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New Santana Row in Santa Clara

The city is now considering using 230 acres currently occupied by the Santa Clara Gold and Tennis Club to create a new “vibrant city center” to complement the San Francisco 49ers' new stadium and Joe Montana's planned hotel. This next major plan is designed to house new Santana Row style shops, restaurants and homes.City leaders began reviewing the plan last Tuesday. The proposed site is five times the size of San Jose's Santana Row and 10 times the size of the new stadium site."This is exactly what we expected would happen after we built the stadium," Mayor Jamie Matthews said Monday, noting 49ers fans, Great America theme-parkgoers and others "need to have some other reason to come there."But backers face several hurdles. The first hurdle includes starting with figuring out how much of the site can actually be built on since it's laid out over a former landfill. The second hurdle will be dealing with upset golfers and BMX riders who fear losing their current courses. Officials are considering building a smaller BMX track and a 9-hole golf course near the site to compensate either on the site or somewhere else, but seasoned golfers characterize those smaller courses as for beginners only.Joe Montana and the 49ers are praising the developer and its plan whereas locals and others are concerned with the idea of a new downtown Santa Clara “in the middle of nowhere."The process of negotiations and approvals is expected to take up to four years, starting with five months to determine whether the project is even feasible. If finally approved, construction would take several more years.It is expected the project will be paid for by private backers, and would bring some revenue to the city. Although the golf course is popular, and hosts 81,000 rounds of golf each year, it is still losing approximately $2 million dollars per year. This plan would use the land for a more profitable venture, including tax revenues from new shops, hotels and multifamily homes in the area.

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