By Meghan Hall
Los Gatos, Calif.-based developer Fortbay, LLC received unanimous backing from the San Jose Planning Commission Wednesday night for its proposed Stevens Creek Promenade development located at 4300-4360 Stevens Creek Blvd. in West San Jose. The 10-acre project, which would include up to 300,000 square feet of Class A office space, 10,000 square feet of retail and 582 rental apartments, received a 5-0 vote in its favor to move forward to City Council review.
“They felt that for a project of this size, they were surprised with the community support and the commonality of support; staff did complement our community outreach,” said Tom deRegt, principal at Fortbay.
deRegt said that while the City and general community had some questions about traffic mitigation, they were overall supportive of the plan, crediting Fortbay’s involvement in the Stevens Creek Advisory Group planning process for the Urban Village, which was adopted in August of 2017.
“I think that process helped us educate the community on what was being proposed in this planning area and how our project met the goals of the City and the Urban Village Planning Area,” said deRegt.
The proposal also includes a 1.4-acre publicly accessible promenade featuring a central green, play areas and an event plaza. The development will include four main buildings: Building A for office and retail, a 1,238 space parking lot for Building B, and two eight story buildings — C and D — of which the first will contain residential and retail. Building D will only contain residential.
The office building will have a second level terrace, and the residential portion of the development will include 15 percent, on-site affordable housing distributed throughout the buildings, an addition Fortbay made at the end of 2017. Nine percent of those units will be reserved for moderate-income occupants, while the remaining six percent will go to low-income tenants. A bike-share facility adjacent to a new mid-block crossing and relocation of a nearby bus stop to create a transit-oriented development are also part of Fortbay’s proposal. Currently, the site has a Walk Score of 77, or “very walkable,” meaning that those living or working on the site can do most errands on foot.
deRegt said the development could create up to 1,000 jobs. “The opportunity to provide mixed-income residential contiguous with jobs is the goal of the plan,” he explained.
Fortbay bought the site, bounded by commercial developments, in June of 2016 for $53 million as part of a joint venture with Santa Monica, Calif.-based Colony Capital, LLC, according to public documents. The development is not far from Santana Row and the Westfield Valley Fair shopping complexes.
Five buildings are now located on the site, including three two-story office buildings, one single-story office building and a single-story commercial building. All structures will be torn down to make way for the new development.
According to deRegt, the City Council will review the project on February 26th. If approved, Fortbay plans to break ground on the development sometime during 2020, although deRegt acknowledged that could change based on the market cycle. The first phase of the project, which will include the office building, the garage and the first of the multifamily buildings, is slated to take 24 months. The second multifamily building will break ground when the office portion of the development is complete.
However, deRegt said Fortbay is excited to get the ball rolling and deliver the project to San Jose.
“The fees and income associated with the project will be a benefit to the City,” said deRegt. “It’s the first and largest signature project in an urban village on the west side. We truly think this is project that will be a catalyst for future development in the area.”