By Meghan Hall
AvalonBay Communities, the national apartment developer and REIT, submitted plans to the City of San José in December 2017 to demolish a portion of the Eaves West Valley residential development located at 700 Saratoga Avenue. In its place, the company is proposing to develop add 307 residential units to the 873-unit complex that already is an important marker in the Silicon Valley city.
The development is located in between the Blackford and Strawberry Park neighborhoods in West San José, just south of Interstate 280. Saratoga Avenue, San Tomas and Lawrence Expressway are also located nearby. The area is primarily composed of single family homes, with several condominium and townhouse developments nearby. The Westfield Valley Fair Mall in Santa Clara and downtown San José are about a ten-minute drive.
The 18.9-acre project site is currently developed with 873 residential apartment units and three parking structures: the Saratoga Garage, the Manzanita Garage and the Eaves Garage. The Saratoga and Manzanita Garages would be demolished eliminating 830 parking stalls, along with the sports courts located above the Saratoga Garage and the leasing and amenity building and pool area south of the of the Saratoga Garage.
With the help of Oakland-based architect Studio T-SQ, Inc. and Santa Clara-based Kier & Wright Civil Engineers & Surveyors, Inc., approximately 6.9 acres of the site would be redeveloped with 307 residential units spread throughout two buildings, 17,800 square feet of commercial and retail space, two pools and 1,110 new parking stalls. 19,400 square feet of amenity space, which includes a gym, are also penciled within the plans. The Avalon Building, which would be located at the northwest corner of the site, would have 252 residential units, while the Manzanita Building, located along Manzanita Drive, would have 55 residential units. The new parking structure will be located just adjacent to the new Manzanita building to the northeast.
Preliminary renderings for the exterior of the buildings highlight concrete pavers, flow through planters, a palm tree plaza as well as an outdoor kitchen complete with a fire feature.
The Avalon Building will feature a combination of glass and metal railings, metal canopies, large windows with espresso-colored surrounds, and white and gray-toned exterior walls. For the commercial and retail space, porcelain tiles and a glass curtain wall are the main components. The Manzanita building will have fiber cement lap siding in green and gray tones, wide, rectangular windows and a metal standing seam roof.
According to Cassandra Van Der Zweep, a division planner with the City of San José, the current proposal would exceed the allowable density permitted under the Mixed-Use Neighborhood Land Use Designation.
“The project would need to go before both the Planning Commission and the City Council for approval,” said Van der Zweep. “As the project is still in its initial stages of review, no hearings have been scheduled yet.”
Currently, there is no available timeline for the completion of the project or a recommendation from the City for a decision on the project. Before proceeding, AvalonBay Communities will need to submit revisions in order to properly adhere to planning requirements. The City has released a notice of preparation for an environmental impact report, although it is unclear when that report will be released. Potential required project approvals include a planned development permit and demolition, building and grading permits.
As of this writing, AvalonBay Communities did not return a request for comment.