SANTA CLARA -- Making an appearance at a Wednesday meeting on his proposed development near the 49ers stadium site, football Hall of Famer Joe Montana said he needs the city's help to achieve the big goal: a hotel and restaurants in place before the 2016 Super Bowl.
Last Friday, developers revealed their vision for both a $400 million "Centennial Gateway" involving the Montana Property Group and a larger $1.5 billion "City Place Santa Clara" center proposed by developer Related California. Wednesday's informational meeting laid out the basics before the council in advance of them officially deciding whether to move forward.
Montana said they have "been ready for a long time" to take the next steps but was asked by the city to delay the application last July so they could work with the other developer to make sure the plans synced well.
"Since then, we've spent many, many hours and many, many dollars meeting with Related to build our site plans together," Montana said. "I'm here to say we're ready to go."
The Centennial Gateway project, for which Montana's group is paired with Lowe Enterprises, includes a luxury hotel, office and entertainment space on 9.5 acres of city-owned property at the intersection of Tasman Drive and Centennial Boulevard, across the street from the stadium site.
The Related California plan is to raise another, larger center that also includes retail, entertainment, residential, hotel and office space on 215 acres that is currently the Santa Clara Golf & Tennis Club and a bicycle-motocross track.
Related California also has an exclusive negotiating agreement with the city.
Developer Kurt Wittek, who is partnered with Montana, said their development would be key to attracting tech firms to the area, calling it a "unique urban-scale destination with a mix of uses."
"It would answer the bell on the quest for these mixed-use environments that the young and talented are gravitating toward, and the companies that seek their services want to make themselves a part of," he said.
City Manager Julio Fuentes said there are numerous aspects of the plans that still need to be worked out, including the density, height and bulk of the buildings, as well as parking, accessibility issues and its "gateway effect."
"The project in itself is something special, a city in a city, and it should have the characteristics of Santa Clara," he said.
He said they have been "hustling" because of the looming Super Bowl date, trying to coordinate the master plans of both developers.
"You wanted the Super Bowl, and it is coming," Montana said. "People will come from all over the globe. We believe our project will enhance their experience while they are here. ... It certainly would be much better for them when they come to see that Centennial Gateway sign hanging over a beautiful project rather than stapled onto a piece of wood up against a chain-link fence, saying 'Centennial Gateway coming soon, under construction.' "
Council member Lisa Gillmor said she hopes that is possible, not just for the 50th Super Bowl but for another one down the road.
"It's important for us to make a good impression to the world so we can get another Super Bowl," she said. "And by then, the Related project would also be complete, and people would stay here, spending all their money in Santa Clara and not other cities."
Contact Eric Kurhi at 408-920-5852. Follow him at Twitter.com/erickurhi.