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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 6, 2021
Rachel Davis, Press Secretary, Office of Mayor Sam Liccardo, firstname.lastname@example.org, 408.712.9149
Elisabeth Handler: Public Information Manager, Office of Economic Development; email@example.com, 408.599.9567
SAN JOSE, CA -- Today San José announced a major milestone in Google's new Downtown West development with the publication of the Development Agreement, which includes the community benefits package. The magnitude of this agreement is unprecedented and is a model for future public/private partnerships.
The commitments focus on building community and aiding in recovery, with emphasis on more housing, open space, and recreation. Once approved, the project would bring 4,000 new homes, 15 acres of open space, more small businesses and restaurants to San José, and much more.
"In contrast to some large employers' attempts to extract every form of public subsidy and tax relief from local communities, Google has chosen the more enlightened path, making bold commitments to build affordable housing, invest in educational opportunity, and create pathways to better jobs for local residents," said Mayor Sam Liccardo. "Together, San Jose and Google will establish the national standard for equitable, post-pandemic economic recovery. "
The Google community benefits package directs $200 million in community benefits towards creating economic opportunity via training, education, jobs, and minimizing displacement, with a focus on those most in need. It also commits to a community-based decision-making approach for a fund aimed at addressing very specific community needs through an equitable lens, taking into account the needs of a post-pandemic city.
"No other private project in the history of this City has come close to the potential community benefits that we expect from Downtown West," said City Manager Dave Sykes. "In working on the Google Project and Development Agreement, scores of City staff across our departments have been involved. We have analyzed and improved the project with the goal of maximizing City resources and the quality of life for our residents for decades to come."
The next steps in considering the Development Agreement is a presentation at the Station Area Advisory Group (SAAG) meeting on April 14 and a Community Meeting on April 17. The agreement and full project package will go before the San José Planning Commission on April 28 and will be presented to City Council, tentatively scheduled for May 25.
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"We are immensely proud and excited to offer this community-based model for the Fund," said Nanci Klein, Economic Development Director for the City of San José. "The Fund will, most importantly, focus on equity. The Fund will be guided by metrics and data and will provide technical expertise that empowers impacted residents."
The community benefits identified in the agreement address the following needs that were consistently expressed by community members over more than three years of community outreach conducted by the City and Google:
The Downtown West project exceeds the Citywide requirements for affordable housing and supports the goal for 25% affordable housing in the Diridon Station Area through land dedication, use of commercial linkage and inclusionary housing in-lieu fees, and a range of affordable housing for people of extremely low and moderate-income, as well homeless.
The Community Benefits includes a Community Stabilization and Opportunity Pathways Fund. This provides resources to "minimize displacement from rising costs" (community stabilization) and to "maximize opportunities for youth and adults to participate in job opportunities" through training education and support (opportunity pathways). The Fund would provide grants for communities that have historically been affected by structural racism and are most vulnerable to displacement, including East San José and the Downtown. In determining the allocation of funds, the process is proposed to address the root causes of displacement and economic mobility and advance racial equity.
The Fund would provide "Community Stabilization" grants to:
- Prevent displacement and homelessness through the preservation of existing affordable housing;
- Increase services and shelter for people experiencing homelessness;
- Pursue new models of community ownership; and
- increase protections for low-income renters.
Regarding maximizing economic opportunities, there was general concurrence on the high importance of helping San José residents of all skill and educational levels prepare for and secure good-paying jobs. Accordingly, "Opportunity Pathways" grants would include:
- Programs and services related to adult and youth occupational skills training;
- College/post-secondary scholarships;
- Career exploration for middle and high school youth;
- Early childhood education; and
- Small business and entrepreneurship support.
The Downtown West project will contribute to the Fund as office space is constructed., generating up to $154M if the commercial office capacity of 7.3 million square feet is fully built out. For example, for every million square feet of office that is completed, the project will contribute $21.2M to the Fund. Once final approvals are complete, some funds will be provided upfront before construction begins. The recommended structure of the Fund features a third-party fund manager and a community advisory committee, with City oversight and support. The committee would be comprised of local residents with lived-experience of displacement, under-employment, and homelessness; direct service providers; and technical experts. The Fund structure is intended to put decision-making into the hands of local leaders and residents. The Committee will determine the grants that are made by the Fund.
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Google has also committed to advance economic opportunity by using progressive hiring practices, prioritizing the hiring of local residents, providing opportunities to local businesses, and offering programs that connect their employees to local youth and adults.
Community Benefits Value and Timing
The table below summarizes the value of the Community Benefits and the timing of their delivery. Some community benefits would be delivered early in the project's multi-year schedule; others are tied to the development of office space and would be delivered over time.
|Community Benefit Value|
(at 7.3M SF)
|$/per GSF of Office|
|Community Stabilization and Opportunity Fund||$154.8 Million||$ 21.20||As office gets built|
|Early Payment for Job Readiness and Anti-Displacement||$7.5 Million||$ 1.03||120 days after Final Approval*|
|30 Additional Moderate-Income Units||$7.0 Million||$ 0.96||With market-rate residential development|
|Land Transfer to the City (0.8 acres for consideration of affordable housing) 1||$8.4 Million||$ 1.15||6 months after Final Approval*|
|Currently Unallocated Community Benefit Commitment||$22.3 Million||$ 3.06||As office gets built|
|TOTAL||$200 Million||$ 27.40|
* "Final Approval" means following City Council approval of the project documents and resolution of any legal challenge to those approvals.
The next steps in considering the Development Agreement is a presentation at the Station Area Advisory Group (SAAG) meeting on April 14 and a Community Meeting on April 17. The agreement and full project package are scheduled to go before the San José Planning Commission on April 28 and will be presented to City Council, tentatively scheduled for
Find more details at www.diridonsj.org and www.sanjoseca.gov/GoogleProject.
# # #
About the City of San José
With more than one million residents, San José comprises the 10th largest city in the United States, and one of its most diverse cities. San José's transformation into a global innovation center in the heart of Silicon Valley has resulted in the world's greatest concentration of technology talent and development.
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