Behind the Scenes of Los Alto’s Annual Festival of Lights Parade

The 38th annual Los Altos Festival of Lights Parade is coming up on November 30th and, as usual, residents are in for a treat! Since earlier this year, volunteers have already been hard at work with fundraising and preparations for this beloved event. There will be floats featuring a santa workshop, gingerbread house, trains, ballet dancers and more! And, let’s not forget the lights! It’ll be like Disneyland! As you can imagine, it take a small village of dedicated volunteers to pull all this together. Click on the link below to get the “behind the scenes” story.

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Bay Area High Schools Rank Among the Best in the Nation

Every year Newsweek magazine publishes a list of the top high schools in the country and many of our local schools continue to make the list year after year! In fact, the Mountain View-Los Altos High School District and the Los Altos School District schools are in the top 1% of districts in the nation! And, we all know how the value of excellent schools impacts the demand for residential real estate. Take a look at the Newsweek’s ranking of our local high schools….out of more than 25,000 schools throughout the nation.

Gunn High 38
Palo Alto High 56
Los Altos High 71
Monta Vista High 74
Mountain View High 189
Cupertino High 491
Homestead High 403

So, how does Newsweek determine which schools do the best in preparing its students for college? For 2014, Newsweek developed a 3-step methodology to make that determination:

1. Proficiency index on the state standardized assessments tests
2. College readiness score that includes analysis on the school’s enrollment rates, graduation rates and SAT/ACT composite
3. Analysis of disadvantaged schools with students that performed better than the state average in reading and math

Click on the link below for Newsweek’s complete list.

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Los Altos Resident to Direct Dancers at Mountain View’s Annual Nutcracker Performance

Los Altos resident Alex Zubiria can’t imagine the holidays without a Nutcracker performance. As the artistic director and manager of the Western Ballet Company, he feels strongly that the annual performances at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts can’t help but put attendees in the holiday spirit. The cast of dancers includes Bay Area students aged 6 to 18 years old, as well as guest appearances by professional ballet dancers. Click on the link below to read more about Alex, his students and what this performance means to them.

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Los Altos Father and Son Team Donates Electric Car to Auto Tech Program

De Anza College’s Automotive Technology Program is the lucky recipient of what may be the Bay Area’s first electric car. Bill Palmer, Jr. and Bill Palmer III, both longtime Los Altos residents, designed the car back in the 1960′s as a bonding father/son project. The project took 3 years to complete and was the first car registered with the Electrical Vehicle Association. Since then, the Palmer’s sold, re-bought and refurbished the vehicle, and had recently decided that it was time to “let it go”. Sensing that it may have some historical value, they decided that DeAnza’s Auto Program would be the perfect final resting place for their creation. Click on the link below to read more.

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Non-Profit Saving Lives in Mountain View

Racing Hearts, a non-profit organization dedicated to the health and safety of the general public, has targeted Mountain View as the recipient of more than 40 portable defibrillators throughout the city. The defibrillators are used to help get a heart beating again if a person has a heart attack. This increases the chance of survival since action can be taken immediately without having to wait for the paramedics to arrive on the scene. When someone is having a heart attack, every second and minute counts! Click on the link below to read more.

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Mountain View’s New Teen Center Opens This Friday

A ribbon-cutting event for the grand opening of Mountain View’s new Teen Center is scheduled for this Friday, November 14 at 5pm. Dubbed “The View”, the center will provide a variety of activities for the city’s youth during non-school hours. Wanting to foster an “ownership” mindset, the development of the center and its activities relied heavily on input from the local teenagers. For more information about the new teen center, click on the link below:

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Vallco Mall in Cupertino Finally Sold! By Intero!

Intero Real Estate’s Efi Luzon represents Intero’s largest sale since 2002

Cupertino, California (November 13, 2014) – Efi Luzon, Senior Vice President of Intero Commercial and managing director of the Luzon Team, a commercial REALTOR with Intero Real Estate Services, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate and wholly owned subsidiary of HomeServices of America, Inc., recently represented the buyer for the purchase of Vallco Shopping Mall, Macy’s, JCPenny and Sears located in Cupertino, CA.  The deal took almost 2 years in the making to complete and finally sold by Mr. Luzon.  This marks Intero’s largest gross sale for a single agent since the company launched in 2002.

Set in the heart of Silicon Valley only blocks away from the main Apple campus in Cupertino and right across the street from the newly constructed Cupertino downtown known as Main Street, one would think Vallco was in the perfect location for a flourishing retail space, but the 37-year-old mall, with 1.2 million square feet of space including the 3 big box stores has sat half empty since the summer of 2011.

This most recent sale came about after multiple changes in ownership with the hopes of finding someone to help revitalize it. Multiple brokers took their chances at cutting through the red tape and finding a worthy buyer for years with no success.

Each of the big box stores and the mall itself had different owners requiring multiple negotiations with four different sellers.  Luzon was able to unite all parties with an agreement to sell at the same time as one entity; a very rare occurrence.  Eventually Sand Hill Property Company, a large international equity fund investor, took interest in the property and after two years of complicated hurdles, the sale finally closed.

“I think this sale is a great opportunity to reinvent this area into the thriving Silicon Valley community it should be. It is my job to keep these transactions moving forward no matter how long it takes, and I’m glad we were able to close this deal in a win-win situation for all sides,” says Luzon.

Based out of Intero’s Los Altos office, Luzon is the leading commercial real estate agent in the greater Bay Area and U.S.  He has over 26 years of real estate experience both nationally and internationally.  His expertise is in selling investment real estate such as apartment buildings, hotels, shopping centers and land for development. Luzon has exclusively represented some of the largest commercial transactions completed in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area. Some of his most notable deals have included the sale of the Hyatt Rickey’s property in Palo Alto, Downtown Sunnyvale Town & Country, and the H&M retail store in San Francisco. He also solely put together the buyer and seller for a transaction that encompassed half of the rental inventory of apartment buildings in East Palo Alto, totaling approximately 1,300 units, assembling over 80 different owners, with an aggregate sale price of over $100 million.

“Being that we’re headquartered just minutes from Vallco in Cupertino, I’m glad to know one of our own, Efi, was integral in closing this deal. We consider Cupertino our hometown and love that we can work on both residential and commercial transactions to help our community thrive.” States John Thompson, COO of Intero Real Estate. “Mr. Luzon is the most prolific agent that I have ever met and he has closed this deal the only way he knows how; HIS WAY!”

Tom Tognoli, President and CEO of Intero Real Estate Services adds, “Once again, Efi has made the impossible possible. Being in such close proximity to Silicon Valley greats like Apple, Google and Facebook, this piece of property is unlike any other in the world. Only someone as experienced as Efi could successfully put together a deal like this and make it happen.”

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