The San Jose City Council, acting in its capacity as the Board of Directors of the San Jose Redevelopment Agency, today announced its decision to appoint Richard Keit to serve as Managing Director of the Agency.

“Richard’s twenty-five years of service and leadership to the Redevelopment Agency will provide continuity to the Agency during this period of transition,” said Mayor Chuck Reed.

Keit is currently the Redevelopment Agency’s Director of Business Development. He first joined the Redevelopment Agency in 1986 as a Development Officer, serving in roles of increasing responsibility, including Manager of the Housing Division, Neighborhood Business District Coordinator, and Director of Neighborhood and Industrial Development.

In those roles, he has managed retention, expansion and attraction efforts in the City’s Redevelopment Project Areas, including industrial areas, Downtown and neighborhood business districts. Most recently he coordinated the Capital Equipment Reimbursement Agreements for driving industry companies such as Maxim Integrated Products, SunPower, C8 MedisSensors, Intermolecular and SolFocus.

“I want to thank the Mayor and Council for the opportunity to serve the residents of San Jose during this challenging time for San Jose’s Redevelopment Agency and redevelopment around the state of California,” Keit said.

The appointment will be formally considered by the Agency Board at its June 21st Board meeting and is expected to take effect on June 27, 2011.  Keit will take the helm of a significantly reduced Redevelopment Agency in the wake of the announced retirement of long-time Executive Director Harry Mavrogenes, takeaways of $75 million in revenues by the State of California and a downturn in property values that has curtailed much of its tax-increment financing capabilities. Beginning June 27, he will oversee a staff of seven with efforts focused on blight elimination, job-creation, economic development, and tax-increment growth.  The position reports directly to the Agency Board (Mayor and City Council).

Keit holds Masters degrees in Public Administration and Urban Planning from the University of Southern California and a B.A. in Sociology from the State University of New York at New Paltz. He lives in historic New Almaden with his wife, Ru Weerakoon, senior policy advisor for economic development and land use for Mayor Reed, and almost-11-year-old son.