Convention Center Expansion-Part Ii

When it comes to the workings of the San Jose City Government, the devil is too often in the details. The convention center expansion is a $300 million project, yet it has received little public scrutiny.

From the city’s Fiscal Impact report we learn that business volume at the San Jose Convention Center will plummet during the three years it will take to complete the expansion project.  “Construction impacts will affect the convention center utilization by 47%, 43%, and 25% respectfully during 2009-2012.”

Add to this the recent drop in trade show and convention center bookings nationwide, and the City of San Jose places itself in the tenuous position of placing a big, three-layered bet that the economy will recover, trade and convention shows will continue at healthy pace, and the bookings lost during 2009-2012 will return to San Jose.

Also…During the Jan. 13 council meeting, a noteworthy piece of information was presented to the members of the council.  It seems that a “$20 million central utility plant” is a component of the convention center expansion project.  In addition to providing power for the convention center, it was suggested that the surrounding hotels would also have access to the new utility plant!

Again, we revisit San Jose’s age-old question…should RDA money be spent on downtown interests or on the neighborhoods?

9 Comments

  1. Pete,

    Give it up – the politicians, developers and lobbyists will do what they damn well please and there’s not a thing we can do about it.

    Downtown is a multi-billion dollar sinkhole and will continue to vacuum up most of the RDA dollars.  That’s exactly why I’m a proponent of dismantling RDAs statewide.

  2. RDA money shouldn’t go to the convention center or to the neighborhoods. 

    It should go back to the school districts from which it was taken.

  3. Greg #1 and Greg #2:  Your comments were better than my post!

    Greg #2: You really should keep quite about the RDA taking from schools…people might get the message.

    PC

  4. Tony D.

    What, exactly, does prop 13 have to do with my post?  You and I agree on prop 13, anyway.

    I said that redevelopment agencies take money away from schools.  They do.  They also take money away from the county government, and thus from county health services.

    Keep on topic.

  5. The city of San Jose “betting” that the economy will one day recover?  Are you implying Mr. Campbell that our current economic doldrums will, or could, last until Kingdom Come?  Please, get real!  Also, RDA funds ARE ALREADY being spent on BOTH downtown interests and neighborhoods (it’s called SNI, look it up)!  Finally #2 G.P., nice try at attempting to paint RDA as somehow being “bad,” the root of all fiscal evil.  Ever hear about Prop. 13 or needing a 2/3’rds super-majority to pass a budget.  Oh well, at least you got Mr. Campbell excited.

  6. Uh, Greg; you know damn well that Prop. 13 was the first fiscal evil to decimate our once proud school system.  It’s “baby,” the 2/3rds super-majority for passing special taxes (like school parcel taxes) and the state budget hasn’t helped matters either.  Fiscal selfishness is the root of our public school problems.  Oh well, I wish you and Mr. Campbell all the luck in the world for your new fight against the “evil” RDA (wake me up when your campaign goes down in flames).

  7. Tony, 

    You should read the newspapers once in a while.  It’s been several years since California voters amended Prop. 13 such that voters could pass a school tax measure with only a 55% majority.

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