Greening your business often relates to increasing revenues. But, in this case we’re focused on how companies are incorporating sustainable operational practices. Last month, eight Fremont businesses were recognized by the City Council for their commitme…
Greening your business often relates to increasing revenues. But, in this case we’re focused on how companies are incorporating sustainable operational practices.
Last month, eight Fremont businesses were recognized by the City Council for their commitment to the environment and the community by earning a Bay Area Green Business Certification.
Companies ranged from larger manufacturing operations such as Organic Spices, to retail stores such as REI and recycling operator-Surplus Service.
Congratulations to the following Fremont companies on their commitment to being a green-friendly businesses: Amfasoft Corporation, Best Graphic Image, Green Leaf Cleaners, Maid to Order, Organic Spices, Inc., Pacific Green Funding, REI, and Surplus Service
These businesses join sixteen other Fremont companies previously certified as Bay Area Green Businesses. To qualify, businesses must show tangible commitment to reduce waste, save energy and water and implement pollution prevention measures. Examples include installing energy efficient lights, water-efficient toilets, recycling content paper, and using safer cleaning products to protect the creeks and the bay.
When asked why a business should pursue a Green Business Certification, Lou Ramondetta, the CEO of Surplus Service’s an electronics recycler said “not everyone is necessarily green sensitive, but it helps that we are a [certified] green business with what we are doing or marketing.” This is because customers increasingly want to know that they are buying from businesses that care about the environment.
Spreading the word about the Bay Area Green Business Program aligns with the City’s Climate Action plan to reduce waste diversion and decrease the carbon footprint. Going green helps the climate, and sustainable operations help companies use facilities, capital, and resources in the most efficient manner. Ultimately, going green helps the planet, and greens your pockets too!
If you are a Fremont Business interested in becoming a Bay Area Green Business, please contact Lori Marra firstname.lastname@example.org or 510-494-4581. To find out more information about Fremont’s Green Businesses Program visit us online at www.Fremont.gov/GreenBusiness.Read less x
Continuing the “Our Favorite Blogs” series, this latest installment takes a look at valuable insights about manufacturing. It is a vast topic, covering everything from product development to reshoring and growth trends. We enjoy following and reading thes…
Continuing the “Our Favorite Blogs” series, this latest installment takes a look at valuable insights about manufacturing. It is a vast topic, covering everything from product development to reshoring and growth trends. We enjoy following and reading these blogs and hope you will too.
This blog comes from the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP). MEPs across the country help manufacturers grow their businesses through development of products, building partnerships, and reaching new customers all with the goal of increasing profit for manufacturing output. Bloggers discuss key issues affecting U.S. manufacturers such as workforce and reshoring.
Manufacturing.net is an on-line news site with the latest information, opinions, and trends around the world related to manufacturing. The site has great articles and videos related to manufacturing, covering everything from development production to public policy.
One of the 60 MEP centers, CMTC’s blog tagline is “We succeed because you do.” The tagline perfectly describes CMTC’s mission to help small to medium-sized manufacturers grow their business in Southern California. The blog caters to this audience, and their website has a cool infographic on California’s manufacturing industry.
ThomasNet is an information and technology resource company focused on the manufacturing industry. ThomasNet’s articles on manufacturing have a broad scope from workforce development issues to optimizing business marketing.
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Innovation is a term that gets thrown around too easily these days, and many cities are actively seeking their own innovation “niche,” as has been covered in this blog series. San Leandro’s unique approach to fostering innovation is less about focusing on…
Innovation is a term that gets thrown around too easily these days, and many cities are actively seeking their own innovation “niche,” as has been covered in this blog series. San Leandro’s unique approach to fostering innovation is less about focusing on a discreet geographic area in the City and more about creating an “Open Innovation Laboratory,” according to City of San Leandro Chief Innovation Officer Deborah Acosta.
San Leandro is leveraging some exciting physical assets, creating this “living lab” environment throughout the City. It recognizes the need for innovation to permeate the broader community and culture of the City. So, how is San Leandro doing it? Well, Acosta finds herself hanging out with a lot of hipsters these days. Engaging the next-generation workforce, in particular the “maker” community, is part of the recipe for economic growth. Simultaneously, San Leandro is tackling some progressive policy issues, such as environmental sensors and provocative art programs aimed at the creative class.
Now, back to those physical assets.
There is no doubt that the City’s partnership with OSISoft to build a fiber-optic network and accompanying strategy, Lit San Leandro, has received a lot of attention and is definitely an early win.
Another win is the transformation of a former Dodge/Chrysler auto plant into a co-working facility called The Gate. The combination of a maker culture and high-speed connectivity is bringing a new sort of activity to town — from hacker events to hardware incubation tools, such as a partnership with TechShop.
3-D printers line this space at “The Gate”
What the “makers” are making at The Gate!
As for future opportunities to build on this momentum, having vacant land adjacent to a BART station never hurts. (Something we know a little about in Fremont!) The City has designated 8 acres at the San Leandro BART station for a 500,000 sq. ft. tech campus.
All of these efforts reflect the culture and spirit of San Leandro, the Bay Area’s newest, and surprisingly hip Innovation District.Read less x
While emotions run high in the aftermath of an election, we are doing our own “happy dance” in Fremont with the passage of Alameda County Measure BB. Why, you ask? You know that we have big plans in Fremont for strategically urban growth, which depends on…
While emotions run high in the aftermath of an election, we are doing our own “happy dance” in Fremont with the passage of Alameda County Measure BB. Why, you ask? You know that we have big plans in Fremont for strategically urban growth, which depends on infrastructure funding to leverage transit. Enter Measure BB.
This ballot measure augments and extends the existing half-cent transportation sales tax by another half-cent through March 31, 2045. Recognizing that transportation needs, technology, and circumstances change over time, the policy document that guides this sales tax allocation spans 30 years, programming nearly $8 billion in new transportation funding. At a high level, the funding will:
Several other projects included in the plan benefit the City significantly. These include local freeway and interchange improvements, Capitol Corridor improvements, and increased operating funds to enhance AC Transit bus service.
In addition, the plan includes additional funding for programs with funding automatically passed on to the cities. This means an 80 percent increase in our local street and road funding and bicycle/pedestrian funding. The City’s paratransit funds will increase by almost 90 percent.
As we continue to position Fremont as a choice location for business, Measure BB provides the funding required to facilitate the job growth we anticipate from an infrastructure perspective. With the region’s current surge in employment, and the related traffic congestion, this should come as welcome news to Fremont companies, and we hope it will be an important consideration as they grow and expand.Read less x
For small and medium-sized businesses looking to expand, the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 504 loan program can help. Established in 1980, SBA 504 loans can be used to buy, build or improve owner-occupied commercial real estate or to fund other maj…
For small and medium-sized businesses looking to expand, the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 504 loan program can help. Established in 1980, SBA 504 loans can be used to buy, build or improve owner-occupied commercial real estate or to fund other major fixed assets, such as equipment. In addition to the benefits of moving from tenant to owner, SBA 504 loans allow down payments as low as 10%, so business owners can maintain liquidity and preserve working capital for reinvestment and job creation. The below-market, fixed rates and long repayment terms can help improve cash flow. In short, the less a business spends on occupancy costs and debt, the more capital is available for business expansion.
SBA 504 loans typically have three participants: a bank provides a first trust deed loan for at least 50% of the total project cost, the small business owner contributes at least 10% and a Certified Development Corporation provides the SBA-guaranteed loan for the remainder, up to 40% of the total project cost. The CDC maximum is $5 million ($5.5 million for manufacturing and qualifying “green” projects), but there is no maximum on the total project cost.
TMC Financing, the leading CDC in Northern California for more than a decade, has been highly active in helping small businesses throughout Fremont. Recently TMC helped wholesale-furniture-maker Homelegance, Inc. improve operational efficiencies with the purchase of a 255,000-square-foot warehouse in Fremont. The owners were able to finance the replacement location with a $20.8 million total loan package. Homelegance only had to put in a 12% down payment for the purchase of the property. With the new facility, the manufacturer is able to expand operations and expects to create and retain more than 45 local jobs.
Fremont-based internet services provider Hurricane Electric is in the midst of its third deal with TMC Financing, securing nearly $13 million for a 24,000-square-foot expansion of its existing Fremont 2 data center. In total, TMC, the SBA and Bank of the West have helped Hurricane Electric, which operates the world’s largest IPv6 native Internet backbone, access more than $66 million in commercial real estate financing.
TMC Financing and the SBA 504 program are designed to spur job creation and expand lending to women, minorities and veterans, as well as to boost U.S. manufacturing and rural/underserved area development. In the past five years, TMC has assisted 24 Fremont businesses with SBA financing totaling nearly $120 million, creating and retaining more than 200 jobs.
Funds can also be used to assist businesses in “going green” through LEED-certified buildings, reducing energy consumption or generating renewable energy. To learn more about the advantages of the SBA 504 loan program for your business, visit tmcfinancing.com.
Homelegance, Inc. purchased this 255,000-square-foot warehouse at 47550 Kato Road in Fremont using an SBA 504 loan from TMC Financing.Read less x
Last Monday, the White House announced several executive actions to further support U.S. manufacturing and issued a corresponding report. In the wake of this announcement, many are weighing in on where things currently stand — given the President’s origin…
Last Monday, the White House announced several executive actions to further support U.S. manufacturing and issued a corresponding report. In the wake of this announcement, many are weighing in on where things currently stand — given the President’s original pledge to create 1 million new manufacturing jobs by the end of 2016. According to an article by Meagan Clark of International Business Times titled Obama Administration’s Plans To Boost Manufacturing Have A Long Way To Go — (the title says it all — there is still a long way to go), the President himself recently announced new plans to reach the goal:
“President Obama’s plan announced Monday to strengthen U.S. manufacturing hopes to create jobs, but the effort won't generate nearly enough to replace the more than 6 million positions that disappeared in the last decade and a half. The White House said NASA and the departments of Defense, Energy and Agriculture will invest more than $300 million in emerging technologies like bio-based materials and advanced sensors for manufacturing.”
“As part of the effort, National Science Foundation will establish two manufacturing research hubs, the U.S. Department of Labor will launch a $100 million competition to award grants and fund apprenticeships in advanced manufacturing and the Department of Commerce will launch a $130 million competition to help small manufacturers adopt advanced technology.”
As our long-time followers know, the City of Fremont is a BIG supporter of manufacturing, and we applaud the continued action taken by the Federal Government. Investments in emerging technologies and advanced manufacturing are sure to aid in the overall job creation effort and will help individual cities, like Fremont, to do their part in adding to the manufacturing numbers. With nearly 900 manufacturing companies in Fremont, this makes up 23 percent of our workforce — far higher than the national average.
Clark’s article even acknowledges that “after contracting sharply, U.S. manufacturing remains a world leader, second only to China in the total dollar value of goods produced. Unlike the low-end goods with thin profit margins manufactured in China, the expensive and complicated products made in American factories, like medical equipment and commercial aircraft, require specialized skills.”
With advanced manufacturing at the core of our Innovation District strategy, Fremont has a lot riding on the continued growth in production of highly customized, I.P.-intensive products. Customer demand will ultimately determine the market for these products. But funding resources like those just announced — directed at the broader manufacturing ecosystem, including workforce and supply chain networks — will only help ensure they are made in the USA.Read less x
Secretly, you may want to add a few years to the projected completion date of a complex construction project, to help account for potential delays. But this was not the case for the construction of the new 275,000-square-foot Thermo Fisher Scientific Nich…
Secretly, you may want to add a few years to the projected completion date of a complex construction project, to help account for potential delays. But this was not the case for the construction of the new 275,000-square-foot Thermo Fisher Scientific Niche Diagnostics Center of Excellence. A little over two years after project design began, a sustainable and large-scale research and development (R&D) building now stands just south of Tesla Motors. We at Landtech Consultants (the Thermo Fisher project civil and structural engineers) couldn’t be happier.
The Team Players and Timeline
The project presented significant challenges, including complicated infrastructure demands that required major public works improvements. However, the City of Fremont staff and other public and utility agencies helped us meet the completion time-frame goals of the developer, Geis Companies, and ultimately, of Thermo Fisher Scientific.
Project design began in April of 2012, and the initial application was submitted to the City a month later. After successive phases of permit approval, the project broke ground in March of 2013. A whirlwind of construction followed, first of the building shell, and then of all the intricate interior and facility components. Finally, at the end of August 2014, the facility was turned over to Thermo Fisher.
We found a few civil and structural engineering features of the project significant:
Building Site: Minimizing Seismic Liquefaction Risk
The project site lies within zones designated by the State Geologist to contain seismic liquefaction risks. Therefore, significant site preparation was conducted for the building to be founded on suitable ground. The site was excavated, graded, and filled with a 5.5-foot-thick lime-treated soil layer that is present underneath the building foundation. This creates a raft-like structure that works with the building structural foundation and is designed to bridge over possible liquefaction pockets that could occur in an earthquake. Overall, about 200,000 cubic yards of soil had to be moved and graded to accommodate the project.
Building Structure: Special Steel Frames for Seismic Resistance
The steel building frame is clad with exterior concrete walls, and special steel frame systems are integrated within the building. Elements within these braced frames are designed to absorb earthquake forces and dissipate seismic energy. Additionally, innovative special truss moment frames are used in the office wing of the building to allow for an open-space design. Overall, the building contains about 2,500 tons of steel and 14,000 cubic yards of concrete.
Infrastructure Demand: Looped Water System for Fire Safety
The existing water service to the site was woefully inadequate and presented a fire service safety issue. The closest water source was a “dead end” connection, one-half of a mile away on Kato Road at the southern tip of the Tesla property. In order to provide adequate fire service safety, a looped water system was constructed to join the “dead end” connection from the south up along Kato Rd and across highway 880 to a looped water main on Landing Parkway. Of the total 3000-plus feet of pipe that were required, about 400 feet had to be installed in a bored steel casing about 14 feet below the level of the freeway pavement.
Storm Water Quality: Pioneering State-of-the-art Measures
This is a flagship project for meeting new storm water quality requirements. On this project, all drainage is directed to large bioretention gardens that allow treatment of the water organically, filtering into special soils and out through perforated pipes into the storm drainage system. With such a large building, the roof drainage is directed into a specially designed metering weir system that limits the volume of the peak flow for larger storms into the bioretention areas.
Fremont is showing the rest of the Bay Area that it knows how to get commercial construction projects done — -sustainably and safely. This project is a welcome addition to the Warm Springs Innovation District. It was a privilege to have worked with top-tier public and private partners to master this complex project.
Below are photos of the cafeteria and lobby.
Kamal Obeid, SE, P.E., is a California licensed Civil and Structural Engineer. he served as the project engineer, civil and structural engineer of record for the Thermo Fisher project. He has been a practicing engineer on building projects in California for 34 years. Kamal can be reached at email@example.com.
Sonia Easaw is the Marketing Coordinator for Landtech Consultants.
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Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) is a compact powerhouse of an airport. Despite being land-constrained with 1,050 acres, there are 135 daily flights on 10 airlines serving 29 nonstop markets — all from just two terminals and two runways! Servi…
Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) is a compact powerhouse of an airport. Despite being land-constrained with 1,050 acres, there are 135 daily flights on 10 airlines serving 29 nonstop markets — all from just two terminals and two runways!
Service spans the globe, with nonstop flights to Tokyo, Cabo San Lucas and Guadalajara. Flights to four of the Hawaiian Islands have also been popular with Silicon Valley travelers. And, after a universal slump in air travel, things are looking up for SJC which just posted its 21st consecutive month of passenger growth in September. SJC expects to serve more than 9 million passengers in 2014, up from 8.8 million last year.
At the recent CREW Silicon Valley meeting, Sandy Oberle, the principal property manager at SJC, shared the latest news from the airport related to future plans, construction, and concessions.
Q: What are the current priorities for SJC?
A: Priorities are air service development (flying to more places!) and the safety and security of our users. We’ve already had success adding more flights. For example, ANA is now flying its 787 Dreamliner to Tokyo seven days a week, which is up from the initial five weekly flights. Delta recently expanded its service to Seattle, and Alaska Airlines has added Salt Lake City to its growing list of destinations.
To lure new airlines, SJC has an incentive program that includes landing fee and lease waivers. Top-focus destinations are Canada, Europe, and more of Asia. In wooing new airlines and flights, SJC highlights the huge number of technology companies within an 18-mile radius of the airport — 6,600 technology companies, 18 of which are Fortune 500 global headquarters.
International gates will soon double from two to four with the conversion of gates 17 and 18 to “swing gates” which will include corridor access to U.S. Customs. The new “Power Suite” is now open across from these gates giving travelers more options to remain connected and productive prior to boarding their flights.
Q: Concessions have really come a long way at SJC. What’s next?
A: We are maintaining our focus on a healthy mix between local, regional and national tenants. Red Mango (yogurt) and Einstein Bagels recently opened in Terminal A, and Sip Savvy, a wine bar, will soon open there, too.
Q: What is the “best kept secret” at SJC?
A: The Club! For a $35 daily rate, any passenger can hang out at this award-winning common use lounge. You can find it opposite gates 15 and 16.
Q: What else is new and exciting?
A: Two new Global Entry kiosks are now expediting arriving international passengers through U.S. Customs. On the rental car front, SJC is now home to Sixt, which specializes in European car rentals such as Audi, BMW and Mercedes.
Q: Development of the West Side of the Airport is underway. What will this include?
A: Signature Flight Support is building a corporate aviation facility to house and service corporate aircraft for clients such as Google and many other Silicon Valley-based companies. This facility is projected to generate approximately $3 million a year for SJC, as well as 200+ airport/construction jobs. Signature expects to open its facility in time for the 2016 Super Bowl in Santa Clara.
Q: Speaking of football, how have professional sports benefited the airport?
A: The airport is already experiencing increased traffic for 49ers home games, and more is expected with the opening of the new Earthquakes stadium in 2015. Demand for charter flight activity has increased general aviation activity at SJC.
Q: How do you quantify the economic impact of SJC?
A: There is currently a study underway to measure the airport’s economic impact — the first such study conducted in 15 years! We will be looking at jobs creation, as well as direct and indirect business spending.
Q: How is the airport working with ride sharing companies such as Uber and Lyft?
A: Our goal is to get all transportation companies on an equal playing field to ensure the safety and security of our travelers and relative to fees and insurance. To that end, staff is working on getting ride-for-hire companies permitted as soon as possible.
Q: What opportunities exist for airport expansion?
A: SJC currently serves 9 million passengers annually. Terminal B and the Car Rental garage were both designed to be easily expanded as we approach 14 million passengers served each year.
Q: How can businesses stay informed about new developments at the Airport?
A: Follow us on Twitter: @FlySJC and Facebook: FlySanJoseRead less x
As we continue our trek through the Bay Area’s innovation ecosystem, our next stop is 12 miles south of Warm Springs in San Jose. Prospect Silicon Valley (ProspectSV) just celebrated the grand opening of its, 23,000 square foot commercialization and techn…
As we continue our trek through the Bay Area’s innovation ecosystem, our next stop is 12 miles south of Warm Springs in San Jose. Prospect Silicon Valley (ProspectSV) just celebrated the grand opening of its, 23,000 square foot commercialization and technology demonstration center. Focused on catalyzing next-generation, cutting-edge innovation for smart, clean, connected cities, ProspectSV is the result of public-private-partnerships. While the demonstration facility was built by the City of San Jose, ProspectSV is an independent non-profit financed through revenue, grants and corporate sponsorship.
A few of the early successes for ProspectSV include:
ProspectSV’s technology demonstration center is part scientific laboratory, part co-working office space and part prototyping shop floor. It’s an ecosystem for energy and science companies, stakeholders and entrepreneurs. Case in point – ProspectSV features a vehicle systems lab where companies can demonstrate the commercial viability of their technology to customers. While not technically an incubator, short-term leases encourage early stage networking.
Solar and wind renewable energy
Vehicle Systems LabRead less x
Last week, Fremont hosted the Cleantech Open’s 2014 Western Regional Awards for the second year in a row. The two-day event was packed with innovative ideas, riveting speakers, comments from thought leaders, stimulating discussions, and tours of Fremont-b…
Last week, Fremont hosted the Cleantech Open’s 2014 Western Regional Awards for the second year in a row. The two-day event was packed with innovative ideas, riveting speakers, comments from thought leaders, stimulating discussions, and tours of Fremont-based cleantech companies, including GenZe (pictured below), Oorja, and RETC.
Co-sponsored by the City of Fremont, OpTerra and the Fremont Marriott Silicon Valley, the event brought together more than 230 bright-minded cleantech innovators and 30+ cleantech startups from across the western region, including some Fremont locals.
In case you missed it, here are some of the highlights from the event:
1. The morning keynote was delivered by Mike Biddle, a self-proclaimed “plastics nerd” and President and Founder of MBA Polymers, Inc., a leader in post-consumer recycled plastics. With 600 billion pounds of plastic consumed every year, Biddle urged the audience to help change the conventional wisdom of plastics disposal, closing with one of his favorite quotes from Alan Kay -
“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”
2. The first of two panel discussions focused on how cities and entrepreneurs can work together to achieve sustainability goals. Without the proper infrastructure and planning in place, cities can often be viewed as part of the problem when it comes to sustainability. The panelists urged cities, especially motivated ‘Tier 2’ cities, to become part of the solution.
3. The second panel focused on the increasingly rich resources that are available to early-stage entrepreneurs in the clean tech space. The panel featured key insights from venture capitalists, accelerators, and incubators whose sole mission is to help cleantech entrepreneurs succeed.
4. The afternoon’s keynote was delivered by Greg Horowitt, Co-founder and Managing Director of Silicon Valley’s T2 Venture Capital, as well as author of The Rainforest: The Secrets to Building the Next Silicon Valley. A “renaissance man” with degrees in music, biochemistry and economics, Greg talked about innovation and what it takes to be a great storyteller: painting a compelling picture of the future, and showing how other people fit into that picture.
5. A BIG congratulations to the final four contestants: Maxout Renewables, Dragonfly Energy, Axiom Exergy (pictured below) and BlueMorphUV! They are headed to Cleantech Open’s November Global Forum event at Treasure Island, where they will have the chance to compete for the prize of $200,000 and the title of 2014 Cleantech Open champion.
As host to the Cleantech Open Western Regional Awards for a second year running, it’s inspiring to see the advancements made by so many of the participating companies from such a wide spectrum of technologies. We look forward to collaborating with this new group of entrepreneurs and can only imagine what bright, new innovations lie ahead.Read less x
Welcome to our blog – Takes from Silicon Valley East! Our view is slightly different here on the east side of the bay – from the Mission Peak backdrop to the advanced manufacturing companies that dot our boulevards. As we become more urban and strive to interpret the business issues affecting our innovation economy, we want to share with you our observations, insights, photos, arguments, agreements, inspirations and CEO interviews – and here on our blog is exactly where we plan to do this.