Sunnyvale Town Center: Updated agreement could lead to completion before 2021

Big steps have been taken toward seeing that the Sunnyvale Town Center is at long last completed.

On June 30, the Successor Agency for the former Redevelopment Agency of the city of Sunnyvale, adopted the 2016 Modified and Restated Amended Disposition and Development and Owner Participation Agreement for the Sunnyvale Town Center.

The agreement defines the obligations of the developer to execute and complete a minimum amount of commercial retail development and public improvements, which is referred to as the “Minimum Project.” The document is an updated version of the agreement adopted by the former Redevelopment Agency in 2010. Amendments reflect the dissolution of the Redevelopment Agency and the current status of the project, which has been stalled since 2011 due to litigation related to the foreclosure of the property.

Both the special development permit approved by city officials and the development agreement are essential for completing the sale of the town center from the current owner Wells Fargo Bank to a new ownership group called STC Venture, LLC. The group is made up of J.P. Morgan Asset Management, Sares Regis Group of Northern California and Hunter Properties Inc.

One part of the updated agreement includes a section that updates the Minimum Project requirements, which only comprises a portion of the total town center project. It consists of 198 residential units, approximately 116,000 square feet of additional retail stores and restaurants, an approximately 118,000-square-foot theater/retail building, temporary landscaping improvements to Redwood Square, completion of surrounding street improvements including the extension of Murphy Avenue, and public parking.

An anticipated construction schedule has been established and milestone dates have been defined to monitor the progress of the project. Completion dates or deadlines have been agreed upon for completing the retail portions of the Minimum Project.

The agreement requires the developer to complete the Minimum Project by Dec. 31, 2020, or the developer could potentially be subject to a liquidated damages payment of $5 million to the city. The date, however, can be extended by the city due to delays caused by unforeseen circumstances or other justifiable reasons, according to city staff.

The new agreement has been updated from the 2010 agreement. The two-story retail buildings surrounding Redwood Square have been deleted from the project. These buildings, for which only the steel framing has been erected to date, will be demolished, according to the city. Interim improvements will be installed to open up Redwood Square for public use while the developer formulates new plans for this block. Additionally, the project now reflects the theater/retail building being a two-story building with ground floor retail and the movie theater on the second level.

The developer expects to complete the purchase of the property once the approval process for the agreement is concluded. Construction could to begin in spring 2017.