By Meghan Hall
A homebuilder with a national reputation has purchased a large site in San Jose as final preparations are made for redevelopment. In a deal that closed this week, Pulte Homes acquired the Winchester Ranch Mobile Home Park, paying $50 million in cash for the property.
The transaction was all-cash, according to The Mercury News. The property is located at 500 Charles Cali Drive, and the sale comes just a week after the San Jose City Council approved Pulte’s plans to construct 687 units of luxury housing. The units will include 367 apartment units in one, seven-story building as well as 19 condominium buildings rising four stories in height. 11 row houses are also part of the project plans.
Pulte’s journey to project approval was far from straightforward. When the project was originally pitched several years ago, the developer was met with resistance to the relocation or possible demolition of the mobile home community. Concerns over where and how the site’s current residents will find similarly-priced housing are one of the challenges Pulte is working with residents and the Winchester Ranch Senior Homeowners Association to navigate. Currently, the mobile home community serves residents over the age of 55 and is currently developed with 111 single-story mobile home units, a club house and parking. The new development, six times the density of the current mobile home park, would also include a half-acre park and 1,248 parking spaces.
An agreement between Pulte and current residents was reached the same year, and residents will be permitted to continue living in their homes, or live in the new units developed by Pulte, should they choose. Residents who move into on-site replacement homes will retain the same rental rate and protections upheld by Mobilehome Residency Law. Those who move away will be provided with a relocation package. The relocation package will help current residents bridge the change in costs from their current to new residences.
Pulte plans to begin construction this year and believes full build-out will be complete by 2024 The project site is located in a busy part of west San Jose, with the Interstate 880 and Interstate 280 interchange just blocks away. While much of the surrounding neighborhood is low density residential, the presence of Santana Row on Winchester Blvd. and the Westfield Valley Fair Mall on Stevens Creek Blvd. add increased activity to the area. Both downtown San Jose and downtown Santa Clara are about ten minutes away by car.
San Jose has 59 mobile home parks–the most out of any California city–according to the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, the firm that represented Winchester Ranch residents in their negotiations with Pulte. In all, San Jose’s mobile home parks have 11,000 homes and serve 35,000 residents. Pulte’s purchase and redevelopment plan will be the first conversion of a mobile home park to residential units in San Jose.