Interest in housing development in the City of Mountain View continues with Palo Alto-based Alta Housing and Related California winning approval from the city council to develop an 120-unit affordable multifamily residential building complex. The property will replace a 1.56-acre city parking lot in downtown Mountain View known as Lot 12.
The project will include three five-story mixed-use buildings with a total of 120 rental units (all units deed-restricted to households earning 80 percent of Area Median Income or less), 96 parking spaces, and 3,300 square feet of community-serving commercial and public gathering space. Residence sizes will vary, with 18 studios, 41 one-bedrooms, 31 two-bedrooms, and 30 three-bedroom units. One of the two-bedroom apartments will be designated for the on-site manager. Alta Housing will offer on-site services for all residents.
The property was designed by San Francisco-based Seidel Architects, a firm focused on the design and planning of residential communities, with over 5,000 multifamily, senior, and affordable developments already completed. When describing the project, Alex Seidel, the founding principal of Seidel Architects, described Lot 12 as affordable housing that is located on a significant downtown site in Mountain View in close proximity to the Civic Center, the Castro Street downtown corridor, as well the downtown transit station. The design bridges between the commercial area to the east and a quiet residential neighborhood to the west with tiered massing of contemporary gabled forms. He added that “community serving retail space is located at grade facing a public plaza at the corner of California and Bryant Streets. A new mid-block garden will provide an opportunity for residents to tend to their own community gardens, and will also provide a public pedestrian amenity for the community at large. A robust public art program is planned on the site”.
Developers Related California and Alta Housing highlighted the importance of the project in this region. A representative from Related stated in an e-mail to The Registry, “Related California and our development partner Alta Housing are thankful for our strong partnership with the City of Mountain View. This development is proof of the power of public-private partnerships to create critically needed affordable housing in the heart of Silicon Valley.”
Alta Housing (previously Palo Alto Housing) has been building residential projects for people of diverse economic backgrounds to thrive since 1970. The communities consist of healthcare workers, seniors, veterans, school support staff, clerical workers, construction workers, waiters and waitresses, and postal service employees. In addition to housing, Alta Housing offers a Resident Service Program that includes classes and workshops for children and adults, summer programs for students, family nights, holiday events, job coaching, parent support, fitness classes, English as a Second Language classes, computer literacy, along with senior wellness services.
Lot 12 is one of several recently approved housing projects in the City of Mountain View. The city’s community development department planning division released a development update in 2022, which included long-range policy planning projects. As a result, the most notable recently approved project in the area was the Middlefield Park Master Plan, which was proposed by Google and approved by the City Council in November 2022. The Middlefield Park Master Plan is set to transform a suburban office park into a thriving community focused on well-being, health and sustainability. The development will include 1,900 homes, 20 percent of which will be available at affordable below market rates. The project also includes over 12 acres of public open spaces, over 50,000 square feet of public retail and community space, carbon-free and all-electric office and residential buildings and several miles of new walking and cycling trails.
Some of the other long-range projects include the Downtown Precise Plan Update; a Multiple-Family Residential Zoning Code Update; and the East Whisman Impact Fee Nexus Study, which details planned transportation and utility infrastructure improvements for the East Whisman Precise Plan.