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SAN JOSE, CA-The San Jose Redevelopment Agency may use eminent domain to acquire property at the corner of Story and King roads in East San Jose, if Tuesday’s debate and vote go as planned.

The city will discuss the project and vote whether it is necessary to authorize the use of eminent domain to acquire the Tropicana Shopping Center. One of the Tropicana owners has threatened to sue the city if they do so.

The city has used eminent domain to acquire most of the 19-acre site for approximately $13.5 million. It has also offered various property owners about $3.4 million to buy three remaining pieces of land, which consist of a total of 1.5 acres. One of those owners is currently in negotiations with the city.

The city plans to use the property it acquires for a $50 million redevelopment project. To do so, it will acquire the land and give it to a private developer to turn the blighted Tropicana shopping center into an improved, Latin-themed shopping center.

The project would include approximately 260,000-sf of new construction, integrating a mix of existing and new businesses into new stores, and an approximately 50,000 -sf Mercado that will accommodate between 40 and 60 small shops and vendors.

Merchants have accused the city of trying to take their property to give to an out-of-town private developer, Blake Hunt Ventures. The merchants have proposed their own redevelopment plan, but city officials say it is inadequate.

One Tropicana property owner, whose name was not revealed, has threatened to sue the city, saying it is not giving fair opportunity to small businesses in the area. City officials say that they are confident that the city and landlords can reach a fair agreement.

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