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Downtown San Jose's Google village takes major step forward with government property deals

George Avalos, The Mercury News on

Published in Home and Consumer News

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Google's village in downtown San Jose cleared a major hurdle on Wednesday with an agreement involving proposed prices for the sale of government-owned properties to a development venture led by the search titan.

"This is an important step forward. It is one step, but a vital step," San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said Wednesday. "We are moving forward collaboratively with Google on this process."

The combined proposed price for the property sales to Google: $67 million for nine parcels at six addresses in downtown San Jose, according to a city staff memo. The properties are all owned by a government agency that was created to unwind the assets and operations of the now-defunct San Jose Redevelopment Agency, which once owned the properties.

"It's very helpful to get the negotiations over these parcels resolved," Mayor Liccardo said. "It sets a clear path for us."

The next major step is to craft a similar agreement with Google over purchase prices for the parking lots next to the SAP sports and entertainment center and a property now being used for a San Jose Fire Department training center. Both of these properties are owned by the city of San Jose.

In the agreement for a proposed purchase of the redevelopment agency's successor, the most expensive parcel is a parking lot at 8 S. Montgomery St. at Santa Clara Street, due south of the sports arena. That 1.6-acre site, known as Lot D, has a proposed purchase price of $17 million.

"The remaining Successor Agency to the Redevelopment Agency properties were determined to have a value of $50 million dollars," the city memo stated. The rest of the successor agency parcels are located at 105 S. Montgomery St., 510 W. San Fernando St., 102 S. Montgomery St., 645 Park Ave. and 150 S. Montgomery St. Notably, Patty's Inn, a long-time cocktail bar, is on one of the government properties that Google is slated to buy.

"Google has agreed to the price" for the government properties in this proposed agreement, said Kim Walesh, San Jose's director of economic development.

For slightly over a year, Google and its development ally, Trammell Crow, have been purchasing an array of properties, including vacant lots, industrial properties, retail sites, commercial buildings and residences, as part of the tech titan's plans to create a transit-oriented community in downtown San Jose.

Mayor Liccardo noted that San Jose is taking a path that diverges sharply from the approach taken by numerous cities that hope to coax Amazon to establish a second headquarters in their communities.


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