First, he was a champion quarterback, with Notre Dame and then the San Francisco 49ers.
Now, Joe Montana the real estate investor is touting his company’s future $400 million "Centennial Gateway" project proposal, which he and his team made public for the first time Tuesday night at Santa Clara's Central Park Library.
Montana briefly presented his company's vision for the nine-acre hotel, office and entertainment complex that he and his partners hope to build as the entrance to Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, the future home of the 49ers.
Montana's Los Angeles-based Montana Property Group and Lowe Enterprises partners hope to have the project complete in time for Super Bowl L in 2016, which Levi’s Stadium is hosting.
Montana has previously stated that his hope is to make the city of Santa Clara "a first-class destination place.”
The project plans include a 5.2-million square foot complex including a luxury hotel, as well as office and entertainment space on city-owned property at the intersection of Tasman Drive and Centennial Boulevard, across the street from the $1.3 billion stadium, which is currently under construction and expected to open in 2014.
But the exact details have yet to be revealed. Montana's group presented just one artistic rendering of what they envision: The computer-generated rendering shows happy fans and shoppers strolling through an open-space retail area, with glass-windowed stores and offices in the background, a big 49ers sign rising into the sky.
"Based on a first unveiling, there was a lot of excitement in the room," said City Councilwoman Lisa Gillmor. "Some people wanted a lot more information and there are still details to work out, but we wanted to get things going before the Super Bowl."
She said that out of a room of about 150 people, there were a few stadium critics in the crowd whom she recognized, but they said very little.
Also presented at the meeting was a much larger $1.5 billion project – overshadowed because it’s not run by one of the most famous quarterbacks in history – created by developer Related California, which has offices in San Francisco and Irvine.
Related California's plan is to raise another, larger center that also includes retail, entertainment, residential, hotel and office space on 230 acres that is currently the Santa Clara Golf & Tennis Club and a bicycle-motocross track. This project would also include affordable and market-rate homes, and run north of Levi's Stadium, adjacent to the Santa Clara Convention Center, and north of a potential Montana development project on two city-owned lots totaling eight acres at Tasman Drive and Centennial Boulevard.
The hope of the city, officials said, is that the two projects will complement each other, and Santa Clara has hired an architect to help the two companies move forward with this in mind.
Also included in the plans rolled out Tuesday, was a pitch to relocate the International Hall of Swimming Fame from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to Santa Clara, and spending another $40 to $60 million iin private funds to renovate the current Santa Clara Swim Center.
Montana’s project has been in the works since at least 2011. In June of that year, the Santa Clarea city council gave Montana exclusive rights to negotiate a deal to develop the property.