City Council, San Jose Redevelopment Agency to Hold Special Meeting

UPDATE: The meeting time has been changed from 3:30 to 4 p.m.

The San Jose Redevelopment Agency looks like it will not go gently into that good night.

In response to Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to slash $1.9 billion from the budget by eliminating the state’s redevelopment agencies, a special meeting has been called for 4 p.m. Wednesday between the City Council, San Jose Redevelopment Agency and San Jose Financing Authority.

SJRA Eexecutive Director Harry Mavroegenes was none too pleased when Brown made his budget proposal earlier this month, saying that it was “the wrong time to be shutting down your only job creation machine in the state.”

Wednesday’s meeting will include discussion on how to proceed with existing projects, as well as managing current SJRA debt. Projects discussed will include the agreed upon capital improvement plan between the agency and the city, and the city’s five-year affordable housing plan. According to the agenda, some projects have certain timelines that must be met for federal stimulus.

The meeting could also touch on the possibility of building a Major League Baseball stadium to bring the Oakland A’s to San Jose. A’s owner Lew Wolff raised eyebrows earlier in the week when it was reported he was interested in purchasing properties from the city.

Even if the RDAs are disbanded by Brown’s plan, San Jose could still build a stadium, Mavrogenes said.

“As far as the baseball stadium, we have two more parcels to buy,” he said. “If the agency isn’t around to do that, it’s possible the city and the developer could do that as a separate entity.”


Josh Koehn is a former managing editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley.


  1. “five-year affordable housing plan”???

    Over the past few years, our Federal and State governments have been doing everything possible to keep house prices from becoming affordable.

    Maybe all you bureaucrats should just stop meddling.

  2. I sure hope someone translates this event and the agenda so the public can understand what is going on.

    What are they talking about that must be resolved in four days? [Recommendation A]

    “Adoption of a resolution by the City Council making certain findings and determinations as may be necessary.” [Recommendation D] Could this possibly be any more vague?

  3. More secrecy about where our taxes are being spent
    ( hint – your taxes being given away to make political insiders richer ) who get our taxes and for what ?

    Where is the open transparent city government we were promised by Mayor and Council ? 

    Sunshine – Not in San Jose – with current Mayor and Council

    City Attorney – Can you say Brown Act violation –

  4. Council / Redevelopment Meeting is about Giving ( Ops spend ) redevelopment taxes to Lew Wolff, low income housing developers, downtown property owners and political insiders before state grabs taxes to balance wasteful, out of control, special interest,  government employee pensions state budget

  5. Does High Speed Rail get any swill out of the RDA slop bucket?

    Is this the meeting to go to in order to see the hyenas baring their teeth and pulling flesh off the carcass of HSR?

    Is cheering permitted?

  6. It’s predictable and understandable that RDA and Council, not just here but citywide—backs up against the wall—will try any available legal, quasi-legal, or gray-area tactics to maximize opportunities to get and spend money. That’s what they DO. Nobody really wants to confront the enormity of the state’s budget deficit.

    Presumably, the state legislature will soon retaliate, either by nullifying the cities’ bond sale rampages, or by further slashing local gov’t transfer payments from the state budget.

  7. Redevelopment agency needs to be dismantle by a trusted governor which is Jerry Brown.  Redevelopment has been nothing but failure, especially in revitalizing Downtown San Jose, which has nothing to show for and a drain on city coffers. Most projects, that redevelopment has invested in, are total failures and can’t be continued with incompetent city leaders.  The whole city is awashed in financial and political shame.  Private investors, not the public, are key to success.  The private would come and help the city to be more dense and make its urban center more successful if the city plays its cards right.  It might already be too late for that.

  8. I’m already going to move on to the post Redevelopment Era.  Sure, politicians up and down the state are trying their best to spend the piggy banks dry so the bad ‘ol state government doesn’t take their play money away, but let’s face it, the jig is up.

    So, let’s talk about leveraging capital, creating revenue streams and getting things built that will make us happy.  The land and facilities owned by the agency could be managed better to generate a revenue stream in one of two ways.

    You could have a fire sale and push all the properties off the books at “friend of the city” prices to favorite developers and interests.  We could carry a note, for example, to let the Shark’s buy the Arena for $100 million paid over 30 years.  That’d generate revenue.  Same sort of thing is possible with Convention Center as well as pieces of land underneath successful buildings downtown.

    We could also go the other route, which is designed to maximize return on investment and treat the whole package of properties like an investment portfolio.  Increase revenue and lease payments, working to create stable long term revenue.  Rather than 30 years of reverse mortgage payments, how about 50+ years of rising revenue from tenants?  It would make sense to sell some, purchase others, and act like a sensible and diversified investor who wants the greatest long term return on investment.  Some mega projects could still be built, and under this new system, the City Economic Development Corporation wouldn’t have to play the blight game and stick to certain spots.  Anywhere in the city would be fair game, and if it made business sense and served a dual political role of helping to leverage private capital investment, spending could go to Santa Teresa, Willow Glen, or anywhere there seemed like a good opportunity to build a better community with strategic investment.

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