Two unique events that the real estate community might be interested in, hosted by the Urban Land Institute South Bay, were "The Future of Office Space" & "the San Pedro Square Market Tour."
On April 21st, ULI presented the office space concept of the company NEXTSPACE, a Santa Cruz Based firm focusing on the workplace of the new economy. Ryan Coonerty, Co-founder and Mayor of Santa Cruz eloquently brought to light how they provide innovative physical and virtual infrastructure that freelancers, entrepreneurs, and creative class professionals need to succeed in the 21st century knowledge economy in Silicon Valley.
- Thousands of Bay Area employees work from home, but lack the community aspect of an office environment
- This is not an incubator, but a community, similar to having a membership at a gym.
- 2 locations currently (Santa Cruz & San Francisco) with expansions into San Jose & Los Angeles.
On Thursday, April 28th, was the tour of the nearly complete San Pedro Square Market. I hadn't visited the project in a few months, and it was amazing to hear how the partnership, and their marketing manager, Steve Borkenhagen truly are striving to make a true desintaiton spot for tourists and residents in downtown San Jose.
The San Pedro Square Market Focus:
- Events, festivals, music, etc over 200 days per year
- One of the first truly kid friendly downtown spots (stroller brigade friendly)
- Unique tenants (no Starbucks please!)
- Central Alcohol and Beverage permit will allow folks to stay longer, shop, enjoy live music, and the beautiful weather
- Iconic Sign - yes, 100 ft by 6 ft neon that you can see from highway 87
- Historic Retrofit really shows the venue's character as it sits next to the oldest building in San Jose (the Peralta Adobe).
Many people are anxious for its opening! As Nextspace looks to expand in Downtown San Jose by opening shop at the historic Lyon building at 2nd & San Fernando, these two great concepts will only strengthen our Downtown.
For more information on the San Pedro Urban Market, >Click Here
For more information on Nextspace, >Click HERE
Looking for an office space for your unique business, check out our available properties by >clicking HERE
Curious about what's happening at Coleman Landing? We have the latest and are happy to report the activity here could be an indicator of the San Jose retail market coming back.
Unfamiliar with the San Jose's Coleman Landing? It's located off Coleman Ave. immediately across from the airport known for it's new Lowe's and an In-n-Out, both of which have been construction in the last 12 months.
Soon, Coleman Landing will be known more than it's current 2 tenants. New tenants are in approaching the horizon at a very fast pace.
A Chevron gas station is currently under construction. It's a prime location being right on the corner and in about 90 days they should be up and running. Come July you'll be able to check it out.
No additional signed leases but there are at least 3 getting close. Here's some more detail:
- Fitness Center: One of the major fitness centers is the furthest along with negotiations. It's not certain who the tenant is but given that they are looking to take 45,000 square feet is a hint that it's one of the Majors - either 24 Hour Fitness or LA Fitness.
- Coffee (Starbucks or Peet's): While it's not 100% confirmed which popular coffee house is moving in, it makes all the sense that they would since they space they would take is an end-cap next to Chevron.
- Hard Goods (Furniture, electronics, etc.): This deal is still in the preliminary negociating stages but showing promise on 20,000 square feet. My best guess is that it's home goods/ furniture or electronics type of tenant.
Besides these 3 developments, 2 other retail pad sites remain available. Both are about 5,000 square feet; one is ideal for a restaurant the other more flexiable.
All of this is great news for the San Jose retail market. For the past few years, this market has been pretty depressed. Few national retailers were expanding and as for the mom-and-pop shops, it was doom and gloom for quite some time.
A great example is Coleman Landing. David Buchholz, one of the Colliers International brokers listing the site, said that, "The San Jose retail market has been pretty slow. We've had the [Coleman Landing] site for 3 years now and only this past Winter did we finally get some interest."
Lets keep our fingers crossed for more signs of the market coming back. If you hear of anything that could be a market indicator, don't hesitate to contact me, Jessie @ firstname.lastname@example.org
The results are in over Measure A, which asked voters if the Santa Clara Unified School District should assess a special tax on new and existing homes to help pay for school construction and expansion. It needed a 2/3rd majority but was greatly defeated; 59% of the voters said "No". (For updated results click HERE)
Opponents for Measure A included real estate developers who would have had to pay increased school fees in order to move ahead with their residential developments. The cost per residential unit would have been $6,500 - a number that when multiplied by the total number of units per development, can truly make or break a project. Given the 16,000 apartment and condo units planned for North San Jose, that additional fee becomes a burden powerful enough to deter any new developers from breaking ground. Without these units, the entire plan for North San Jose becomes jeopardized.
North San Jose is planned to be the largest area of high-density, transit oriented developments. Over the next 20+ years, it is slated to add over 27 million square feet of R&D and office space (which equates to over 83,000 new jobs) and add over 32,000 residential units. In other words, it's a key area for San Jose and without the residential component, the North San Jose Vision would fail.
In the event Measure A failed, the Mercury News reported that the school district had pre-negotiated with 4 developers to increase their school fees to $5,000 per unit. This is good news for Santa Clara but is still a large figure to developers. We will have to wait and see if it's a figure large enough to still deter them from moving ahead or not.
Caltrains has continued down the path of closing a $35.7M deficit by officially declaring a fiscal emergency last night. The vote was cast by the governing board of Caltrains, the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board (JPB). Now, they have less than 5 weeks to find a new funding source or come April 7th, they will have no choice but to vote for the drastic changes to Caltrain schedules, fare increases and elimination of all stations South of Diridron Station.
A fiscal emergency exists when a transit authority projects negative expenditures in the forthcoming year. Once the emergency is declared, the transit agency can bypass the CEQA process and take whatever steps necessary to eliminate the projected shortfall.
Here are some key facts to consider about Caltrain's financial situation:
- Caltrain is the only transit agency that does not have a dedicated funding source.
- 100% of Caltrains budget comes from contributions from VTA, SamTrans and MUNI.
- Caltrain is 2nd most expensive mode of public transportation to operate (1st is BART) in the Bay Area.
- Originally in 1992, there were 52 daily trains. Today, there are 98 daily trains and the proposed cuts will bring daily trans down to 42 trains per day.
- When the Baby Bullet was added in 2004, ridership spiked 44%. Today, ridership has remained at its highest levels.
There is no doubt the situation is in desperate dispare. 5 weeks will go by VERY quickly. Someone needs to pull a rabbit out of a hat. Between now and April 7th, VTA, SamTrans and MUNI will be meeting individually to discuss "next steps" while Caltrain executives will be crafting the final financial plan to close the budget hole. The plan will ultimately be presented at the April 7th meeting and will then go into affect July 2nd.
Everything about the proposed plan is awful. It's awful from the standpoint of daily riders who depend on it to get to work, awful from the standpoint of students needing it to get to school, awful from the standpoint of all the millions of dollars invested in transit oriented developments and infrastructure around Caltrain stations which will now be wasted due to the limited train schedule and even furthermore, due to the closure of the stations all together.
Hopefully, during the time between now and April 7th, the agency will be careful to review all the stations in consideration for closure not just based on ridership but also look where developments are being planned.
Take for example the Tamien Station. This station is where Caltrain riders can connect to the VTA's light rail system which flows through Downtown San Jose and the surrounding areas. At the base of the station is a VTA sponsored daycare center that is the ideal location for parents who drop off their kids then ride to work.
Additionally, there is an 11 story apartment community, Skyline at Tamien Station, with 121 homes which was built specifically as a transit oriented development (aka, building up around transit stations). Another 120 units are planned next door. But if the station closes, the whole point of building there goes out the door.
Here are some good links:
About a year ago, I wrote a post called "Apple NYC Coming to Downtown Palo Alo" that highlighted the potential of Apple opening a new store on University Ave. At that point, there was little information except for public documents submitted by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, the architecture firm credited with designing the famous Apple store in New York City (see image below), for a major tenant improvement in Palo Alto for their unnamed client. Of course, there is much anticipation that their client is Apple...
And now today in the Mercury News, a leading article in the Business and Technology section outlines the potential for Apple's new store to finally be approved this week. If there was any doubt about Apple moving into this location, that doubt should be creeping away as news continues to mount.
Should Apple get approval this week, they would be able to press forward with building permits. It's unknown about their construction schedule but given their aggression with latest products, there shouldn't be any reason why it wouldn't press foward with another store, especially since this store is slated to be another architectural marvel.
A few other tid bits about other Apple stores:
- A new Paris store is opening (bringing the total Paris stores to 4);
- Senior VP of Retail Ron Johnson stated in a public speech back in 2009 how Apple's plan is to aggressively open new stores and create more iconic ones;
- New store has rumured to be a new "prototype" of a store.
Stay tuned for more details about the new Apple store in Palo Alto. You can also email me directly at email@example.com.
.....Caltrain proceeds with its most recent plan to close up to 16 stations, 4 of which are located in San Jose. The front page of the Mercury News last Friday read the headlines "Station Cuts Loom" followed by an article describing the most recent plan by Caltrain to close various stations and end weekend/ special event services in order to close the $30M deficit it faces. That means trains would go from 86 trips down to 48.
Already fares have been hiked up $.75 for a 1-way fare but it's not enough. Unlike other transit authorities around the Bay, Caltrain doesn't have a dedicated funding source. It therefore is at the mercy of contributions from Samtrans, VTA and MUNI; all of which have had serious funding issues themselves. What does this mean? Caltrain is in deep trouble and so would be the people and businesses that depend on it.
What is further disastrous is the impact the station closings would have on the hundreds of existing and planned developments built around the stations. Any mixed-use community that includes a mixture of uses including residential, commercial and retail which is located in the immediate vicinity of public transit is considered a Transit Oriented Development (TOD). The whole purpose behind any TOD is that it places people closer to public transit so there is less car-dependency and creates more environmental sustainability.
There are many TODs that are either already in existence or planned around all of the Caltrain stations, including the stations that could close. If this was to happen, the whole point of building TODs would be a waste. Without the public transit opportunity, people would be forced back into their cars to either drive to their final destination or drive to the nearest Caltrain station still open to proceed to their final destination. This is also assuming people have cars or alternative means of transportation, many do not have this option.
There will be public meetings happening next week if you would like to speak out or get more information. The meetings are listed below:
- Feb 14th: San Jose City Hall, 7pm
- Feb 16th: San Francisco Muni Headquarters, 6pm
- Feb 17th: Gilroy Senior Center, 6pm
- Feb 17th: Caltrain Senior Center, 6pm
- March 3: Board Meeting at Caltrain Headquarters, 10am
Caltrain can also be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call them at 1-800-660-4287
I plan on attending the Feb 14th meeting in San Jose and will be happy to share any information I gather if you are further interested. I can be contacted at email@example.com.
St. James Park, one of the many famous parks in Downtown San Jose, is marked by historic buildings that surround it in every direction. In the past few weeks, there has been some changes to the park. The old buildings that sat in the Eastern portion of it are no longer there. Phase I of the Park’s new Master Plan has commenced.
The buildings were once home for Senior Citizen activities. Those activities have since been relocated to the Roosevelt Community Center which allowed for San Jose Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services to step in and begin construction of the Master Plan.
The St. James Park Master Plan was originally adopted in 2002 but couldn’t start due to funding limitations. The entire park is intended to be remodeled but now, it will be remodeled in phases.
The first Phase is to demolish the existing buildings and replace them with turf. The project was originally budgeted at $700,000 but since was scaled back to approximately $300,000.
Well, as we’re all heard, the San Jose Redevelopment Agency is scraping for money (once a financial contributor to the project) and the City of San Jose is in the midst of a financial crisis (another contributor to the project). St. James Park is affected as a result. But really, there’s not much to complain. The construction project will absolutely improve the park.
In an interview with Matt Cano from the San Jose Park Service he said, “I’m looking forward to more open space and better views.” By eliminating the old buildings, the park will achieve this and more. By the end of March the project will be completed.
When construction of future phases of the park’s Master Plan is still undetermined. It all boils down to funding and where these funds come from is an unknown.
Cano commented about the possibility of getting grant funding but it’s stuff competition from not only other parks in the region but locally as well. Another funding possibility is from park fees generated from new Downtown San Jose housing developments. There are many planned or entitled residential units, all of which will be subject to parks fees, but again, this is uncertain for reasons we can all image.
For the time bring though, the San Jose construction in St. James Park is a nice change and one that can be appreciated by all. Check it out next time you’re driving by on North 3rd street.
Article Written by Guest Blogger Eric Bramlett
Whether you are planning to sell your home in the near future or you plan to remain in it for years to come, you might be considering remodeling all or part of your home. While a remodel is a great way to increase the value of the home, it is essential to choose the right contractor to do the job. Otherwise, the end result may be less than desirable. To ensure you get the results you are after, be sure to keep these 5 simple steps in mind when choosing a contractor for your next home remodel.
Step #1: Ask Someone You Know
The first step in a successful home remodel to ask someone you know to recommend a contractor. In all likelihood, someone you know has completed a home remodel within the last year or so. If that person had a good experience with the contractor he selected, the chances are pretty good that the contractor will do good work for you as well.
Step #2: Look for a Specialist
When it comes to hiring a contractor, it is always better to hire someone who specializes in the type of work that you need completed rather than a general contractor. Not only will a specialist have a greater amount of experience with the type of work you need done, but he or she will also be more likely to have connections with the right professionals to complete the highest-quality work at the lowest price possible.
Step #3: Check Licensing and Insurance
A reputable contractor will be able to provide you with documentation proving that he has the proper licensure and insurance in place. Three documents you should ask for include:
- Worker's Compensation status
- Contractor's Certification issued by your city's Contractors Licensing Board
- Liability Insurance certificate
Step #4: Check References
At a minimum, you should ask for three references. Keep in mind, however, that contractors will generally provide the names of those customers who were very satisfied. Therefore, you need to be prepared to ask very specific questions in order to learn more about the experiences these people had with the contractor while also getting a better feel for the quality of work the contractor provides. While you are at it, be sure to check with the Better Business Bureau to find out if any complaints have been filed against the contractor.
Step #5: Obtain Written Estimates
When comparing various contractors, ask each one to provide a written estimate. In this way, you can better compare the services and materials you will receive for the price quoted. At a very minimum, you should obtain three estimates before deciding which contractor to hire.
A little about the Author:
Eric Bramlett is the broker and co-owner of One Source Realty, a boutique real estate company specializing in Austin Condos & Steiner Ranch Homes for Sale.
This is going to be a great event - we hope to see you there!
Please join us for the 2nd Annual South Bay MyULI Nite, a special evening designed to connect you with the District Council leadership of the South Bay for the Urban Land Institute. (www.ulisf.org)
- WHEN: Thursday, January 27, 2011; 5:30pm - 7:30pm
- WHERE: Moffett Towers Club, 1080 Enterprise Way, Sunnyvale, CA
- COST: FREE to all members and prospective members
- ** Cocktails & Appetizers Provided
- Register @ www.ULISF.org or call 800.321.5011
- Matt Lituchy, Managing Director, Jay Paul Company
- Drew Hudacek, Senior Vice President, Sares-Regis Group
- Nevena Vidic, UBS Realty Investors
As a member-led organization, we encourage all members to take part in a way that best suits their specific interests and unique goals. Come hear first hand from a distinguished group of South Bay ULI leaders, sharing how ULI has made a difference in their professional lives. Following the presentation, participants will have the opportunity to learn more about our committees and how you can plug in to one of the fastest growing District Councils in the country.
Hosted & sponsored by Jay Paul Company and Barry Swenson Builder
I had the opportunity earlier this year to visit the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai, China. It was an achievement of modern development to say the least, and I wanted to write this article to bring to light the INCREDIBLE opportunity California has to host the same expo in Silicon Valley in 2020.
Here are some quick facts:
- 189 countries and 57 international organizations took part, a record high.
- Six-month event attracted 73 million visitors from China and abroad. (almost equivalent to 1/3 of the entire US Population)
- Theme: "Better City, Better Life," making it the first world exposition to have an urban theme.
- First world expo hosted by a developing country.
- 20,000 performances held during Expo, an average of 100 a day.
After visiting the expo, Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger said, "Shanghai has demonstrated that when you host the world expo, the world comes to you, and I want the world to come to California."
The United States hasn't held a world's fair since the 1984 Louisiana World Exposition in New Orleans and there hasn't been a world's fair on the continent since Vancouver, Canada's Expo 86. That would seem to make a United States bid a strong one for the 2020 Expo. One wrinkle, however is that the US withdrew from the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) in 2004. As of December 2010, Houston and Silicon Valley seem to be the farthest along to put forth a bid. The Silicon Valley bid has the support of the California governor.
All the articles about hosting the 2020 Expo at Moffett Field in Silicon Valley were published during the peak of our financial crisis- I'm hoping we can figure it out by 2020, because this would be the largest draw to California and the best place to showcase world technological progress in an area known to be the epicenter of innovation.
The Site: 450 Acres of NASA-owned property literally next to Google Inc. Proposed layout created by San Francisco based Heller Manus Architects.
Below are some links to the expo 2020 websites!
If you're looking for a master planner for your properties, contact our development department today by clicking HERE!