SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — San Jose is releasing details of a memorandum of understanding between the city and Google to build a new high tech campus on what are now several parking lots near the SAP Center.
The empty parking lots don’t look like much right now, but for better or worse, they could represent the future of San Jose.
The 21 acres of prime downtown real estate were once bought and set aside by San Jose to build a new ballpark for the Oakland A’s.
But when Major League Baseball blocked the A’s move south, the land became prime for the picking for Google.
All of this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to make some decisions and get this right,” said Deputy City Manager Kim Walesh.
San Jose officials say Google has agreed to pay $110 million for the land and maintains an option to buy surface lots at the SAP Center for another $111 million.
The city says the tech giant was offered no special deals.
“This is a fair market value transaction with no taxes incentives or subsidies,” said Walesh.
The city says the deal will help the city pay for services like more low-income housing and transportation improvements.
But housing advocates say it could displace thousands of people by driving up home prices even more.
I’m afraid that the only people who can afford to live here are high tech workers,” said Pastor Scott Wagers of San Jose’s C.H.A.M. Deliverance Ministry.
Wagers and other clergy are planning on an hunger strike to coincide with the city’s planned vote on the project December 4th.