Deals in the works

Only a handful of downtown properties once owned by the San Jose Redevelopment Agency remain unsold in the wake of the state shuttering RDAs in 2012.

In six years, the Successor Agency (SARA) transferred to the City of San Jose or sold off more than 75 percent of the 40 groups of properties once held by the Redevelopment Agency, which intended most of their investments to be used for future development.

A quick look at the properties sold off or to be sold off by the SARA board reveals the majority were located downtown.

Six properties closed escrow in recent months, including the sale of 366 S. First St., the Anno Domini Gallery, to longtime tenants Brian Eder and Cherri Lakey for $1,050,000.

RDA acquired the 4,791 square-foot former Camera One building in SoFA in 2003 for $1,028,441.  By 2011, the value of the property dropped to about $500,000 before climbing back to the $1 million appraisal just recently.

SARA also recently settled with Imwalle Properties on the former Camera 12 building at Paseo de San Antonio and Second Street, and a large parcel at 292 Stockton Ave. went to Kade Development, which paid $4 million and plans to build a hotel on the site.

SARA agreed in February to a compensation agreement for six properties on the west side of downtown to be negotiated exclusively between the city and Google. Similar compensation agreements are in the works for the Billy de Frank LGBT Community Center at 938 The Alamedaand the California Theatre at 345 S. First St.

Still to be sold are:

  • The Convention Center South Hall property and the Jose Theater property that are both being used as collateral for a HUD Section 108 loan, which will be fully repaid in 2025;
  • A vacant lot at 551 W. Julian that will go out for a new bid after SARA rejected the first three bidders;
  • The Stage building and property at 490 S. First St., which is being reappraised;
  • The ground lease at Market-Gateway Condos, 525 S. Market St., which was developed by the CORE Companies;
  • And a revenue participation agreement with the Sheraton 4 Points, which acquired the Hotel Montgomery after it was moved south a few hundred feet.

Already transferred to the City of San Jose are a number of RDA-bought parcels at McEnery Park, the Paseo de San Antonio public walkway, trails at Guadalupe River Park, the Circle of Palms public plaza, and a section of Woz Way.  SARA and the City have agreed on compensation for nine parcels representing the Autumn Parkway expansion and another River Park Trail extension at 501 Locust St.

San Jose Redevelopment – the second largest agency in the state – existed from 1956 to 2012.  From 1977 to 2011, RDA invested more than $1.8 billion in the downtown.

As the sun sets on the RDA era in downtown San Jose, RDA left $129 million in acquisitions on the table for SARA to sell off, including almost $25 million spent on properties that made up the once-proposed baseball stadium south of the train station and $14.5 million on the Convention Center South Hall block between Balbach and Viola streets.

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