Kylli Mega Development Wants the City to Approve a Development Agreement for Project They Don’t Want to Build

By Robert Haugh 

It doesn’t make any sense. We had to read the agenda item twice to figure it out. 

Kylli/Genzon is asking the City to approve a development agreement for their site on Democracy Way.  It’s the old Yahoo site. It’s also the old Yahoo development agreement.  Huh?

It was originally signed in 2010 when Yahoo wanted to build 3 million square feet of office on the site. 

But Kylli bought the property around 2016.  They want to do a mega development of over 10 million square feet. Wow. Or at least that’s what they told the Council and the public in 2017.

Kylli proposed building really tall buildings, like 35-60 stories. Double wow. Then, they got negative feedback from the Council and the community about it. So Kylli proposed to lower the tallest building. But they still want to build about 10 million square feet on 46 acres.

As a comparison, the other mega development project on the Northside is The Related City Place project.  It’s 9 million square feet on 240 acres. 

One planning commissioner said the Kylli development was way too big and compared it to developments in Hong Kong.

We’ve heard people at the public meetings say they think North Santa Clara will be total gridlock if Kylli is built. Some in the community like Jason Feinsmith want to limit the development to 15 stories. He’s been circulating a petition.

But the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) may force Kylli to lower building heights to about five stories. That’s what the developer learned last year

No response from Kylli

Kylli’s spokesperson Adam Alberti of Singer and Associates did not respond to questions we sent him last week about why the developer wants the City to approve an amendment that’s really old and that’s for a project that they don’t want to build.

So we had to ask around to other experts. No one could figure out. One attorney who does a lot of development work in the South Bay says he’s never heard of anyone doing that. He said reports and fees are usually out of date for old development agreements. “It doesn’t make any sense unless they’re trying to do the developer a political favor.”

Kylli has been making major contributions to Santa Clara community and political events over the past two years. According to a reliable source, they plan to give a lot more.

We asked Alberti a total amount, but we received no information from Kylli by yesterday’s deadline. (We’ll request info from the City and other sources and we’ll report in the future.) 

Another source says that extending an old agreement means that Kylli just wants to entitle the property and flip it. They aren’t really interested in developing what they’ve proposed because it’s too costly. They’re just trying to keep the entitlement or get more out of the City if they can, says the source.

We’ll be following this (mega) developing story.

Editor’s Note:  On the agenda, the contract amendment is with Innovation Commons Owner LLC. City staff says they’re an affiliate of Kylli/Genzon. But the LLC was just created in May 2018.

5 comments

  1. Mary and BevMo,

    I’m sure you’re really nice people. But don’t be so easily fooled by developers.They know how to play the game and manipulate people.

    Our neighborhood has dealt with many of them. Early in the process, they promise the everything. That’s what Kylli is doing now. Later, they’ll have to trim their promises in response to what city hall wants and what the market will allow.

    Kylli’s big problem is actually a small one. By that I mean, they have a small lot. That’s clear from the reporting and their pictures. They can’t possible do everything they’ve told us unless they build huge skyscrapers which was their original plan. But the FAA won’t let them to do.

    So guess what’s gonna happen? They’ll come back and say the FAA has limited the heights of buildings so we can’t give you all the things we talked about last year. Adios school. Adios park. Adios parking garage. Adios traffic improvements. Hello housing. Sorry, Santa Clara. But it’s not our fault. Blame the FAA. Or blame interest rates. Or in Kylli’s case, blame international trade issues.

    You get the picture. That’s the way it works between neighborhoods and big developers.

  2. The northside is already gridlocked. If there’s a major event it takes a long time to get in or out of neighborhoods. Soccer games are really bad. So are big concerts. I can’t believe the city is going to build more. I won’t vote for anyone who votes for huge towers if there’s no BART stop at the location.

  3. This development is going to ROCK! It’ll have a park, a school, a grocery store! Everything that the great city of SC needs. Can you spell Awesome with a capital A?

  4. I think you are being rather harsh on Kylii. All they are asking is for a continuance. Very few developers offer the public as much as they have. A school, a public park and much more. Have you yourself seen the project? I am have more problems with Related Santa Clara than I do Kylii. Kylii is working the the FFA. Don’t be so negative all the time. Lighten up

  5. Not a fan of out of town builders let alone out if country, communist China? Great place to get housing designs knowing how they love their people. They wrote the book on high density housing until it hurts, literally.

    The council shouldn’t give an inch to these out of country con artists. We already have the 49ers. Santa Clara is being overtaken by exploiters.

    I believe Kirk is backing the wrong Trojan horse.

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