San Jose City Council Session 4/28 Agenda

An agenda for the April 28 (9-12 AM) City Council Special Session was posted recently (PDF) at the City of San Jose website. The relevant stuff:

Note one of the focus items: HP Pavilion. Undoubtedly, the City and the Arena Authority are looking at what’s transpiring in both Sacramento and Anaheim and they’re using that information as a guide for a future NBA team pursuit, if/when the opportunity arises. Honda Center has more square footage than HP Pavilion due to having three concourses, but its footprint is slightly smaller than HP Pavilion (though there’s more room to expand in Anaheim). Should Anaheim get the green light for the Kings/Royals, the cost baseline will be set by the final, league-approved agreement between the team and arena operator.

Beyond that, the City Council is looking to approve the Draft Diridon Station Area Plan. The most recent version was released this month, so if you’re interested in the vision it’s worth a look. Keep in mind that this new transit hub vision isn’t going to get built until at least after the end of the next presidential term. With that in mind, the discussion is expected to be long-range, though there may also be some mention of the impacts of federal transportation funding cutbacks and $4-per-gallon gas.

There are a ton of interesting details in the plan, which if approved would be subject to a lengthy CEQA review.

  • The six-block area between the ballpark site and arena has a 130′ building height limit. That would make it higher than both the arena’s roof and probably higher than the light standards at the ballpark. The area remains small, but having 10-story buildings could make up for that somewhat. All of the development there would be commercial in nature.
  • The Central Zone, which includes the ballpark site and the six blocks between the ballpark and arena, would be slated for up to 140,000 square feet of retail, 1.14 million square feet of office space, 250 hotel rooms, and 920 spaces (all in garages).
  • Montgomery Street is the designated retail corridor and would be closed off to vehicular traffic for special events. Those scenes on Autumn Street outside HP Pavilion during Sharks games? They’ll be moved to Montgomery.
  • The only new venue-specific parking would be the garage north of HP Pavilion that was approved by the City last year. Additional mixed-use parking may be available should new office development occur in the industrial areas north and west of the arena. Total parking for both: 6,832 spaces, almost all of them in garages.
  • Residential development would be confined to the Southern Zone, south of Park Avenue.

It’s probable that much of this stuff won’t get built. The EIR process may dictate lower building heights, and the market for office space and retail may not warrant extensive building even a decade from now. Changes to the redevelopment may curb the scope of development in the area. Even so, city and community have been shaping this for the last three years and if San Jose is going to be less car-centric city, this is a huge step forward. That’s the point of defining a vision.

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