By Jack Stubbs
Some much-needed housing could soon be on the way to downtown San Jose, proximate to Downtown West, Google’s underway mixed-use project, and the ever-active area around Diridon Station.
The San Jose City Council recently approved plans for a 14-story tower located at 860 West San Carlos Road in the Sunol-Midtown neighborhood of downtown San Jose.
The project, called The Ohlone, is being jointly developed by two San Jose-based real estate firms, Swenson and Republic Urban Properties, the West Coast division of the Republic Family of Companies. The development will ultimately include 263 apartment units and 13,000 square feet of retail space, according to the description on Republic Urban Properties’ website. The project will provide residents with a number of high-quality amenities well-suited to serving the changing demographics of the area.
“The Ohlone will offer a unique set of high-quality amenities that will be attractive to the demographic groups who, nowadays, tend to favor high-density living in the urban core – Millennials and, increasingly, Baby Boomers,” the website states. “An unmatched amenity program will include convenient retail, public plaza, clubhouse, mid-tower observation deck, fitness room, swimming pool, recreation courtyard, and more.”
In addition to the amenities it provides, the location of the mixed-use tower occupies a central location in the San Jose downtown core and is within walking distance of Diridon Station.
Downtown San Jose Station – Valley Transportation Authority’s (VTA) Silicon Valley Phase II Extension Project – is an integral part of making this area of downtown a transit-oriented hub, details VTA’s website.
“There will be bicycle parking and convenient connections to VTA light rail and bus service on Santa Clara, 1st, and 2nd Streets. The station area is planned to be integrated with planned on-site development, helping transition Downtown into a transit-oriented community,” the website states.
The Downtown San Jose Station, located at Market and 1st Streets, is expected to serve 27,900 weekly riders by 2040 and is within walking distance of San Jose State University.
Taken together, the rapid development of residential projects speaks to the increased demand for housing, with Swenson and Republic Urban Properties’ tower the latest in a number of underway developments.
Currently awaiting approval by the city, a proposed development planned by Houston, Texas-based The Hanover Co. and located at 905 N. Capitol Avenue would bring a 345-unit multifamily project with 3,000 square feet of office space and 32 for-sale townhomes in a seven-story building. The company also owns the Hanover at Diridon, which is located at 717 W. Julian Street.
In early May, local developer Urban Catalyst spent $5.6 million on a final parcel for its Apollo Project in San Jose. Located at 60 Stockton Avenue, the endeavor will ultimately bring a 19-story, 472-unit housing development, designed by San Jose-based AEDIS Architects, to the city’s downtown core.
Urban Catalyst in mid-May broke ground on the 167-unit Gifford Place, which is one of the first new senior living facilities to be built in downtown San Jose in decades, according to a statement released by the company.
In mid-May, San Jose-based nonprofit Charities Housing submitted plans to the city for a six-story, 99-unit project located at 555 Keyes Street. The project – the construction of which is expected to take 19 months – would be fully affordable, according to The Registry’s reporting at the time of writing.
Republic Urban Properties currently owns or controls over 2,300 multi-family units in San Jose, California and the Peninsula. Meanwhile, some of Swenson’s other projects include the Alice Street Apartments in Oakland; Century Center Towers Apartments in San Jose; and North San Pedro Block E in downtown San Jose.
A second quarter 2022 San Jose Multifamily Market Report published by Marcus & Millichap found that local vacancy rates were falling faster than those of other Bay Area Metros, with the first quarter capping the strongest yearlong absorption on record.
“San Jose’s rental market has bounced back in a big way, with more than 9,500 units of net absorption logged from April 2021 through March 2022,” the report states.
The next highest 12-month total during the two decades leading up to the pandemic was about 3,000 units below that measure. The outlook for San Jose’s multifamily market looks bright relative to nearby cities.
“Surging demand allowed San Jose’s vacancy contraction to beat Oakland and San Francisco by an estimated 100-plus basis points year-over-year in March,” the report states.