New Residents and Businesses
Call Downtown San Jose Home
Live Healthy. Live Green. Live in Downtown San Jose.
Since 1980, the San Jose Redevelopment Agency has worked with the private sector and made major public investments of nearly $2 billion to enhance downtown’s infrastructure, such as cultural and arts facilities, transportation systems, parks, improved streetscapes and the rehabilitation of historic buildings. With the infrastructure in place, the focus has been on the continued strategic growth of residential housing and amenities. This is the perfect time to get into the market and invest in Downtown San Jose.
So, what's it like to live in downtown? The downtown lifestyle encourages you to live a healthy lifestyle by leaving your car in the garage, walk or ride your bike to work, to run errands or to hang out at your favorite downtown dining and entertainment spots. With one less car off the road and by avoiding the $4-dollar per gallon gas, you’ll be helping the environment and your wallet.
By stretching up rather than out, the high-rise developments reduce the environmental impact to open space areas that have traditionally been parceled off for large subdivisions of single-family homes. The infill projects minimize impact on their urban environments by freeing up ground space for public and retail uses. A few years ago, luxury high-rise living in Downtown San Jose was just a concept. Today, they are quickly shifting the city’s skyline, adding to the established multi-family condos that began sprouting in the late 1980s. The modern condo units are attracting buyers who want to move beyond a traditional suburban culture.
Downtowners enjoy the convenient access to public transportation--Caltrain, Light Rail, DASH--all within walking distance of downtown offices, entertainment, cultural and sports venues.
Check out high-rise living at any of the Downtown San Jose’s locations, including San Pedro District’s City Heights, the first downtown high-rise to open its 124 units last summer; Axis, downtown’s first luxury high-rise is ready for move-ins and located next to the historic Hotel De Anza, Axis residents enjoy an on-site fitness center, pool, outdoor barbecue and 24-hour concierge service. The 88, the tallest of the high-rises at 286 feet and 23-stories, is ready to sell units. Next year, 360 Residences will open its 23-story tower on South Market in Downtown San Jose’s arts and entertainment district, South First Area (SoFA). In the meantime, take a peek at the models at their sales office in the Fairmont Annex.
On Saturday and Sunday, September 20 & 21, 2008, experience urban living in Downtown San Jose at the four high-rise tower open house event. The event is hosted by Axis, City Heights, The 88, 360 Residences and sponsored by the San Jose Redevelopment Agency, San Jose Downtown Association and San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce. View the invitation to the Downtown San Jose Open House event.
Learn more about living, working and playing in Downtown San Jose by visiting www.sjdowntownliving.com.
Companies Move to Silicon Valley's Only Urban Center
When ICTV Inc. executives decided to move their interactive television services company from a Los Gatos office park, they knew what they wanted. "More edgy, more media, more urban was the culture they were looking for," said Chief Operating Officer Ed Foreman.
They found the perfect location for that cultural shift on the third and fourth floors of Legacy Partners River Park Towers in Downtown San Jose. In November 2007, the expanding 60-employee ICTV joined a growing number of businesses that have chosen Downtown San Jose as their preferred headquarters.
In the past year, more than 28 businesses have relocated or have started planning to locate downtown. The results will be 893 new employees in the downtown core occupying 237,786 square feet of office space. These businesses include Acer, Accenture, Hood and Strong, Tynax, Kerio, PureMatter, McGrath Power, Xactly, Virtual PBX, Thoights Insurance, MangoDSP, Accelergy, Garcia Calderon & Ruiz, and many others.
Last year, Adobe Systems Inc., the pioneer of establishing headquarters in Downtown San Jose, purchased 5.5 acres of land on West Santa Clara Street. The land, which will be used for Adobe’s future expansion, is near the software giant’s three office towers at Park Avenue and Almaden Boulevard.
Downtown San Jose has 7.2 million square feet of office space and will expand further when Legacy Partners River Park Towers opens its second 16-story tower in May 2009.
For ICTV, the move offered several financial advantages. The San Jose Redevelopment Agency and the City of San Jose Special Tenant Improvement program enabled ICTV to accommodate two Research Development laboratories. The laboratories occupy two stories, which total 34,000 square feet and feature development laboratories, a shipping and receiving area, a server room and office space. The international company has been a leader in the development of centralized multimedia innovations for more than 10 years, and holds a portfolio of 23 patents.
"Moving into this new facility gave us the opportunity to lay out our offices a lot more effectively and have more people work in areas with access to natural light,” Foreman said. “We have a lot more elbow room and a much better working environment.”
Xactly Corp. founder, president and CEO Christopher Cabrera was also looking for a vibrant environment for his growing business. In August 2007, the leading provider of on-demand sales performance management solutions moved into a historic building on South Market Street from their previous location at Race Street and Auzerais.
Xactly’s offices are located in the historic Hotel Metropole building, a 24,000-square-foot, two-story City Landmark. The building, originally known as the Alcantara Building, features Romanesque stylings and is the last remaining brick building that historically lined Market Street.
“Every time somebody wanted to even get a cup of coffee they had to get into their cars and drive,’’ said Cabrera of their previous Race Street location. “Same thing for lunch.”
At their new home, “You step outside and there are over 50 restaurants within two blocks. It’s a totally different feeling. And people aren’t getting into their cars.”
Besides the “cool factor” of doing business in a historic building, Cabrera was able to benefit from the Redevelopment Agency’s signage grant program to increase Xactly's visibility on Market Street. The “Xactly” brand is prominently displayed on two corners of the building. “We’re a young company,’’ Cabrera said. “Where we were previously, we had been a part of a big building. We didn’t have any signage. Now we have branding and visibility down here and we didn’t pay a dime.”
CEO Scott Schreiman moved Kerio Technologies from Santa Clara to the Community Towers office building on West St. John Street in December. For him and his employees, the new location appeals to a “sense of work/life balance,’’ he said.
The company’s location in Santa Clara and other business parks he visited during a location search, didn’t offer opportunities for anything other than work. Now in Downtown San Jose, Schreiman can meet his wife and three children at the Children’s Discovery Museum after work and his employees are able to utilize downtown’s amenities and entertainment offerings.
“We employ a lot of young people,’’ he added. “They like the nightlife opportunities,’’ including sports events at the nearby HP Pavilion. “I’m absolutely finding that people love it down here.’’
"Access to transportation alternatives is also an added value to the downtown locations," the three executives said. "Employees are using trains and light rail and are frequently walking to work. Those who drive find access to freeways more convenient in downtown San Jose," Schreiman said.
Also, when customers or business partners visit, the Mineta San Jose International Airport is just a short taxi ride to the companies' downtown headquarters.
Xactly and Kerio were also able to benefit from the City’s Parking Incentive Program, a program that offers allocated parking spaces for eligible small entrepreneurial start-ups in bio-tech and high-tech industries who wish locate in Downtown San Jose.
Besides moving his company to Downtown San Jose, Cabrera also joined the board of directors of the San Jose Downtown Association (SJDA).
“I want to make sure that we’re adding to the culture down here and not just taking away from it,” Cabrera said. “I really do believe that San Jose is one of the best kept secrets,” he added. “We need people to rediscover all the good things going on down here.”
More Small Business Make Downtown San Jose its Home
New retailers form a crucial link between office buildings, arts and entertainment venues and housing. In the past year, more than 20 shops and service providers have opened in the downtown San Jose area, providing an essential component to a vibrant urban center--from Trader Joe’s grocery store in the 2-year-old San Jose MarketCenter on Coleman Avenue in the Greater Downtown area, which has 338,632 square feet of retail space and has added more than 844 jobs to downtown, to the recently opened Beard Papa Cream Puff in the Downtown San Jose core representing about 65,000 square feet of retail space and 340 new jobs.
Some of the other recent openings include Bijan Bakery, Tova Day Spa, San Pedro Wine and Bistro, Motif Restaurant and Club, Subway, Starbucks, Nazca Peruvian Restaurant and Morocco’s Restaurant. Coming soon: Billy Berk's Restaurant, Hoagie Steak Out, Popeyes Chicken and Biscuits and Blendz.
Implementing small business assistance programs is a key goal for the San Jose Redevelopment Agency. Since 1998, the Agency has invested more than $7 million in recruiting retail businesses to the greater downtown area. The Retail Strategy uses a comprehensive approach by assisting new tenants from their first introduction to the location through the store’s grand opening.
Businesses have also benefitted from other Agency programs including the Facade Improvement Program and the Signage Grant Program. Since 1987, the Agency has invested $27 million in storefront improvements in the downtown area as well as in neighborhoods. Another 40 downtown businesses are in the pipeline for improvements. Since 2005, the Agency has invested $403,000 for the Signage Grant Program, resulting in 42 new signs in the downtown and other neighborhood business areas.
Bijan Abachizadeh opened Bijan Bakery's second location in the Fairmont Hotel Annex last December. The gourmet French bakery’s original store still operates on Saratoga Avenue and specializes in wedding cakes. The new bakery caters more to foot traffic, the lunch crowd and pastry lovers. The store also attracts late-night customers. “Our customers are very happy we are here,’’ Abachizadeh said of the downtown location.
“Our plan was to open until about 6 or 7,’’ he said. “But we found that more people are coming downtown at night.’’ The bakery is now open until 10 p.m. on weeknights and 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights. “To me, downtown is doing very good,’’ he said, noting that he and his family sometimes wait 30 minutes to get a table at a restaurant. “This shows most of the places are doing good.’’
The Agency partnered with Bijan Bakery by entering into a 10-year lease and investing $498,800 for landlord improvements, including retail signs, utilities, floors, walls and exterior doors.
A few blocks north of Bijan’s on Market Street, Jay Essadki’s new business is adding spice to downtown restaurant menus. Morocco’s opened in February at 86 N. Market. “Hospitality and food are a huge part of the culture,’’ Jay said. “It became automatic for us to open a restaurant. We were waiting for the perfect time and the perfect place.’’
Essadki describes Morocco’s as offering “authentic Moroccan cuisine infused with an urban California twist.’’ As the restaurant’s chef, Jay uses family recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation.
The restaurant was able to open without making structural changes to the building and the owner benefitted from a streamlined permitting process. The Agency and the City worked with the owner through the San Jose Small Business Ambassador Program to help the restaurant open within a few months. “So far, business is encouraging. The location is good,’’ he said. “We are one of the reasons why people will come back downtown.’’
Downtown San Jose’s second full-service day spa and salon opened at the Fairmont Hotel this past spring to provide services that “rejuvenate the body, refresh the mind, revive the spirit and restore the senses.’’
Tova Day Spa’s David Yaron says business is steadily growing. So far, most of the spa clients are hotel guests, but Yaron said spa managers have been working with local developers to promote both the Spa and the high-rise developments by offering complimentary gift cards to new residents.
“As long-time residents of the area, we love the cultural offerings, diversity and vibrancy of Downtown San Jose,’’ Yaron said. “We’re working on increasing our visibility with downtown residents and businesses.’’
For more information on Downtown San Jose retail opportunities, contact Christine Velasquez at 408.535.1818.
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San Jose Redevelopment Agency
200 E. Santa Clara Street • 14th Floor • San Jose, California 95113
408.535.8500 • Fax: 408.292.6755 • www.sjredevelopment.org
• Learn about the downtown lifestyle and find your home & browse new high-rise projects
• More than 6,500 homes are currently under construction or in the planning process within the greater downtown
• The Redevelopment Agency has invested nearly $2 billion in projects and programs, including the creation of new housing in Downtown San Jose
Play & Learn in Downtown:
• Downtown boosts an eclectic blend of over 150 restaurants
• Visit the world premiere of the largest, most comprehensive
exhibit of the innovative art, science and engineering
works of Leonardo da Vinci
Downtown At Work:
• This past year, more than 28 businesses have relocated or have started planning to locate downtown
• Downtown features more than 7.2 million sq ft of office space
• Legacy Partners River Park Tower Two will add 293,000 sq ft of Class A office space to downtown; the 16-story tower will be the first LEED Gold certified office building downtown
SJRA Meetings &