Sharks and City strike deal
It looks like something was in the works after all. Despite the Sharks’ objections to the SEIR’s findings and recommendations, they and the City of San Jose agreed on a future location for parking and possible office space (SJ Business Journal, SJ Mercury News).
The terms of the agreement are outlined in pages 68-90 of the June 15 City Council info packet. The section is called “THIRD AMENDMENT TO THE AMENDED & RESTATED SAN JOSE ARENA MANAGEMENT AGREEMENT.” Interestingly, the text of the document points out that because the new parking garage would be an amendment to an existing agreement, the garage would not be considered a new project, and (my interpretation) thus would not require its own separate, new EIR.
The land for the garage is immediately north of HP Pavilion, on currently zoned industrial parcels housing the decades-old Milligan News educational books facility, a foundry, and two houses on N Montgomery St. Like the ballpark parcels, the garage parcels would be subject to negotiation between the current owners and the City, though the City could invoke eminent domain (yikes). San Jose Arena Management (Sharks/SVSE) would be ultimately responsible for the land acquisition and development costs. SJAM would also take in all revenues associated with operating the garage. The City would reciprocate by funding the completion of Autumn Parkway – with what funds is yet to be determined.
The key here is that the location is not particularly ideal for either the ballpark or the train station, as it’s over 1/3 mile away from either site (Area E above). A connector bridge over Montgomery Street would connect the new garage to the existing elevated parking lot, and a separate vehicle entrance/exit from the planned Autumn Parkway would be the way to get there.While the location isn’t terribly convenient for train/ballpark users, it does solve the issue of maintaining existing parking while a new garage is built. As a result of this deal, both of the published garage options in the existing EIR are now out of the running, though it’s possible and/or likely that they could be revisited as parking demands rise in the future.
What does this mean for the A’s? For now, it means there’s one less obstacle and 1,000+ spaces of additional parking in the area when a ballpark opens, though again it won’t be the most convenient location. In fact, some lots on the other side of CA-87 will be closer. I think we’re moving closer to the notion that the A’s will look to build their own parking garage on the ballpark site, also with 1,000 spaces give or take. The Nats already know what this looks like.