The year 2013 was an exciting one for the Silicon Valley. With the rebounding real estate market and increased employment alongside the tech boom, the Silicon Valley is on its way to economic recovery.
However, in the shadow of rapid growth, the undercurrent of instability in the Bay Area, such as affordability, wealth disparity between the tech industry and the rest of the workforce, and insufficient funds for city budgets all cast uncertainty on the future of the Bay Area.
Along with tech-affluent cities, here are five cities that have potential and are worth your notice in 2014.
Pension costs still plague the city of San Jose, and criminal activity remains at a record high. Retaining police is difficult. Yet developers are returning to San Jose—about 1,400 residential units will be offered during the next four years, and commercial building transactions have been taking place downtown.
The tech hub on the city’s north side is also attracting big office buildings for fortune 100 companies, as well as Samsung’s new campus, still under construction. However, developers estimate that job growth will outpace housing growth. The city’s general plan is still to restrict housing development in the area, which sets the stage for a future shortage.
Clean technology might be the next trend for the Silicon Valley. Fremont is where the electric car Tesla set up its headquarters. After Tesla’s stocks experienced a little dip a few months ago, they have been maintaining positive growth. Fremont is also home to at least 35 clean-tech companies. The city strives to attract and retain these companies by giving tax exemptions and other incentives.
Fremont’s Warm Springs BART station is expected to be open for service by fall of 2015. The city of Fremont is also planning to transform a large vacant area into a clean-tech center. However, the city’s exact plan is not yet set, leaving developers guessing.
This is another city that will be affected by BART development. From 2018, Milpitas is expected to be connected directly to San Francisco by BART. Santa Clara’s VTA light rail currently connects the area directly to San Jose’s high-tech center, the North First Street corridor. So once the BART station is finished, the two tech centers in the Bay Area will be connected by public transportation.
The city of Milpitas began the transit area plan back in 2005, and since then, more than 10 large developments have been approved, with four under construction. However, the area still has only a few restaurants and small stores within walking distance, except for the Great Mall, which is right next to the transit area.
While neighboring city Menlo Park is seeing younger venture capitalists moving to San Francisco, Redwood City’s developing transit-oriented downtown project is attracting a mix of commercial and residential development in the area. It may help to retain younger venture capitalists in the city.
The San Francisco 49ers’s new stadium is expected to open in 2014. In 2013, hotels began booming in the area in preparation. And not long ago, two major developers proposed large mixed-use development projects that would compete with Santana Row.
*Image of San Jose via Shutterstock