Making decisions about the limited land owned by Santa Clara is becoming more important every year.
Two of the last major plots of ground in the City have been tied up by The Related Companies (the old golf course, 240 acres) and Kylli Corporation (the former Yahoo property, 48 acres that were supposed to have been redeveloped more than 10 years ago) across Great America Parkway from Great America.
Kylli had been working under a three-year agreement with Santa Clara to arrive at an acceptable plan for development. That agreement expired recently and was not renewed by the City Council. It was a multi-billion-dollar plan…
Kylli’s plans and the City’s plans didn’t align. Now, there’s no cash coming into the City. What if they could have worked out their differences? The time spent on this project was negligible when you consider the multi-billions Kylli would have spent to bring their project on-line.
It is another story with the Related project. This deal has been in the works for 8 years, yet not a shovel has moved any ground, or more important…no dollars have moved into the general fund. With many promises of a magnificent new “downtown,” commercial center and retail mecca, Related Companies would pay rent of $18 million a year to Santa Clara. There was one caveat: no rent until construction began.
The original conceptual agreement was initiated in 2012 and the actual deal was inked in 2016. However, the money that was to flow into City coffers is still in Related’s bank account.
Last year, the golf course was closed to make more room for Related.
Along the way the City Council did not agree to extend the lease for David’s Restaurant located on golf course property next to the golf course clubhouse. Yet it would be two more years before American Golf was removed. Rent money from David’s that would have been paid to Santa Clara was forfeited.
David Embrahini also operated David’s Banquet Facilities next door, also on golf course property.
Last October, the City Council approved an eminent domain action against David’s Banquet property. The City reclaimed the banquet facility. This was the first time in City history a Santa Clara City Council used this legal device to obtain a property. It is not surprising that Embrahini has sued the City since he had 10 years left on his lease. What if they just bought David out?
Oh, that’s right. The Council majority did offer Embrahini $5,000 as a “buy out.”
Santa Clara is still waiting for the Related project to begin.
What if there had been periodic “good faith” funds arriving at Santa Clara City Hall on Related progress?
Missed opportunities and bad contracts have proved expensive.
I, for one, am in no hurry to see construction begin at these sites that I drive past daily (even with COVID). The opinion piece is right, these are big plots of land. But there will be lasting effects for generations to come, so no need to rush into construction just because Miles might not live to see these projects finished!