The City Council unanimously approved the second phase of the redevelopment of San Antonio shopping Center Tuesday night, and along with it, a new deal to save the city's popular Milk Pail Market.
"I have been worrying about the survival of the Milk Pail for over three years now," Milk Pail owner Steve Rasmussen told the council. "I'm very grateful for the support the community has shown to the Milk Pail."
In order to meet city parking requirements and stay open, Rasmussen will lease 31 parking spaces on an adjacent property from project developer Merlone Geier. It is now home to a taqueria and a sushi restaurant, and one or both would presumably be torn down to make way for the new Milk Pail parking lot, Rasmussen said. The Milk Pail had needed 11 more spaces to comply with city requirements.
The deal "pretty much resolves the dilemma of not knowing what our future was going to be," Rasmussen said of the agreement before the meeting.
The large redevelopment that was approved Tuesday night was much the same as one presented to the council several times this year. It will replace the Ross, BevMo! and several smaller buildings near the corner of California Street and San Antonio Road, including the site of the "birthplace of Silicon Valley," the former Shockley lab at 391 San Antonio Road. The project includes a 50,000-square-foot movie theater, 167-room hotel and a parking garage with over 1,300 spaces. It also plans for restaurants and shops around a courtyard with a monument to the silicon molecule, and office space likely to leased by LinkedIn, with space for about 2,000 employees.
The office tenant won't be allowed to have its own cafe in order to ensure that workers make use of the restaurants in the development -- a requirement said to be a first for the Valley.
Council members decided against an alternative project that included housing, despite calls for it from many residents earlier this year. Mayor Chris Clark said it would have meant the loss of the hotel and more than $1.5 million a year in hotel tax revenue.
After some last-minute haggling for an additional $2 million in funds, the project includes $9.4 million in funds for public benefits, including buffered bike lanes on San Antonio Road and California Street.
As for the Milk Pail, Rasmussen called the parking agreement "long-term" as well as "fair" and "definitely acceptable." He said it allows him to continue to keep his prices from rising with the cost of real estate. He would not to divulge details on how much he would have to pay per parking space or how long he would have rights to the parking.
In July, a similar deal fell through when the City Council did not approve the project as presented by Merlone Geier. It would have allowed Milk Pail customers to use a parking garage under an office building proposed to be built behind the market.