Proposed sale of 400 block coming back in April

A proposal for the 400 block development on San Benito Street is expected to go before council members in April.

Council members unanimously approved going forward in exclusive talks to sell the city’s property in the 400 block for multi-use development in May 2016. Mayor Ignacio Velazquez didn’t take part in the vote at the time because he declared a potential financial conflict of interest. He owns The Vault property neighboring the site.

Housing Program Manager Mary Paxton said city staff initially thought the Development Disposition Agreement would be before council members in February.

“Unfortunately it took a very long time for our legal counsel to prepare the Draft (Development Disposition Agreement) due to unexpected personal complications and because it involves three parties – the City, the Del Curto Brothers Construction and the Community Foundation for San Benito County,” Paxton said in a Tuesday email. “All parties are now reviewing a draft document that we expect to bring to the City Council in April.”

Last autumn, the Del Curto Brothers Group and the Community Foundation approached city staff about developing the 400 block property.

Their partnership offers conceptual plans to develop the property with four mixed-use buildings that include commercial on the ground floor and 16 condominiums on the upper floors. The plans also include a philanthropic center for the Community Foundation, to be funded by a private donor.

Total project costs are estimated at $4,511,600, according to the proposal.

The sale of the 400 block property is related to the Dissolution Act. In 2011, the California Legislature passed the Dissolution Act, which got rid of redevelopment agencies in the state. Hollister’s redevelopment agency previously purchased the location to prevent blight after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake leveled the buildings that stood on the property. The city’s successor agency, which replaced the redevelopment agency, must eventually unload all remaining redevelopment agency assets.

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