Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Downtown San Jose site for events (including NYE options)

It is difficult finding a one-stop shop for all of the great events in Downtown San Jose. Matt Spergel has taken a shot with a new site called DTSJ.Events. The website currently pulls from the 70 different Facebook pages of Downtown venues and is still a work in progress.

The Site lists several New Years Eve options that cater towards all budgets. Now is a great time to go check out the site and make plans!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Saturday Stats: 2016 Meta Post!

It's that time of year again to look back and see the top "Saturday Stats" of 2016. The list is yet again quite impressive. San Jose ranked as the top city for salaries, jobs, life expectancy, and economy. Even Trick-or-Treating got a shout-out this year. Below are my favorite rankings for the year.

You can also see the full list of "Saturday Stats" (including previous years) with article links over here.


#1Longest Life Expectancy in the USSVBJ2016
#10Best Place to LiveUS News & World Report2016SF #9
#1Fastest Growing Private EconomiesHeadlight Data2016SF and NY not in top 10
#2Best City for Young ProfessionalsForbes2016SF #1
#10Best Place to LiveU.S. News2016SF #9
#3Best Places for STEM GradsNerdwallet2016SF #6
#1City for JobsGlassdoor2016SF #2
#2Best City for JobsForbes2016SF #1
#1Top City for Small BusinessCNBC2016NY #2, SF #3
#3Best Metro for Entrepreneurship GrowthKauffman2016SF #6
#2Healthiest City in America24/7 Wall St.2016SF #14
#3Most Educated City in the USWalletHub2016SF #7
#1Fastest Growing Economy in the USCNBC2016SF #5, NY #23
#1Best City to Trick-or-Treat InZillow2016SF #3
#1Best City for Web DevelopersZippia2016SF #5
#1Best Performing City in the USMilken Institute2016SF #3

Thursday, December 29, 2016

World Cup qualifying match coming to San Jose in March

On March 24th, the US Men's National Team will face off with Honduras in Avaya Stadium for a shot at the 2018 World Cup. The US lost its first two qualifying games, so it is pretty much do or die for the team. It should be a great game and it's a huge honor for San Jose to host it.

Source: SVBJ

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

San Jose is the #1 city for web developers

I'm sure this will surprise no one--San Jose is the top city in the US for web developers. A Zippia study looked at web developer salaries, available jobs, and cost of living to determine the best spot for a job. Despite our astronomical cost of living, San Jose still came in first with 2,930 available jobs, an average entry-level salary of $63,320 (#1), and an average salary of $107,500 (#1).

The runner up was Seattle followed by Framingham (?), Austin, and San Francisco.

Top 10 List
San Jose, CA
Seattle, WA
Framingham, MA
Austin, TX
San Francisco, CA
California, MD
Columbia, MO
Dallas, TX
Durham, NC
Atlanta, GA

Source: Zippia

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Two great options in play for the Camera 12 Cinemas site

Change is always an opportunity to improve, even when the change initially seems bleak. When Camera 12 closed last September, it was a shock to the Downtown community--especially given how much livelier Downtown has become over the past several years. Now, there are two options on the table that actually would be a significant improvement to the area.

Option #1 - Luxury Movie Theater

This is exactly what Downtown needs, a destination theater that does not exist elsewhere in San Jose to draw more visitors to the area as well as provide a great local amenity for residents. It sounds like something similar to an Alamo Drafthouse is being floated as a possible suitor for the space. The theater would have luxury seating, food, and alcohol. This was the first thought that came to mind when we first heard Camera 12 was closing.

Option #2 - SJSU Student Housing Tower

San Jose State is interested in building a 20-story student housing project on the site. The building would be a mixed-use as it gets with 14 floors of housing, 4 floors of offices, a Sky Terrace, retail/restaurant space on the ground floor, and underground parking. This would bring a large number of students into the Downtown San Jose core and further intertwine the University with the community.

There is also a 3rd option, and that is to do both Option #1 and Option #2. Based on the first rendering, the tower can accommodate a luxury theater on the ground floor, which can even be used for SJSU events and classes during off-peak hours. If it comes together, it will not only fill the hole left by Camera 12's departure, but be a new amenity for all San Joseans to enjoy.

Source: The Merc, hat tip to Josh Russell for sending this in

Monday, December 26, 2016

San Jose Downtown Association 2016 Year in Review

The video below is an excellent recap of what has happened in Downtown San Jose this past year, current challenges, and what we have to look forward to in the near future. The speaker is Scott Knies, the Executive Director of the San Jose Downtown Association. While we did not have many new projects move forward in 2016, there are a large number queued up for 2017. Overall it was a great year and I highly recommend watching the video.

Scott Knies Year in review 2016 from WMS media Inc. on Vimeo.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

We hope that you and your family enjoy the holidays this year.

For a fun little adventure, you can check out the most decked out holiday decorations in San Jose along with a map and addresses over here.

May all your holiday wishes come true!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Merry Christmas!

We hope you and your families have a very merry Christmas this year!

Below is a delightful holiday card from our friends at WMS Media featuring Christmas in the Park.

Holiday Card from WMS media Inc. on Vimeo.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

San Jose is the Milken Institute's #1 pick for "Best-Performing Cities"

The San Jose metro has once again dominated a list of best-performing cities. The authors of the study mention that innovation and entrepreneurship are core to our success and that we were first in the nation when it comes to wage growth over the last five years. Note, that is wage growth. That means that in addition to having the highest wages in the US, they are also continuing to grow faster than other regions.

While it is not great to have all of our eggs in one techie basket, it is nice when that basket happens to be the hottest industry right now. San Jose accounted for 1 in 8 new tech jobs for the whole country during 2015. The average salary in the San Jose metro is $111,000. The average for the nation is $60,300.

Top 9 Cities in the Milken Study
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
Provo, UT, and Austin, TX (tie)
San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, CA
Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX
Raleigh, NC
Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, TN
Fort Collins, CO
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL
Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, WA

Source: SVBJ

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Empty Downtown San Jose storefront will be activated for two months

Local Color is a two-month project to reactivate underutilized retail space in Downtown San Jose. It is being put together by Exhibition District, a collective of artists that have been doing a great job beautifying Downtown recently.

This project will take the former Ross space at 27 S. First Street and turn it into creative community workshops, shared studio space, and pop-up bazaars. Property-owner Mike Sarimsakci wants to eventually build a residential tower on the site, but until shovels break ground this is a great way to re utilize empty space. Local Color is sponsored by the Knight Foundation and brought to the community in partnership with the San Jose Downtown Association.

The art studios are towards the back of the building while the retail sections are up front. There is already a 111-foot mural along the north wall. Art classes are available Wednesday and Thursday, yoga on Friday, and performances (including dance parties) on Friday and Saturday. To see a full list of events, head over to the Local Color Facebook page.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Sourisseau News: The German Community in San Jose

Did you know the oldest social organization in San Jose was created for German immigrants? The site still exists today and partially houses one of the hottest new restaurants Downtown, Ludwigs German Table. The two-minute video below provides a great overview of German contributions to early San Jose.

To see an archive of past videos, head over here.

Sourisseau News: The German Community in San Jose October 2016 from WMS media Inc. on Vimeo.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Downtown San Jose Directory and Interactive Map

San Jose's Office of Economic Development has just updated the official Downtown San Jose interactive map that was originally produced for Super Bowl 50 earlier this year. The map will be available at City Hall, the Convention Center, Team San Jose locations, Diridon Station, local libraries, and online.

The updated map includes a revised directory and several new additions such as:

  • Bike routes
  • EV charging stations
  • Zip Car locations
  • Pictograms for Guadalupe River Park, the Historic District, and Avaya Stadium

You can access the map right over here.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Saturday Stats: "Wealthy" San Jose renters grew by 32% in 2015

We ranked 7th in the nation when it comes to highest growth rate for "wealthy" renters. I put wealthy in quotes because the study is using $150,000/year of household income as the definition of wealthy. If you have a family in San Jose and your income is at that level between two working adults, you probably don't consider yourself wealthy.

In any case, San Jose now has 21,000 high-income renters (15% of the total renter population in San Jose). This number is increasing much faster than high-income homeowners. I don't think that is a good thing since it likely means fewer people can afford to purchase a home in the area. To read the full report, check out the source link below.

Source: RentCafe Blog

Friday, December 16, 2016

SoFA Market now validates parking

Just like I was a proponent of the San Pedro Square Market, I am huge fan of the SoFA Market on the other side of Downtown San Jose. It is a lot smaller than the SPSM, but is also more intimate and less crowded. Inside you'll find craft cocktails and beers, ramen, poke, gilled burgers, gelato-pops, coffee, smoothies, and soon thin-crust pizza. The SoFA Market is also addressing the biggest detractor to visiting.. parking. You can now get validated parking from all of the vendors in the SoFA Market.

If you have never visited this market or haven't visited in a while, now is a great time to check it out. The SoFA Market is located at 387 S. 1st street, across from another great place--Cafe Stritch.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

LUZIA by Cirque du Soleil Contest

I have attended every major Cirque du Soleil show that has come to San Jose since Varekai and have yet to be disappointed. Their shows are a creative mix of acrobatics, storytelling, and comedy. LUZIA, the latest touring show to come to San Jose, is an ode to the rich and vibrant culture of Mexico. Here is the official description: "LUZIA takes you to an imaginary Mexico, where light quenches the spirit and rain soothes the soul."

San Jose shows will begin on February 9th at the Taylor Street Bridge and continue until March 19th. It may sound like there is plenty of time to get tickets, but weekends sell out far in advance and I would recommend booking your seats as soon as possible. If you can afford it, the VIP "Tapis Rouge" tickets take the experience to the next level with a stellar assortment of food and wine before the show and during intermission, along with the best seats in the house. There are also backstage tours that I have yet to try, but sound quite interesting. You can see all of the options and available seats over here.

My tickets have already been purchased months ago, but the good news for you is that Cirque du Soleil has offered us a pair of tickets to give away!

The contest is open right now and the only requirement is that you are at least 18 years old. Just follow the instructions in the widget below to participate. Good luck!

UPDATE: Congratulations to Norman from San Jose for winning the tickets!

LUZIA by Cirque du Soleil Contest

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Christmas in the Park

Downtown's top tourist attraction is in full swing and seems better than ever. New to Christmas in the Park this year is a 40ft miniature version of San Jose's Electric Light Tower outfitted with a mesmerizing LED light show. Several of the displays have also been repaired and upgraded thanks to generous donations. Another thing I noticed is that there are many more street vendors than in previous years, and the bacon-wrapped hot dog stands smell amazing.

Chirstmas in the Park is open every day from 9am to midnight. I recommend parking in the Safeway lot to avoid traffic--it's only two blocks away. For more info, head over to the Christmas in the Park website.

Monday, December 12, 2016

December 2016 Downtown Dimension Highlights

Here are my notes from the latest edition of Downtown Dimension:
  • The San Jose MarketCenter is expanding by 8,000 SQFT. New tenants include Blaze Pizza and Wells Fargo. There is still one 2,369 SQFT space remaining to be leased. The expansion will also include some much-needed additional parking.
  • Several political measures will impact Downtown San Jose:
    • Measure A will help reduce the homeless population.
    • Measure B provides funding for bringing BART to Downtown and repairing roads.
    • Measure F will help recruit more police officers and improve security.
  • Cubamex Sandwiches is now open at 325 S. First Street.
  • Rookies Sports Lodge will open this month in the former Billy Berk's location at 99 S. First.
  • Divine Wineries has moved into the space at 40 Post formerly occupies by Sherman Cellars and Red Light Wine Room.
  • TechShop San Jose has raised the $1 million needed to rehabilitate the former Zanotto's space on Second Street for TechShop machinery and is on track for a Spring 2017 opening.
  • SJDA offers funding for creative ideas that activate public spaces--if you have one email
  • On Dec. 18, up to 5,000 runners will participate in the TiVO Santa Run Silicon Valley, which benefits both Downtown Ice and Christmas in the Park.
To read the newsletter, click here!

Friday, December 9, 2016

Content Magazine 9.0 Pick-up Party and 5th Anniversary next week

My favorite San Jose magazine is celebrating its fifth year with a free event next Tuesday, December 13th at Art Object Gallery (592 N. 5th St., San Jose).

Music will be provided by Wax Moon, Cado Dos Santos, Mardi Morillo, April Gee, and Steely Nash. Snacks and light bites will be provided by Michi Sushi, The Cookie Boys, Manresa Bread, and the Mount Hamilton GrandView Restaurant.

Content Magazine subscribers will get a complimentary beverage and holiday gift bag along with their issue. If you are still not a subscriber, head over here.

They are also partnering with Toys for Tots on this event. It is encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy for a child in need (age range is 0-16).

The event will run from 7pm-10pm and street parking is available as well as a city lot on 6th and Jackson.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

San Jose BART Station - latest updates

San Jose is just one year away from finally being connected to BART. Below is the latest update from the VTA, which is responsible for the extension to Silicon Valley. Both the Milpitas and San Jose stations should be open in late 2017. Watch the short video below for construction photos and details.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Inside San Jose's BriteLab

First off, let me say that I have really missed Nathan Donato-Weinstein's articles in the SVBJ. I am thrilled to see him writing again in the SJ Economy blog.

He recently visited BriteLab, a high-tech South San Jose manufacturing company that makes everything from 3D printers to electric skateboards. The 55,000 SQFT space is a startup incubator that helps new companies bring their products to market. BriteLab provides product-development, design, engineering, manufacturing, and support services. Currently BriteLab employs 75 people, but they are planning to grow to 150.

For all the details, check out Nathan's article over here.

Source: SJ Economy

Monday, December 5, 2016

Santana Row 'Capstone' building is officially under construction

Development in the Santana Row neighborhood will likely never be fully complete, but the last major project with an official Santana Row street address is now underway. '700 Santana Row' will provide a bookend to what is one of the most successful mixed-use developments in the world.

The 284,000 SQFT premium office building will be located at the very end of the row next to the CineArts movie theater. The offices feature 13-foot ceilings, expansive floor plans, and a 15,000 SQFT garden terrace on the roof. The ground floor will have a signature plaza that will be open to all.

Parking will be available in a new parking structure that will also be open to the public during evenings and weekends. Thankfully, Santana Row will be offering shuttle service to Diridon Station as an alternate transportation option. The total cost of the project is expected to be between $205-215 million and completion should wrap up by Q3 2018 according to the SVBJ.

The full press release is below. Thanks to Ron Heckmann for sending this in.

Federal Realty Starts Construction on 700 Santana Row, Headquarters-Quality, Large-Floorplate Office Building Anchoring Iconic Santana Row

284,000 square-foot Class-A Office Building in Silicon Valley’s premier urban neighborhood
designed to attract burgeoning Silicon Valley firms

San Jose, CA (Dec. 1, 2016) -- Federal Realty Investment Trust (NYSE:FRT) started construction today on 700 Santana Row, a 284,000 square-foot office building set on a signature plaza with a sweeping design that anchors the end of Santana Row, Silicon Valley’s iconic mixed-use neighborhood. San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo joined Federal Realty executives and other local officials to commemorate the ground breaking.

The state-of-the-art, eight-story structure at Santana Row at Olsen Drive features 30,000 and 48,000 square-foot floorplates, modern architecture and headquarters-quality office space with concrete construction, which gives the building distinctive design qualities compared to traditional Silicon Valley office buildings. 700 Santana Row follows the highly successful 500 Santana Row, a six-story office building on an adjacent site fully-leased to Splunk Inc. in 2015 with occupancy slated to begin next month. The project cost is estimated at $205-$215 million.

"700 Santana Row is a ‘capstone’ building that takes full advantage of being the visual book-end to Santana Row, which has become one of the most popular live-work-dine-shop environments in Silicon Valley and the Bay Area. No other office building will have this unique, commanding location,” said Jan Sweetnam, Federal Realty’s Western Region Chief Operating Officer.  “We’ve designed the building with a concrete structure and loft-like feel more often found in San Francisco’s SOMA district and other urban centers. 700 Santana Row will feature expansive natural light with tall, market-leading 13-foot ceilings and open floor plans, which in turn will provide companies with high-productivity, collaborative workspaces for their employees.”

Ready for tenant build-out in the third quarter of 2018, 700 Santana Row will also feature a three-per-thousand dedicated parking ratio and a 15,000 square-foot roof-top terrace and garden with majestic views of Santana Row, the San Jose skyline and distant foothills.  Shuttle service will take Santana Row office tenants to nearby Diridon Station for Caltrain and VTA light rail service.

“And unlike the congested 101 corridor,” Sweetnam added, “Santana Row is located directly off of Interstate 280 in close proximity to residential neighborhoods and office parks in San Jose, Palo Alto, Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Santa Clara, and throughout Silicon Valley.”

“The on-site amenities and walkable environment that Santana Row offers has become a recruiting and retention tool for Splunk, Experian, Si-Bone and the other companies located here,” said Jeff Berkes, President-West Coast for Federal Realty Investment Trust.

Newmark Cornish & Carey is the leasing agent for the project.  700 Santana Row has been designed by WRNS Studio of San Francisco, and Devcon Construction is the general contractor.

Santana Row’s world-class amenities include 50 shops, 30 restaurants, a 215-room boutique hotel offering extensive full service conference facilities, two parks and multiple plazas with outdoor seating and free wifi, 615 rental homes and 219 privately owned condominiums.

For more information on leasing at 700 Santana Row, contact Randy Gabrielson, Todd Shaffer, or Tracey Solari of Newmark Cornish & Carey at 408.727.9600.  Or 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 96 properties include over 2,800 tenants, in approximately 22 million square feet, and over 1,800 residential units.

Federal Realty has paid quarterly dividends to its shareholders continuously since its founding in 1962, and has increased its dividend rate for 49 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

Saturday, December 3, 2016

San Jose rents are going back up

Just when it looked like the real estate market was simmering down, San Jose rents have jumped up again. In fact, for November rents are up percentage-wise more than anywhere else in the county for one-bedroom units. The average rental price for these is now $2,591/month, which is a 13% increase over the previous month.

The reason for the surge is not clear, but most experts believe we are indeed at the top of the market and expect some decline going forward. It might be a good time to hold off on signing a long-term rental agreement.

Source: SVBJ

Friday, December 2, 2016

New art unveiling at the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles tonight

The first Artist in Residence for the SJMQT is Amy Ahlstrom, an urban, pop art quilter. She is unveiling five San Jose-themed quilts at the First Friday Art Walk tonight entitled "Faces & Places of San Jose." She asked people to submit photos of San Jose graffiti, faces, street art, buildings, signage, and she made the quilts based on those photos. Below is a video that explains her process as well as a couple preview photos.

While you are in the museum, there is also a new exhibit called the "California Art Quilt Revolution" which showcases 40 years of Northern Californian quilting history.

The museum will be open late along with the rest of the galleries in SoFA and admission is free for South First Friday. It's a cool museum--make sure to include it in your art walk!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

San Jose Metro unemployment is holding below 4%

For the second straight month, unemployment in Silicon Valley has stayed under that magical 4% threshold. It did tick up a tenth of a point from 3.8% in September to 3.9% in October. California is at 5.3% unemployment while the nation is averaging 4.7%. So the net of it is that the nation as a whole is doing quite well, but San Jose is in an exceptional position when it comes to jobs. The rate is even more impressive when you consider we have the highest paying jobs for any large city in the country, if not the world. Now let's find a way to fix those potholes.

Source: SVBJ