SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose Earthquakes’ hopes for a new, permanent home are taking one step closer to fruition, as the team is set to announce that it will soon begin tearing down the decrepit industrial building that currently occupies the site where a soccer-specific stadium is planned.
Demolition of the one-time factory for the chemical concern FMC Corporation at 1125 Coleman Ave. – just south of the Mineta San Jose International Airport – is slated to start with a ceremony on March 3.
The process is expected to take roughly 12 weeks, Quakes president Dave Kaval said in an interview with MLSsoccer.com.
Signs went up at the former plant this week declaring the area – which is located right next door to the Quakes’ Nutrilite Training Facility – a “Hard Hat Job” and denoting is as an active construction site.
“We’re excited about it,” said Kaval, who was brought on board last year in part to give the stagnant stadium process a push. “We’re not all the way there yet, but the thing is, we’re starting to build that momentum back.”
The team still holds out hope that it can get a stadium built in time for at least part of the 2012 season, although reaching that accelerated timetable will probably require the addition of a naming-rights sponsor, something that the Quakes have not yet been able to locate.
The Quakes ownership group, led by real-estate developer Lew Wolff, has moved more slowly than some fans would like because demand for the commercial, residential and mixed-use areas planned for the stadium’s surrounding areas have been slack. With a glut of open buildings in the San Jose area, the team was reluctant to move forward until the city decided in December to decouple the stadium from the remainder of the project – allowing the team to work on the stadium while putting off the other projects until the commercial real-estate market rebounds.
“I think this is an important piece of the puzzle, and we’re excited to celebrate it and keep the process moving,” Kaval said.
Geoff Lepper covers the Earthquakes for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter: @sjquakes