The Arts are good for Commercial Real Estate

| March 13, 2013 | 1 Comment

_MG_1190_1_2-2The SF Peninsula is a great place to do business and to live, thanks in part to a collection of excellent downtowns in many of the small cities that compose our region.  I’ve written often about how the vibrant downtown cores up and down the Peninsula have dramatically outperformed the broader office leasing market of late– a quick look at any of our local market snapshots will confirm this.  The connection between access to restaurants and public transportation and the higher downtown rents is quite clear.  But the overall health and vibrance of these downtowns– and their appeal to office users– is fueled in a very important way by the presence of a strong dose of arts and culture.   The economic boost provided by the arts is well documented, and the intangible benefits obvious.  Downtown Palo Alto’s public plazas are often filled with live music, and University Avenue is one of the last bastions of art-house cinema in the region.  Redwood City’s revitalization in centered around Theatre Way, enthusiastically supported by city planners and anchored by the historic Fox Theatre.

My friend Alicia Crank wrote a nice piece on her blog about what I consider to be the cornerstone of my own local downtown.  The Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts is a really exceptional asset.  The wide variety of organizations that take that stage are vital to local culture.   Tony-award winning Broadway smash “Memphis” made its World Premiere on its stage.  I’ve enjoyed countless hours working backstage there supporting my kids’ performances in the high-quality musicals put on by Peninsula Youth Theatre.  Ballet, music, lectures, and so on– and all of it bringing enthusiastic customers to the doors of the restaurants up and down Castro Street, reinforcing the success of the amenities that help keep office space filled and the local economy humming.

So, make sure and support the Arts in your community.  It’s good for business, and it’s just… good.   And consider supporting my personal favorite arts organization, Peninsula Youth Theatre in its educational mission serving local kids.  Next up for them  is ‘Pirates of Penzance’.   I’ll be grabbing dinner downtown before the show.

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  1. Ken says:

    Well said, Mike!

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