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This Morning With the Mayor of San Jose

San Jose

Mayor Sam Liccardo is bullish on the future of his city (surprise, surprise). And this morning at Bisnow's Silicon Valley State of the Market event at the San Jose Marriott, he gave the crowd three reasons why San Jose will grow at a rapid pace in the coming years.

1. Rapid Growth

Sam says San Jose will add 400,000 people in the next 25 yearsmore than the next three largest cities in the Bay Area combined (S.F., Oakland, Fremont). There's strong growth in the Internet of Things and smart devices, which is good news for South Bay because that's where it excels, from chips to sensors. And as the population rises and more tech firms grow, workplaces will need to be closer to where the talent lives. The San Jose BART extension being a year ahead of schedule helps, as it will help with hellish commutes.

2. Walkable Life

Sam says car ownership is becoming less necessary for urban dwellers, and with that San Jose is stepping up its density game. He says more than half of the folks with engineering degrees in the Valley live in San Jose (one out of four Apple employees call San Jose home). There are 1,600 units under construction in downtown San Jose, with many hundreds more in the pipeline. Here's panelist/Essex EVP John Eudy, whose company has invested big time in San Jose and just made the biggest jump on NMHC's biggest apartment owners list. He's joined by Hoge Fenton partner Sean Cottle and AEI's Christine Velasquez, both of whom work in San Jose.

3. No Limitations In Sight

And while other cities are seeing caps on commercial development discussed, Sam says there there will be no such push to slow development in San Jose. In fact, there's 10.3M SF in North San Jose in the pipeline, and he says the city is working to improve the permitting process. He rattled off the three latest big projects to get site permits: the 600-unit Silvery Towers took 73 working days; the $1B Samsung campus took 54 days; and One South Market took 36 days. (Here's Sam being inaugurated as mayor this year.)