Quakes get land discount + TIF approved for Diridon/Arena area

Following up on an item from last month, San Jose’s Redevelopment Agency (City Council wearing different hats) unanimously approved the price cut for the Airport West site, from $132 million to $89 million. The land will be used for the Quakes’ new stadium, plus some future commercial development. The discounted price is $8 million more than what the City paid in 2005.

On a more A’s-related note, SJRA also approved creating a tax increment zone just north of the Diridon South ballpark site. The area includes Diridon Station and the 8 blocks between HP Pavilion and the ballpark site, with Guadalupe Parkway/CA-87 on the east border. Virtually all of this area is zoned either industrial or commercial. At least one site, the old SJ Water Company land bought by Adobe, has development plans underway.

TIF funds could be used for the new infrastructure stuff we’ve discussed previously, from the new multimodal transit hub to additional parking to open space. It’s hard to say what yields they are expecting, but it stands to reason that whatever gets built, TIF will be stretched out enough for the corresponding projects to be paid for.

Tying the two news items together, it’ll be interesting to see how quickly construction begins on the Quakes stadium. As I understand it, the land there is already graded and ready to build. Should a new stadium have it groundbreaking in the summer or fall with visible progress over the next several months, it would be a major achievement politically for the City and A’s/Quakes ownership. It’s expected that the ballpark will have its own ballot measure, and there’s no better political capital than showing that you’re getting something done – with your own money, nonetheless.

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