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San Jose to Sell Property to Google to Create Transit-Oriented Development

The San Jose City Council came to an agreement to sell an array of government-owned properties to Google, which would help piece together a proposed transit-oriented community of offices in downtown San Jose.

(TNS) — SAN JOSE — The San Jose City Council on Tuesday night unanimously approved a pricing agreement to sell an array of government-owned properties to Google that would be key pieces of the tech titan’s proposed transit-oriented community of offices and amenities in downtown San Jose.

The council’s 11-0 vote was one of the vital steps necessary for the properties to be formally sold to Google and its development partner Trammell Crow. The properties are among the parcels that Google wants to develop in downtown San Jose near the Diridon transit station and SAP entertainment complex.

“The taxpayers are getting their money’s worth” with these transactions, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said prior to the council’s vote.

The total price for the combined property sales to Google is $67 million for nine parcels at six addresses in downtown San Jose, said Kim Walesh, San Jose’s director of economic development. The properties are owned by a government agency created to unwind the assets and operations of the now-defunct San Jose Redevelopment Agency, which once owned them.

“These properties were originally purchased for $26 million,” Walesh said, noting that the current market values are 2.5 times the previous values.

The most expensive parcel among those slated for purchase is a parking lot at 8 S. Montgomery St. — at Santa Clara Street, south of the sports arena. That 1.6-acre site has a proposed purchase price of $17 million.

The other properties were determined to be collectively worth $50 million, the city memo stated. They are located at 105 S. Montgomery St., 510 W. San Fernando St., 102 S. Montgomery St., 645 Park Ave. and 150 S. Montgomery St.

Patty’s Inn, a well-known cocktail bar, is located on one of the government properties Google is slated to buy, but the business has declined to comment on the development.

“Google has agreed to the price” for these government properties, Walesh said in a Jan. 31 interview.

The next major step is for the successor agency to approve the proposed pricing. Santa Clara County’s Board of Supervisors has already endorsed the plan, San Jose officials said.

Salvador Bustamante, a vocal skeptic regarding the Google transit village and a member of the Silicon Valley Rising community group, urged city officials to hold out for a far higher purchase amount for the properties, despite the price appreciation documented by San Jose staffers.

“It seems the city is rushing to sell valuable land,” Bustamante said in public comments to the city council. “This price should be a floor and not a ceiling.”

The government parcel prices, however, appeared to be in line with, or higher than, the purchase values that some private property owners obtained from Google and Trammell Crow in the same area over the last 15 months.

“It’s the right price at the right time,” said Bob Staedler, principal executive with Silicon Valley Synergy, a San Jose-based land planning and consultancy group.

Mayor Liccardo and other council members noted that the lengthy process before Google might break ground on the properties is only in its early stages, despite the crucial Tuesday night vote.

“We have an incredible opportunity here,” said Eddie Truong, director of public policy and advocacy with The Silicon Valley Organization, a San Jose-based business group. “Let’s partner with Google and put San Jose on the map as a major economic hub.”

©2018 the San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.