$6.5 billion mega-project across from 49ers stadium gets bigger, closer to reality

$6.5 billion mega-project across from 49ers stadium gets bigger, closer to reality

A new development proposal in Santa Clara named "The City Place Santa Clara" is getting closer to reality. Projected at 8 million square feet and at a cost of 6.5 billion, this will be one of Silicon Valley's biggest developments ever.  The project includes 30 restaurants, 350 hotel rooms, 380 apartments, 1 million square feet of shops, plus more. The city is in favor of this and is very excited about the approximately 23,000 permanent jobs this would create. From a planning standpoint, this project fills a void in the area and compliments the Levi's Stadium.  It will be interesting to see if this is approved and what the projected date of completion will be. How do you feel about the impacts of this development?

To read the entire article, go to: http://www.mercurynews.com/southbayfootball/ci_26076862/6-5-billion-mega-project-across-from-49ers

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Gov. Jerry Brown's housing plan could wipe away development rules in Los Angeles and San Francisco

Gov. Jerry Brown's housing plan could wipe away development rules in Los Angeles and San Francisco

For anyone who has dealt with submitting plans for a residential development in Santa Cruz or the Bay Area, they can relate to the frustrations that Governor Brown is currently trying to address. Theoretically, if you submit plans for a development that fall within current zoning and planning guidelines, you should be approved and your project should move forward in a timely fashion. 99% of the time this does not happen, which causes most developments to ultimately cost more. If Governor Brown can pass his housing plan, this could greatly increase efficiency and appeal for developers, which will stimulate growth, jobs, etc. Planning will still play the role of approving or changing zoning and general plans so that we keep everything in balance. What are your thoughts?

To read the entire article, go to: http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-sac-jerry-brown-housing-cities-20160602-snap-story.html

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg replacing 4 next-door Palo Alto homes

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg replacing 4 next-door Palo Alto homes

What do you do when a developer is planning on building a home next door to you with views of your back yard? You buy the development; at least, that's what Mark Zuckerberg does. Recently the CEO of Facebook paid $30 million for 1462 Edgewood Drive, as well as 1451, 1457 and 1459 Hamilton, all properties are located in the Crescent Park neighborhood. Zuckerberg's new plans for the properties include an overall reduction in the homes square footage, with a focus on blending the properties into the surrounding gardens. It is unclear if Mark plans on selling these properties or keeping them, but if privacy is his main concern, not selling would be the obvious choice.

To read the entire article, go to: http://www.siliconvalley.com/news/ci_29920573/facebook-ceo-mark-zuckerberg-replacing-4-palo-alto

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Renovated Brookdale Lodge to reopen

Renovated Brookdale Lodge to reopen

The Brookdale Lodge has always been a part of Santa Cruz history. Built in 1890, it has been everything from a movie star getaway to a feature on television shows about haunted places. Now, after 4 years of being closed, Mr Patel (the new owner) has plans for a reopening. His vision combines a nostalgic restoration with modern amenities on the inside.  He also plans to have shuttles to the beaches, as well as partnerships with local attractions. This will be an exciting development for the residents of Brookdale / Santa Cruz.

To read the entire article, go to: http://m.goldenstatenewspapers.com/press_banner/news/renovated-brookdale-lodge-to-reopen/article_872bd20a-0e39-11e6-90f1-6fa1859d1389.html?mode=jqm

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California home prices up 5.6% in a year to 9-year high

California home prices up 5.6% in a year to 9-year high

If you are a buyer in the Santa Cruz, this is not the headline you want to read. To make it worse, the actual price increase in Santa Cruz is 14.5% since 2015. The main cause of this is low interest rates and low inventory (among other things). The local planning commission has been trying to come up with different ideas to help with this housing crisis. One of their better ideas is to increase density, which means to increase the amount of resident units that can be built on one parcel. This would create more inventory and hopefully satisfy some of the demand. I acknowledge that this option would bring more inventory, but feel that there is a bigger problem not being addressed, which is that most homes being built are to maximize profits for the developer. This means a minimal number of entry level or low income units. Typically the city or county requires a certain amount of BMR (below market units), but it is treated as a "penalty" and is sold at a loss to the builder. What I feel the planning commission needs to do is incentivize builders to build entry level and low income units by reducing application fees, allowing higher density, etc. I feel this would be a great step to helping our current situation.

To read the entire article, go to: http://www.ocregister.com/articles/percent-713596-prices-march.html

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