Friday, March 30, 2018

Easter Brunch

Rick Jensen has a great suggestion for last-minute Easter Sunday plans in the latest edition of the Downtowner Online. Ludwig's is one of my favorite restaurants Downtown and they are using Easter to kick off weekend brunches. If you haven't been to Ludwig's before, you're in for a treat. They have an amazing outdoor patio, specialty German beers, and a great menu. It's a unique restaurant that you will only find Downtown. For more info, click here.

Sunday – Happy Easter! – Happy Easter, San Jose! Have fun spending the day brunching or Easter egg hunting with friends and family! Starting this Sunday, Ludwig's Brunch is back every Saturday and Sunday from 10 am - 2 pm. Downtown Dining. 

Thursday, March 29, 2018

HP Enterprises is moving HQ to San Jose

Hewlett Packard Enterprises has long been an anchor tech tenant for Palo Alto. However, yesterday they announced that they are relocating their headquarters to San Jose by the end of the year.

The company will take 220,000 SQFT at 6280 America Center Drive near Alviso. That is large enough to relocate about 1,000 employees. Flextronics, Polycom, and Versa Networks also have a presence in that office park along with a brand new Aloft hotel. The location is minutes away from the @First shopping center and Levi's stadium. While there are few public transit options, BART will soon have a station in Milpitas about 12min away.

This is another big win for San Jose, both in terms of tax dollars and brand. Also, no financial incentives were required to make the deal happen.

Source: NBC Bay Area

Monday, March 26, 2018

Retro arcade and upscale bar on tap for Downtown this summer

"miniBoss" is the most anticipated new Downtown bar in years. The owners of Original Gravity (San Jose's first bar exclusively dedicated to craft beer) and Paper Plane (one of San Jose's first craft cocktail bars) are now opening a third venue at the corner of Santa Clara Street and 2nd Street. This is a very high-profile and easily accessible space that was last occupied by Toons years ago.

Clocking in at 5,528 SQFT, miniBoss will host dozens of old-school arcades and pinball machines. Given its pedigree, craft beers and cocktails are guaranteed. The venue will also have a full kitchen which will likely serve up surprisingly good pub fare if Paper Plane and Original Gravity are any indication. It will provide a unique entertainment option that simply does not exist in Silicon Valley right now and be yet another "cool" thing to do in San Jose.

Downtown San Jose is finally getting the traction and attention it deserves and miniBoss will undoubtedly be an anchor tenant for the growing numbers that live, work, and play Downtown. I'm greatly looking forward to its grand opening this summer.

Source: The MercSVBJ

Friday, March 23, 2018

7th Annual Taco Festival of Innovation

San Jose's epic taco festival returns for its 7th season on Saturday, May 6th. History Park will once again host over 20 food trucks from all over the Bay Area serving their vest renditions of tacos. Expect everything from short rib tacos, nacho tacos, Vietnamese shrimp tacos, and a few surprises. While you're stuffing your face, wash everything down with local craft beers.

Like previous years, there will be plenty of entertainment programming. The popular Lucha Libre wrestling match will be back along with live music. San Jose Made will also be there with local arts & crafts vendors.

Ticket prices are only $8 ($10 at the gate) while craft beer tasting passes are $30 for five 7oz pours. ($35 at the gate). Kids aged 3-11 are free as part of the presale.

For tickets and additional info, head over here!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Tea Alley now open Downtown

The Historic District in Downtown San Jose has a new boba spot. Tea Alley serves up their drinks in cool little light bulbs that twinkle while you drink--a neat techie twist to milk tea. They also have a kitchen serving up stuffed chicken breast and other snacks.

The location is conveniently located next to a Light Rail stop at 40 South First Street. Given there is plenty of nightlife within two blocks, Tea Alley is also open late. They open at noon and close at midnight Monday through Thursday, 2am (!) Friday and Saturday, and 11pm on Sunday.

Source: SJ Economy Blog

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

BALDWIN opened their first Bay Area store at Santana Row

San Jose has scored another exclusive retail launch. BALDWIN is a boutique clothing retailer featuring premium American-made denim. The Kansas City-based label was lauded by both GQ Magazine and Vogue. Their first location in Northern California just opened last week at Santana Row.

To celebrate, BALDWIN is hosting a grand opening celebration from March 22-25. Visitors will receive a complimentary tote bag and 20% off a purchase of $200 or more.

For more about BALDWIN, check out their website over here.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference is returning to Downtown San Jose

WWDC 2018 will take place in San Jose for the second year in the row. This is Apple's largest event and it will take over the McEnery Convention Center as well as various other parts of Downtown from June 4-8.

The conference starts with a keynote that goes over the latest software releases for MacOS and iOS devices. Often times, major new hardware is announced as well. Last year the Apple Homepod as well as new iPads and an iMac Pro were all revealed.

The 2017 event appeared to be a huge success. Thousands of attendees roamed Downtown and multiple parallel events related to the Apple community also took place in the area. Feedback from attendees on location was very positive. The true test of success was that Apple chose to run the event in San Jose again this year instead of returning the conference to Moscone in San Francisco. Hopefully the 2018 event will be even better than last year's conference.

If you are a developer and are interested in attending, all you need to do is sign up for a lottery by March 22nd for a chance to spend $1,599 on a conference pass.

Source: SVBJ

Friday, March 16, 2018

St. Patrick's Day in San Jose

Rick Jensen from the San Jose Downtown Association has some great recommendations for St. Patty's in the latest edition of Downtowner Online. O'Flaherty's is always going to be a great option, but if you can't make it in (and it is guaranteed to be packed), there is a new Mexican Irish bar on E. San Fernando called San Patricios that is worth visiting. Check out Rick's recommendations below and subscribe to the newsletter over here.

Saturday – St. Patrick’s Day – Happy St. Patrick’s Day, San Jose! Don’t forget to wear green while you celebrate in downtown SJ at one of our many dining options. Spend the evening feeling festive and lucky with a drink in hand at O'Flaherty's Irish Pub St. Patrick's Day Celebration, a downtown favorite venue which is packed every year on this holiday!
Besides O'Flaherty's, reports other music options: 

Thursday, March 15, 2018

San Jose's Vietnam Town getting major upgrades

Vietnam Town is a 20-acre commercial and retail development near Happy Hollow and Kelly Park. The project has had ups and downs including multiple sales and bankruptcies, but it does feature several great shops, Vietnamese restaurants, and cafes.

The next phase for Vietnam Town is called District One, a 100,000+ SQFT project with dozens of retail condos (store owners will buy part of the building as opposed to leasing) and another parking garage. The new development is inspired by Santana Row and will feature entertainment/programming centered around Asian holidays and celebrations. Instead of just more shopping and restaurants, the focus will be on creating a lively atmosphere.

The Vietnam Town owner is working on final city approvals and hopes to open District One by 2019.

Source: SVBJ

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

March 2018 Downtown Dimension Highlights

Here are my notes from the latest edition of Downtown Dimension:
  • Even though the San Jose Redevelopment Agency has been shut down for years, the Successor Agency is still intertwined in several Downtown projects.
  • Twin 17-story residential towers are proposed at 255 W. Julian St. with 653 units, 10,254 SQFT of retail, and luxury amenities such as a rooftop pool.
  • The City Council has lowered parkland fees for highrise projects given fewer people on average live in each unit versus other types of multi-family housing. Highrises are defined as buildings 12 stories or higher.
  • Two new pieces of Burning Man artwork are being added to San Jose as part of the "Playa to Paseo" program. One will be placed in Plaze de Cesar Chavez while the other is on the paseo between the two Fairmont towers.
  • Several city streets are going to be resurfaced and sealed in Downtown San Jose, including portions of 3rd Street, 4th Street, Almaden Avenue, San Carlos, St. John, San Salvador, and Viola Street.
To read the newsletter, click here!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Habana Cuba is moving to the SoFA Market

One of the best restaurants in Midtown is moving Downtown. Habana Cuba has been a staple on Race Street for 16 years and features some of the best Cuban food in the Bay Area. Now it will be a part of the SoFA Market, which is quickly becoming as successful as the San Pedro Square Market on the other side of Downtown. If anything, Habana Cuba's cuisine will become more accessible to residents and visitors at the new location.

Habana Cuba is closing the doors on the Race Street location on March 24th, and will open in the SoFA Market shortly thereafter.

Source: The Merc

Monday, March 12, 2018

New hotel proposed for SoFA

A 110 room hotel with two level of underground parking is proposed for South 2nd Street and Reed, which is part of San Jose's artsy SoFA neighborhood. San Jose hotels have been doing well enough to justify several new projects, especially in the Downtown area.

Once concern I have is how uninspired the drawing looks. Again, this is being proposed for San Jose's arts district. We can do better than prison aesthetics for this project. Perhaps the developer could let local artists do something creative with the exterior if they cannot afford a less generic design.

Source: The Merc

Sunday, March 11, 2018

sjDANCEco’s ChoreoProject Spring Edition

Who: sjDANCEco
What: ChoreoProject, Spring Edition
When - Friday, March 23 @ 8:00 pm and Saturday, March 24 @ 10:30am4:30pm & 8:00pm
Where - Location: SJSU Dance Theatre. One Washington Square, San Jose, CA The theater is located in the Spartan Complex building on the San Jose State University Campus near 4th Street and San Carlos Street. (Nearby inexpensive parking at City of San Jose garage on San Carlos Street between 2nd and 3rd Streets.

Tickets - $20 (students), $25 (seniors), $30 (general)
BOX OFFICE: 408.520.9854

Why: Since it’s inception in 2005, sjDANCEco has given opportunity to more than 100 choreographers from the Bay Area (and beyond) the chance to present their dances to audiences in the ChoreoProject programs.  

This year’s Spring edition of the ChoreoProject is geared toward Youth Groups. "For Youth - By Youth." Young dancers (age 13 - 18) from around the Bay and beyond are brought together in an unique program dedicated to the future of dance in an opportunity to share vital and vibrant dance by aspiring youth dancers and choreographers. 

More Information: Groups are still be added, but the following are currently confirmed: Los Gatos Ballet, Independence High School (San Jose), New Ballet School (San Jose), East West Music and Dance (San Jose), Spector Dance Youth Group (Marina), Xiaopei Dance School (Pleasanton), Westlake School for the Performing Arts (Daly City), Urmila Vudali Bharatanatyam (Palo Alto) and Northern California Dance Conservatory (Roseville). Other groups expressing interest are from San Francisco, Berkeley, Monterey, Dublin, and Oakland.

Friday, March 9, 2018

New restaurants and stores coming to Santana Row

It does not look like Santana Row is losing any steam even after being open for more than a decade. More trendy and exclusive opening are on the way, including:

  • SoulCycle - coming in May, 3,151 SQFT space at 337 Santana Row
  • Ozumo - popular SF Japanese sushi and robata restaurant coming in March, 4,200 SQFT location at 355 Santana Row (former Blowfish space)
  • Baldwin Denim - American-made denim apparel coming later this month, 2,000 SQFT spot at 334 Santana Row, Suite 1075.
  • Everything But Water - a swimwear retailer coming in early April, 1,040 SQFT spot at 333 Santana Row in early April.
  • Pizza Antica - one of Santana Row's first restaurants, is relaunching in late April/early May in an expanded 4,186 SQFT space featuring a craft cocktail bar and more seating.

Source: SVBJ

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Thoughtful article on Downtown San Jose's revitalization

The Registry has a great interview with the managing director of Gensler's San Jose office. Gensler is a world-renowned design firm that opened a branch here a few years ago and has been heavily involved in catalyzing the Downtown community. Hit the source link below to read the interview.

Source: The Registry

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

LimeBike coming to take on Ford GoBikes Downtown

It looks like Ford GoBikes (formerly Bay Area Bike Share) has some competition. LimeBike relies on GPS self-locking system and you can rent them for just $1 for 30 minutes of use. Bikes and scooters with an electric motor cost $1 for 10 minutes of use. All models are powered by solar panels built into the bike and they use foam tires that never go flat. Unlike GoBikes, they do not need to be rented or dropped off at a station. Just use the app to locate a bike and then drop it off near your destination.

It is hard to believe that in less than 5 years we went from having no bike share options to two competing programs.

Source: The Merc

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

San Jose will pilot tiny homes for homeless

The city is looking at three different sites to build dozens of tiny homes that would provide temporary housing for the homeless. The homes would primarily be for the 3-5 year period between qualifying for housing assistance and when an actual housing unit is available.

Gensler designed the tiny homes, which are designed for 1-2 people and are essentially boxes with separate common areas for bathrooms and cooking.

Before you become concerned that these will pop up in your neighborhood, all three locations are not exactly desirable areas. One is proposed for the southwest quadrant of the 280/680/101 freeway interchange, another is on a VTA staging area on Mabury Road, and the last is at the intersection of Hellyer Avenue and Silicon Valley Boulevard.

I feel like this is a great initiative to house those that need it the most. However, I am also a bit concerned that the more resources we provide, the more homeless will migrate to the area (look at San Francisco as an example). We should really prioritize temporary housing for those that were born-and-raised in San Jose, if we don't do this already. There needs to be some balance between taking care of our own and not becoming a haven for homeless from other regions. Knowing that locals are living here and not transients would also go a long way towards getting public support of these projects, which are very necessary.

Source: SVBJ

Monday, March 5, 2018

Downtown JC Penny's Building renovation

Built in 1946 for JC Penny's, the 4-story building at 1 W. Santa Clara in the heart of Downtown is getting an impressive makeover. The building already has a timber deck and center atrium, both of which will be prominently featured post-remodel. It looks perfect for hip startup companies or a midsize tech firm. One feature we can all benefit from is the Blue Bottle Coffee shop on the ground floor. Check out the renders below.

Source: San Jose Development Forum, Lift Partners

Friday, March 2, 2018

San Jose is the 8th most diverse city in the US

Anyone who grew up here can tell you that San Jose is a melting pot of cultures. Now we have a way to better quantify it. A new study by WalletHub compared the 501 most populous US cities across ethnoracial diversity, linguistic diversity, and birthplace diversity. After crunching all the numbers we came in 8th place (3rd place if you only look at big cities). San Jose also had the 2nd highest linguistic diversity rank in the nation. Oakland just slightly edged us out at #7 while San Francisco came in #12.

Source: WalletHub, thanks to Barclay Livker for sending this in!

Thursday, March 1, 2018

SJC getting a new nonstop to Everett

If you haven't heard of an airport in Everett, Washington we can't blame you. This is a brand new 2-gate airport that is 24 miles north of downtown Seattle. Paine Field is adjacent to the Boeing factory and is currently used for corporate and private aviation (as well as delivery of brand new Boeing planes). When the commercial terminal opens, San Jose will be one of the inaugural routes Alaska Airlines will offer. Southwest is also coming to the airport, so it will be interesting to see if they will offer the route as well.

The San Jose <> Everett flight will be available towards the end of the year.

Source: SVBJ