Google’s Diridon Station development was supposed to hit an important milestone this week. But city officials on Thursday said it’ll have to wait.
The draft environmental impact report for the tech giant’s plans to redevelop 60 acres next to Diridon Station was originally scheduled to be released on Tuesday.
As the deadline slipped by, Lori Severino, the city’s Diridon program manager, told Station Area Advisory Group (SAAG) members in an email that the environmental report and two other key documents around design guidelines and affordable housing goals for the Diridon Station area, will come out later this fall. The SAAG is tasked with recommending changes to the zoning and design guidelines around Diridon Station.
“The team is still working on it,” she said.
But she didn’t reveal exactly when the city intends to release the documents.
City officials said earlier this year that some developments had fallen behind during the early days of the coronavirus shutdown.
Severino’s email says the plans will likely be released after Sept. 24, the day the City Council was scheduled to hold a study session to discuss the report. City officials are working to reschedule that session, Severino said.
The SAAG was convened by the city in 2018 to study the 236 acres around Diridon Station on the west side of downtown and recommend changes to the city’s current Diridon Station Area Plan. That plan governs what kind of development can rise around the major transit hub and other design guidelines, including building heights.
Google’s development is only a small part of the Diridon Station Area Plan.
Now, drafts of both plans will be released this fall to guide the future of development on the entire west side of downtown.
If Mountain View-based Google gets the green light on its proposal, it’ll turn a low-slung, mostly industrial area into more than 10 million square feet of office, apartments, retail space and hotels. The draft amendments to the larger Diridon Station Area Plan, known as the DSAP, are expected to incorporate Google’s plans.
Reports on both those proposals will be released later this year with the city’s first stab at an Affordable Housing Implementation Plan, which would outline how officials intend to ensure 25 percent of the housing built in the area will be below market rate.
“We are planning for a series of public meetings and engagement activities associated [with these] these key milestones over the next few months,” Severino’s email said.
The first of those public meetings will happen today, when officials offer an update on the Diridon Station Area Plan and Google’s project—known as Downtown West—to the Diridon Joint Policy Advisory Board in the afternoon.
The SAAG will also meet Sept. 16 to discuss the Diridon Station area.
Notably, the delay comes as Google races toward an end-of-year deadline to get the city’s and governor’s stamp of approval on its project to qualify for a state development streamlining program called AB 900.
Earlier this year, Kim Walesh, San Jose’s economic development director, said the city would petition the state to extend the AB 900 program deadline due to the pandemic.
Covid-19 halted or slowed many real estate projects in California, and an extension would benefit all of the state's AB 900 developments, she said.
So far, however, Google's approval deadline for the program remains unchanged, according to the governor's office.