San Jose Sharks reach last-minute deal on Google’s downtown development – Silicon Valley
In a sudden about-face, the San Jose Sharks – the toughest opponent in Google plans to build an 80-acre urban village and tech campus west of downtown – have retreated.
In a settlement agreement announced moments before San Jose City Council is expected to grant Google final approval for its monumental development plan on Tuesday night, Sharks Sports & Entertainment agreed not to sue Google or the city for shutting down. development plans surrounding the arena.
“The settlement agreement between the city, Google and SSE (Sharks Sports & Entertainment) resolves the vast majority of concerns raised by the parties,” San Jose economic development director Nanci Klein wrote in a note.
The Sharks, whose president previously said the tech giant’s plans would go undermine the viability of the SAP Center, released a statement Tuesday evening saying the organization “sincerely appreciates” the city’s and Google’s efforts to address their concerns.
Sharks Sports & Entertainment (SSE) has long been a supporter of the city’s planning vision for the Diridon station area, including Google’s Downtown West project, as long as it does not endanger the area. the viability and success of the city owned city, and the SAP hub run by SSE, ”Sharks spokesman Scott Emmert wrote in a statement.
As part of its Downtown West development, Google plans to build up to 7.3 million square feet of office space, 4,000 housing units, 300 hotel rooms, 500,000 square feet of retail space. and 15 acres of open space and parkland just west of downtown San Jose, surrounding the Diridon Station and SAP Center. Areas adjacent to this project could accommodate an additional 6.4 million square feet of office space, 7,000 housing units and 536,000 square feet of retail space.
The Sharks, in turn, have expressed concerns about how this dramatic growth and ongoing construction could create parking issues and traffic jams around the SAP center.
From the town planning commission unanimously recommended approval of Google’s Downtown West project on April 28Google and the city have made some changes to project approvals to address the Sharks’ concerns about parking, according to city officials.
These changes include a guarantee that the city and Google will consult with the Sharks about the schematic parking design to ensure that at least 2,850 parking spaces will remain within 1/3-mile of the southern entrance to the SAP Center and an agreement by the city to pay any increased costs incurred by the Sharks for transportation and parking management costs that exceed 2019 costs. The city has also agreed to consult with the Sharks on the final design and capacity of the network road surrounding the SAP center.
In return for such changes, the Sharks agreed not to sue the city or Google.
“The city and Google absolutely understand the critical need for the Sharks to have efficient access and have worked to integrate many concerns of Sharks Sports & Entertainment,” said Jessica Zenk, deputy director of transportation for San Jose at the meeting. Tuesday city council.
The settlement agreement marks a stark reversal from the air struck by the Sharks in recent months.
The Sharks began publicly filing complaints about the Google project in November 2020, saying development plans around the SAP Center would force them out of San Jose and that city leaders were not taking their concerns sufficiently into account.
San Jose owns the SAP Center and leases it to Sharks Sports and Entertainment for its operation and maintenance. An agreement between the two parties, which is expected to last until 2040, sets out the roles and responsibilities of the City with respect to the arena, including maintaining a certain number of parking spaces for events.
City officials, Google officials and Sharks executives have met more than 75 times since 2019 to address issues raised by the sports and entertainment company. But until Tuesday, the sharks were not satisfied with what came out of these discussions.
Klein wrote in his memo that while revisions to the project approval process solved “the bulk of the issues,” not all of the issues raised by each party could be addressed in the agreement. To address current concerns and those that may arise in the future, Google, the city and the Sharks have agreed to “meet and consult in good faith to find appropriate solutions to outstanding and future issues.”
“We strongly believe that sharks will be able to succeed and in fact thrive with the proposed project as a neighbor, especially given all the new people and the access this project brings to living,” said Jessica Zenk, deputy director of San Jose transportation. the city council meeting on Tuesday.
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