As part of the complex land deal the City of San Jose is trying to complete in order to assemble the Diridon ballpark site, City is selling five acres of land it has already acquired to the A’s (and Lew Wolff) for $6.9 million, according to the Merc’s Tracy Seipel. Indexed for inflation, that price is only a quarter of the original purchase price and half the land’s market value. The land in question includes the former Stephens Meat plant (now a parking lot), the vacant former KNTV studios, and other properties along West San Fernando. The land sale will be voted on at the November 8 City Council meeting.
If the Quakes land deal is any guide, City will do the following assuming they get the green light from MLB:
- Make final offers to holdout landowners including AT&T, threaten eminent domain if needed
- Allow A’s to step in and buy properties at market value plus relocation costs
- A’s deed all land back to City
- City arranges for nominal ground lease for A’s to build ballpark (similar to China Basin)
The whole package would have to be voted on be the citizens of San Jose sometime within the next year. I expect City to push hard for a special election sometime in the early spring – perhaps during spring training or as the baseball season begins – instead of choosing for the 2012 June primary or November general election.
Mayor Chuck Reed continues to express confidence (bravado?) in the City’s ability to finish the land deals without resorting to eminent domain. To that end, an AT&T spokesman gives a sufficiently cagey answer when asked about selling the Montgomery work center.
Within the span of nine days, we’ll have three major developments in this neverending saga:
- November 8: San Jose City Council votes on land deal
- November 10: Oral arguments begin on redevelopment court case in San Francisco
- November 15: Territorial rights may be taken up on the owners meetings agenda (not guaranteed)
I’ve cleared my schedule properly to cover all of this, in person for the local stuff.