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?