Is Kylli Abandoning Its Mega Santa Clara Development?

By Robert Haugh

There are a lot of rumors that Kylli is abandoning its massive North Santa Clara development called Mission Point.

And there are some major signs, too.

According to sources close to lobbyist and former Councilman Kevin Moore, he was let go months ago when he couldn’t really help move things forward at City Hall.

Singer and Associates was handling PR for the Kylli project and they were let go last month.

Tim Woloshyn, Kylli’s Director of Development, is also no longer with the firm. He and Singer were announced in a press release in February 2019 as part of a major development team.

Now if you go to the Kylli website, this is what you find:

So we had to ask Nicola Yem, Kylli’s Head of Marketing, who is still working with the firm on the Santa Clara project.

Yem hasn’t responded to emails for about three weeks now.  We hope she’s still employed with them.

Kylli’s History in Santa Clara

Kylli is the development arm of the Chinese firm Genzon.

Kylli bought the former Yahoo! site on Democracy Way in 2016. They announced plans in 2018 to build 25-60 story buildings on the site.

At the January 23, 2018 City Council meeting, Planning Commissioner Suds Jain said it was too massive and compared it to developments in Hong Kong.

In 2019, Kylli ran into problems with the FAA. The development was considered too high and would impact flights from San Jose Mineta International Airport.

In January 2020, Kylli tried to extend the development agreement they got with the Yahoo! property. But it made no sense because it was for a development plan they didn’t want to build.

Councilmember Raj Chahal proposed giving Kylli a $18 to $30 million break on affordable housing fees. But the majority of the City Council rejected that and turned down the development agreement extension.

We’re not sure what Kylli will do with the property now. We’re not sure who’s left to ask.

10 comments

  1. On Planning Commission Kylii tried to get away with nearly 10 year old data. Traffic has changed drastically since then as well as population. After seeing all the evidence, the public responses and the lack of explanation on the developers part… I voted NO
    Santa Clara deserves better

  2. As a person of Chinese ethnicity who has been to Hong Kong before, I don’t find the comment racist at all. Santa Clara does not need a development that crams 6,000 households into under 50 acres.

  3. If Kylli has dropped out, then we Santa Clarans may have lucked out.

    As far as I can tell, Genzon is not a “state-owned enterprise,” or SOE, in the People’s Republic of China. Also, it would be interesting to know if titles to the Yahoo parcels are held by the parent syndicate or by the U.S. subsidiary, Kylli.

    To me, even the SOEs are high-risk. I would have serious concern about having a group like this get halfway through the Mission Point project, then go belly-up. (Think Sunnyvale Town Center, but multiply by ten).

    Also, who’s holding the real estate would determine whether/how much creditors get reimbursed in the event that something this risky were ever to collapse.

    The above is speculation, but it’s the due diligence that any of us would probably do if our brokers approached us personally with a deal like this. As residents of the city, taxpayers and ratepayers, we’re entitled to examine this on its merits – and to challenge the Planning process if someone is trying to sell us parcels with 25-to-60-story skyscrapers for which a foreign syndicate may have overpaid by one-fifth.

    After that, when prospective business tenants find themselves pressured to join the Levi’s “parking district,” and lose 24/7 control over their own parking spaces, they’re probably going to be more than a bit concerned. (If residential, Levi’s-event lockdowns are likely to resemble the current pandemic precautions!…………….;-)

    As for Kylli, maybe the ‘site maintenance’ is complete:

    https://kylli.com/projects/mission-point/

    But no matter how you slice it, Mission Point needs a “reset.” It doesn’t matter where the Developers are from.

  4. D Cohen, Good riddance to Kylli the worst project for Santa Clara since the Stadium. Is that better for your racist mind?

    Sorry, I don’t speak snowflake.

  5. Have to blow the whistle here on Suds Jain for a racist anti-Chinese comment. Saying a Chinese developer is building a Hong Kong style development is crossing the line.

    Good Riddance crossed the line too.

    • Intriguing. What is the “racist anti-Chinese comment?” There’s literally no quote printed in this article or the linked article that can be ascribed to Suds Jain. Comparison of a plan for a building to the style of building in another city hardly seems racist, anyway. Are you sure you’re using the right words?

  6. Chinese investment money is drying up and it started happening last year. There’s a huge liquidity problem in China. No Chinese firm will be developing in the US for at least the next year, maybe five years. Kylli was just trying to get as much out of Santa Clara in entitlements so they can flip the property for a profit. They bought it a high price, $250-260 million. They probably overpaid by 20 percent. So they need to get lots of density approved to sell to someone else. But no one should believe they have the financing to truly develop in Santa Clara. They probably never did.

    • Mary, why do you say this? No one from Kylli is responding to requests. Look at their website yourself. Not sure what you think is a lie. I contacted many people about this. Do you know someone at Kylli that is willing to talk to me? Or have project updates?

  7. Ding dong the Hong Kong West project may be dead. We didn’t have a big enough shoehorn. It wasn’t a good fit.

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