Amazon reveals top 20 city candidates for its second HQ

Amazon has reviewed the proposals from potential candidate cities for its second North American headquarters location, and it found 20 of those the most promising.

The mayors of these top 20 cities will now fight to the death in a Battle Royale-style island arena… er wait, no actually they’ll just move on the next portion of Amazon’s submission phase, which includes further proposal evaluation and working directly with the candidate cities on getting more info.

Without further ado, here are the cities that made the cut – 20 out of a total of 238 original applicants.

Read more from TechCrunch

Rent-control expansion fails in Sacramento

San Franciscans swarm state capital to boost, decry rent-control law

Hundreds of San Francisco and Bay Area residents trekked to Sacramento Thursday morning, waiting in lines that stretched out of the State Capitol building, to tell the California State Assembly whether they oppose or support AB 1506, a bill that would give cities the opportunity to create new rent-controlled housing.

The bill ultimately failed to pass the Housing and Community Development Committee, falling one vote short of the necessary threshold to move forward. However, backers of the bill, which would repeal the 1995 Costa-Hawkins Act, promised to revive it.

Tenants groups like Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) and the SF Tenants Union boarded buses before sunrise at Civic Center in order to make it to Sacramento for the 9 a.m. hearing. While lawmakers calmly listened inside, shouting matches broke out in the hallway outside as hundreds of Californians, both pro and con, waited their turn to speak.

Read more from Curbed SF

Apple announces second campus, promises to bring 20,000 jobs

Part of $350 billion U.S. investment, it may set off Amazon #HQ2-like scramble among cities

On the heels of the frenzied competition between cities for Amazon’s HQ2, Apple announced earlier todaythat it will also be building a second headquarters somewhere in the U.S.—setting off similar excitement among cities and local leaders.

According to a report in the Associated Press, Apple will be building a second headquarters over the next five years that will employ an estimated 20,000 workers, all part of a $350 billion commitment to the U.S. economy. The company plans to announce the location of the second headquarters by the end of the year.

Read more from Curbed SF

Downtown Oakland will get new office tower at historic site

New development suggests the East Bay’s largest city is poised for an influx of companies and other organizations.

In addition to building a new tower, the project will renovate the historic former headquarters for the Key System — a privately owned mass-transit system of rail lines and buses that operated through much of the East Bay from 1903 to 1960, when it was sold to the newly formed AC Transit system.

The new tower and old Key System building will be connected.

“Part of what we want to do is bring this historic treasure back to life,” said Melinda Ellis Evers, a managing principal with San Francisco-based Ellis Partners, a developer that has teamed up with Intercontinental Real Estate in a joint venture to build the tower.

The project will take close to two years to build and should be available for tenants to move in by the end of 2019.

Read more from East Bay Times

Strong Economic Indicators Present In All Of San Francisco CRE

San Francisco’s commercial real estate market shows many positive signs for growth in 2018.

Multiple CRE products are going up right now, which is relatively uncommon, according to Vanguard Properties Director of Investment Sales Alex Kolovyansky, who spoke during a recent Bisnow event.

Office, industrial residential and hotel are all experiencing up cycles, Kolovyansky said.

“The San Francisco residential market has been growing by leaps and bounds,” he said.

In 2017, 6,500 transactions were completed in the residential market, of which 35% were for homes and 51% were for condos. A very small percentage of the transactions were for investment properties and 2.3% were for apartment buildings. Kolovyansky said 147 old and new apartments traded last year.

Read more from Bisnow

Sen. Scott Wiener explains plan for taller, denser housing near transit

New bill would allow mid-rise development at transit hubs

In 2017, Senator Scott Wiener rewrote the rules on housing development for California cities with SB 35, a law that mandates municipalities to build more to keep up with demand or risk temporarily losing control of much of their entitlements process.

Now Wiener is backing another new housing bill and hoping for the same success; SB 827 would all but require that new housing near major transit hubs (as defined by the California Public Resources Code) be mid-rise construction of at least four stories.

In a Medium post published Tuesday, Wiener defended the bill from criticism and laid out what it will and will not do.

Read more from Curbed SF

 

As Rents Rise, Advocates in Multiple Markets Push for New Rent Control Laws

In most parts of the U.S., lawmakers are currently not allowed to create new rules to limit by how much landlords can raise rents at their properties.

In November 2018, voting ballots in California might include a question on rent control. Right now, California law restricts the spread of rent regulations on housing built after 1995, in addition to many older properties.

Some housing advocates want to change that. A proposed law that would have allowed more rent regulation died in the state legislature in 2017. Now advocates including the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment and the San Francisco Tenants Union are pressing the same proposal as a ballot initiative.

Read more from National Real Estate Investor

Proposal to Ban Dual Agency Turned Back in California

Legislation Fails to Make it Out of Committee After Getting Thumbs Down by Real Estate Industry Groups.

Legislation introduced in California intended to prohibit CRE brokers from acting in a ‘dual agent’ capacity and represent both sides of the same commercial property transaction was turned back this week. California Assembly Bill 1059 was introduced last year by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, D-San Diego.

However, business and real estate groups opposed the bill as written and language banning dual agency was removed before the bill was even sent to the Assembly Judiciary Committee for debate this week.

Read more from CoStar Group

Why Zillow says San Jose is the nation’s hottest housing market in 2018

Driven by quickly rising home prices and a tech job market that continues to draw more workers, the online real estate database Zillow has projected San Jose to be the nation’s hottest housing market in 2018 with San Francisco fifth in its top 10 list.

California, North Carolina and Texas each have two cities in Zillow’s top 10, which is based on a mix of six variables:

  • Its own home value and rent index forecasts for the year,
  • Income growth estimates,
  • Population growth,
  • Unemployment rates,
  • Job openings per person.
Read more from Silicon Valley Business Journal

Proposed California rent control expansion returns

After nearly a year on the shelf, repeal of 1995 Costa-Hawkins Act to have first public hearing Thursday

In February of 2017, San Francisco Assemblymember David Chiu and two other California lawmakers introduced AB 1506, a bill that would repeal the 1995 Costa-Hawkins Act, a California law that stops cities from imposing rent control on new construction.

That was almost the end of the story for AB 1506, as California landlords reacted with such umbrage that the bill’s principal author, Assemblymember Richard Bloom of Santa Monica, put it on hold for a year.

Legislation that isn’t moving forward has a shorter shelf life than farmers market produce most of the time, so it seemed the rent control expansion might die a quiet death on the back burner. But the proposal has, improbably, survived. And it’s slated for its first public hearing in Sacramento on Thursday, January 11.

The bill is the sole agenda item for the Assembly’s Housing and Community Development Committee this week. AB 1506 still has the exact airtight, no-frills wording as when lawmakers first introduced it last year:

“The Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act prescribes statewide limits on the application of local rent control with regard to certain properties. This bill would repeal that act.”

Read more from Curbed SF