A guide to executive suites and office space to rent in San Jose as well as general information that may be useful if you are thinking of renting offices in the city.
History & Geography
The third largest city in California is also one of the most economically vibrant and the most populous in the northern part of the state. San Jose lies on the Guadalupe River close to San Francisco Bay, the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Clara Valley. The city sits directly between the San Andreas Fault and the Calaveras Fault, resulting in the city experiencing several minor earthquakes per year. The area around the city was first inhabited by the Ohlone Indians who survived by hunting and fishing. Towards the end of the 18th century a series of Franciscan missions was established by Father Junipero Serra in the area. The city was founded by Lieutenant Jose Joaquin Moraga in 1777. In 1821 the city was taken over by Mexico after it revolted against Spain, and in 1846 it became part of the US after California was annexed. In 1850 the city was incorporated, becoming only the second in the state after Sacramento. In 1906 the city was severely damaged in a major earthquake, though not as badly as its neighbor to the north, San Francisco. During WWII the city’s sizable Japanese population was sent to internment camps and the city saw extensive rioting in the wake of the LA Zoot Suit Riots of 1943. Up until the mid part of the 20th century much of San Jose’s economy had been based on agriculture, however this changed to manufacturing and industry with an emphasis on defense-related manufacturing. The 1960s and 70s saw the city continue to expand with major suburbs built on its outskirts. Later San Jose became the largest city in Silicon Valley and home to some of the nation’s largest technology companies. This caused housing prices to skyrocket to become among the most expensive in the country. Today the city has a population of 971,000, making it the tenth largest city in the country.
San Jose is best known as the largest city in Silicon Valley, so dubbed for its high concentration of engineering, computer and microprocessor companies. Employees in the city have some of the highest median incomes of any in the country. The city’s economy grew astronomically during the tech bubble, and while it has since slowed somewhat, it is still booming by today’s standards. Among the top employers in the city are Hewlett-Packard, Brocade Communications, eBay, Cisco Systems, Hitachi, IBM, Adobe and Altera. There are also a high number of universities in the area which supply a steady stream of qualified graduates for jobs. Among the largest are San Jose State University, University of California Berkeley, University of California Santa Cruz, Santa Clara University and San Francisco State University. Currently San Jose has one of the highest costs of living in the country. Housing costs especially are high, far exceeding the national average. Despite this however households in San Jose have some of the highest rates of disposable income in the country. Approximately 35 percent of all venture capital funds in the US are invested in San Jose and the surrounding Silicon Valley.
Tourism & Culture
The city of San Jose is not known for being a tourist destination and tourism plays only a small part in the city’s economy. However San Jose does have a range of sites and activities for visitors and a rich cultural scene. The Almaden Quicksilver County Park is the largest of its kind in the city, constructed from a network of former mercury mines in the south of the city. The Japanese Friendship Garden at Kelley Park is based on the famous Korakuen Garden in Okayama in Japan. It features a series of three ponds at different elevations in the park all connected by streams and stocked with Koi fish sent form Okayama. The city also has a series of trails stretching over 53 miles through the city, including Coyote Creek Trail, Guadalupe River Trail and Los Alamitos Creek Trail. Other attractions in the area include the Winchester Mystery House, a mansion constructed by Sarah Winchester, the widow of gun magnate William Winchester which is said to be haunted. Raging Waters, the largest water park in the region, built across 23 acres, is another large draw for visitors.
San Jose is served by the Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport, which is located approximately two miles northwest of downtown San Jose and is accessible by bus. Oakland International Airport and San Francisco International are also within striking distance of the city. San Jose itself is served by an extensive bus network and a light rail system connecting the city to Mountain View, Milpitas, Campbell and Almaden Valley. An extension of the Bay Area Rapid Transit system is to be built and will connect San Jose to San Francisco and Oakland. San Jose also has an Amtrak station which connects the city to Seattle, LA and Sacramento.
Currently San Jose has an office vacancy rate of approximately 12 percent. This is a drop from the previous quarter and analysts have predicted that city’s vacancy rate will likely continue to drop slowly over the next few quarters. Net absorption totals 616,857 square feet. The current average rental rate is USD 27.02 per square foot. Currently there is over 800,000 square feet of office space under construction, but such is demand that when this hits the market it may not have a significant impact on the vacancy rate or rentals.