Thursday, January 31, 2019

Electric Motorcycle Company moving to San Jose

San Jose is getting another cutting edge transportation company. Lightning is a manufacturer of high-end electric superbikes that can top 200 MPH and travel 100 miles per charge. They claim these are the fastest production motorcycles in the world.

Lightning has relocated from San Carlos to 6299 San Ignacio Way in South San Jose. The space is five times larger, which will allow them to expand their in-house design studio and R&D--likely bringing even more jobs to San Jose.

Thanks to Nio, Lightning, and several complimentary companies building EV components like Velodyne, San Jose is establishing itself as the Detroit of next generation vehicles. Even Tesla was originally planning to build their factory in North San Jose.

Source: SVBJ

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Souresseau News: When Letterheads Told a Story

This week's history video is about historic San Jose letterheads. Many of these were printed over a century ago and the quality of the artwork that went into them is quite impressive.

To watch the two minute video, click here.

Monday, January 28, 2019

SJC had its best year ever in 2018

Even with Lufthansa leaving SJC, the airport still posted a 10.7% year-over-year passenger growth in November. Overall passenger counts for 2018 were up a staggering 15%, making it by far the fastest growing airport in the region. San Jose now has 16.6% of the Bay Area air travel market while Oakland is at 15.9% (keep in mind Oakland was ahead of SJC until 2018).

In December, SJC broke their all-time passenger travel record. The previous record was 14,300,000 passengers and was set way back in the year 2000.

There are no signs of San Jose International slowing down. Several new flights are coming this year as well as six temporary gates that will serve as an introduction to a much larger expansion. I'm hoping we will get several new international routes this year.

Source: SVBJ, SVBJ (2)

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Airbnb coming to Downtown San Jose

Another popular Bay Area company is making San Jose their home away from home. Airbnb is opening their first Silicon Valley office at 333 W. San Carlos Street. In an appropriate move for a sharing economy company, they are taking up about 50 seats from the 1,344 desks WeWork offers in the building. However, Airbnb is looking for a more permanent South Bay location in 2020, which hopefully won't be far from this office.

For more info, click the source link below!

Source: SVBJ

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Souresseau News: Women at Work

This week's history video is about women in the workplace, starting with an 1860's photo of two San Jose female ranchers. While we still have inequalities in the workplace even today, it appears that there were more opportunities for women in San Jose many decades (or even a century) ago that I would have assumed.

To watch the two minute video, click here.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

San Jose is the hottest housing market in the US

For the second year, Zillow has declared San Jose to be the hottest housing market in the country. High-salary tech jobs are continuing to drive prices and sales sky high. Currently there are 3.9 job openings for every 100 people in San Jose, giving us the highest rate of job openings of all large US metros. Combine that with the highest salaries in the US, and it is no surprise that our real estate market is still blazing hot.

There are some early signs of cooling. Population growth has slowed and inventory is creeping up. However, for now it's a really good time to be a home owner in San Jose based on Zillow's analysis.

Source: SVBJ

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Souresseau News: Gateways and Arches

This week's history video is about San Jose's gateways and arches. Did you know that San Jose once had a welcome gateway for visitors near the Basset St. station on North First Street? Or that after the electric tower fell, the city built a gateway with an electrified San Jose sign?

To watch the two minute video, click here.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

ShowPlace Icon is San Jose's new flagship movie theater

I'm a big fan of movies and was devastated when my favorite theater--Camera 12 shut its doors. Finally there is a new movie theater in San Jose that has enough character to fill those shoes and elevates the movie watching experience to the next level.

ShowPlace Icon is a 10-screen movie theater spanning two floors and 60,000 SQFT in Valley Fair Mall. All 1,474 seats are reserved loungers with electric footrests and heaters. Their largest theater is a 281 seat ICON*X premium large format room with a 4k laser projection and Dolby Atmos sound. What really made Icon stand out for me was the VIP section upstairs for those 21 and over. Up there you will find surprisingly good craft cocktails, an adult take on Icee's with flavors like "Frozen Margarita," a great food selection, and bacon popcorn. The whole floor looks like a lounge and has comfortable seating throughout. After entering their largest movie theater from the VIP section, you'll soon realize you are on a private balcony where you can continue to enjoy your fancy beverages and food. This is a great design that I hope others will copy.

I was fortunate to get a media preview of The Upside (great movie by the way). The seats were at least as comfortable as the recliners at CineArts or Cinemark Mountain View. The food and drink are for sure the best you can find in any South Bay movie theater. The video and sound quality were exceptional, we're talking IMAX-level. I also like the finishing touches throughout the theater like photos of San Jose and portraits of actors born in the Bay Area.

You can reserve a seat now at Prices are in line with other theaters and I highly recommend checking them out.

Monday, January 14, 2019

San Jose ranked fastest-growing city in the world, 2019-2035

As we already know, San Jose has one of the best performing economies anywhere. That does not seem destined to change anytime soon based on a new report from Oxford Economics. They are predicting that San Jose will have the fastest growing urban economy in the world over the next 16 years.

If the 3% GDP growth rate is correct, that means our economy will be 50% larger by 2035. The growth rate dwarfs San Francisco but would still not put us anywhere near New York or Tokyo in total economic contribution. However, those cities have much larger populations to work with. We do have the highest GDP per capita in the United States, which contributes positively to salaries and investment.

For more info check out the link below.

Source: SJ Economy Blog

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Souresseau News: Signs

This week's history video is about San Jose signs. As you'll see in the video, the mid-century trend was neon. It would be amazing to restore the few signs from the video that are still around to their original glory.

To watch the two minute video, click here.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Orchestria Palm Court

Jordan from Searchlight San Jose has written about one of my favorite hidden gems in Downtown San Jose -- Orchestria Palm Court. This is undoubtedly one of the most unique restaurants in the Bay Area and is well worth a visit. It's part museum, part entertainment, part time-capsule (all the way down to the restrooms), and in-and-of-itself a solid restaurant. They even have a soda jerk bar!

Click here to read the post.

Monday, January 7, 2019

January 2019 Downtown Dimension Highlights


The JANUARY 2018 Downtown Dimension is now available at:

In this edition:
  • Kristi Yamaguchi Downtown Ice remains open through Jan. 27. It will be a featured attraction during both the College Football Playoff Jan. 1-8 and the NHL All-Star Game Jan. 25-27.
  • Groundwerx has some new equipment and a new App to improve efficiency.
  • MOMENT at San Pedro Squared won the Golden Nail Award of Distinction for outstanding architecture.
  • Colliers International and Cohesity make moves toward their future downtown.
  • An entire block of east Santa Clara Street between Second and Third  streets changes owners.
  • Google continues to buy properties on downtown's west side.
  • An independent firm concluded that High Speed Rail should not go underground through downtown.
If you missed SJDA's End-of-Year meeting, it is available on video at

Always available:

  • Live and Local SJ supports live music in the center city.
  • Traffic alerts keep up with lane and road closures and openings.
  • Maps of downtown commercial property availability and development proposals.
  • Boom City: SJDA's summary of new downtown building proposals and west side acquisitions.
Downtown Dimension is a leading source for information about downtown San Jose news, events and businesses.  Subscribe with a simple email to, subject line: Subscribe. 

For information about downtown events, also subscribe to Downtowner Online.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Stringent E-Scooter Regulations for San Jose

Guest Post by written by Samantha Larson

The San Jose scooter fad may come to a halt due to new legislation. Last week, the San Jose City Council passed stringent laws against scooter companies to help mitigate the serious safety concerns they present for residents.

To continue operating in San Jose’s city limits, scooter companies, such as Lime, Bird, and Wind, must receive a permit, pay an annual permit application fee of $2,500 and fork over $124 per scooter each year to continue operations. But with an estimated worth of $1 billion and $1.1 billion, these fees are merely chump change to Bird and Lime.

The real hard-hitting legislation is that these companies must also protect the city from legal claims and obtain sizable insurance. In addition to a rise in scooter-related injuries, scooters pose a serious threat to an already seriously high rate of pedestrian accidents in San Jose. To help combat these statistics, the ordinance will limit scooter speeds to 12 MPH, and come July, will force companies to find a solution to keep scooters off public sidewalks.

If companies fail to keep scooters off public property, the ordinance requires a 24-hour customer service line in three languages, English, Spanish, and Vietnamese, to respond to reports of improperly stored scooters within a two-hour window. Companies will also have to consider the socio-economic impact of their service: the ordinance mandates scooters will need to be equally distributed to low-income areas and provide discounts to low-income users. User data will be shared with the city of San Jose to track the number of devices and user behavior.

Any violation of the rules above will cost companies $100 for their first offense, rising to $500 fines for repeat offenders, with the possibility of having their permits revoked.

But San Jose is far from the only city passing stringent laws. Many cities nationwide are facing the duality of scooter presence; on one hand, scooters are eco-friendly and low-cost, but on the other hand, they pose a serious personal injury and public safety threat.

Since the birth of e-scooter dockless sharing began in February of 2018, it has helped San Jose towards its goal of climate change consciousness and Vision Zero. This being said, it has also birthed and exacerbated issues of pedestrian safety, equitable access, and rider education.

Though the ordinance is expected to come into practice by February, it is possible 2019 can bring even more changes for scooter services and rider expectations to best fit the needs and demands of San Jose city life.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Souresseau News: Waterways and Floods

This week's history video is about waterways and floods. Interestingly enough, in 1915 the Guadalupe River was briefly dammed to great a lake in Downtown San Jose (photo below). Another interesting tidbit is that Alviso has been flooded more often than any other part of San Jose (likely the reason why the region never took off).

To watch the two minute video, click here.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Happy New Year!

We wish all of the San Joseans and friends from neighboring cities out there a wonderful and prosperous 2019! Hopefully we will see our city grow in every way possible this year!