Santa Clara City Council Approves the City Place Mega Project

Kimberly Heaton

On June 28th, the Santa Clara City Council gave a green light to the ambitious $6.5 billion mixed-use development project proposed by Related Companies for the 240-acre city-owned site north of Levi's Stadium.  The scope of the project is huge - when fully built out City Place will include up to 5.7 million square feet of office, 1.2 million square feet of retail and restaurant space, 700 hotel rooms, and up to 1,360 apartment units - totalling 9.7m square feet. Keyser Marston has been the City's real estate advisor and involved in ongoing negotiations since late 2013 when initial development concepts were presented.

City Place, the largest private development in the history of Silicon Valley, will be built under a 99-year ground lease, while a 30-year development agreement spells out complex terms for the timing of the multiple phases to be constructed.  The first phase will include a 300-room hotel, a minimum of 600,000 square feet of office space, and 50,000 square feet of retail.  It will occupy the 8-acre parking lot site that was originally to be developed by a group led by Joe Montana, who will now likely open a sports-themed restaurant.  The second phase is dubbed "City Center", and will be built on the former city landfill which is now the site of a municpal golf course.  Phase 2 will include at least 500,000 square feet of retail, more office space and possibly apartment units.  Additional phases would add more office, retail and entertainment,  Related is gearing up for a late 2017 groundbreaking.

City officials estimate nearly $17 million annually could flow into the general fund; through taxes, fees and lease revenue.  They are also enthused that City Place will create a create a new downtown for the community.  Also notable is the community benefits package paid for by Related which includes money for schools, a new fire station, a 35-acre public park in the center of the project, over $17 million for a transportation improvement plan, and a $16 million contribution to the VTA.