15 April 2008

Quakes' soccer stadium deal announced

The "soccer village" is coming closer. Joshua Molina of the Merc reports that a team of developers and the city of San Jose have reached a deal for the developers to buy the bulk of the old FMC site from the city, upon which an 18,000-seat soccer-specific stadium and surrounding retail/commercial/hotel space would be built. Some specifics:

According to terms of the deal, Wolff and his partners would pay $132 million for 66 acres of the former FMC manufacturing plant. Of that, about 18 acres will be set aside for the 18,000-seat soccer stadium and parking.

The city bought the land in 2005 for $81 million.

Wolff and his team have until 2010 to pay the city the bulk of the sale price. In the interim, they have agreed to pay interest that San Jose will accrue on the bonds it sold to buy the property - as much as $12 million over the next two years. And Wolff must extend the city a $3 million letter of credit that would be payable if he walks away early from the deal.

Remember, this is a two-part deal. This part only covers the site on which the stadium and ancillary stuff would be built. To pay for the stadium, Wolff is pushing for rezoning of the Edenvale site in South San Jose, where 1,500 townhomes would be built. Looking at the FMC piece only, it's a good deal for the city that forces the developer to have some skin in the game, even defraying the city's "carrying costs" for a while. The Edenvale portion is what will create a burden on public services, but it's not fundamentally any different than what Fremont will encounter with the baseball village. Awesome for the Quakes.