Monday, May 11, 2015

May 2015 Downtown Dimension Highlights

Here are my notes from the latest edition of Downtown Dimension:
  • Mayor Sam Liccardo laid out his vision to keep the momentum going Downtown, which includes:
    • "Build the heck out of it" - the current housing boom needs to be encouraged. We also need to see major transportation investment in order to support it, especially with BART. He also mentioned we need more high-end hotel rooms to attract more major events to the Convention Center.
    • "Take up the slack" - the existing commercial vacancy rate needs to come down and rents need to go up in order to see major new office construction Downtown. There are now 110 tech companies Downtown, and they want Class A space. Liccardo is encouraging converting Class B to Class A space in order to cater towards these tech tenants.
    • "Bring it outdoors" - with 300+ days of great weather, we need to leverage outdoor space. This means improving the Guadalupe River Walk, St. James Park, and implementing Street Life Plan projects.
  • The first Music in the Park concert this year will be June 18th and feature Grammy-nominated Reggae band Sister Carol.
  • SoFA Market Update
    • Two new SoFA Market venues opened: On The Flipside burger bar [Josh: had the Black & Blue burger there last week and it was great!], and The Fountainhead, a craft cocktail bar with architecturally themed drinks.
    • Coming soon:
      • Konjoe-Tei: Ramen from the owners of Konjoe
      • Hawaiian Poke Bowl: specializing in Poke rice bowls and Acai bowls
      • Milk and Wood: unique house-made gelato pops
      • Vitamina Juices & Blends - fresh juices, smoothies, and healthy snacks
  • The Ritz is bringing live music to the long-vacant building at 400 S. First St. Corey O'Brien is the proprietor (who also ran the Blank Club).
  • Red Rose Restaurant is now serving healthy Mediterranean fare at 30 E. Santa Clara St.
  • The AFK Gamer Lounge is now open in the former Los Gatos Brewing space.
  • SJSU construction projects totaling $320 million are currently in progress with more to come.
  • The city is moving full speed to make San Jose the country's best city to bike. Currently there are 236 miles of bikeways, up from 197 in 2009. 69 more miles are planned by the end of 2016 and a total of 164 more miles of bikeways by 2020.
  • The city installed 47 signs that encourage pedestrians to walk to a variety of Downtown destinations.
To read the full newsletter, click here!

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