Now that the tryptophan has worn off, we’re starting to get some news again.
- Wolff Urban Development (Lew & Keith Wolff among others) is buying the Hotel Sainte Claire in downtown San Jose. The hotel, on the corner of Market and West San Carlos, is currently owned by Larkspur Hotels. Marin-based Larkspur dozens of other hotels throughout California, including the Larkspur Landing chain. Prior to Larkspur’s ownership, the Sainte Claire was part of the Hyatt chain. That’s all well and good now that the Wolffs will have three hotels in downtown (Fairmont, Hilton, Sainte Claire). The interesting scuttlebutt is that there may be some higher-ups at MLB that may be involved in the Sainte Claire purchase, perhaps with an eye towards revamping it so that it becomes the official hotel for MLB road teams. That would be a smart move, since right now the Hotel Valencia at Santana Row is eating their lunch in terms of attracting road teams (in this case, NHL squads). The Valencia is only slightly larger, but much newer than, the Sainte Claire, so the Wolffs will have to put a good amount of money into improvements to match or surpass the Valencia. SV/SJ Business Journal asked a consultant, Thomas Callahan of PKF Consulting, how much the Sainte Claire would cost. Callahan pegged the price at $34 million. (David Goll, Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal).
- Staying downtown, San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed may be able to avoid a divisive budget battle with public employees unions thanks to new, lower pension cost projections that cut next year’s budget deficit in half, from $80 million to $40 million. Reed will argue that the projections are a one-time reprieve and that more fundamental changes are required, but this news will certainly make his case look weaker, especially because the unions appear to be offering concessions that will bridge that $40 million and more beyond the next budget year.
- Moving to a mayor with a different set of concerns, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan’s supporters held a press conference yesterday that may have actually been a proactive rally against a recall petition effort, which is expected to begin next week. So that’s the point when Mayor Quan starts getting proactive. (Matthai Kuruvila, Matier and Ross, SFGate)
- Meanwhile, a few A’s players have been making the rounds within the community. First it was Jemile Weeks and Tyson Ross at the Alameda County Food Bank on Wednesday, followed by the annual A’s Community Fund Holiday Party on Thursday. (Jane Lee, MLB.com)
- A ceremonial groundbreaking at New York’s Willets Point (outside Citi Field) kicks off a $50 million redevelopment plan that will surely gentrify that part of Queens. (Nicholas Hirshon, NY Daily News)
- Historical footnote: the New York Post revealed that prior to building the original Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, the pinstripers were looking for a stadium on 42nd Street in Manhattan. Now that would’ve been different. (David K. Li, NY Post)
- In what may be the start of a trend, the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins are pursuing development of casinos within shouting distance of their respective stadia. (Douglas Hanks, Miami Herald)
- Ed Roski’s Majestic Realty (of the City of Industry NFL plan) and UNLV are still working on a new arena/stadium deal. (Paul Takahashi, Las Vegas Sun)
- Magic Johnson is teaming up with Stan Kasten as part of a group bidding on the Dodgers. (Bill Shaikin and Bill Plaschke, LA Times)
More as it comes.