News for 3/3/11: Quakes site demolition + Redevelopment

A couple of A’s business-related items from the Silicon Valley Business Journal:

  • Neil Kraetsch was named the team’s general counsel. He had previously been assistant general counsel. His predecessor left to take a similar position with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
  • Darrin Gross, who spent more than a decade with the Sacramento River Cats, was hired by the A’s to become the Senior Director of Corporate Partnerships.

Today’s a pretty big day for Quakes fans, as a ceremony for the demolition of the remaining FMC plant will happen at noon. The entire demolition process should take 12 weeks, including cleanup, and should be followed by groundbreaking shortly thereafter.

Articles in the Oakland Tribune and the San Francisco Business Times go over Oakland’s challenges in saving redevelopment.

The Merc’s Tracy Seipel reports that as the Cinequest Film Festival begins in San Jose, the City’s redevelopment agency must decide if it should subsidize over $800k in rent for operator Camera Cinemas on the Camera 12 multiplex, which is owned by Forest City. Absent that freeze, the multiplex would probably shut down and remain vacant for years, just as it did when UA vanished over a decade ago. The Camera 12 is the flagship venue for Cinequest and it would be a shame for downtown if the Camera 12 closed.

An almost hidden item in the article above is San Jose’s interest in creating a joint powers authority that would hold the Diridon ballpark land in case Sacramento wanted to seize or liquidate it. That’s different from the successor agencies that other cities have been creating, and I’m curious as to why they’d move in this direction. I’d also like to know what the joint powers would be (two or more public agencies) and what its “powers” would entail. Frankly, I don’t like where this is headed. Next Tuesday’s City Council meeting should explain this further.

14 thoughts on “News for 3/3/11: Quakes site demolition + Redevelopment

  1. Great day for Quakes fans. Hopefully that ground breaking is coming shortly after demolition finishes…

  2. The Camera 12 is the flagship venue for Cinequest and it would be a shame for downtown if the Camera 12 closed.

    ..Absolutely. It’s great to have that multiplex downtown. Unfortunately, parking is problematic downtown and the VTA Light Rail (that stops about 30 feet from the ticket window) is $4 round trip. Camera 12 has to compete with all those many multiplexes with plenty of free parking.

  3. I’ve been to Camera 12 once to check it out out of curiosity. Not a bad theater, smallish auditoriums/screens, kind of a strange lay out, 3 levels and all. It would be a shame if they shut down. Tons of theaters in the city of San Jose, but DT seems to struggle.

  4. The layout of Camera 12, formerly UA (United Artists), certainly is strange, with the giant escalators, etc. It is right near what used to be the Retail Pavilion, which was a dismal failure (and is now an office for an Internet service provider or something like that.). UA just packed it up one evening and left. The only downtown redev project that’s been a smashing success has been the arena, because it offers things unavailable anywhere else within 30 miles (concerts, hockey, circuses). That is why the A’s downtown would be so successful – saving San Joseans from having to commute and hour-plus for Major League Baseball.

  5. My guess is that the joint powers would be the Redevelopment Agency and the City of San Jose. Of course the members of the redevelopment agency and the city council / mayor are the same people. I think San Jose really wants the city of San Jose to own the land near Diridon as opposed to the Redevelopment agency.

  6. Possibly forming a JPA to shield the Diridon land from Sacramento? This ballpark saga will never end.

  7. While we won’t know the details until Tuesday, I’m thinking this JPA will include the entire Diridon Station area, not just the ballpark plot. In terms of members, I’m thinking the City of SJ, perhaps local transit agency’s and even the state through the CHSRA. R.M., if Prop. 22 prohibits the state from stealing local funds, then why are city’s planning for life after RDA?

  8. @pjk Camera 12 validates parking in the giant garage which is practically next door, which actually makes parking easier on a weekend night than most of the suburban competition. (Try finding a space at the Mercado on a busy night). This, and the fact you can roll up on a Saturday night and get a great seat without a mob of people surrounding you are among the reasons it’s one of my favorite places to see a film in the South Bay.

    @ML Why do you say you don’t like the way this is headed?

    • The Camera 12 was such a vast improvement over the UA 8. It is wonderful seats, a discount ticket program that is worth something, and a great layout in that the indie films are in six small theaters on the first floor and the mainstream films are in six much larger houses on the upper floors. As bartleby said, parking is validated at the Pavilion garage so it’s not a big deal.

      @bartleby – It’s an aversion to yet another bureaucratic agency being born that will need a budget and staff. There are already 3-4 JPAs that operate in the Diridon area. It creates another big target for ballpark critics.

  9. @ML In addition to the Pavilion garage, the following lots/garages accept validation from Camera Theaters (taken from Camera’s web page):

    – NEW! The new 343 space Central Space parking garage, located under the 88 Condo high-rise on E. San Fernando, between S. Second and S. Third (entrances on both S. Second and S. Third sides). Just 1/2 block north of Camera 12!
    – The city-owned garage on E. San Carlos, between S. Second and S. Third (entrances on both S. Second and S. Third sides)
    – The surface lot on E. San Fernando between S. First and S. Second (entrance on E. San Fernando). PLEASE NOTE: As of Mon, May 24th, this lot will no longer accept validations (all other lots on this list will not be affected by this change)!
    – The surface lot on the north side of San Jose Repertory Theater (200 S. Second, directly across street from Camera 12) between S. Second and S. Third (entrance on S. Third).

    I usually use the garage between 2nd and 3rd on the weekend, as the Pavilion sometimes fills up.

    Great mention on the discount program: 6 first-run films for $60 is one of the two best movie deals I know of in the area (the other being second-run films at the Bluelight in Cupertino for $5 ($3.75 if you buy their discount pass) or $2 on Tuesdays.

    And for those who are wondering: No, I have no financial interest or relationship with either Camera or Bluelight. I just think they’re two great local businesses I like to support.

  10. I remember that huge nightclub San Jose Live right next to the UA’s/Camera 12. Got a little rowdy and closed down I recall.

  11. San Jose Live was great fun. And it didn’t last, unfortunately.

  12. I love the Camera 12, though most of the movies I want to see now play at the 3. I make the drive up from Monterey several times a year, where I moved from Silicon Valley. The Cameras offer the urban cultural experience, but alas more patrons seem drawn to the suburban shopping mall theatre venues. Though the Century Theatre megaplexes are state of the art, you been in one and you’ve been in ’em all. Not like emerging to watch the VTA light rail round the bend while you contemplate which of the many dirt cheap ethnic restaurants in the area to grab a bite at before strolling by California Theatre after the marquee has been lit. Don’t let the Camera 12 die!

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