Friday, July 29, 2016

The Fourth Annual Cafe Stritch RAHSAANATHON: A celebration of the life and music of Rahsaan Roland Kirk

If you enjoy Jazz music, Cafe Stritch has a multitude of events coming up next week as part of their fourth annual RAHSAANATHON. The events honor the life and music of Rahsaan Roland Kirk. For all of the details, please check out the press release below.

San Jose, CA – San Jose’s Cafe Stritch is proud to present its Fourth Annual RAHSAANATHON: A Celebration of the Life and Music of Rahsaan Roland Kirk from Wednesday August 3 through Sunday August 7, 2016

Dorthaan Kirk will be present for all festivities. The RAHSAANATHON’S main event is unique in the entire world. Rahsaan fanatics from around the country will converge on Cafe Stritch for their annual pilgrimage.

For three nights trombonist Steve Turre & The Eulipion All Stars featuring reedman extraordinaire James Carter (tenor sax / clarinet / flute) will create magic at Cafe Stritch. This ensemble will be reprising their three-night stands in 2013, 2014, and 2015. The group will be performing Turre’s arrangements of Kirk’s music Thursday August 4, Friday August 5, and Saturday August 6.  Poet Betty Neals, who co-wrote “Theme for the Eulipions” (the house anthem of Cafe Stritch) with Kirk, will perform the song live. The band includes Charles McNeal (alto sax / soprano sax), Matt Clark (piano), Marcus Shelby (bass), Darrell Green (drums), and Terrie Odabi (vocals). The concerts are from 8:30PM to midnight.

Tickets: $50 available at

The week’s festivities begin on Wednesday August 3. Cafe Stritch, in partnership with San Jose Jazz (SJZ), will screen Adam Kahan’s feature documentary film The Case of the Three Sided Dream at Camera 3 Theater (located one block from Cafe Stritch at 288 South Second Street, San Jose, CA 95113) at 7:00PM. The Case of the Three Sided Dream is the award-winning documentary about multi-instrumentalist Rahsaan Roland Kirk (1935-1977), who went from blind infant to child prodigy, to adult visionary, to political activist, and finally to paralyzed showman. A seemingly superhuman musical force who played literally until the day he died.  Kirk was a musical force beyond category.  He never let anything stop him from pursuing what he called "The Religion of Dreams”.

Following the film, there will be a question and answer session at Camera 3 with Adam Kahan, the movie’s director. This will be followed by a reception and panel discussion at Cafe Stritch at 9:00PM. Adam Kahan will be the moderator of a panel discussion including Dorthaan Kirk, Betty Neals, Steve Turre, and Sonelius Smith. As part of Cafe Stritch’s weekly all vinyl DJ Night (Wax Wednesday), Cafe Stritch’s Artistic Director Maxwell Borkenhagen will be playing a Rahsaan-themed set including Rahsaan classics and selections by related artists (no cover).

Tickets: $10 for movie tickets only / $20 for movie ticket and reception at Cafe Stritch including hors d’ oeuvres and one alcoholic beverage. Tickets are available at

On Sunday August 7 Cafe Stritch will host a birthday celebration for Rahsaan. August 7, 2016 would be Rahsaan’s 81st Birthday.  The evening will include New York based Rahsaan biographer and multi-instrumentalist John Kruth performing Rahsaan-related readings and songs. The evening’s main event is The Sonelius Smith Quartet featuring Claire Daly. The group includes Sonelius Smith (piano), Claire Daly (baritone sax / flute), Howard Wiley (drums), and John Shifflett (bass).  Smith played with Rahsaan on multiple recordings including Rahsaan Rahsaan (1970), Natural Black Inventions (1971), and Blacknuss (1972).  This is a musical homage to Rahsaan Roland Kirk in voice and music featuring tunes by RRK, his friends, and other kindred spirits. The concert will be celebrating Rahsaan, one of the most original jazz artists ever to live. The concert is from 7:00PM to 11:00PM.

Tickets: $15 available at

Cafe Stritch will be presenting the photographs of house photographer Ron Orlando from August 3 through August 31.  Mr. Orlando is a photographer who is passionate about photography and jazz.  He has been taking photos of jazz musicians since the 1980s. This exhibit is entitled Jazz Exploration. It is composed of photographs of jazz musicians taken at Cafe Stritch since 2014.

Press from past RAHSAANATHONS:

Other Information:
Tickets for all concerts are available at

Cafe Stritch is located at 374 South First Street, San Jose, CA 95113  (408) 280-6161

Thursday, July 28, 2016

SJC upgrading its "International Terminal"

Yes, I realize this is a second post about SJC this week. The airport is on a roll with adding new flights, especially international flights that bring millions of tax dollars, convenience, and recognition to our city. San Jose went from having two international routes a few years ago to eight (Guadalajara, Cabo San Lucas, Tokyo, Beijing, London, Frankfurt, Vancouver, and Shanghai). The airport is doing so well, it's time to expand the international facilities.

Despite flying out of SJC 100 times, I didn't get to got to fly internationally out of San Jose until a few weeks ago. My wife an I took a vacation to Barcelona and got to utilize the direct flight on British Airways from San Jose to London. It was an exceptional experience, far better than flying internationally through SFO or Oakland. On the way back, I finally got to go through San Jose's customs facility. I have gone through customs/immigration dozens of times, and have never had a better experience than San Jose. Even though we were sitting in economy, we were able to go from the plane, through customs/passport control, get suitcases, and be outside waiting for our ride within 15 minutes (!). If you fly a lot, you know this is pretty much impossible... not in San Jose.

The "International Terminal" is somewhere between Terminal A and Terminal B. On a return flight after going through customs, it spits you out in a place I never even knew existed in the airport that feels like it's from the 80s. This is the area currently being upgraded. The 5,600 SQFT project includes a second baggage carousel, an indoor waiting area for family and friends to welcome your arrival, a snack area, comfortable seating, and new restrooms.

The project will cost a total of $8.2 million (coming from unspent bond proceeds) and should be completed Spring 2017.

Source: ETN Global Travel Industry News

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Downtown San Jose's One South tower finally gets a tenant

After a whole year, one of the most central and well-trafficked corners in Downtown San Jose has been leased. One South is a high-end apartment tower bound by Santa Clara Street, Market Street, and San Pedro Street. Sadly, its three retail units have sat empty despite residents fillings up the 312 units upstairs. Now, a gourmet coffee shot with some food options is going to nab that prime 1,730 SQFT corner space at the intersection of Santa Clara Street and Market Street.

The tenant is Proper Cup, and they'll fit right in with the other high-end, non-chain coffee shop proliferating Downtown. Their focus will be on artisanal coffees and teas with great customer service. Proper Cup will also be offering sandwiches and soups.

If you happen to be one of the lucky residents of One South, you're about to get one more reason to love where you live. Proper Cup is going to offer room service to residents so they can order coffee and have it delivered without having to go all the way down the elevator.

Construction of the coffee shop will begin at the end of September with a goal to be open in November. One down, two more to go. The remaining retail units are 3,201 SQFT (corner space) and 1,603 SQFT.

Source: SVBJ

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

San Jose street art map

Brian Eder created a handy map showing you were to find murals and significant street art installations throughout San Jose. Now that everyone is walking around collecting imaginary pets, you might as well incorporate some of these murals into your walks. Many of these works are very impressive and and several were painted just in the last two years.

Source: “Find Beauty in the Streets of San Jose this Summer” by Cherri Lakey KQED Arts

Mural by Ian S. Young (Photo by Cherri Lakey)

Mural by Jeffrey Hemming (Photo by Brian Eder)

Mural by Galen Oback (Photo by Cherri Lakey)

Mural by Jamie Friedman & Notre Dame H.S. (Photo by Brian Eder)

Mural by LAuruS Myth (Photo by Cherri Lakey)

Street print design by Scape Martinez (Photo by Cherri Lakey)

Mural by Nosego (Photo by Cherri Lakey)

Monday, July 25, 2016

SJC gets nonstop service to New York metro

Finally, after all the amazing international additions at San Jose International Airport we are landing some new domestic routes. The most requested domestic route at SJC is between San Jose and New York. Currently we only have a red-eye flight (an overnight flight) to New York on JetBlue, and it's not even a daily flight. Now Alaska Airlines is stepping up to the plate and launching San Jose's first nonstop service to the New York area in quite some time.

The new flight will begin March 12, 2017 and uses a Boeing 737. It will depart seven days a week at 6:30am and arrive at Newark at 2:55pm. The return flight will depart Newark at 4:05pm, arriving back in San Jose at 7:40pm. Tickets will be available for purchase starting July 25th. The flight will be very convenient for both business and leisure travelers. I'll take an early flight over a red-eye any day of the week.

Alaska is also adding service from SJC to Burbank starting on March 17, 2017. Thank you Alaska Airlines for investing in San Jose!

UPDATE: Removed "first ever" based on comments below that American and Continental previously had nonstop service to New York.

Source: SVBJ

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Playful People Productions Presents: Disney Jungle Book KIDS

Our tale begins deep in the heart of the Jungle. A baby boy, lost and abandoned, is raised by wolves. He is called “Mowgli”. On the run from Shere Khan, a ferocious tiger who has banished him from the jungle, a human boy named Mowgli is aided by an agile panther named Bagheera. Along the way, the two meet a sinister snake named Kaa, a herd of elephants, and a giant bear named Baloo, who teaches them the swingin’ musical rhythms of the jungle. After surviving a dangerous encounter with a band of monkeys led by King Louie, Mowgli and Bagheera are forced to run for their lives. Shere Khan returns, leading our protagonists to rally their follow jungle creatures into battle and restore peace to the jungle.

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 Theater, 1635 Park Ave  San Jose, CA 95126

Show Times:
Friday, August 5th - 7:00pm
Saturday, August 6th - 11:00am, 3:00pm and 7:00pm

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 3-103

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Saturday Stats: San Jose is the 2nd healthiest region in the US

Great news, we just ranked as the second most "healthy" metro in the country. The study looked at two dozen measures of health factors and health outcomes (such as average lifespan).

San Jose has a very low premature death rate at 0.2%, an adult obesity rate of only 19.6%, and only 7.1% adults do not have health insurance. Only 9.1% of San Joseans smoke, the fourth smallest share of any US city. The best part is we ranked highest on the metric that is most important, life expectancy. Our average lifespan is comes in at an impressive 82.7 years.

Source: 24/7 Wall St., Thanks to Barclay Livker for sending this in!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Silicon Valley Beer Week kicks off tomorrow

If you love beer, you are likely going to enjoy the next 9 days. Dozens of beer-centric events will take place throughout Silicon Valley from July 22nd to the end of the months. These range from tastings, beer food-pairings, brewery tours, beer walks, and sessions with brewers. Given how quickly our beer scene is growing, I wouldn't be surprised if this ranks as the most impressive beer week to date for our region. For the complete list of events, head over to the Silicon Valley Beer Week events page!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Silicon Valley Comic Con is returning in 2017 bigger and better

Steve Wozniak's comic con has announced dates for its sophomore debut next year. The expanded event will run from April 21-23 at the San Jose Convention Center as well as neighboring Downtown San Jose venues (South Hall, The City National Civic, and the California Theatre).

Silicon Valley Comic Con 2017 features sessions with celebrities, tech innovators, scientists, comics, artists, video games, virtual reality, and consumer electronics. The inaugural 2016 event drew 60,000 attendees, making it the largest fan expo in Northern California and it generated $12.5 million in revenue for San Jose and local businesses. Next year's event will very likely exceed those metrics.

For more info check out the press release below or the Silicon Valley Comic Con website over here. VIP Platinum and Gold ticket packages are already available.

VIP Tickets on Sale Now for Steve Wozniak’s Pop Culture and Technology Expo

San Jose, Calif. - July 13, 2016 - Silicon Valley Comic Con (SVCC), Steve Wozniak’s popular expo celebrating the Age of the Geek will return to downtown San Jose the weekend of April 21-23, 2017. Over the course of the three-day show, the 2016 event welcomed 60,000 attendees who enjoyed a sold-out show floor of 350+ exhibitors and dozens of packed panels and fan Q&As. The largest fan expo in Northern California, Silicon Valley Comic Con generated $12.5 million of revenue for the city and surrounding businesses, making it one of San Jose’s largest revenue generating events. Pairing science with fiction, Silicon Valley Comic Con aims to inspire and entertain with celebrity appearances, science/tech discussions, film / TV screenings, panels with award-winning authors and artists, displays with comicbook artists, cosplay contests and more.

“Where else can you participate in Q&As with a renowned quantum physicist and the cast of ‘Back to the Future’ in one day? What an amazing time to be a geek!” said Steve Wozniak. “The first SVCC went well beyond everyone’s expectations, and we walked away from the event absolutely brimming with ideas for 2017. As technology and pop culture continue to drive each other, SVCC will showcase the best of Silicon Valley.”

After its successful inaugural year, SVCC has already outgrown the San Jose McEnery Convention Center. Three new surrounding locations will host SVCC events and exhibits: South Hall, The City National Civic, and The California Theatre, with more venue expansion plans in the works. In addition, Silicon Valley Comic Con is working closely with Team San Jose and the City of San Jose to increase public parking and public transportation options.

“Nearly 90% of SVCC’s 2016 attendees said they would recommend the show to their friends, and the most common feedback was that they wanted even more great content across exhibits, panels and opportunities to meet or hear from their favorite celebrity and tech icons,” said Trip Hunter, CEO of Silicon Valley Comic Con. “Expanding into a variety of new venues will allow us to bring even more compelling content our fans and partners are seeking.”

VIP Platinum and Gold ticket packages can be purchased today at VIP ticket package perks include early entrance to the show, priority panel entry, access to a private VIP lounge, private autograph signings and more.

To inquire about custom sponsorship and exhibitor packages or media partnerships, contact The exhibitor application is also available online now. For more information about SVCC, visit

With Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak at the helm, Silicon Valley Comic Con celebrates the Age of the Geek by bringing together America’s two greatest superheroes: pop culture and technology. Featuring top celebrities, tech innovators, comics, scientists, independent artists, cosplay, video games, virtual reality, consumer electronics, music, apps and more, Silicon Valley Comic Con is where the entertainment and technology worlds intersect. Silicon Valley Comic Con 2017 will take place April 21-23, 2017 at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center and surrounding downtown San Jose locations.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

San Jose Bus Rapid Transit overview video

VTA's first Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line is getting closer to reality. Despite several delays, the line connecting East San Jose and Downtown should be fully operational in 2017. The blue hybrid "accordian" buses are already being used on the route. These are the nicest buses in the VTA fleet with comfortable seating, free WiFi, and bike racks both inside and outside the bus.

When the BRT line is complete, each stop on the route will get stations similar to Light Rail. These will have real time information for arrival times, local artwork, bright lighting, and 24/7 security cameras.

The other major improvement that BRT will bring besides the stations is faster travel times. This will be accomplished using dedicated bus lands in the median of Alum Rock Avenue as well as transit signal priority (green lights will stay on longer if a bus is present). You also won't have to worry much about catching a specific bus since they are only 10 minutes apart during peak hours.

Have a look at the 3 minute video below for a quick overview of the new system.

Monday, July 18, 2016

New boutique hotel proposed on North Fourth Street

An aging 10-room motel at 1036 N. Fourth Street (first photo below) may be transformed in slick boutique hotel. The proposed project would have 60 rooms across four floors, underground parking, and an impressive rooftop terrace with a living wall of plants, a bar, and BBQ area. Speaking of BBQ, one of my favorite restaurants and one of San Jose's few Michelin-ranked restaurants is located down the block: Smoking Pig BBQ.

The proposed hotel is near the bulk of San Jose's tech jobs, making it a near guaranteed success during the workweek. The big question would be how well it could do on the weekends in this location. I hope they can make it work since it would be a big improvement over what is standing there now.

Source: SVBJ

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Playful People Productions Presents: Dear Edwina Jr.

This lively family friendly musical, chronicles the adventures of plucky Edwina Spoonapple, advice-giver extraordinaire, who wows her neighbors in Paw Paw, Michigan, via original musical extravaganzas performed in the Spoonapple Family garage  Edwina directs the neighborhood kids in her latest edition of her weekly "Advice-a-Palooza.” where Edwina and her friends will share wisdom on everything from trying new foods to making new friends through clever, catchy songs.  Dear Edwina JR is a show that unfolds into a virtual block party and will delight children, teens and adults alike.

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, July 22nd - 7:00pm
Saturday, July 23rd - 11:00am, 3:00pm and 7:00pm

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

For questions:

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 3-103

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Searchlight San Jose: A bet, a beating, and a basket

Losing is never easy, especially when the prize is the Stanley Cup you and have to send the mayor of the winning city a basket of gifts. Long story short, Mayor Sam Liccardo had a friendly bet with Pittsburg Mayor, Bill Peduto. The mayor of the losing team would have to send over a basket of treats representing his city.

So what was in San Jose's basket? Schurra's Fine Confections, La Vic's Orange Sause, Greenlee's Bakery Best Cinnamon Bread, Gordon Biersch beer, Fruit cocktail (invented in San Jose), J. Lohr wine, and Chiaramonte's Sausage. These are all items made locally here in San Jose with the exception of the fruit cocktail. To see a full breakdown of each item, head over to Searchlight San Jose.

What do you think? Is there anything missing from the basket that would better represent San Jose?

Friday, July 15, 2016

San Jose hosts "The Swings"

Starting on August 4th, you will be able to enjoy "musical swings" in Plaza de Cesar Chavez. The swings are an award-winning interactive art project that combines both exercise and music. As you swing, you will trigger musical notes. When multiple people coordinate their swings, they can generate melodies.

Musical Swings will be in Plaza de Cesar Chavez for the next two months and are available from 10am to 10pm daily. There is no fee to use the swings.

This project was sponsored by the Knight Foundation, the City of San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs, the City of San Jose Parks, Recreation & Neighborhood Services, the San Jose Downtown Association, San Jose Jazz, The Tech Museum of Innovation, ZERO1, Team San Jose, Adobe, Applied Materials, and City View Plaza.

Source: SJ Economy News

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Santana Row adding several new new retail and food options

You are going to see some new faces at Santana Row this year. Two stores have recently opened: Kendra Scott (1,470 SQF) which sells accessories and Makers Market (675 SQFT) selling handmade-in-America gifts. Below is a list of what else is coming in 2016.


  • SuitSupply (4,425 SQFT) - trendy men's clothier
  • Marine Layer (749 SQFT) - boutique clothing brand
  • Aesop (1,081 SQFT) - Australian skincare company

  • Smitten Ice Cream (kiosk at Park Valencia) 
  • Poke Bar (kiosk at Park Valencia)
  • Tacolicious (2,191 SQFT)
  • Splunk (234,000 SQFT) - Okay, so this isn't somewhere you can shop at. However, having a thousand extra workers at Santana Row will help liven things up during the workweek. 
Source: SVBJ

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Downtown San Jose Restaurant List Updates (2016 Q1 & Q2 Edition)

It has been a while since posting the latest list of Downtown San Jose RestaurantsWe are up to a grand total of 268 eateries! This is yet another record-breaking number for Downtown San Jose. Our little database had 206 eateries just five years ago. 60+ new restaurants in such a short period of time is pretty amazing.

Every time I have compiled the list, there have been significant closures. Not this time. Amici's and Da Noodle are the most significant that I am aware of since the last time this list was posted. On the other hand, there are many notable additions:
  • Sushi Confidential - Creative, non-traditional sushi that took over the former Sonoma Chicken space.
  • Olla Cocina - Vibrant Mexican cuisine in San Pedro Square.
  • 2nd Story Bakeshop - Killer bakery providing some of the highest quality baked goods in San Jose.
  • Ola's Exotic African Coffee and Tea - Yet another candidate for the best coffee in town. Highly recommended.
  • IPOH Garden - San Jose's first Malaysian restaurant.
  • Ludwigs German Table - San Jose's second German restaurant, situated in a unique ornate building with a lot of history.
  • SoFA Market
    • Hawaiian Poke Bowl
    • Milk and Wood
    • Vitamina Juices & Blends
  • COMING SOON (you can find all "Coming Soon" restaurants at the top of the list in the spreadsheet)
    • Chromatic Cafe (2nd St.)
    • Elyse Restaurant (1st St.)
    • Origins Juicery (1st St., former Discovery Store)
    • Mo's (W. Santa Clara St.)
    • Tac-oh! (SoFA)
    • Pizzetta 408! (SoFA Market)
    • Toasted Craft Sandwiches (SoFA Market)
    • Uproar Brewery (SoFA, former Zer01 Garage)
Below is the change log from the Downtown San Jose Restaurants Database:

11/1/2015Fahrenheit on San Feranando has closed and is being replaced by Pieology.
11/1/2015Added Sushi Confidential, coming soon to 31 N. Market
11/1/2015Added Pieology, coming soon to 99 E. San Fernando
11/8/2015McDonald's on San Carlos closed
12/12/2015Added Jade Leaf Eatery and Lounge at S. Market St. Suite 170
12/23/2015Added Takai Sushi and Sake Bar in the Fairmont Hotel (5 star Yelp rating)
12/31/2015Ayola Closed
1/10/2016Da Noodle closed on Santa Clara Street
1/10/2016Added Elyse restaurant as coming soon, taking the old House of Siam place at 151 S. Second.
3/12/2016Added Olla Cocina as coming soon to 17 N. San Pedro St.
3/21/2016Added 2nd Story Bakeshop, now open at 138 E. Santa Clara St.
4/2/2016Our House has replaced Mid GoGo at 185 Park Ave.
4/2/2016Added Ola's Exotic African Coffee and Tea at 30 E. Santa Clara Street #120
4/9/2016Chromatic Cafe is coming soon to 2nd Street
4/24/2016IPOH Garden has replaced 8 Treasure restaurant at 150 S. First St.
6/4/2016Added Ludwigs German Table, now open at 261 N. 2nd St.
6/5/2016Replaced Oni Mexicatessan at the San Pedro Square Market with Crepes & More
7/2/2016Replaced Amici's with Mo's at 225 W. Santa Clara St.
7/2/2016Tac-oh! is coming soon to 399 S. First St. (formerly First to Market)

If you haven't bookmarked it yet, here's the link to the spreadsheet! There is also a permanent link over to the right entitled Downtown San Jose Restaurants.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Sushi Confidential is now open in Downtown San Jose

Randy Musterer's acclaimed sushi joint has finally opened its San Jose location. The original restaurant in Campbell has become a tremendous success, leaving little doubt that Sushi Confidential will become an anchor restaurant in the San Pedro Square area. The restaurant specializes in creative, non-traditional sushi in a hip environment.

You can find Sushi Confidential over at 31 N. Market Street, former home of the original Sonoma Chicken Coop. They are open from 11:30am to 11:30pm, seven days a week.

Source: SJ Economy News

Monday, July 11, 2016

July 2016 Downtown Dimension Highlights

Here are my notes from the latest edition of Downtown Dimension:
  • Groundwerx continues to get high praise from Downtown property owners. The latest annual survey shows:
    • 92% satisfaction with the overall condition of Downtown
    • 93% approval rating for Groundwerx clean teams
    • 73% of respondents saw an improvement in overall cleanliness from last year
    • 49% of respondents saw an improvement in safety
    • 72% of respondents believe the overall image of Downtown has improved
  • Music in the Park still has three more concerts this year at Plaza de Cesar Chavez:
    • July 14: AC/DShe, The Killer Queens and The Drought
    • Aug. 4: Ozomatli and Sonido Clash Session
    • Aug. 25: Tower of Power with Super Soul Brothers
  • The first BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) stations along Santa Clara Street are nearing completion and the entire project--including East San Jose stations--should be completed by early 2017.
  • Voters approved a quarter-cent sales tax increase that will raise an additional $40 million each year. The extra funding will go towards:
    • Basic road repair and replacement of major arteries
    • Increase police staffing by 41 positions and community service officers by 19 positions
    • Keep fire companies open, double officers in squad cars, and improve traffic signal technology for more efficient emergency and medical responses.
  • Sund Construction is finishing the 850-bed Campus Village Phase 2 project just in time for the fall semester. This will bring SJSU's total capacity for on-campus housing to 4,000 students.
  • Mo's (breakfast and burger eatery) is coming to 225 W. Santa Clara St., replacing Amici's pizzeria.
  • Tac-oh! will serve 16 different tacos at 399 S. First St. (the former First to Market space).

Sunday, July 10, 2016

City Hall Rotunda

Cardinal2007 from the San Jose Development Forum has found yet another neat San Jose photo. The City Hall Rotunda has to be one of our top 10 architectural landmarks.

San Jose City Hall Rotunda by Night by Thomas Hawk, on Flickr

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Saturday Stats: the San Jose Metro is worth $419 billion

Thanks to soaring property values and new flagship office developments, the value of all real estate in Santa Clara County has hit $419 billion. That is $30.9 billion more than 2015 (7.9% increase). The biggest increases in assessed property value came from Mountain View, Santa Clara, and Cupertino (due to Apple Campus II). San Jose proper appreciated at a respectable 7% which unincorporated parts of the county saw the least appreciation at 0.89%.

Source: SVBJ

Friday, July 8, 2016

Toasted Craft Sandwiches broke ground at the SoFA Market

One of the two last empty spaces in the SoFA Market is now officially under construction. "Toasted Craft Sandwiches" will be coming to SoFA later this year along with another new eatery called Pizzetta 408. Also, if you guys haven't tried Milk & Wood's ice cream and gelato popsicles yet, you have to get on over there and try them out. The SoFA Market is located at 387 S. 1st Street in Downtown San Jose.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

ROEM builds 200 new affordable homes at 295-acre Hitachi master-planned community in San Jose

It is not easy to find affordable housing in San Jose. The good news is ROAM is just wrapping up 200 new affordable homes in South San Jose. The $46 million project is called Charlotte Park Apartments. The homes include several amenities including solar power, access to an outdoor BBQ, children's play area, a lounge, and a community kitchen/entertainment area. The bad news is that the project is already 100% leased. If you are in the market and meet the income requirements, it wouldn't be a bad idea to get on the wait list.

Charlotte Park is part of a much larger planned development that includes market-rate apartments, condos, townhomes, and a 10-acre park. For more info on Charlotte Park, have a look at the press release below.

$46 Million Charlotte Park Apartments’ 200 Affordable Multi-Family Residential Units Are 100% Leased and Near Completion

SAN JOSE, Calif. ― With the near completion of 200 new, affordable housing homes, the $46 million Charlotte Park Apartments in San Jose, Calif., is a great example of ROEM’s expertise in building a high quality affordable residential rental community located within a market-rate development. In this case, ROEM Corp. satisfied most of the affordable housing requirement of the Hitachi master-planned community, with ROEM Builders, Inc., acting as both general contractor and construction manager.

“While inclusionary housing policies provide a major source of funding for affordable housing, they can significantly reduce a developer’s return and create long-term obligations,” said Alex Sanchez, Executive Vice President of ROEM Corporation. “Our market-rate developer partners recognize the benefits of having ROEM act as their third-party general contractor. We assume their affordable housing obligations and pay the in-lieu fees while designing and building high-quality affordable housing that seamlessly blends with their market-rate housing. About 430 of our more than 3,000 new affordable housing units completed since 2000 were built by ROEM for a market-rate developer.”

Located on the former Hitachi Global Storage Technologies campus, Charlotte Park is part of a 295-acre master-planned community that will include condominiums, apartments, attached townhomes, many pocket parks, and a large 10-acre park with a baseball field. Charlotte Park is situated near the intersection of Cottle Road and Highway 85, and within walking distance from the Blossom Hill Caltrain station and the Cottle and Santa Teresa light rail stations. This $46 million development with the construction and permanent financing provided by Citi is affordable to families that make 60 percent or less of the Santa Clara County Area Median Income and provides an amenity-rich residential experience.

“Charlotte Park provides a safe haven to those who are being squeezed out of quality housing in Silicon Valley,” said Jay Abeywardena, Director at Citi. “We are excited to help support this initiative and believe this project will have a meaningful impact on the community.”

Charlotte Park Apartments gained an efficiency of management thanks to two other ROEM developments – Oak Grove Apartments and LEX Apartments – being constructed simultaneously within about a half-mile radius. Although these are separate projects managed by separate teams, ROEM was able to share resources from time to time because of their close proximity.

“With Alliant’s investment of nearly $15 million, Charlotte Park Apartments will provide an additional 200 units of much needed safe and affordable housing to the San Jose Area,” said Brian Goldberg of Alliant Capital, Ltd. “We are proud to be a partner in the development of this property and excited for the residents who will benefit from it for years to come.”

With ROEM’s emphasis on sustainability, Charlotte Park will be pursuing USGBC LEED Gold certification. Because both solar thermal heating and solar photovoltaic power sources are being installed, Charlotte Park has the potential to save up to 85% on utility bills when compared to electric water heating. Per LEED standards, all apartments have high-efficiency flush toilets and faucets as well as “Evolve Roadrunner” showerheads that are thermostatically controlled. In addition, Charlotte Park integrates efficient landscape design by using native species and zero turf on a lot designed to capture and treat all stormwater.

The amenity-rich, four-story apartment building (with 230-parking space garage) includes a courtyard with outdoor barbecue, dining area, tot lot and lounge area; community room with media alcove, kitchen and entertainment area; storage area; homework and computer room; and laundry facilities. Apartments will be equipped with Energy Star refrigerators and dishwashers, blinds, carpet, coat closets, and electrical four-burner stove/ovens.

With completion slated by the end of June, Charlotte Park is already fully leased.

About ROEM Corporation
ROEM Development Corporation, ROEM Builders, Inc., and their affiliated entities are a full-service development and construction organization that has specialized in the acquisition, planning, financing, new construction, renovation and asset management of market-rate and affordable housing throughout California for more than 30 years. Ranked in Affordable Housing Finance magazine’s Top 50 Affordable Housing Developers of 2015 list and a registered member of USGBC and Build It Green, ROEM is dedicated to creating wholesome communities that are not only sustainable but also designed smarter to ensure that residents are healthier, happier and safer. ROEM has completed more than 3,000 affordable housing units with more than 1,000 units currently under construction. For more information, visit

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Wednesday Wishlist: Lucas Museum in San Jose (Part 2)

Well, it's official. Chicago is no longer in the running for an iconic museum housing George Lucas' expansive art collection. The leaves San Francisco and Los Angeles to fight for the $1.5 billion project. That includes $700 million in construction costs, a $400 endowment, and $400 million worth of art, educational materials, and movie memorabilia. That would be the largest single philanthropic gift by a private citizen to any city in the US.

I think now would be the time for San Jose to throw its hat in the ring. George Lucas has received boatloads of opposition from both San Francisco and Chicago. Their loss should be our gain--let's welcome Lucas with open arms!

There are several locations in or near Downtown San Jose that would work, not to mention Kelly Park. I'm sure we could arrange to give him total creative freedom and some sort of incentives in exchange for having another world class museum in San Jose. These are the types of projects that will help elevate San Jose's culture and brand to the next level. We have a million well-educated, diverse, progressive residents and these are the types of projects we need to fight for!

Source: SVBJ

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

New renders of Museum Place, Downtown's most impressive high-rise proposal to date

I hope everyone has enjoyed the long weekend. It seems like it has been ages since we have had some really exciting development news. Thankfully, Nathan Donato-Weinstein from the SVBJ has come to the rescue with news on Museum Place. This is an epic mixed-use project first revealed last August.

The first formal plans for Museum Place have been submitted to the city, and the latest renders look even more impressive than before. Those plans include 213,820 SQFT of office space, 334 condos, a 143-room boutique hotel, 12,171 SQFT of retail, and a 60,000 SQFT expansion of The Tech museum (ground floor plus one level underground). There will be enough parking for 1,000 cars, all underground using a system where cars can be stacked on top of one another. The building will also have one of the slickest signage/lighting systems in Downtown.

Not only will this significantly change the skyline with a unique design, but it will help activate a paseo that runs between Park Avenue and the Convention Center. Getting a few projects like this in the area will be a game-changer! Check out the renders below and all of the details at the source link.

Source: SVBJ

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy Fourth of July!

The Rotary Club of San Jose and Symphony Silicon Valley are once again hosting a world-class fireworks show in Downtown San Jose this year. "Symphony Summer Pops" music will start at 5:30pm at Discovery Meadow. The fireworks show will begin around 9:30pm.

For more info, head over here.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Good Karma gets a new artsy paint job

One of the best Vegan restaurants and craft beer spots in Downtown San Jose has a slick new facade. Surprisingly, the was the first place Downtown to feature an assortment of rare craft beers. Now there are five such places within a 3 minute walk and about a dozen in Downtown San Jose. If you have yet to try out Good Karma--regardless of whether you are vegan or a carnivore--you must check this place out!

Source: Quadshock from The San Jose Development Forum, SubZERO via Twitter

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Saturday Stats: San Jose has the 4th highest percentage of upper class residents in the US

The Pew Research center conducted a study to see how income classes have changed over time in 229 US metros. Part of the study was highlighting the 10 metros with the largest percentage of upper-income populations. "Upper income" was defined by being more than double the US median household income relative to the national average cost of living. That means that very expensive areas are adjusted downward. Despite this, the San Jose metro can in 4th on the list, with 31% of the population considered upper class and a median household income of $187,390. San Francisco was 9th on the list with 28% of residents considered upper class and a median income of $185,290.

However, I would argue that if you have a household income of $187,390 in Silicon Valley, you are not wealthy and most likely in the upper middle-class bracket based on purchasing power. Likely you are not living in an extravagant house or enjoying a lavish lifestyle. If you have kids and a mortgage, you might barely be getting by. Check out the source link below for the top 10 list and more details.

Source: Business Insider, hat tip to Barclay Livker for sending this in!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Bryan Adams headlines Big Bang Concert on the Fourth of July

94.5 KBAY & Mix 106.5 fireworks viewing party gets even bigger

SAN JOSE – 94.5 KBAY and Mix 106.5 are bringing rocker Bryan Adams to San Jose’s premiere fireworks viewing party this Fourth of July.

Adams, known for hits including Cuts Like A Knife, Summer of ’69 and more, is on tour with his album Get Up!. Mix 106.5 and 94.5 K-BAY are hosting the show, which will include a great view of the Rotary Fireworks, food trucks, kids activities, pre-order BBQ, beer, wine and more.

Tickets are now available at

Bryan Adams concert & fireworks viewing party
Center for Performing Arts Plaza, downtown San Jose
4 p.m. – 10 p.m. July 4.
$25 advance VIP area access with tables, chairs.
$15 advance General admission
Pre-order BBQ: $15 adult, $10 child under 12

A VIP viewing area will be set up along Almaden Boulevard for prime fireworks viewing.