Long awaited but expected cuts hit San Jose as it decided to lay off 24 people of its 109-person Redevelopment Agency staff. The cuts are part of the state’s raid on redevelopment funds, San Jose’s take was $88 million ($62 million this year, $13 million next year, $13 million from last year).
However, there is some good news:
The state raid will not derail some of the agency’s highest-profile efforts, Mavrogenes said. Land acquisitions for a proposed ballpark near the Diridon train station to lure Major League Baseball’s A’s is to come from land sale proceeds, a separate money pot that Mavrogenes said will not be affected by the state’s move.
And the agency is contractually obligated to follow through on other pending projects, including the downtown “urban market” at San Pedro Square.
But projects still in development are likely to be delayed indefinitely, most notably the $350 million expansion of the aging McEnery Convention Center.
City has been using the practice of “land banking” for decades now, making its Redevelopment Agency one of the largest in the country. Land banking is used for development opportunities, many of them controversial. Results have been mixed at best. For every Adobe headquarters or San Jose Arena, there’s the failed Tropicana Shopping Center project or the Pavilion downtown shopping mall (not related to the arena). As the Diridon area transforms, SJRA is getting ready to buy up most if not all of the land in the area for the transformation.