Congratulations on your company’s success in the marketplace. Your first-to-market strategy, technology and service offerings have made Netflix a well respected global brand.
Netflix has not only created millions of satisfied customers, but your success has also generated substantial wealth for shareholders, employees and their respective families. Netflix has also increased tax revenue to government, whether by capital gains and income taxes from employees to state and federal government, or sales, utility and property tax revenues from business operations to local government.
Companies have choices when it comes to expansion—they may expand locally, or they may take their business out of state. Many would argue that California does not provide a hospitable environment for business. It has earned this reputation due to nonsensical laws like CEQA, which delay and prevent companies from expanding and employing people. The same anti common sense law has even been used to block the construction of bathrooms at parks and the remodeling of an existing library.
CEQA law was used to block Netflix’s first attempt at expansion in Los Gatos, and it could potentially be used again. Unfortunately, time is money. Delay, uncertainty and lingering doubt can really take a toll on even the most optimistic among us. Based on public testimony from Los Gatos Town Council meetings, one could easily conclude that Los Gatos residents simply does not want Netflix to expand in their town. Los Gatos is a great community with many positive attributes, and residents may have a vested interest in ensuring that Los Gatos remains unchanged.
As an alternative, the city of San Jose would be ready to act quickly on the entitlement of the Netflix corporate headquarters. Netflix would be welcomed with open arms, and appreciated for the value you bring to the community. San Jose can also offer additional perks to your workforce that are different from the standard offerings of an office park. For example, Santana Row, located just down the road, would offer a dynamic work environment that does not require your employees to get in car to enjoy all of the amenities just outside of their workplace.
Another site on the 280 corridor is located at Meridian Avenue, next to the Echelon Corporation. This facility would be adjacent to light rail and within walking distance to the Willow Glen business district. If Netflix is open to looking further east, then locating in downtown San Jose may be an even better fit for your company. Since a good portion of Netflix’s business entails mailing or streaming movies, why not locate closer to where performing arts thrive in the form of live theater and musicals, in the same city that is also home to the Cinequest Film Festival?
San Jose would be proud to have Netflix call our city home. San Jose is a good long-term choice for Netflix, as the majority of your workforce is likely to live in San Jose, which can accommodate more residents than a small town. San Jose could also get creative when it comes to sharing tax revenues generated from your new campus. A portion of these funds could be directed to local philanthropic organizations in the name of Netflix.
In conclusion, encouraging businesses to locate in San Jose can either be done quietly under the table or it can be done out in the open. I am personally a fan of negotiating out in the open, with no hidden agenda or secret deals. The simple fact remains: We want your business.