SAN JOSE — The San Jose Sharks on Thursday raised concerns about being forced out of the SAP Center in the city’s downtown because of plans for massive development projects near the sports complex and Diridon train station.
The hockey team, in an open letter to fans and supporters on Thursday, said it has become increasingly alarmed that the proposals for the development of an array of projects on the western edges of downtown San Jose could imperil the future of the Sharks in the Bay Area’s largest city.
“For more than a year, we have been sharing our concerns with you regarding the proposed, massive development projects within the Diridon area of downtown San Jose, which surrounds SAP Center,” the Sharks said in the letter. “For the past several years, we have been sharing those same concerns with city of San Jose officials and Google.”
The warning from the Sharks could force city officials onto a tightrope as they attempt to balance the needs of the city’s only major sports team and the municipality’s quest to dramatically revitalize the city’s small downtown district.
Google plans a transit-oriented development of office buildings, homes, shops, restaurants, entertainment hubs, cultural centers, and parks near the Diridon Station and the SAP complex.
Plus, additional development on a large scale is envisioned by the city of San Jose and developers in the downtown areas adjacent to the proposed Google village.
The Sharks expressed dismay with the current results of the talks involving the hockey team and city officials.
“Unfortunately, those discussions have yielded limited results and the planners of these projects appear intent on moving forward in a manner that could force the Sharks out of San Jose,” the Sharks stated in the letter.
Mountain View-based Google said Thursday it has been collaborating with multiple key parties and groups, including the Sharks, as the tech titan’s game-changing development proposal navigates community scrutiny and the city review process.
“For years, we’ve been working closely with the Sharks, the City, and the community on our proposed development in San Jose,” a Google spokesperson said. “We look forward to continuing to work with the Sharks and the city as the process moves forward.”
The primary areas of concern for the San Jose Sharks:
— street network access
— parking difficulties
— construction impacts
The Sharks noted that the development endeavors could occur over a period of 10 to 15 years and that multiple major construction projects could occur at the same time.
“There does not appear to be a plan that ensures SAP Center patrons can continue to safely and conveniently access the arena, and that our neighbors can maintain their quality of life during this transformational period,” the Sharks stated in the open letter.