Deal struck between San Jose and Santa Clara County

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.

53 thoughts on “Deal struck between San Jose and Santa Clara County

  1. Does the SJ-county deal, coupled with this summer’s end of redevelopment, simply mean that San Jose has its ducks in a row and could go forward with a ballpark while Oakland could not?…

  2. Wonder if any of that rubbed off on the A’s.

  3. This is a good sign for San Jose as they keeping moving along the path. Despite obstacles they seem to keep trucking as they say.

    Oakland should stop its EIR until the RDA raid from the state fails or succeeds. They are wasting $$ by continuing something they full well know will not materialize long run without an RDA intact for the city.

    It is coming down the end here and San Jose should have it all ready in June. If Selig stalls I smell litigation coming…

  4. …if Selig denies San Jose, I hope Wolff signs a very long term lease with the Oakland Coliseum and keeps collecting massive welfare checks from MLB for decades to come. He’ll have offered a completely workable solution that makes perfect sense and been turned down.

  5. @Sid–Oakland stop the EIR? Huh? Despite many high hurdles, Oakland keeps trucking along too, thank you Jean Quan. San Jose’s no closer than they were 2 years ago, and I believe it’s not gonna happen anyways. They should sell the land to developers to help their huge budget shortfall and build Santana Row II @ Diridon.

  6. Oakland has no budget shortfall? Didn’t they just lay off 80 cops? DIdn’t they have trouble heating the schools after Thanksgiving? Somehow, I find it hard to believe that Oakland is awash in cash… Oakland should take whatever it would spend on the A’s and instead use it to rehire the 70 cops that have not been rehired by Quan.

  7. re: Oakland keeps trucking along.

    …keeps trucking along with no money to build the ballpark and no private interests willing to do it. OK. I’m trucking along in my efforts to get a free Mercedes. It’s just a matter of time before some rich CEO gives me one because I’m entitled.

  8. no one can argue that either city is in better financial shape at this point in time—both Oakland and SJ—like all other cities across the country—are in pretty bleak financial condition at this point in time. The real question is what’s been done up to this point in time….and is it enough to avoid additional significant drain on a city’s coffers….and than of course….which city has the most promising future as it relates to supporting a privately developed ballpark

  9. @pjk–i agree, Oakland, San Jose, SF, LA and about every city in CA is having serious budget shortfalls, and new sports palaces for rich owners/players should be the last things on their minds.
    But Oakland is just trying to hang on to their team that has resided their for 43 years. A new DT/JLS park would transform that area to something really cool and jump start the Oak to 9th project too.
    I wish LW would see the potential and get on board,but his SJ obsession won’t let him.

  10. Who will buy naming rights at VC for a price roughly equivalent to what Cisco will pay in San Jose? Who will lease the luxury suites? Who will pay to move the 16 businesses and do the infrastructure improvements? Jerry Brown? ( No point in discussing personal seat licenses since we know they were a disaster in Oakland already.)

  11. Agree that there is no way Oakland should stop their EIR now. However, if the VC site has so much potential, why not help ease LW’s (and JF’s) fears by guaranteeing some money in case the corporate sponsorship to help fund the park doesn’t materialize?

  12. Oakland can’t guarantee what it doesn’t have. Oakland feels entitled to the Frisco deal — a free ballpark.

  13. Can we bag the tired arguments for a bit? None of us really know what is coming next, how Diridon will be impacted by the RDA grab (if it happens), if Oakland has been working on a financing plan, etc. I wish Bud Selig would lead from the front for once…

  14. @jk-usa- San Jose is far closer than Oakland ever will be.

    Once Brown raids RDAs Oakland will be done flat out. No more chances.

    San Jose has the $$ to finish the land deal off and even if they fail good old Lew Wolff will buy the land himself but he wants the City to do its part as that was the agreement.

    When RDAs are gone so are Oakland’s chances……What a waste of 100k of taxpayer money. Although one could argue that is better than 650k had they had a chance to finish.

  15. @Jeffrey- Selig wants Oakland to “hang themselves”. Regardless if San Jose doesn’t get this land deal done Lew Wolff will buy the rest so what San Jose is doing is a moot point.

    Oakland on the other hand without an RDA to buy out the 16 businesses on the VC site and re-do the transportation infrastructure it is game over for Oakland unless they want to use money that does not exist in their General Fund.

    The irony it was Jerry Brown who sold out the A’s on Uptown and now he will do it albeit indirectly VC as well.

  16. There is no financing plan in Oakland….Selig isn’t that smart.

  17. ahh Jeffrey—so you dream—but wouldn’t that be great—bs actually leading….

  18. Why would Oakland stop the EIR? A ballpark isn’t the only thing that can be built there.

  19. @Sid: since you don’t seem familiar with Oakland’s plan towards the Victory Court land area, I will bring you up to speed: that is a redevelopment area. Stadium or no, it is a place where money needs to be put towards, to link downtown, Chinatown, Jack London District, and Lake Merritt neighborhood(s) together. Alot can be done there, in conjunction with the 12th St. project, supported by measure DD to improve not only Lake Merritt, but the area around Laney College as well: residences, places to eat and shop, etc.
    Of course, an A’s ballpark will be a huge help for the area, if they can make it work, but I will leave that as hypothetical for the time being.
    As for SJ, there is no way of knowing if territorial rights will be lifted. Before being so sure, and some calling for an Oakland forfeit (which they won’t), the fight of the Giants ownership first has to either play out, or we find out if SJ is given the head shake instead of a nod by BS.

  20. @David- I know full well about the VC plan and it is not viable in any way for a ballpark. 16 businesses that need to move and the transportation infrastructure both are huge hurdles….These are not “small” problems.

    For the rest of what you say it still does not make sense to do an EIR for something that will never be completed.

    With RDAs about to be gone how is Oakland going “re-develop” that area? Their General Fund is broke like most cities.

    The EIR should be for a valid purpose and not for show, it is a waste of taxpayer money unless some one is committing money to build on that land that the EIR is being done for.

    Hence why IDLF and another city council person voted against it because essentially Oakland is investing money in something where a private party has not stepped with a commitment of some type.

    Their argument was unless the A’s are committing to the VC site why are we spending a dime on this? I agree with them 100% for that reason alone.

    Would Oakland ever do anything with the VC site without the new ballpark?…highly unlikely as they will keep things the way they are.

    San Jose did an EIR for the A’s because they are committing $$ to build a ballpark.

    In Oakland they are just as they “pissing” money away trying to save a team that has been gone for many years.

    San Jose will get the A’s, either by BS or by a lawsuit…..It will happen.

  21. The A’s stadium is part of the Diridon Station plan in San Jose. The Diridon plan has scenarios if there is an A’s stadium and also if there is not. The realignment of Autumn St is in all scenarios. It is not an A’s stadium specific change.

    The reason development hasn’t started from the plans is because 1 of 2 things needs to happen. BART to downtown San Jose needs to start being built or High Speed Rail in San Jose needs to start building. Starting of construction for the A’s stadium could cause nearby development to start but the A’s stadium was not in the initial Diridon Station plans.

    If the transportation developments aren’t finalized while the A’s stadium is, large areas of the parking lots between HP Pavilion and Cisco Fields probably won’t start development. I think the city prefers doing other developments that are on top of the proposed BART station either in parallel or after the BART station is being built. Also the choice of the location of the High Speed Station part of the Diridon area will affect part of the area that may be used for other developments. lists the alternatives for the site. An MTC grant to San Jose for planning around BART stations started the formal planning for this area. The passage of High Speed Rail caused San Jose to need to plan for a HSR station in that area. The possibility of an A’s stadium in that area required the planning process to account for that also.

  22. @STH – sounds like the good folks of SJ and Oakland, have alternate plans for the proposed sites, if things don’t work out. That’s smart!

  23. It will be interesting to see what alternatives the Oaktown EIR evaluates. Ballpark or no, the waterfront in Oaktown has always been somewhat of a “wasted” asset. I hope that, if a ballpark isn’t built, there is something awesome in the vicinity.

  24. Sid, I won’t argue with your opinions, although I find some of them premature. That includes, considering the territorial rights mess in SJ, and MLB working with Oakland as well as SJ.

  25. @Sid–moving 16 businesses at VC is a lot little easier than moving 100 businesses with LW’s pie in the sky idea at 66th Ave, which everyone but Lew knew wasn’t viable.. The BRC likes the VC site and have spent much time and money on it, so it is viable, even though there’s a lot of work to do.
    San Jose won’t happen, cuz BS fears a lawsuit from SF and/or the Giants.
    Yup, I got my opinions too!!

  26. The Giants are forbidden by the MLB constitution (or whatever it’s called) from suing MLB or any of the other teams. If they try to get a surrogate to do it, it would be nice if Selig took the proper step of sanctioning the Giants and maybe running Neukom out of the league.. If the Giants could sue, so could the A’s – on much better grounds…

  27. Let.s see: Frisco’s grounds to sue – can’t really think of any that make sense.
    San Jose’s grounds to sue – denied economic development and the right of self-determination by nonsensical “territorial rights” that might be outside of MLB’s also-nonsensical anti-trust exemption

  28. @pjk–SF City Attorney Dennis Herrera’s explicit letter to MLB over TR’s makes a lot of sense.

  29. jk… come on man. That letter was all posturing.

  30. Does anyone have any links confirming that the “BRC”/MLB “likes the VC site and have spent much time and money on it”? Not trying to inflame, just trying to confirm because I haven’t read or heard any officlal squat on this.

  31. @jk Wishful thinking is one thing, but you shouldn’t let it lead you to offering legal opinions.
    As I’ve discussed at length previously, Herrera’s argument has multiple major problems. But to put it most simply, consider this: Our economic and legal system is predicated on promoting competition. The antitrust laws and other competition laws make it illegal, in some cases criminal, to undertake certain anticompetitive behavior, which may include, for example, attempts to monopolize a market or allocate markets between competitors.
    In general, if you have an established business, there is little you can do to prevent a competing business from moving in next door. In fact, you might get yourself in serious trouble for trying. Does it make any sense whatsoever to believe that the landlord of that established business could bring a suit against the competing business on the speculative grounds that lawful competition might bankrupt the first business and impair the landlord’s ability to collect rent? Do you think our economic system would even function if this type of claim were allowed?
    Even John Russo wasn’t willing to walk this plank with Herrera. His response to Herrera’s letter:
    “I think its an interesting letter. I spoke to Dennis today. I told him I think its an interesting theory. I can see where his concerns are; I understand it.”
    “Interesting theory” is polite lawyer-speak for “Wow, I can’t believe you laid that out with a straight face. I’m not going there with you, but don’t worry, I won’t blow your cover.”

  32. To put it even more simply: The possibility that lawful competition might drive your tenant out of business is simply one of the risks you take as a landlord.

  33. @TonyD–yes, there’s several articles on this in the Eastbay Express, about the BRC and VC, and in the interview on baseballoakland with Jean Quan. I really don’t want to waste my time digging them up for you, just to have you shoot everything down. Anything positive on the VC site, you have to counter with SJ being so much better, a no-brainer, blah, blah, blah…..

  34. @bartleby–with all due respect, counselor, I find a lot of what you have to say on here to have some very interesting theories.

  35. Reality is… We don’t know what the stadium panel thinks about any of the proposed sites. We have folks, with agendas, on both sides saying the panel likes their site.
    I think it is funny that any of us think we can ascertain anything about their opinions through the subterfuge.

    • Reality is… We don’t know what the stadium panel thinks about any of the proposed sites. We have folks, with agendas, on both sides saying the panel likes their site..I think it is funny that any of us think we can ascertain anything about their opinions through the subterfuge.

      Excellent Jeffrey!

  36. I’m sorry; some here misunderstood. I meant actual quotes from MLB, Bud Selig, Bob DuPuy, Irwin Raij, or Corey Busch regarding VC and how much they “liked” it and how much money they’re throwing its way. Look, its one thing to have an opinion; yes, I think Diridon South is far superior to Victory Court for an A’s ballpark. Again, OPINION! It’s another thing to spout out “facts” with no proof whatsoever; what I refer to on this blog as the “Navigator syndrome.” “Proof” also doesn’t equate to blog interviews with local politicians with an agenda. FWIW, I’m sure MLB has talked to San Jose on numerous occasions, but I’d never twist that into “They love San Jose and our throwing the bank at Diridon!”

    • meant “are throwing,” not “our.”

      I’m sorry; some here misunderstood. I meant actual quotes from MLB, Bud Selig, Bob DuPuy, Irwin Raij, or Corey Busch regarding VC and how much they “liked” it and how much money they’re throwing its way. Look, its one thing to have an opinion; yes, I think Diridon South is far superior to Victory Court for an A’s ballpark. Again, OPINION! It’s another thing to spout out “facts” with no proof whatsoever; what I refer to on this blog as the “Navigator syndrome.” “Proof” also doesn’t equate to blog interviews with local politicians with an agenda. FWIW, I’m sure MLB has talked to San Jose on numerous occasions, but I’d never twist that into “They love San Jose and our throwing the bank at Diridon!”

  37. Hearing third-hand that Selig met with Lew and Billy today. Make of it what you will.

  38. I just heard 4th hand that Selig met with Lew and Billy today.
    Okay, TonyD, try not to get too giddy, but it just HAS to be about a decision that SJ was picked from the panel’s findings. What else can it be??

  39. It might have just been about adding another Dibbs cart to the Coliseum. I was excited for a minute that maybe the schism in the fanbase could begin to heal.

  40. Being that he’s commissioner and it’s Spring Training, I’m sure Selig has made the rounds with most (if not all) of the owners and even some of the GM’s. I’m also pretty sure, being that they’re old friends/frat brothers, that Selig has met with Wolff many times over the past year. Selig met with Lew and Billy today…great.

  41. @JK – I just had this astonishing epiphany on how to finance the Oakland VC stadium. Every man, woman, and child in the East bay can contribute $500 towards the funding for 1 billion dollars or the awesome kool kids at the LGO facebook site can each hand over $25000 each. Imagine, you guys there can each have a placard saying you made it happen. What say you?

  42. @ST–25k per LGO fan? Sounds good to me. As long as LW/JF is out of the picture, I’m all in!!!
    The fans/ community owning the team is the way it should be, like in GB. Pump all profits back into the team and park instead of the greedy owners pockets.

  43. Jk – that was just for the land and stadium. If you want the team add another 100k at least. Since you’re so estatic on this prospect, you should start an escrow for this. Ill even donate $5 to help out. Await your proposal on LGO site.

  44. @ST–your numbers are whacked out, dude. $125k per LGO fan? LMAO!!! The team is valued at $4.5 billion? (100k X 45k?). Try around 280-300 mill, pal, or $6500 a piece. The park would be around 450-500 million, or 10k piece. Land and infrastructure, maybe 150 mill,or 4k a piece, but the City (RDA?) and MLB should help with that. And you don’t pay off the park all at once, Einstein..lmao again. Naming rights @ 100 mill+, which will come forward no doubt and will go towards the park debt, and also some kind of charter seat licenses, which should be come out of the LGO 10k for the park. So it can be done for about 20k and that includes a CSL/PSL, but the 45k fans would exceed the 39k capacity!!
    BTW, LGO doesn’t want your $5. Donate to the Japan crisis or a local charity.

  45. @JK – Whacked out? Is this coming from Mr. pipe-dream himself? You really think that Lew would sell to a bunch of wannabe-internet dweebs who’ve dissed him from the start for 300 mill? You’re really in fantasy land. But wait now, why are you resorting back to the RDA and MLB? I thought it you could afford this, instead of depending on government handouts and a non-existent naming right combined with PSLs? Damn, back-track much don’t we? As you can see, if you cannot stomach the thought of forking over actual money from your pockets to save the A’s, so why do you expect some billionaire white night, much less the City of Oakland to help out? Because of a bunch of loudmouth guys signed a facebook page…..and yes, I’ve already donated to the Japan crisis and no, the A’s are not considered a charity….

  46. @ST–I said awhile back that I’m done with you and don’t reply to any of my posts, but you came back to give me more crap and I was an idiot to reply back to you too. It’s now official, you don’t exist in my virtual world from this post on, and I better not exist in yours. Kapeesh, bucko?

    Sorry about this, ML. I’m borderline getting tossed from here I know, and I don’t want that. This guy gets under my skin and I’ve had it. No mas!

  47. JK – LOL, yes, you said that you were done with me yet have constantly replied to my posts. Keep up with the meds bud so you can continue living in fantasyland. And really, if you frequent this place, too bad but i’ll still be hear and still respond to your pitiful nonsense and ineptitude regardless of what you may childlishly think….

  48. Really guys? Do I have to shut down every thread or should I just ban the both of you? Try exercising some restraint.

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