Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Din Tai Fung Coming to Valley Fair

World-famous dumpling house Din Tai Fung has chosen their first (and perhaps only) Bay Area location... and it's not in San Francisco. Din Tai Fung is opening a flagship 8,200 SQFT restaurant in Valley Fair (next to J. Crew). There are only five of these restaurants in the US, three in the LA area and two in Seattle. When the Seattle one opened up, the lines to get in there were three hours long.

This is yet another big win for Valley Fair, which like it's neighbor across the street is bringing in multiple world-class stores and restaurants. This is likely only the beginning since they are about to start on a $600 million expansion that will make it the largest mall in Northern California come 2017. The expansion includes a 150,000 SQFT Bloomingdales, an ultra-premium home store called Pirch, a luxury movie theater, and a Santana Row-style outdoor restaurant/lounge area.

Source: SVBJ

Monday, March 30, 2015

237 at First Office Project Begins Construction

South Bay Development is moving forward with a 615,000 SQFT speculative office project in North San Jose at the intersection of Highway 237 and North First Street. Speculative means that they are building this without a specific tenant in mind. These types of projects typically only get built when the office market is on fire. It's a common practice in Palo Alto and Mountain View, but unfortunately there have not been many "spec" projects moving forward in San Jose. Perhaps that is about to change.

Construction is now beginning on the first phase of the $100 million project, which is broken across four buildings that will be six-stories or so each. South Bay Development acquired the land from Cisco three years ago. The project will also include some of the fun amenities that tech workers have come to expect such as outdoor space with volleyball, basketball, and bocce courts. 237 at First should be completed by June 2016.

Unfortunately there is no retail incorporated into this project, but the @First shopping center is just down the street and a new 150-room Homewood Suites by Hilton will also be built nearby. Now that office vacancy in all of Silicon Valley is below 10% and asking rents have increased 25% over the last four years, it won't be long before more of the surrounding vacant land is filled up.

Source: SVBJ (Subscription Required)

Saturday, March 28, 2015

The New Eastridge 24 Hour Fitness Opens Today

The eagerly anticipated 24 Hour Fitness at Eastridge Mall is finally open. The huge 38,000 SQFT gym includes stat-of-the-art equipment, a U-shaped indoor pool, a sauna, and a steam room.

Come join the Grand Opening Celebration is today from 9am to 2pm and you can take a tour, participate in exercise class demonstrations, or get a personal health and fitness consultation. Additional details are in the press release below.

New 24 Hour Fitness® Eastridge Super-Sport Club Opens In
“The Silicon Valley Capital”

SAN JOSE, CA – March 19, 2015 – In the shadow of its San Ramon corporate headquarters, Eastridge Center will become home to a new 24 Hour Fitness club which opens to the public later this month, in the heart of the newly remodeled section of the lifestyle shopping mall. The community is invited to the official Grand Opening Celebration on Saturday, March 28, 2015, from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., 2200 Eastridge Loop, Suite 1428, San Jose.

The new club’s knowledgeable staff springs into action on opening day sharing the benefits of functional fitness for prospective members—taking special note of the “Live, Work & Play,” message that defines the city of San Jose. Early birds will arrive first, eager to break in the new club’s state-of-the-art equipment and experience its amenities before the Grand Opening festivities officially begin.  During the Grand Opening itself, kids and families can explore the club and activities that enhance the ability to “live, work and play.”  Club tours, group exercise class demonstrations, including Zumba®, are scheduled throughout the day.  Guests are also encouraged to make an appointment for a personal health and fitness consultation—an enlightening and valuable ingredient to charting a successful fitness journey.

“Our Super-Sport will become a hub of fitness, health and wellness resources for San Jose residents where they live, shop and play,” said Tony Cigliutti, Club Manager.  “We’re thrilled with the opportunity to introduce our talented health and fitness team to the community and share how easy it is to incorporate fitness into everyday life.”

The new, modern club design features nearly 38,000 square feet of state-of-the-art equipment and amenities to help members stay active and healthy all year-round. Features include:

  • A U-shaped indoor pool, sauna and steam room
  • Cardio, strength and functional training equipment
  • Full schedule of Cycle and Group X® classes
  • Personal training services*
  • Kids’ Club
  • Towel service

To experience the new gym, download a free guest pass from 24hourfitness.com.

*Additional fees apply

About 24 Hour Fitness
Headquartered in San Ramon, Calif., 24 Hour Fitness is a leading health club industry pioneer, serving nearly 4 million members in more than 400 clubs across the U.S. For more than 30 years, the company has been dedicated to helping members change their lives and reach their individual fitness goals. With convenient club locations, personal training services, popular group exercise classes and a variety of strength, cardio and functional training equipment, 24 Hour Fitness offers fitness solutions for everyone.

Friday, March 27, 2015

New 150-Foot-Long Mural in San Jose

The fact that a mural this size can be completed in 5 days is pretty astounding. Check out some "making of" photos over here and the full description from Empire Seven Studios below.

From Empire Seven Studios:

Andrew Schoultz new mural in San Jose, CA

A couple weekends ago, we brought out Andrew Schoultz to San Jose, CA to paint a large scale mural. Completed in 5 days measuring at 150ft long x 24ft tall, this is the 11th mural part of the E7SWallSJ Project.

Below is an statement by the artist:
"Generally speaking, my approach to murals happens somewhat spontaneously and organically on location of the mural. I enter in with general ideas, and maybe an initial starting point image. In this case I wanted to begin with the idea of the vessel. To be more specific a vessel on its side or tipped over. A vessel's purpose is to carry water. In this picture there is not much water falling from the vessel, instead there appears dust clouds instead. I try very hard to incorporate social and political ideas into my public works, but I strive to keep it on a subtle level, that encourages a viewer to think about the picture and arrive at their own conclusion. Obvious political and social messages in public art and murals becomes nothing more than a message that preaches to the choir, and eliminates a viewer who does not subscribe to those particular politics or social messages from even considering or thinking about what they see.

With this particular mural, that I am loosely titling "Empty Vessel"  the underlying theme without being too obvious or didactic has to do with the water crisis that California is currently facing. To make a long story short, this is a catastrophic problem. Technically California has been considered in a drought for nearly 6 years, and no one really seems to care on any sort of mainstream level. Its typical in America for there to be huge problems going on, and as long as they do not effect our day to day life, they seem to be easily Ignored. So then comes in the huge Beast, or monster that appears in the mural. Perhaps the idea of there being a giant monster in the room that no one wants to talk about or deal with is a good description of this water crisis. The idea of outer space is also incorporated, in kind of a loose tongue and cheek sort of way, in that there is no water on the moon or in outer space for that matter, and outer space and the moon
are not inhabitable places. Living things cannot exist… etc.

On purely aesthetic level, I do also try to create walls that are fun to look at and create a dynamic experience for a viewer in the public space. I try to push forward with new and exciting painting techniques every time I do a wall. In this case I used a paint sprayer in ways I have never used one before…"

-Andrew Schoultz

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Coding Dojo Moves to San Jose

Coding Dojo is a computer programming boot camp that turns people into coders in just 3-4 months. They have recently moved their HQ from Mountain View to a larger and more modern space in North San Jose (1982 Zanker Road). Due to high demand, they are also hoping to open a second San Jose location in the next couple months.

In addition to the new digs, Coding Dojo has pledged to increase both female and minority enrollment. They have already gotten their female enrollment up from 10-15% to 25-30% in just the last six months.

The standard 12-week classes have 25-35 student "cohorts" and cost between $10,500 and $12,500. That sounds like a bargain compared to the astronomical salaries you can rack up in the tech world.

Source: SVBJ

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Hermitage Brewing Company to Tap Very Limited Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout

Hermitage Brewing Company is at it again with a very small batch, experimental beer scheduled for release in their Tap Room (1627 S. 7th St.) later today at 4pm.

Single Bourbon Barrel Aged 2 Tun is their Ale of the 2 Tun Imperial Stout aged in a bourbon barrel since 2012. The beer will be available in draft only and could be all gone within days after the initial release.

From Head Brewer Greg Filippi's tasting notes:
The whiskey character is strong up front and dominates the aroma, but beneath it lie the familiar chocolate and espresso notes of the stout. Whiskey shines through again as the beer crosses the palate, but quickly gives way to smooth, silky chocolate. That chocolate lingers in the finish, dancing with the sweet bourbon in perfect form, the way only years together can produce.
For the fortunate few who have sampled the beer, the excited reactions have been unanimous, and the Hermitage team is looking forward to having the public have their opportunity to come out and try the beer.

Hermitage will be hosting Brother Baby’s BBQ during tonight's release party.

I've written much more about this beer and Hermitage over at Examiner.com.