On behalf of The Silicon Valley Organization (The SVO), I am writing to voice our strong support for the city’s proposed sale of public lands to Google. By way of background, The SVO is the Silicon Valley’s premier business advocacy organization representing 1,400+ companies that employ nearly 300,000 workers and we represent our membership as the region’s largest Chamber of Commerce.
The proposed land sale agreement is one of the first steps toward a major economic development opportunity that will positively transform San Jose for decades to come. This city council vote will take us another step towards the Diridon Station Area development concept, which has had extensive community input through over 40 public meetings over the past 8 months. With the potential of adding up to 20,000 jobs to San Jose’s downtown core, the economic revitalization of Diridon Station presents a “once in a lifetime” opportunity to fix San Jose’s jobs-to-housing imbalance; transform Diridon Station into a major regional transit hub; enhance the vibrancy of Downtown San Jose; significantly accelerate affordable housing production; and generate new tax revenues that supports the quality of life and essential services that every San Jose resident deserves.
All of these invaluable opportunities presented by Google have been negotiated without any public subsidies. San Jose could not have asked for a better partner in the revitalization of our city. As seen this week with Google’s recent $1 billion purchase of a Mountain View business park, cited as “the Bay Area’s largest real estate purchase [of 2018]”, we understand that this major Silicon Valley employer has alternative options. The San Jose City Council and staff should be pulling out all the stops to get this catalytic project out of the ground, especially since Google has demonstrated a good faith commitment to partner and to help address some of the most challenging issues that our city faces.
For these reasons and more, The SVO strongly urges you to support the sale of city-owned properties in the Diridon Station and move redevelopment of the Diridon Station Area forward.