City of San Jose to Pay $47MM for McEnery Convention Center’s South Hall Tent Lot

City of San Jose, McEnery Convention Center, San Jose Mercury News, Redevelopment Agency, Santa Clara County, Great Recession
Image courtesy of Verde Design

By Vladimir Bosanac

The City of San Jose is looking to expand its footprint around the McEnery Convention Center by acquiring a lot adjacent to the center that presently houses an 80,000 square foot tent. The city won a bid to purchase the lot for $47 million, according to public documents.

The lot is located at 435 S. Market St., and it presently it houses a blue and white tent, which had been erected in 2005 as temporary structure. The 4.4-acre lot gives the city the control of an important parcel next to the convention center, because it may want to expand it in the future.

“Even after the expansion of the convention center by adding 125,000 square feet for $130 million, we already don’t have the opportunity to compete for a lot of conventions,” said Nanci Klein, the city’s deputy director of economic development in a report by the San Jose Mercury News. “There are trade shows and tech shows that want to come here to San Jose, but can’t, because we just don’t have the space.”

The lot that houses the tent was sold by a successor organization to the Redevelopment Agency, which had been shut down following the Great Recession. Along with the city of San Jose, Santa Clara County was another one of the bidders, as well as two private investors.

The plans for the site have not been formulated, yet. According to city officials, a dedicated group will oversee the analysis of the potential uses and develop a plan for future development. The location is right in the middle of the city’s downtown core, which allows for denser housing as well as more flexible height limitations. However, the site’s current zoning could also allow for a public use, which could include a school, government offices and the like.

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