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 He said reports and fees are usually out of date for old development agreements.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.