By Meghan Hall
Efforts to rezone 29 acres of land in the Evergreen Circle area of San Jose are making progress. Over the past several months, City Officials have released a preliminary environmental impact report and have been collecting community feedback on the initiative, which plans to allow for the development of additional square footage of commercial space, if need be.
The property is located at 2367 South Evergreen Loop and is south of Quimby Avenue and west of the Capitol Expressway. In all, the project site totals 28.99 gross acres of land and consists of four parcels. The property currently is vacant and rough-graded and has been part of an active construction site for the past two years.
The application to rezone the property was submitted on behalf of Hunter Storm LLC on behalf of The Arcadia Companies, the property’s owner. If approved, the new Planned Development Zoning District would allow for 150,000 square feet of medical office space or 60,238 square feet of built commercial uses.
The reason for the rezone is one that has become increasingly common as the City of San Jose has developed: the need to amplify density and accommodate new growth. In 2006, the San Jose City Council initially adopted the Evergreen East Hills Vision Strategy Project EIR, which was later amended via another environmental impact report in 2008. Under those conditions, the EIR allotted for the development of 500 residential units, 500,000 square feet of retail space and 75,000 square feet of office uses in the Evergreen Plan Area.
The City began to evaluate rezoning the Evergreen Circle area in 2011 and later in 2014, passed an addendum to the previous EIRs that would allow for 344,000 square feet of commercial, 217 high-density residences and nine acres of public park land. However, since that previous approval, much of the initial allotment for commercial projects has already been built out. City documents state that of the 309,322 square feet of permitted commercial uses, about 254,214 square feet has already been built under project permits.
In order to accommodate the development of 150,000 square feet of medical office space, the remainder of unbuilt commercial space will be converted to an equivalency. Of the 115,346 square foot equivalency, 55,108 square feet was already approved, while another 34,678 square feet was previously entitled but no permit was issued. The remaining 22,560 square feet will be part of a new allocation that has not been accounted for in previous zoning iterations or other permits.
Project documents stipulate that a specific development project has not yet been proposed, although it is anticipated that medical office uses will be developed on the site. In addition to the rezoning, a project applicant will need to acquire a PD permit and public works clearances before moving forward. If such a project is approved, the City expects that the development would be built out over about 18 months.
The surrounding neighborhood is largely commercial in character, with recent development including a Costco Business Warehouse and parking lot. Other nearby businesses include The Camp Transformation Center, REEL Produce and PS Cabinetry. The Aloha Roller Rink and Eastridge Shopping Center and Gong Cha- Eastridge Mall are also located in the vicinity. Currently, the existing EIRs for the area account for development through 2035; however, as San Jose’s rapid growth continues, those visions may once again be modified in the future.
As of this writing, Hunter Storm had not yet returned The Registry’s request for comment.