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Morgan Hill
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January 31, 2023

Building continues downtown

Within the next couple of months, residents and visitors can expect to see some of downtown Morgan Hill’s flagship, high-profile construction projects transform into more dining, nightlife, shopping and lodging choices.
By March, assuming the current dry weather maintains, developers are expected to complete excavation and lay concrete foundations for the Granada Hotel.
“Frank Léal has done most of the offsite work, including sewer and water line work,” said Morgan Hill Assistant City Manager Leslie Little. “There will be more to be done, such as sidewalk replacement and landscaping, but the big stuff that would be a disruption regarding infrastructure is finished.”  
The Morgan Hill City Council agreed to sell the 1.09 acres of land at 17490 Monterey Road—formerly the site of the Downtown Mall—to Frank  Léal, of  Léal Vineyards on Sept. 2, 2015 for about $1.1 million. Following the demolition of the Downtown Mall building, Léal entered into a contract with KTGY, an architecture firm out of Oakland, to construct the 64,940 square foot, four-story, 60-room multi-use luxury hotel.  
The project will be built in accordance with Morgan Hill General Plan, which designates 68 parcels of land in the downtown to encourage a mix of residential and commercial uses. The Granada Hotel will feature a restaurant, bar, retail space, banquet hall, along with the hotel’s lobby, guest rooms, spa and other hotel amenities.
The Granada Hotel, which will stand next to the Granada Theater, another development project spearheaded by Léal, carries on the drive to promote downtown Morgan Hill as a destination for tourists and visitors in South County. The city is looking forward to more tax revenue from the Granada Hotel, through increased retail sales and hotel taxes, a boost in agritourism which would be a benefit to nearby wineries, along with an incentive for other businesses to open, or relocate, to Morgan Hill and create more jobs.
Léal, in a presentation to the Morgan Hill City Council in May 2016, estimated that the Granada Hotel would generate $294,000 to the city’s general fund from retail spending, property and hotel taxes.  Léal’s vision for the Granada Hotel stated that the hotel would, “create a timeless centerpiece in downtown Morgan Hill to broaden and deepen Morgan Hill’s reputation as a destination for entertainment, dining and other types of visits.”
The Granada Hotel represents another large investment that Léal has made in the region. Along with the Granada Theater, Léal’s other businesses include Willow Heights Mansion in Morgan Hill, Hacienda de Léal hotel in San Juan Bautista, The Grove farm-to-table restaurant in Hollister and Sycamore Creek and Léal Vineyards in Hollister and Morgan Hill.
Leal purchased the Granada Theater from the city for about $294,000 in 2015. He gutted the interior of the building and remodeled it as a venue for live entertainment, corporate events and evening dinner theater shows.
The Morgan Hill Redevelopment Agency purchased both the theater and Downtown Mall properties with bond proceeds in 2009, with the intent to revitalize them as mixed-use projects similar to what Leal has in the works. The RDA, which was shut down by the state in 2011, paid about $10.3 million for the two properties.
Opa! Group restaurants expected to open in May
The Opa! Group expects to open its four new downtown Morgan Hill restaurants, Opa, Willard Hicks, Mo’s and Tac-Oh!, on the corner of East Third Street and Monterey Road at the beginning of May.
“They have done all of the infrastructure work on the inside of the building,” Little said. “Most of the work that needs to be done now is moving in kitchen equipment and cosmetic improvements to the building. The main work is done. All the plumbing is done and the drywall is hung. The gas lines for the outdoor heaters and fire pit are finished as well.”
This property was also purchased by the RDA in 2009. After the state closed the RDA, the downtown properties it held were liquidated to private developers who have agreed to build projects mostly in line with the RDA’s original intent.

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