Realty shares are traded on the NYSE under the symbol FRT. For additional information about Federal Realty and its properties, visit

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Family Justice Center Getting Some Skin

It looks like the facade is starting to go up on the Family Justice Center under construction in Downtown San Jose. While not our tallest new building, it is visible from many parts of the Downtown area and will add some extra depth to our skyline. Thanks David Cheung for sending in the photo!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Valley Fair May Be Getting Upscale Movie Theater and Ultra-Premium Home Store

More details of Valley Fair's expansion and renovation are leaking out. Apparently Old Navy and Sports Authority are not high-end enough. The mall is planning to tear down both of these buildings along with a Chase Bank and build a new 86,000 SQFT addition with a ShowPlace ICON movie theater and Pirch home store. The Chase Bank will be rebuilt as a two-story freestanding building along Stevens Creek.

ShowPlace ICON is a high-end movie theater with a lounge that features a fancy menu and cocktails. Inside the screening rooms you'll find premium seating for those 21 and over, complete with over-sized loveseats. Tickets will likely be in the $20 range. There are only two ICON movie theaters in the US.

Pirch is an ultra-upscale home store where you can walk out with an oven that costs more than a fully-loaded Tesla. Upon entering the store they will give you complementary blackberry limeade and a spa robe so that you can test out their shower heads in the store itself. If Pirch gets built, it will be the first in all of Northern California.

For more details, hit the source link below.

Source: SVBJ

Monday, February 23, 2015

Joint Venture 2015 Silicon Valley Index

Every year Join Venture puts out a Silicon Valley Index that discusses a variety of topics from the economy to governance and challenges that our region faces. There are always tons of interesting stats in these publications.

Lynn Peithman Stock from the SVBJ has a nice breakdown of how some Silicon Valley stats compare to San Francisco over the last year:

Silicon Valley new jobs: 57,591 (11k up from the previous year)
San Francisco new jobs: 18,499 (4k down from the previous year)

Silicon Valley new patents: 17,000
San Francisco new patents: 1,900

Silicon Valley IPOs: 23
San Francisco IPOs: 5

Silicon Valley startups: 8,600
San Francisco startups: 7,400

Click here to read the entire report (or scroll down for highlights). You can also watch the video briefing below.

Highlights of the 2015 Index include:
Jobs – The number of new jobs grew by 4.1 percent, bringing the region’s job total to nearly 1.5 million. Silicon Valley added 57,951 new jobs between Q2 2013 and Q2 2014; San Francisco added another 18,499 for a total of 76,450 in Silicon Valley and San Francisco.
Investment– Venture capital investments in Silicon Valley and San Francisco shot up, reaching $14.5 billion in the first three quarters of 2014 alone – more than in any other year since 2000. San Francisco’s share was $7.1 billion, a 68 percent spike over 2013. Cleantech venture capital investments increased dramatically as well in 2014, reaching an all-time high of nearly $3.3 billion.
IPOs/M&A – 23 of the 275 U.S. Initial Public Offerings in 2014 were by Silicon Valley companies, three more than the prior year. As of Q3 2014, Silicon Valley was on pace to reach 2013 merger and acquisition activity levels, while San Francisco exceeded the number of deals in 2013 in the first three quarters of 2014 alone. During that time period, there were 560 M&A deals involving Silicon Valley companies, and 403 involving San Francisco companies.
Innovation – The number of Silicon Valley patent registrations continued to rise, reaching 16,975 in 2013 (1,910 more than the previous year). The largest share (40 percent) of the patents was in Computers, Data Processing and Information Storage, with another 24 percent in Communications.
Population – The entire Silicon Valley region (including Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties, Fremont, Union City, Newark and Scotts Valley) grew by nearly 42,000 people between January 2013 and January 2014. During that period of time, Santa Clara County was the fastest growing county in the state at 1.5 percent – nearly twice the growth rate of the state as a whole (0.9 percent) – and a few Silicon Valley cities (Campbell, Milpitas, Foster City and Morgan Hill) grew three to four times faster than the state.
Income – Average annual earnings (including wages and supplements) in Silicon Valley and San Francisco as of Q2 2014 were $116,033 and $104,881, respectively, compared to $96,663 in the nine-County Bay Area, $70,847 in California and $61,489 in the United States. Median household income in 2013 in Silicon Valley was $94,534 and $79,778 in San Francisco.
Housing – Home prices and rental rates continued to rise in 2014, with a median home sale price of $757,585 (7.5 percent higher than 2013 and more than $360,000 higher than the median price throughout the state) and an average rental rate of $2,333 per month (11 percent higher than 2013) in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties.
Commercial space – The amount of approved development hit skyscraper levels in FY 2013-14 to 12.9 million square feet – nearly twice the floor area of the Pentagon, the largest U.S. office building. This amount of net non-residential development is far more than any other year over the last decade, and is 2.6 million square feet more than the last peak in 2004.
Published annually since 1995, the Silicon Valley Index findings are reported in five major sections: People (talent flows and diversity); Economy (employment, innovation and entrepreneurship, commercial space, income); Society (preparing for economic success, early education, arts and culture, quality of health, safety); Place (environment, transportation, land use, housing); and Governance (city finances and civic engagement).
The 2015 Silicon Valley Index is accessible online at www.siliconvalleyindicators.organd may be downloaded from the Joint Venture website at
About Joint Venture Silicon Valley

Established in 1993, Joint Venture provides analysis and action on issues affecting the Silicon Valley economy and quality of life. The organization brings together established and emerging leaders—from business, government, academia, labor and the broader community—to spotlight issues, launch projects and work toward innovative solutions. For more information, visit

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Google Donates $1M to Support Lick Observatory

It's nice to see Google giving back to the San Jose community, where many of its employees are housed. The search giant has committed $1 million over the next two years to help keep the doors open at the historic Lick Observatory, which has been responsible for many discoveries and important astronomical projects over the years. The gift is equivalent to one fourth of the center's annual operating budget.

Lick Observatory is one of San Jose's most prominent landmarks and is the only observatory in the UC system where astronomy and astrophysics students can design and build their own astronomy projects. A vote of confidence from a company like Google will go a long way to attracting other Silicon Valley donors.

Source: The Merc

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Saturday Stats: San Jose is #1 For Advanced Industry Sector Employment

San Jose has the greatest share of advanced industry employment in the country. Advanced industry includes tech, engineering, and energy jobs that drive innovation. In fact, it took first by a mile. 30% of employment in the San Jose metro is in the advanced industry sector. Seattle came in second at 16% and San Francisco was in 5th with 14%.

Why is this important? Not only are these the jobs that drive economic growth in the country, but the pay is spectacular. In 2013, workers in this sector nationwide raked in an average of $90k a year. However in Silicon Valley, that number is doubled to an astounding $180k per year.

Source: SiliconBeat, Brookings Institute

Friday, February 20, 2015

San Jose Convention Center Getting The Alternative Press Expo

APE (The Alternative Press Expo) is moving to San Jose and will take place on October 3rd and 4th. APE is an annual indie comics show that was previously hosted in San Francisco. One of the key goals will to make APE in San Jose a multi-venue event with additional programming in the SoFA District across the street.

The San Jose Convention Center also hosts the mainstream Big Wow Comics Fest each April. Landing another comics convention is a big win for the local arts community.

Source: Comics Beat

Thursday, February 19, 2015

More Murals Coming Downtown!

Erin Salazar is creating a group of professional artists called The Exhibition District to paint murals on the sides of buildings throughout Downtown. Salazar has a bit of experience here, as she was the person responsible for the murals in Good Karma Vegan Cafe and Paper Plane. There are multitudes of boring windowless walls throughout the area that could become attractions with a bit of color and artistic creativity. With all of the traction Downtown has been getting lately, there has never been a better time to take our arts scene to the next level and show what local artists are capable of.

The San Jose Downtown Association and the Knight Foundation have already signed on as sponsors. Hopefully we'll see some projects from The Exhibition District underway real soon!

Source: MetroActive

Examples of Downtown Murals we have today:

Anno Domini (2006)
Andre Hart at SubZERO Festival (2014)

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

February 2015 Downtown Dimension Highlights

Here are my notes from the latest edition of Downtown Dimension:
  • The 25th Cinequest Film Festival will run from February 24th through March 8th and include nearly 300 events and features, including both US and World Premiers of films. In 1990 there were 3,000 Cinequest attendees... this year there will be over 100,000.
  • You can nominate one-of-a-kind, only-in-Downtown gems over here: (as well as see previous gems).
  • San Jose Jazz's Winter Fest 2015 will be in the SoFA District from February 27 to March 8th (coinciding with Cinequest).
  • There, There SJ is a clothing pop-up shop that has decided to stay Downtown past the holiday. Their store is on North Second Street. The Usuals and SJ MADE Playspace will also be remaining at the former Rep Theater lobby until at least the end of March, as will DH Co. and Good Concepts which are located in shipping containers right outside the former theater.
To read the full newsletter, click here!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Sharks are Moving Their Minor League Team to SAP Center!

The San Jose Sharks are going to be one of the first NHL teams to have their minor league (AHL) affiliate play in the same arena. The "minor league Sharks" are going to be moved from Massachusetts to San Jose this October, and will be playing 38 AHL home games at SAP. This is of course great news for Downtown, which will see even more visitors and activity during game nights. The AHL games will cost substantially less than the NHL games and will hopefully make hockey accessible to more people in the area.

Source: SVBJ

Monday, February 16, 2015

Mill Creek Building an Apartment Project on San Pedro

To say that the San Pedro Square area is on fire would be an understatement. Just as the Centerra tower is wrapping up, the two Silvery Towers broke ground earlier this month. Those three towers alone will add thousands of people to the San Pedro Square area. North of San Pedro, multiple projects are just waiting for the Julian Street realignment in order to get started. And yet... there is more.

The Mill Creek project will bring 8 floors of apartments right to the heart of the San Pedro Square area in what is now a parking lot. While not very tall, this infill project will create 204 new units as well as 9,500 SQFT of retail on the ground floor. One other neat feature is a new landscaped paseo next to Peggy Sue's that will also host some live/work units. This could add thousands of square feet on the retail side if the occupants choose to locate businesses on the ground floor.

This looks like another great project in the Downtown San Jose pipeline. The total cost will be around $90 million and Mill Creek is hoping to break ground by the end of the year. Oh, and the financing is already in place. This has the potential to move very quickly.

Source: SVBJ

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Playful People Productions Presents: Schoolhouse Rock Live! JR.

A pop culture phenomenon comes to the stage. From the Emmy award winning Saturday morning TV series in the 1970’s that taught history, grammar, math, science, and politics through clever, tuneful songs, Schoolhouse Rock Live! JR. definitely rocks. Visit “Conjunction Junction” to “Unpack Your Adjectives” while you “Do the Circulation”. Generation X-ers seeking a taste of nostalgia will delight in introducing their own kids to this good, clean, and educational fun! Come discover why this Schoolhouse Rocks!

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

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

Show Times:
Friday, February 27th - 7:00pm
Saturday, February 28th - 10:00am, 2:00pm and 7:00pm
Sunday, March 1st - 10:00am and 2:00pm

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

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

Founded in 2010, Playful People Production’s mission is to provide a quality, caring environment where children, teens and their families can have positive theater experiences. We strive to involve all family members in the many aspects of on stage and backstage theater in a safe and fun environment and offer participation in theatrical productions, classes, summer stock and camps for ages 3-93.
Playful People Productions is run by a mother-daughter team, Barbara Galiotto and Katie D’ Arcey, who between them have approximately 50 years of experience in the musical theater world. Both are Positive Discipline trained and worked as early Childhood Educators as well as in the theater.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

5th Annual Feathers of Fury Tomorrow!

Nothing says Happy Valentines day like hitting strangers in the face with pillows =). "Feathers of Fury: A Valentine's Weekend Pillow Fight" is going down tomorrow at high noon, somewhere in Downtown San Jose. As is tradition, the exact location will only be announced on the day of the event through social media. For all of the details, past event photos, and the eventual location... follow the Facebook event page over here.

FB: /pillowfightSJ
Twitter: @pillowfightsj
Instagram: #pillowfightsj

Main Event Page

Friday, February 13, 2015

San Jose's Fastback Networks Raises $15M

Fastback Networks is developing technology to improve the performance of LTE wireless networks, something I'm sure we can all appreciate. The cornerstone of their technology is to enable smaller cells that offload the primary cell towers.

A couple weeks ago, Fastback Networks closed a $15 million Series C funding round led by Harmony Partners. This brings the total investment they have collected since being founded in 2010 to $41 million.

Fastback is headquartered in North San Jose at 2460 North 1st Street, Suite 200. Its always nice to see venture funding coming to San Jose companies and not just Palo Alto and Mountain View startups.

Source: SVBJ

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Network Remedy Joining 110+ Tech Companies Downtown

Network Remedy is a cloud hosting and consulting firm. They are headquartered in Pittsburg, but wanted to open an office Silicon Valley in order to be closer to the majority of their clients. Network Remedy has decided to relocate 58 of their employees to an office at 4th and Saint James.

They chose downtown San Jose because of the ample social gatherings, mixers for young professionals, and the plethora of events Downtown. There are now over 110 tech companies in Downtown San Jose with more in the pipeline!

Source: SJ Economy News

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Content Magazine Pick-Up Party Today

Content Magazine's latest pick-up party is tonight in their new home at 38 West Santa Clara Street. This is the first issue after their merger with SVCreates. As is tradition now, the pick-up party will have live music, drinks, and food. No magazine treats their readers better! For more details, head over here.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

"A Love Letter to San Jose" Workshop + Free Food

This Thursday there will be a workshop at City Hall discussing how to make Downtown San Jose's public spaces more inviting and active. After the workshop there will be free food and a movie! To sign up, just head over here.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Hermitage Brewing Company Hosts 6th Annual Meet the Brewers Festival on Feb. 14

The quintessential local beer event takes place this Saturday, Feb. 14, 1-5pm, as San Jose’s Hermitage Brewing Company presents their 6th annual Meet the Brewers beer festival as part of SF Beer Week. Hermitage is located at 1627 S. 7th St.

It’s certainly one of my favorite events of the year, and I’ve made sure to attend every one since 2011. And what timely coincidence that the beer fest takes place on Valentine's Day.

Once again, Moveable Feast will provide food trucks, and SJMADE will host a local artisan showcase.

There will be live music and 25 participating breweries pouring over 50 beers, including San Jose breweries Clandestine, Gordon Biersch, Hermitage, Santa Clara Valley Brewing and Strike.

Carolyn Hopkins-Vasquez – Director of Marketing for Hermitage and Tied House – takes great pride in this local aspect. “From our music acts to food trucks to SJ Made and the breweries, everyone is connected to this area, which makes the event really special. Because of the explosion of the craft beer scene, we also have some new breweries that many guests may not have tried. Lots of the beer poured at this festival are not available on the mass market, which sets us apart from other craft beer festivals.”

For the first time, the event will be held under a large festival tent in their private lot, as well as in parts of the brewery area.

Tickets are $40 if purchased in advance and $45 at the door on Saturday for any remaining tickets. For more information, including to purchase tickets and to see the complete list of breweries, visit the Eventbrite page.

Proceeds will benefit two non-profits: the Can Do MS organization and the Bay Brewers Guild.

Note: I strongly recommend purchasing tickets in advance as recent Meet the Brewers events have sold out. I also think that the picture perfect weather forecast (75 degrees at last check) will add to the popularity of this event.

Downtown San Jose is Getting a Fire Museum!

A few weeks ago the San Jose City Council unanimously approved the sale of the old Fire Station No. 1 at 201 N. Market Street to the San Jose Fire Museum. The museum's backers hope to open the museum by 2020 and show off one of the largest collections of antique fire vehicles and equipment in the country. Currently the collections are in a city warehouse which is not accessible to the public.

The museum officials are now in the process of raising $14 million to renovate, retrofit, and expand the building. If it ends up looking anything like the drawing below, it will be a huge asset to both Downtown and the San Jose Metro. More info in the source link below.

Source: The Merc

Sunday, February 8, 2015

San Jose Stage Company presents Tony-Nominated Power Play "Venus in Fur" by David Ives --- February 4 through March 1

San Jose, CA – January 12, 2015 – San Jose Stage Company presents David Ives’ Tony Nominated Venus in Fur, with previews on February 4, 5, 6, press opening February 7, and running through March 1, 2015.
David Ives’ new play Venus in Fur has received multi-awards, including Tony Nomination for Best Play (2012). The play was also made into a Roman Polanski film, which premiered at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, also receiving multiple awards.
Venus in Fur is a sexy, provocative and funny. When young actress Vanda arrives several hours late to her audition for a play based upon the nineteenth century erotic novel by author Leopold von Sacher-Masoch (the inspiration for the term Masochism), the playwright-director, Thomas Novachek, is less than impressed. But Vanda's masterful performance flips the script on Thomas' expectations and turns the session into a tango for dominance between actress and director, woman and man. Hailed as "seriously smart and very funny" by The New York Times, VENUS IN FUR is a laugh-out-loud study of the politics of sex and power. David Ives’ modern adaptation of Venus in Fur is perfectly suited to The Stage in this mesmerizing two-person drama within a drama.
“The Stage is committed to presenting new work that provokes, engages, and deepens our perspectives,” noted Artistic Director Randall King. “David Ives’ new play Venus in Fur turns up the heat and raises the stakes in the classic battle of the sexes, illuminating timeless issues around gender, status and power -- we expect the play to stimulate, open up and expand the conversation.” 

    # # #  
Johnny Moreno* (Thomas Novachek) returns to The Stage, where he was last seen as Starbuck in The Rainmaker. Last season, at The Stage, Johnny portrayed MacHeath in The Threepenny Opera for which he received ‘Best Actor in a Musical’ at the Theatre Bay Area Awards (2014). Other roles for the company include Terry Malloy in On the Waterfront, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Blade to the Heat, Gibraltar and the title role in Steve Martin’s Picasso at the Lapin Agile. His other theater credits include. Promises, Promises, Camelot, My Fair Lady and Period of Adjustment at SF Playhouse, Displaced at Marin Theatre Company, Mary Stuart at American Conservatory Theater and Pentecost at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. His television and film credits include Betas, Callback (winner of the Chicago Indie Fest for Best Film), Upside Out (with Olympia Dukakis), Garden of Eden and I’m Still Here.
Allison F. Rich* (Vanda), an Associate Artist with the Company, returns to The Stage, where she was seen as Lizzie in The Rainmaker. Last season, she portrayed Lucy in The Threepenny Opera and was nominated as Best Featured Actress in a Musical by Theatre Bay Area Awards. Other credits with the company include, Bonnie in the new musical Bonnie & Clyde, It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, Reefer Madness: The Musical (where she also served as Musical Director), the World Premiere of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, the Regional Premiere of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (where she also served as Musical Director), the Regional Premiere of Reasons To Be Pretty and The Great American Trailer Park Musical. She has appeared at Oregon Cabaret Theatre, Capital Stage Company and 42nd Street Moon.
San Jose Stage Company’s production of VENUS IN FUR will be directed by Kimberly Mohne Hill. Set Design by Richard C. Ortenblad, Costume Design by Jean Cardinale, Lighting Design by Maurice Vercoutere and Sound Design by Cliff Caruthers.
RUN DATES: February 5 - March 1, 2015  
PREVIEWS:    Friday, February 4 & 5 at 7:30 pmSaturday, February 6 at 8 pm
OPENING:       Saturday, February 7 at 8:00 pm
SHOWS:          Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 pm
                        Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 pm
                        Sunday Matinees at 2:00 pm

WHERE:          The Stage - 490 South First Street, San Jose, CA

TICKETS:        $25.00 - $65.00
                        408.283.7142 |
                        Discounts for Students, Seniors and Groups
 # # #  
About San Jose Stage Company: 
Now celebrating it’s 32nd season, San Jose Stage Company is the South Bay’s leading professional theatre. The Stage is an award-winning theatre recognized for its devotion to new and cutting-edge work and for its commitment to showcasing high-quality talent. 
Ranked the 2nd largest theatre and 8th largest performance arts organization in Silicon Valley (Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal), San Jose Stage Company is an award-winning theatre, most recently earning (4) Theatre Bay Area Awards, including Best Musical Production of the Year 2014 for ‘THE THREEPENNYOPERA’  held at ACT (San Francisco). The Stage has earned a reputation for artistic excellence by providing high quality, edgy theatrical experiences that engage, educate and provoke audiences. San Jose Stage Company has produced over 155 productions, including 13 world premieres and 45 regional new works. 
Annually, The Stage employs over 150 artists, serves a diverse audience of 30,000, offers five core education and outreach programs and has housed over 500 independent performance groups. Located at the Gateway to the City’s Arts and Entertainment District, San Jose Stage Company, the SoFA Districts first arts anchor organization, continues to promote San Jose’s stature as a burgeoning regional arts center by providing live theatre experiences that enrich the quality of life in the community.

                                                            # # # 

BART Expansion to San Jose Getting Some Help from Obama

In Obama's proposed budget, $1 billion is earmarked for California transit. San Jose gets a nice shout out, since $165 million of that is to continue the BART expansion in Silicon Valley. Have a look at the source link for more details on the transit plans for California.

Source: LA Times, Hatip to Barclay Livker for sending this in!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Saturday Stats: The San Jose Metro Has the #3 Highest GDP Per Capita in the World

GDP (Gross Domestic Product) represents the value of all goods and services produced withing a country's borders over the course of a year. GDP per capita is an offshoot metric that looks at the average amount each individual produces in a given area, and includes everyone in the population even if they do not work.

It turns out that San Jose has the highest GDP per capita in the US and the third highest in the entire world. Only Zurich and Oslo ranked higher. San Jose's GDP per capita came in at $77,440 per person while San Francisco was $66,790.

Also worth noting is that San Jose is one of only 32 metros in the US that have fully recovered from the recession.

Source: SiliconBeat

CBS Video on Downtown Retail

Below is a short video featuring Adam Mayberry (from the DH Company) talking about his concept for a pop-up retail district in Downtown San Jose made up of shipping containers. This would be great in a number of open parking lots that we currently have.

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) – Looking to revive retail in Downtown San Jose, one entrepreneur is hoping to create a pop-up shopping mall created out of shipping containers.

Adam Mayberry had big ideas and just a little cash. So he built a small store into a shipping container and placed it in Downtown San Jose for the holidays. It worked, well enough for him to make a go of it year-round, selling custom designed sports apparel.

“The idea behind the shipping container store is that businesses could test the waters such as myself in downtown,” Mayberry told KPIX 5.

Now he’s thinking bigger. Mayberry wants to take his single concept store and blow it up, creating a sort of pop-up shopping district made entirely of shipping container stores with built in cafes and sitting areas.

“If you string four or five of these together, in our case we want about 15, then you have a critical mass of businesses, advertising to their customers and in turn bringing customers to their neighbors,” Mayberry said.

He’s now trying to sell the idea to downtown landowners, including operators of parking lots that could be flipped into the city’s newest mini malls.

“With pop ups, there’s a lower barrier to entry, a lower cost to get in,” said Daniel Harris of the Knight Foundation.

The idea has some big supporters, including the Knight Foundation and the San Jose Downtown Association.

“This could be a step into a potential brick and mortar establishment,” said Scott Knies of the association. “It has promise. You could see this happening really easily with some of the open space that we have.”

Retail has been one of the big missing links in Downtown San Jose for about the last 45 years, ever since the big suburban shopping malls like Valley Fair started gaining in popularity. There are blocks and blocks of vacant store fronts in downtown, and the stores that are open are often spread out making window shopping difficult.

They are not the most attractive things. But backers say they don’t have to be, they just have to be better looking than the blighted closed up shops that downtown has now.

Friday, February 6, 2015

New Panda Mural in Downtown San Jose (UPDATE)

Cardinal2007 from the San Jose Development Forum snagged a bunch of great photos of the new Panda Mural on 1st Street between San Fernando and Santa Clara Streets. Since we won't have retail on this side of the street anytime soon, it's a brilliant design to entertain diners along 1st Street. This may now be my favorite mural Downtown.

UPDATE: For more information on the artist and the mural, check out the PandaBloggin site over here!

Bonobos Guideshop Santana Row Now Open

The first Bonobos Guideshop in Silicon Valley is now open at Santana Row. Bonobos is a menswear e-retailer that is know for personalized/tailored fits and great customer service. While you try on the clothes in the store, you can have everything shipped to your home for free. Check out the description below of how the process works. Sounds like the perfect business model for Silicon Valley!

About the Bonobos Guideshop:

The Bonobos Guideshop brings Bonobos’ personalized and comprehensive shopping experience to life with a physical e-commerce store. The brick-and-mortar Guideshop offers men the opportunity to look, feel and try on current collections from Bonobos before purchasing, guided throughout the process by a skilled Bonobos Guide.

Once fit for style and size, customers can make a purchase at while at the Guideshop, through help from a Guide, or later at home. Sizing + order information is saved to an online customer profile for easy access later, and product arrives (with free shipping + returns!) 1-5 days after the order is placed.

How the Guideshop Works:

  • Make an appointment for a one-on-one fitting with a Bonobos Guide at; walk-in appointments are also welcome
  • Once you’re fit, check out at either during your Guideshop appointment, with the help of a Guide, or place your order at home later
  • Shipping is free and items are delivered to your doorstep in 2-5 days
  • Bonobos offers easy returns (free return shipping) and guarantees 100% customer satisfaction

South FIRST FRIDAYS Art Walk Tonight!

SoFA's monthly art walk is happening tonight, and there are two new venues joining that will bring the roster to 20 participating locations. Vyne Bistro on Paseo de San Antonio and Third Space CrossFit (next to MACLA) are the additions. The event starts at 7pm and runs until 11pm. For a preview of the art on display tonight, have a look here.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Sourisseau News: Whatever Happened to the Corner Market?

In the latest edition of Sourisseau News, you can see what San Jose's food markets and original supermarkets looked like. I really wish the Palace Market was still around--that would have been something very interesting to see. The video is only 2 minutes long and you can watch it below:

Whatever Happened to the Corner Market?” from WMS media Inc. on Vimeo.

Rockage 4.0: February 6-8 at the SJSU Student Union

Do you love video games? How about indie music? Rockage 4.0 combines the two all weekend long! In addition, this event has industry panels, classic arcades, and video game vendors. It's well worth checking out and is a great example of some of the unique events San Jose should be focusing on. Below you can see the music/panel schedule. For more info head here and for tickets head here.