Tasman East Area Plan Moves Forward

Santa Clara Weekly

February 7, 2018

Santa Clara is moving forward with a specific area plan for redeveloping the Tasman East industrial area, and at Tuesday’s meeting the City Council heard about the plan for five parks on the site.

Tasman East is an industrial neighborhood bounded by Tasman Drive, the Guadalupe River, City Place (Santa Clara golf course) and Lafayette Street. The plan is for six high-density, somewhat self-contained residential neighborhoods—up to 100 units per acre—with neighborhood retail.

The change was outlined in the 2010 Santa Clara General Plan. Fairfield Residential has already commissioned an area master plan (ktgy.com/work/tasman-east-focus-area/).

But although the change is planned to be gradual—unlike, for example, Related’s City Place—it has yet to be explained how, say, electronics assembly operations will coexist next door to an apartment building or a school.

The question has come up repeatedly in discussions of the Tasman plan. Many property owners also own the businesses that operate there and say that redeveloping the property would force them to move away from their markets, customers and major transportation, and they would likely face increased costs of doing business.

City officials have said at public meetings that no owners would be pressured to sell or redevelop, and Mayor Lisa Gillmor assured property owners in 2016 that the City will not use eminent domain to advance re-development.

“Thank you for remembering that there are some of us who want to stay,” Ron Patrick told the Council Tuesday night. Patrick’s company—ECM, which develops and manufactures engine test instrumentation and control systems—is on Layette Street.

If the City wants to change the use of the land, he said, “buy the property and then you can do whatever you want. You have 220 acres you’re renting to Related. We have 45 acres that you want us to sell to solve a problem.”

Community Development Director Andrew Crabtree said, “about half of the property owners expressed an interest in having the plan go forward.” Gillmor said that she had received communications from about 40 percent of the owners expressing interest in the redevelopment plan.

The Tasman East draft Environmental Impact Report is due to be public in March, with final City Council approval due in August.

Big Players Buying Tasman Area Property

In the last three years several investors have bought property in the Tasman East area, according to the Santa Clara County Assessor’s records.

In 2015 Los Gatos-based real estate investment R&C Brown Associates acquired eight parcels for $4 million.

Over the course of 2015 and 2016 Related Companies acquired 13 parcels—including a 25-parcel property assembled by Rreef, the largest in the project area—for about $80 million.

In 2016 Danville-based private equity fund Northgate capital group and Vancouver WA-based new Holland Properties invested $5 million and $24 million respectively in Tasman East property.