WeWork takes new downtown San Jose site amid expansion

WeWork is leasing a new downtown San Jose location, a clear indication of an ongoing expansion by the co-working titan in the core area of the Bay Area’s largest city.

The newest WeWork location is at 152 N. Third St., a downtown San Jose office building owned by a group led by Gary Dillabough, a realty investor who is partnering with WeWork on the Bank of Italy office tower project a few blocks away.

The interest from WeWork in the North Third Street building appears to point to a rising focus on downtown San Jose, spurred by potential major developments in the area by tech titans such as Google and Adobe Systems.

WeWork agreed to lease 75,000 square feet at 152 N. Third St., according to commercial realty experts and information from sources with knowledge about the WeWork plans at that office building. The WeWork operation on North Third Street also shows up on the company’s website as a “just announced” location.

“It’s very encouraging that WeWork is getting more interested in downtown San Jose,” said Mark Ritchie, president of Ritchie Commercial, a realty firm.

In addition, WeWork has taken space in one of the Riverpark Towers office high-rises at 333 W. San Carlos St. and the tower at 75 E. Santa Clara St.

“WeWork is now into four buildings in downtown San Jose,” Ritchie said. “152 N. Third St. should function very well as a co-working building.”

 

 

Read more at The Mercury News

 

 

A’s Dave Kaval unveils gondola plan to link BART, Howard Terminal

The A’s unveiled plans for a gondola to run from BART to their proposed Howard Terminal site, including a tower above Washington Street.

London, New York, Portland, Ore., and Mexico City are among the urban centers making good use of gondolas, a transportation trend popping up worldwide, and A’s President Dave Kaval sees his team fitting right into that niche.

Kaval has mentioned the potential for a gondola to ferry fans from BART to the team’s proposed stadium at Howard Terminal, just north of Jack London Square, and Saturday morning he unveiled artist renderings and a video simulation of the project.

The gondola would ferry about 6,000 people per hour; cabs with a capacity of 30-35 would make a three-minute trip of less than a mile along Washington Street in Oakland, linking the BART station at 12th and Washington to Jack London Square. The gondola would transport an estimated 1 million people per year, Kaval said.

Read more at the San Francisco Chronicle

 

 

In 2069, your food will shop for you

Industry experts place their bets on the supermarket of the future.

The trouble with predictions about the future of food is that they usually wind up being wrong. Where, for instance, is the dog-sized cow engineered to graze in my backyard? Meals today don’t come in pill form, and despite decades of anticipation, insects haven’t replaced farm animals as a meaningful source of protein. You’ll understand why I’ve approached the question of how we’ll shop for food in the year 2069 with some amount of hesitancy.

To find my footing, I called Max Elder at the Institute for the Future, a think tank based in Palo Alto, California. Elder works as a researcher in the Food Futures Lab, which companies and governments hire to do exactly the type of blue-sky thinking that conjures up an idea like that backyard cow—or, in this particular case, blenders and refrigerators that can conspire to manipulate commodity markets. Whether or not these concepts bear out, Elder tells me, he believes that engaging in such speculation is critical to shaping our world. Fail to dream about the future, and you forfeit your role in its creation.

Today, the grocery store is in a period of particularly rapid change, as more and more companies vie for their share of America’s $650 billion food retail sector. Legacy supermarket chains like Kroger and Albertsons are now up against discount rivals like Walmart and Costco, European transplants Aldi and Lidl, plus drugstores, dollar stores, and, of course Amazon, which has been steadily encroaching on food retail since its 2017 acquisition of Whole Foods. All that competition has produced a climate of innovation, as retailers try to best each other on exclusive products and services, value, technology, and convenience. The choices they make matter: Everybody eats, after all, and what we consume is determined to a large extent by what our grocery stores decide to offer.

In forecasting where the industry will go over the next few decades, Elder told me, “The idea is to push people beyond notions of what’s plausible to what’s possible. What are the values implicit in the question? What will the food system look like if we optimize for different values?” He encouraged me to think of it all not so much as predictions but imaginings. So, I decided to suspend disbelief, loosen my grip on reality, and imagine a world where T-bone steaks grow on trees (or at least in bioreactors), snacks are tailored to my microbiome, and my morning coffee arrives by drone. Saddle up, everyone! Don’t forget your decoder rings.

Read more at Medium

 

 

NAI Northern California Presents the Opportunity to Acquire the Lucca Ravioli Buildings Located on Valencia St.

1100-1118 Valencia St. Portfolio Sale.

 Jordan Geller and JB Williams of NAI Northern California are pleased to present as exclusive advisors, the opportunity to purchase jointly or as a portfolio, the three mixed-use properties located at 1100, 1102-1110 and 1114-1118 Valencia St. The associated business, Lucca Ravioli Co., has been operated from the retail storefront located at Valencia and 22nd Streets by owner Michael Feno for 53 years and has been in business for 94 years. After exploring many possibilities and having reached retirement age with no successor generation to continue the business, he and his family have made the difficult decision to close Lucca Ravioli effective Easter 2019. He would like to thank the many customers for their continued patronage and enthusiasm for the business over the years.The sellers understand that for generations Lucca has been a prominent local business and its absence will be felt by many, including San Francisco’s Italian American Community. They hope that Lucca Ravioli will be remembered fondly and that its location will continue to serve the neighborhood in a productive way.*The image above is a rendering of a potential conversion of two of the street level commercial spaces to a new retail use and is not representative of the current building configuration for the two non-corner buildings.

Contact NAI Northern California Vice President Jordan Geller and Investment Advisor J.B. Williams for more information. 

About NAI Northern California
NAI Northern California is a full service commercial real estate firm serving the Northern California Bay Area. Our team delivers technology-enabled commercial real estate services that create value for our clients, industry, and communities.NAI Northern California is a partner of NAI Global, the largest commercial real estate brokerage network with more than 400 offices worldwide and over 7,000 professionals completing in excess of $20 billion in commercial real estate transactions globally.www.nainorcal.com

 

San Jose and Stockton mayors boost transit-housing plan

“Too many children go to bed at night without seeing parents who are stuck in crippling commutes.”

On Thursday, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo endorsed SB 50, the proposed new law that aims to create more dense housing near major transit lines in California, as did the mayor of Stockton, Michael Tubbs.

Introduced in December, the bill, written by SF-based State Sen. Scott Wiener, is a follow-up to the very similar but unsuccessful SB 827.

According to Wiener’s office, the bill “eliminates hyper-low-density zoning near transit and job centers.”

The text of the proposed law specifies that it applies to “sites within one-half mile of fixed rail and one-quarter mile of high-frequency bus stops and in job-rich areas.”

On Thursday, Liccardo praised the proposal as a potential antidote to long commutes.

“Too many children go to bed at night without seeing parents who are stuck in crippling commutes,” Liccardo said in an emailed statement.

The mayor predicts that “SB 50 will spur more affordable housing near transit and job centers so that people can live close to where they work.”

Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs endorsed the measure this week too, promoting it as a way to encourage more housing and keep prices down.

“As we force individuals to pay more for their rent, we also push them into poverty,” said Tubbs. “This is a policy failure that we must address.”

San Francisco Mayor London Breed, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, and the mayors of Sacramento and Los Angeles are also among those who endorsed the measure or “made positive statements regarding the direction of the bill” previously, according to Wiener’s office.

 

 

 

Read more at Curbed SF

 

 

Oakland may scrap owner-occupied rent control exemption

City Council will vote next month whether to allow rent control for owner-occupied duplexes and triplexes.

An exemption to the city’s rent control and tenant protection laws for owner-occupied duplexes and triplexes could get scrapped this year.

Currently, landlords who live in duplexes and triplexes and rent out the other units are exempt from rent control, as well as the tenant protection ordinance, which provides a procedure for tenants or the city attorney to sue landlords who harass them or fail to maintain the building.

Last week, city council members Dan Kalb and Noel Gallo introduced an ordinance that would remove the exemption. The ordinance will be presented at the Jan. 29 Community and Economic Development Committee, and the City Council is scheduled to vote on it the following Tuesday.

“The key here is we’re trying to make all of our rent laws consistent with each other and cover the same types of units,” Kalb said in an interview. “This is an effort to conform with Measure Y that was passed by voters last year.”

Measure Y removed the exemption from Oakland’s Just Cause for Eviction Ordinance for owner-occupied duplexes and triplexes. That ordinance prohibits landlords from evicting tenants without a legitimate reason.

When proposing the ballot measure, Kalb and Gallo noted that if it passed, they intended to introduce a parallel ordinance to remove the exemptions from rent control and tenant protection laws for owner-occupied duplexes and triplexes.

Kalb said he looked at other cities’ rent control laws and found that some had the exemption and some didn’t.

The ordinance is among the first tenants’ rights ordinances to be voted on by Oakland’s new City Council — three of the eight incumbent council members have been replaced. The new council members are Nikki Fortunato Bas, who represents District 2; Loren Taylor, who represents District 6; and Sheng Thao, who represents District 4.

 

 

Read more at the East Bay Times

 

 

Housing proposed above S.F. firehouse

The city is preparing to sell off its fire station in Jackson Square to a residential developer, but it won’t be at a fire-sale price.

Fire Station No. 13 at 530 Sansome St. is zoned for a 200-foot tower and is expected to fetch upward of $20 million. Proceeds from the sale will pay for a new firehouse on the same location, topped with luxury housing.

Whatever money is left after construction will be used to develop affordable housing at 772 Pacific Ave., a city-owned property that is home to the New Asia restaurant in nearby Chinatown. The $10 million in affordable housing fees the firehouse project is expected to generate will also be spent on the 80-unit Pacific Avenue development, which will also include a new dim sum banquet hall on the lower levels.

On Wednesday, the brokerage firm Colliers International will begin soliciting offers from builders interested in acquiring and developing the roughly 9,000-square-foot property in Jackson Square, one of San Francisco’s most historic and sought-after neighborhoods. About 100 family-sized units would be built above a new 22,000-square-foot fire station, a mix of uses that has been successfully combined in projects in Washington, D.C., Chicago, and Wilmington, Del.

The firehouse would have to be temporarily relocated while the new building is constructed. The fire station is 45 years old.

Read more at San Francisco Chronicle

Could anti-price gouging laws slow rising rents in California?

California lawmakers are exploring new ways to limit skyrocketing rents.

Crooning in the shower is not Chad Regeczi’s thing.

That’s why when he learned last year his monthly rent would go up $300 so the new owners of his La Mesa apartment in San Diego County could upgrade his bathroom with a sound system, he was bemused.

“300 bucks!” he said. “I mean an iPod costs less than that. Everybody has got a phone now. Who needs a Bluetooth speaker in a bathroom apartment? It’s just weird.”

Regeczi, a VA employee, said the 30 percent rent increase didn’t match the condition of his apartment. But he felt powerless to challenge his landlords on the hike.

“Who’s gonna tell them no?” he asked. “There are no rules to how much your rent can go up.”

That may change. Talk is underway about putting a law on the books that would bar California landlords from raising rent beyond a certain percentage.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said in November the rule would mimic limits on what businesses can charge during natural disasters.

“When there’s a fire, you pass an anti-rent gouging ordinance,” Schaaf said. “The state has a fire. It’s called the housing crisis.”

Rents are surging in some California cities where there is no rent control by double, even triple digits, according to mayors and tenants rights advocates.

And more than half of the state’s renters pay more than a third of their income on housing, according to the California Budget & Policy Center. And a third of renters spend more than half of their paycheck on a place to live. The real estate firm Zillow reported last month that communities where people pay more than a third of their salary on rent, see a faster rise in homelessness.

 

Read more on East Bay Times

 

 

Downtown San Jose, Oakland opportunity zones attract investors, spur development plans amid Google effect

Developers eye projects in downtown San Jose and parts of Oakland, bolstered by tax incentives keyed to opportunity zone.

Developers and a new crop of investors are eyeing projects in downtown San Jose and parts of Oakland, bolstered by opportunity zones enabled by President Donald Trump’s tax-cut initiative.

Potentially the first project in a local opportunity zone would be development of a brand-new office and retail complex on South First Street in downtown San Jose at the site of the old Lido night club, said Erik Hayden, president of Urban Catalyst, a company that as formed an opportunity fund that would provide cash for selected developments in designated areas.

“These opportunity zones are ways to create greater economic activity in lower-income areas,” Hayden said. “They were originally presented to the Obama Administration but didn’t get a lot of traction. Then they became part of President Trump’s tax cuts and jobs act. San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo very successfully lobbied Gov. Jerry Brown to get downtown San Jose included.”

Investors who plunk down cash for an opportunity fund can “defer or eliminate federal taxes on capital gains,” according to information on the state’s Department of Finance site.

The Lido night club site, currently a two-story building at 26 and 30 S. First St., is now owned by a partnership led by Gary Dillabough, who has emerged as one of downtown San Jose’s most active realty investors and developers. Among the properties Dillabough-headed groups have bought: the nearby Bank of Italy building, a historic office tower at the corner of South First and East Santa Clara streets.

 

 

 

Read more on The Mercury News

 

 

 

Fruitvale: Transit and Community

More than just a BART station.

metro or subway station may seem one-dimensional, a jumping-off point from one place to another. But some stations are destinations, drawing in visitors on the basis of their own merits. They may be architectural gems, like Grand Central Terminal in New York City or shopping meccas like Shinjuku in Tokyo. A few go beyond attaining this status and have become communities unto themselves.

Fruitvale Station is one such place. It’s a thriving transportation hub that also possesses the elements of a long-standing community.

I commute to the city from Fruitvale Station every day, witnessing this tangible sense of community up close. My daily journey here began in January 2009, just a few weeks after Oscar Grant was shot and killed by a BART police officer in the early hours of New Year’s Day. The tenth anniversary of the tragedy happened on January 1 of this year, marking a milestone that has largely defined the identity of the station.

Fruitvale ingests passengers not only from its namesake neighborhood but also from other areas of Oakland and adjacent towns — as evidenced by the busy AC Transit buses and the jam-packed parking. The ongoing stream of humanity begins in the early morning with commuters and school kids and continues until the last train departs for Warm Springs at 1:00 a.m.

The first clue that more is afoot than simply moving people is the Fruitvale Village sign that stands next to the station entrance. Fruitvale Village was developed in the early 2000s by the Unity Council, a nonprofit Oakland group, and became an early model of transit-oriented development.

The development is home to housing and multiple community organizations, including institutions that are hallmarks of any civic community: a health clinic, a public library branch and a school. It also features shops and restaurants, most of them locally owned, like neighborhood Mexican food fixture Obelisco (formerly the Taco Grill). In 2017, Reem’s, an Arab bakery, opened to much acclaim. Owner Reem Assil has been recognized by the James Beard Foundation and major food publications. Equally notable, Assil has made social justice a core value of her business by hiring local workers and providing a living wage.

Read more at The Bold Italic