Silicon Valley's New Suburb - San Francisco
A report on the housing market in San Francisco noted that homes closer to available shuttle services ferrying residents to their office spaces in Silicon Valley – Google, Facebook – sell for significantly higher amounts. A home that might go for $1.5 million, for example, sells for $2 million if it’s within walking distance to one of Google’s shuttle buses.
As a lifelong San Franciscan, it’s a commentary more bitter than sweet. Surely, our city by the bay benefits from the ongoing tech boom redux in terms of increased revenue and an overall sense of prosperity. This weekend’s San Francisco Chronicle ran a piece arguing that the city – I mean The City – is somehow replacing Silicon Valley as the hub for would-be tech entrepreneurs.
It strikes me that exactly the opposite is occurring. Silicon Valley is swallowing San Francisco hook, line and sinker.
I remember when San Jose was nothing more than a smattering of suburban housing complexes interspersed by cow paddies stretching from Santa Cruz to Gilroy. As a kid, my family and I used to drive there to visit friends and it always felt to me like we were venturing into the hinterland – a region devoid of the characteristic landmarks that distinguish so many of San Francisco’s neighborhoods.
In San Jose, everything looked the same. Like a computer chip.
Maybe that’s why so many of the area’s employees prefer to live here. And they bring their stellar salaries with them, driving up prices left and right. While the city’s topography and architecture retain that old bohemian spirit, in the face of such an economic tidal wave, I wonder about its residents.