By Tim Hunt
Location, location, location: a home run for WorkdayUploaded: Feb 27, 2014
Serial software entrepreneur Dave Duffield lives in Alamo and has headquartered two of his successful businesses in Pleasanton.
The latest is Workday, which has occupied a five-story office building between Stoneridge Mall Road and Interstate 680 for several years. Duffield, individually, purchased the adjacent Stoneridge Corporate Plaza and employees are gradually transitioning in that space.
Meanwhile, the company has submitted plans for a six-story building on a vacant lot owned by BART that once was planned for an apartment complex. The land is right next to the Stoneridge BART station.
What is ideal for Workday is that proximity allows it to recruit younger tech workers who want to live in San Francisco and offer an easy commute via BART to an office that is a quick stroll from the station. Instead of running buses from San Francisco as Google, Apple and other Peninsula and South Bay companies, Workday recruiters can sell BART and its easy access.
The apartments never got built because of the economic downtown and the site was not included in the rezoning that the City Council completed last year to meet state mandates after settling a law suit.
For both Workday and the city, that's a fortunate turn of events because it is ideal for the corporate headquarters that is planned to cover 430,000 square feet.
Circling back around on the regional theater in Livermorehope does spring eternal.
Just as there are powerful interests committed to seeing that redevelopment agencies remain dead, there are interests (namely cities and counties that were recipients of the funds) who want to resurrect them.
They failed to do so in the Legislature last year and that door likely is closed as long as Jerry Brown is governorit was his initiative to eliminate the agencies.
So, there is a signature gathering campaign in progress to reinstate redevelopment agencies and allow them to rollback the law to pre-Jerry status. The California Jobs and Education Development Initiative Act (JEDI) is designed to greatly benefit cities and counties while reducing revenue for education and throwing any other agencies receiving property tax under the proverbial bus. That includes special districts.
It also has profound effects on affordable housing. Prior law required 25 percent of the tax increment proceeds to go toward affordable housingproviding a steady flow of cash for agencies and non-profits to invest in housing. According to the Legislative Analyst's Office it reduces the amount of revenue that must be dedicated to housing.
The bottom line is that it shifts billions of dollars from general fund revenues to cities and counties through redevelopment agencies. It was that shift and the questionable (to be charitable) ways that cities and counties were using redevelopment (theaters, convention centers, arenas, stadiums) that moved the governor to action during the fiscal crunch that the state wrestled with for a decade.
It will take 505,000 signatures to qualify by mid-Julywhether there are enough well-heeled folks who want to invest in changing the law back to benefit cities and counties will be seen by its outcome.