An Open Letter to Netflix

Dear Netflix,

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. 

Pierluigi Oliverio


  1. Los Gatos decision is mind-numbing in its potential consequences for that city.  The NIMBY mentality can kill the economics of any city—including LG.

    The Councilmember from San Jose is correct in his analysis and offer.  Netflix belongs in San Jose and by acting quickly he helps move the process forward, as the overtures from other states will not far behind. 

    But if the NIMBY mentality continues to prevail in these local communities, the long term economic health for the entire area will be at risk.  Crazy small-minded people cannot be allowed to dictate what is best for the majority.

    • What do you think would happen if Netflix asked to buy that property that San Jose wants to give to the A’s for a baseball stadium?

      Would you argue that we should give them the land for free, because it would create jobs and and create a halo effect for the city?

      Or would you stand in the way of progress, arguing that the land would be better used as a baseball stadium?

    • >  Crazy small-minded people cannot be allowed to dictate what is best for the majority.

      They do it all the time: Obamacare, global warming, high speed rail, “stimulus”, public education, etc, etc, . . . .

      Crazy small-minded people with humongous egos are in control.  Haven’t you noticed?

  2. Santana Row, Willow Glen, and… um, the downtown, where there’s entertainment, occasionally.

    After wasting billions of dollars allowing salaried and secure bureaucrats to make business development decisions best made by risk-taking private investors, San Jose is reduced to treating its budget-devouring downtown investment as an afterthought. 

    At least PLO didn’t mention the area around the Mexican Heritage Plaza. It’s much too much like Mexico.

  3. BLAH , BLAH,BLAH ……………..Really tired of listening to rants. “San Jose will NEVER be a good choice for anything Longterm”. at least not while Reed and his Minions (YOU) are still in office. this city is a shell of its former self , thanks to you and yours. San Jose Public safety should be your number one priority, but in your world “we could shrink the fire dept to try and shore up the Police Dept” . Understand this PLO , we need them both as Both are severely understaffed.No legitimate business will/should even consider coming here if they don’t feel safe and or secure here

  4. Why would any business come to San Jose?  San Jose has turned into a crime ridden ghetto.  Maybe the author should walk around various parts of the City at night.

  5. Geez, if he actually sent this letter as it is written, I would be embarrassed by the grammatical errors.  Perhaps he is speaking metaphorically when he states that “Netflix would be welcomed with open arm….” Don’t council members/mayoral candidates proofread, or have an assistant who does?

  6. PJ, are you nuts?!  No Santana Row or Willow Glen, period!  They must move into a downtown highrise that would be built by Boston Properties since the city extended the agreement with Boston Properties to hold the land for future developments, after throwing the city under the bus.  Have Neflix move into that one building the city must require Boston Properties build in order to cling on the parcel downtown.

  7. “nonsensical laws like CEQA?” And your proposal to protect our community from environmental abuse is what?
    I would much rather have the protection of CEQA than you and your colleagues watching out for our best interests.

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