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Google unveils broad vision for San Jose’s Diridon Station as some community members rally to halt the plans

 

Google announced nearly a year ago that it had visions of a mixed-use campus spanning up to 8 millions square feet in San Jose’s Diridon Station.

Since then, the tech giant has invested heavily in real estate in the area. Google has begun to lay out a high-level vision for San Jose’s Diridon Station area, a 240-acre swath of land around the city’s primary transit hub where the company has dreams of building a massive mixed-use campus.

But barely as Joe Van Belleghem, senior director of development for Google cleared his throat to start a presentation that would outline a framework for long corridors filled with retail, homes, art and a cluster of office buildings, more than a dozen city residents marched in, banner and signs in hand.

“OK now Google, we know you’re bad,” the protesters yelled. “Don’t need you here, we’ve got our own, turn around and go home!”

 

 

Read more from Silicon Valley Business Journals

 

 

San Jose mixed-use apartments eyed west of Google village

Plans for a mixed-use apartment and retail complex have sprouted west of downtown San Jose, a development that would bring more than 100 residences to an area known as the Midtown district.

The proposed development at 259 Meridian Ave. near West San Carlos Street would consist of 110 to 120 residential units and 2,300 square feet of retail, according to documents on file with San Jose city planners.

“The city has been encouraging development within an urban village planning process for this area,” said Jerry Strangis, a principal executive with Strangis Properties, a realty firm that is the project consultant for the development. Strangis wouldn’t identify the principal developer of the property.

 

Read more from The Mercury News

 

 

San Jose makes changes to housing policy

The San Jose City Council voted to allow landlords to evict tenants convicted of violent felonies.

As development in San Jose explodes and housing prices continue to soar, the City Council on Tuesday night adopted changes to the city’s housing policies that could benefit renters and provide protections for landlords.

At the Housing Department’s recommendation, the council agreed to prohibit landlords of rent-controlled apartments from dividing utility costs based on how many people live in each apartment and the unit’s size rather than how much gas or electricity they actually use. So the council is asking property owners to install sub meters at each apartment so families are charged only for what they actually use.

The council also tweaked the tenant protection ordinance it adopted last year, and will now prevent landlords from threatening to share information about their tenants’ immigration status with immigration authorities.

The city also will let landlords evict tenants with serious or violent felonies. Acknowledging concerns about the displacement of families, landlords must give renters a chance to evict such felons before ousting an entire family. Mayor Sam Liccardo supported the idea, and asked the city to provide an exception for children convicted of such crimes.

Also up for debate was an issue around the Ellis Act, which outlines when and how the owners of some rent-controlled apartments in the city — generally those built before September 1979 — can take them off the market.

Read more from The Mercury News

Google says it’s close to owning enough downtown San Jose properties for ‘viable’ development

Google is nearing ownership of enough downtown San Jose properties and parcels to create a “viable” transit-oriented development.

The development will take place near the Diridon train station, a top company executive told a key advisory group this week.

During a meeting of the Station Area Advisory Group, formed to gather and process citizen input about Google’s proposal to develop a massive transit village near Diridon Station, Google executives offered the company’s first major presentation of its development philosophies and plans for downtown San Jose. The search giant also indicated that it is creating a critical mass of properties where it could build a transit-oriented community downtown.

“Just to get the sites together by itself is obviously very complicated, and it’s not completed yet, and it’s taking a while,” Mark Golan, Google’s vice president real estate development, told the advisory group during its Monday night meeting. “But we are getting close to having a site that is viable.”

Mountain View-based Google and its development ally Trammell Crow have spent at least $221.6 million buying an array of properties on the western edges of downtown San Jose, within and near a one-mile stretch that begins north of the SAP Center and reaches south nearly to Interstate 280.

Among the major recent deals: The Google and Trammell Crow venture bought a large site that now is occupied by Orchard Supply Hardware, and the search giant has struck a deal to purchase a huge property from Trammell Crow that is approved for 1 million square feet, hundreds of residences and retail.

Despite the extensive work and investments that have occurred already, construction isn’t going to begin tomorrow, Google executives cautioned.

Read more from Santa Cruz Sentinel

 

 

San Jose mayor counters Evergreen Senior Homes initiative with own proposal

Sam Liccardo is concerned the initiative could open San Jose to new sprawling development.

San Jose City Council’s strategy to fend off a ballot initiative over a development in Evergreen — one it fears could override its general plan for land use — is a ballot measure of its own.

But attorneys for the private residential developers behind an initiative backed by more than 35,000 signatures say the city’s gambit will lose in court.

“We will pursue litigation,” elections attorney Sean Welch warned the council on Tuesday as his microphone was silenced at the end of his two minutes’ speaking time.

Mayor Sam Liccardo’s last-minute agenda addition to put a rival measure on the June ballot to override the one from Ponderosa Homes and developer Carl Berg, which won its ballot place through a petition drive, is yet to win City Council approval. All 10 members present Tuesday voted to delay final consideration until 8:30am on Thursday.

Read more from Silicon Valley Business Journal

 

 

Poll finds strong public support for Google’s downtown San Jose development plans

Google’s plans for a major development in downtown San Jose are solidly supported by city and county residents.

This is according to polling done for the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, which found nearly eight of 10 respondents support the project.

“That is a blowout of biblical proportions,” said Carl Guardino, the Leadership Group’s CEO.

The polling is an annual project by the group and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.8 percent based on 431 registered Santa Clara County voters.

It included four questions on the project by Alphabet-owned Google and found that:

  • 62 percent had heard of the Google project,
  • 79 percent supported it vs. 16 percent opposed and 5 percent with no opinion,
  • The same 79-16-5 breakdown applied to support of this type of development mixing jobs, housing and mass transit in an urban setting, and
  • The prospect of 20,000 new jobs drove support over the provision of new housing by 54-35 percent among  San Jose residents and 54-38 country-wide.

Opposition to the project has been visible, however, in the form of protesters at Mayor Sam Liccardo’s recent state-of-the-city speech and meetings and demonstrations organized by Silicon Valley Rising.

Guardino said the poll results challenge the opponents’ claims that they represent the view of the majority of San Jose’s residents.

Read more from Silicon Valley Business Journal

20 Secondary Cities to Watch in 2018 (and Why)

It took about 7 years from the height of the housing collapse for primary markets to rebound.

Until 2016, they were still exceeding the appreciation rates of secondary markets, but then secondary markets surpassed them in the second half of 2016 and continue to outpace primary markets.

PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) and Urban Land Institute have highlighted secondary cities that are on the rise in their recent market outlooks. We take a look at which secondary cities we need to be paying attention to in 2018 and why they have become so popular with investors.

Why Secondary Cities?

In PwC’s survey, some of the top primary markets like San Francisco and Manhattan tumbled down to 27 and 46 respectively while secondary cities leapt into the top 20. There are several reasons for the surge in investor interest – chief among them is affordability. Other factors:

·      Investors have come to understand the complexities underlying the potential of secondary cities

·      Unlike typical real estate cycles, new construction in secondary cities has remained low, preventing the problems created by overbuilding

·      Hiring costs for businesses are 14% – 16% lower than in primary markets

·      Cost of living is much lower in secondary cities with housing a full 45% lower

·      Foreign investors are increasingly focusing on secondary cities, accounting for 10% of transactions involving secondary markets last year

Lower costs of living and of doing business in secondary cities enable investors to save more money on their investments while reaping more of the profits. On the opposite side of the coin, as real estate pricing continues to go up in primary markets, investors are pocketing less and less while also being constrained by limited inventories and interest waning in assets in places like New York, DC and LA. What is more, those macroeconomic factors are predicted to hold for years to come.

Read more from NAI Global

NAI Northern California – NAI Office Spotlight 2018

NAI Northern California is pleased to announce our NAI Office Spotlight feature by NAI Global.

The NAI Office Spotlight highlights different offices each month. It is designed to help make NAI professionals and clients aware of each office’s particular strengths and capabilities that can benefit them.

Get to know NAI Northern California!

Why Silicon Valley isn’t headed for a recession any time soon, economist predicts

At least one respected economist has an uplifting message for the real estate community: stop worrying about a downturn.

Christopher Thornberg, founding partner of Los Angeles-based Beacon Economics, on Tuesday told the crowd at Colliers International’s 19th annual Trends event that it isn’t yet time to start collective hand wringing. In fact, he predicted the economy would be full steam ahead for another 24 months and that, in many ways, the economy may better in 2018, even as he warned that he did see signs of a new bubble that could impact the market in the long-term.

“When you look at the underlying indicators, not only is there no chance of a downturn over the course of the next 24 months, if anything, the economy is actually going to accelerate,” he said. “It’s going to be a good year.”

The message comes as a welcome reassurance in Silicon Valley, which has seen economic upswing for a nearly unprecedented stretch, bringing consistent gains in leasing activity, transaction dollar amounts and development across the Valley.

Read more from Silicon Valley Business Journals

Ten-X: Bay Area Multifamily Top ‘Sell’ Markets In Country

This might be a good time to consider selling multifamily assets in the Bay Area.

San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland were listed as Ten-X’s top sell markets in its most recent U.S. Apartment Outlook report, which compared Q3 rents and vacancy rates to 2021 projections.

Bay Area cities are expected to face rising vacancies and flattening rent by 2021 following a flood of new supply from years of development. Ten-X’s models take into account a cyclical downturn in 2019-20 and a recovery by 2021.

San Francisco is particularly vulnerable to the cycle due to a heavy construction pipeline that is already impacting the market, according to Ten-X. Vacancy rates are at 4.5%, up 140 basis points from the cyclical low, and rates are expected to increase through 2020. Ten-X forecasts rents will contract by 7.5% over the recessionary period, which will result in severe net operating income declines.

Read more from Bisnow