UPDATE: The Santa Clara City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve the $6 billion, 9-million-square-foot CityPlace mixed-use development planned for the site of a current city landfill, the Silicon Valley Business Journal reported. The project marks Silicon Valley's largest-ever private development.
- Related Companies, a key developer of the mammoth Hudson Yards project in New York City, plans 40 acres of dense "village-style" development in Santa Clara.
- The development includes retail, hotel and residential space with "suburban-style" corporate campuses slated for the rest of the 240 acres.
- Even though Santa Clara approved the development after reviewing lengthy impact, environmental and zoning reports, regulatory agencies and utilities have yet to approve the project over concerns about allowing water hookups — perceived as the biggest threat to approval — and housing over a landfill site.
Santa Clara City Manager Ruth Shikada told the Business Journal that she expects regulatory approval once state agencies see the details of the project. If given the OK by the city council, construction crews could break ground as soon as the fall of 2017. Shikada added that Santa Clara, which would lease the landfill site to Related, has a "huge interest in seeing this be successful."
Aside from the expected $17 million boon for the city through taxes and lease revenue, Related is also paying for a new fire station, a 35-acre park and kicking in more than $30 million in transportation-related investment.
However, opposition to the project is substantial, and, aside from regulatory questions, the nearby city of San Jose has emerged as a vocal adversary, claiming that the project does not include enough residential space and that it will only put pressure on San Jose's already-tight housing market and increase traffic congestion on its roads. In addition, despite being in line for a $16 million Related payday, the Valley Transportation Authority has expressed doubts about the effectiveness of the development's transportation provisions.
The San Francisco Bay Area is notorious for its shortage of residential stock, as well as skyrocketing prices. In fact, the city of San Francisco recently passed a law that requires developers to include a 25% affordable component to any project with 25 residential units or more. And, of course, San Jose was ground zero for the affordable housing issue when it was sued by the California Builders Association over its 15% affordable housing requirement for most residential developments.