January 2016 – By Stan Vukovich
I’m honored to be president of the San Jose Downtown Association in a year with so much excitement around the events and growth in Silicon Valley’s downtown.
The Downtown Association will celebrate its 30th anniversary in what should be a tremendously impactful year. The Super Bowl will be played just up the street at Levi’s Stadium and downtown San Jose will host the NFC champion and Media Day.
We continue to enjoy high-density residential development and see foot traffic grow downtown.
I cross Santa Clara Street at San Pedro at lunch time and notice how many people are waiting for the light on each corner and wonder when we will need diagonal crosswalks to accommodate them. San Pedro Market has become a hotbed of activity and the SoFA Market is becoming a gathering place for creative people.
My company, KBM Workspace, has its roots in downtown San Jose dating back to 1946 when Kennedy Business Machines was founded. While we spent a decade near the airport, it was clear that downtown was the place for creative people to work and collaborate.
We have seen many of Silicon Valley’s technology companies choose downtown San Jose as our of ce buildings ll up and developers make plans for of ce development to meet the growing demand. KBM has been very successful entertaining our clients and prospects at our downtown showroom, leveraging the surrounding community.
The arena, museums, theaters, parks, restaurants, farmers’ market and energy in downtown San Jose have given KBM an advantage in recruitment and retention of employees. Downtown San Jose is a great place to work and do business.
In my role as president, I hope to use my business experience to help drive SJDA’s strategic objectives. The Downtown Association has seen a lot of momen- tum in the three strategic initiatives developed by our Board of Directors:
Safety: Our PBID has put supplemental off-duty and retired SJPD foot patrols on downtown San Jose streets on a daily basis. We have been advocates for an expanded San Jose Police Department budget that provides competitive pay.
St. James Park: We have been instrumental in helping designate a parks management district to ensure we have the ability to maintain the planned improvements to St. James Park. Our goal is to partner with the city, the Knight Foundation, and community groups to help St. James Park become a place of civic pride.
Perception: Lastly, we hope to share the excite- ment for what is happening in downtown San Jose with the greater community and let everyone know downtown San Jose is an awesome place to work, play and live.