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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Civic Center - 99-Year Lease?

On September 9, 2014 there was a workshop for the City Council and staff to discuss the Civic Center.  

Link to this blog post:

City staff wanted to go forward with what they called a "Public-Private Partnership".  This was to include the 99-year lease of 14 acres of the Civic Center, demolition of the existing library, public safety building, and city hall and building a new library at the Community Center off Remington Dr. near El Camino.

The leased acreage was to be developed into high-rise offices along El Camino and high-rise residential along Pastoria.  This had been approved in a workshop on July 31, 2012 but in the intervening period two members of the city council were replaced in an election so the city staff requested re-affirmation of the earlier decision before going ahead.  The only public input that would be accepted was whether to go sole source with a single developer or open it up to competitive bidding.  Documents obtained under the CA Public Records Act indicate only one developer was involved.

I recorded the entire two hour meeting as is permitted by California law in regards to public meetings.  I made no secret of the recording.  I did it openly and in full view of all work-shop participants.  I edited the essential points down to just under 10 minutes as seen below:

The Public-Private Partnership is summarized in the photos below.  The first two are from a  document available on the city web site at :

Click on any photo below to enlarge:

Civic Center Now
Civic Center after 99-Year Lease
El Camino & Mathilda Now

El Camino & Mathilda after development
Pastoria Now

Pastoria After Development

A related post on this is here:

In the workshop it was mentioned that a lot of developers expressed interest.  Since I had only heard Jay Paul's name I wondered who the others were.  I obtained documents from the City of Sunnyvale under California's Public Records Act (the CA equivalent of the US Freedom of Information Act).  The request was for all documents relating to all developers who expressed an interest in developing the Civic Center.  The only documents released - which were stated to be all there were - related only to Jay Paul, a billionaire office developer who has done several high rise office buildings in the north of Sunnyvale.

He invited all city council members to view his plans for the Civic Center at his facility.  Some have argued this might have been perceived as a violation of the Brown Act:

One email is seen below in a sequence of four JPEGs.  Click on any image to enlarge.

part 1

part 2
 Part 3
 Part 4