27 June 2006

Racing In the Shadow of San Francisco

San Jose has always lived in the shadow of it's big brother, San Francsico. And, why not? SF is a major seaport city. San Jose was always farming community an hour to the south.
Geographically, SJ is larger than SF. A famous bridge and cable cars really keep SF on the map for the rest of the world. It's not a major seaport and it's just not the destination city that SF is. It was built "out" not "up", so the civil engineering would require some intense overhauling. Part of that is slowly taking place.
If you tell somebody from out of state that you live in "Silicon Valley" they nod their heads absently. If you reinforce that by saying "Where all the computers and software are designed - the center of high-tech...?" They know a little more. When you tell them "SJ is 50 miles south of SF" then they understand where you're coming from.
The running joke : What does yogurt have that San Jose does not?
Answer : An active culture.

It's okay. Tourism is for SF. SJ is about business. Yet, SJ is rated as #100 in California Business Magazine's "100 Best Cities to Do Business in California". Ouch.

Recently, many millions of dollars have been put into the SJ infra- structure. A new City Hall, new 4-story condos downtown, and ground has been broken for the first of several planned high-rise mixed-use luxury housing and office towers. Next to a very familiar victorian home from the 1880s converted for use as a law office, we see a 16-story residential tower termed City Heights being erected in the foreground of this photo at Julian and San Pedro streets. What a striking architectural dichotomy this will be...

The first Grand Prix in Northern California was held in San Jose last July. Here's a shot in front of the still vacant Sobrato Building at 488 Almaden Ave. Mr. Sobrato and company prefer to retain their construction projects in a closely-held portfolio and are seeking (for the third year) a single tenant for this stunning 380,000 sq. ft. class-A space. This year, San Jose Grand Prix has smoothed the race course light rail track crossing on Almaden and improved the bridges for pedestrian traffic during the races on July 28-30th. Tickets are available now.
$4M was invested this year from the city of SJ and an expected $
50M return over the next 10 years.
Gentlemen, start your banking!


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