It took until the very last minute, but Santa Clara County pulled back from its lawsuit against San Jose when the two parties struck a payments and land deal. As reported by the Merc’s Karen de Sá and John Woolfork, the key is the City relinquishing its old City Hall north of downtown to the County. A smallish, dated postwar relic, the old City Hall could work fine as additional office space for the County. There are also suggestions that the County could turn the land around to a housing developer, which isn’t exactly promising given the land’s proximity to San Jose’s Main Jail. The property is right next to the Civic Center light rail station, which might make it attractive (It’s not really the Civic Center anymore – shouldn’t the station be renamed?). Talks about the transfer have been happening pretty much since the new City Hall opened. It’s a good deal in one sense for the County, as the corten-steel Government Center is next door so consolidation of the bureaucrats can begin in earnest. Or, if the hint in the document is correct, demolition can begin in earnest.
Additionally, the City would pay the County $21.5 million by March 30 and $5 million by May 15. Hopefully that money can address county services that would otherwise face cuts. Part of that money will come from 50% of the proceeds from the North San Pedro (Brandenburg) sale. Five payments of $4.756 million each (plus interest) will be due by the end of each of the 2014-18 fiscal years.
The upshot is that the San Jose Diridon Development Authority will remain intact, depending on the endgame of RDAs. Existing tax increment passthroughs would continue to be applicable at Diridon. Sometimes it takes a crisis to bring about results.