WNAC Visioning Review, agrihood update, City Place approved, NHA update

Community members,

I’d like to update you all on some big news items that took place over the past couple of weeks. There are four topics: WNAC Visioning process, legislation that was passed on Wednesday by Senator Wieckowski that helps move our agrihood vision forward, City Place Santa Clara was unanimously approved ($6.5 Billion project), and the National Heritage Project had its second task force meeting.

WNAC Visioning Meeting – On June 15, we had an interactive discussion on visioning the idea of our area as a Santana Row/Valley Fair Nexus: what we want to see, what we need, and the many opportunities in front of us. We spoke about many ideas, ideas that made some uncomfortable or are even counter-intuitive. We spoke about big ideas, innovative ways to work with developers, embracing growth in new ways, shutting down parts of the roads, and even capping the freeway. It was very exciting.

The time for big ideas is now when we have tremendous value being generated in the area. How can we embrace this? How can we protect it? How can we help this? How can we capitalize on this? We will have Part II of this discussion on July 20 at our next WNAC meeting along with a segment on homelessness and how some groups are engaging. For video segments on Part I of our visioning session, please go to:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL09okY6hI7visQnORJHLBTvRUTeWjwHhk and it is also available on the WNAC website: www.winchesternac.com

Senate Bill 680 – This past Wednesday, June 29, Senator Wieckowski submitted a bill (and passed unanimously) that allows for the removal of some critical restrictions pertaining to the Win6/BAREC site, namely the restriction on only placing 165 affordable units of housing on the site (nothing else allowed) and a required start date for development of January 2017. The date was probably the most critical issue, as it has been a constant pressure for the City. It meant the land was technically at risk to be taken by the State if development didn’t start by Jan 2017. The community wasn’t worried and did not believe the State would take the land if we had visions and ideas for the property. Well, the Senator believed this and took command and wrote a bill to make sure the City has the necessary time to invest on really vision this property and to develop it as it sees fit…as we want progressive designs, which is why the Core Companies is such a great partner here! Come join us on July 20 to talk about more ideas for the area, including building designs! For a look at the press release, click on:http://sd10.senate.ca.gov/news/2016-06-29-wieckowskis-santa-clara-agrihood-bill-passes-assembly-committee

City Place Santa Clara – On Tuesday, the Santa Clara City Council unanimously approved the Related Company’s vision for the 239-acre golf course by Levi’s Stadium. It is going to be built on landfill over the next 10-15 years and will generate upwards of $15 Million per year in land lease fees to the City of Santa and tens of millions in tax revenue from valuation increases. This one project can create financial stability for Santa Clara for generations! To understand the sheer scope of this project, just know that it is the biggest privately funded project in the Valley’s history and possibly in all of California. I know of no other larger project (other than Related’s NYC project called Hudson Yards, the largest privately funded project in US history, weighing in at over $20 Billion). This Santa Clara project is priced at $6.5 Billion, is about 9.7 million square feet of development: (5.7 million sqft of office, 1.1 million sqft of retail), 200-1,680 housing units, 700 hotel rooms, 250,000 sqft of food and beverage, 190,000 sqft of entertainment, and 96 acres of open spaces. There is a 35-acre parcel that could be a very innovative space, made up of urban ag, an Ecology Center, and more! Needless to say, it is impressive and will create the second regional draw for our County (Santana Row/Valley Fair is the first and the Hills of Vallco will be the third).

Lastly, the National Heritage Area project task force had its second meeting. The main focus was how the task force will figure out what the focus of the feasibility study will be. Just about all of the members presented their views and ideas and the County Executive’s office will be consolidating this information, creating a timeline for deliverables, and presenting it at next meeting in July. Everyone is very excited about this and a website will be coming very soon. Public engagement is critical to the process, so if you are interested in being involved in this amazing process, please keep watch for announcements in your communities. Of course, we will also share important info too.

That’s about it. Thanks for getting this far in the email and happy 4th of July to all!

Kirk Vartan
President, Winchester NAC
Vice-President Cory Neighborhood Association
Co-Chair of Stevens Creek Advisory Group (SCAG)
Win6 Village advocate and Urbanist!

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