SummerHill, Prometheus Proposing Multifamily, Mixed-Use Projects in Santa Clara

Santa Clara, Multifamily, Development, Summerhill, Prometheus Real Estate Group, Palo Alto, Oakland, Studio T Square, Bay Area, Regency Centers Corp

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By Nancy Amdur

The Santa Clara City Council discussed mixed-use and residential developments proposed for El Camino Real at its study session Tuesday night. The projects, by SummerHill Apartment Communities and Prometheus Real Estate Group, would add new retail and about 850 residential units to the area.

[contextly_sidebar id=”NjGj5AulMLyMHdQITih1EwrtWMSjIBQo”]Palo Alto-based SummerHill is proposing to demolish existing retail structures at 2232-2240 El Camino Real to construct a 151-unit apartment community. Sixty percent would be one-bedroom and the 40 percent two-bedroom apartments, said Elaine Breeze, SummerHill’s vice president of development, at the study session.

Apartments would wrap around a 232-space four-level parking garage. Oakland-based architecture firm Studio T Square worked on the project, which is slated to feature amenities such as a pool, outdoor fireplace, clubhouse, fitness center and wi-fi lounge.

The multifamily project would sit on a 2.74-acre site at El Camino near Los Padres Blvd., across from the recently developed 284,000-square-foot Santa Clara Town Centre, which includes retailers and restaurants such as Target, Walgreens, Panera Bread and The Habit Burger Grill. The SummerHill property provides convenient access to public transportation, including the Valley Transportation Authority bus, which stops along El Camino.

With the nearby Santa Clara Town Centre, the housing project would create “a mixed-use village-like setting,” Breeze said.

No affordable housing is included in the project, and some councilmembers said they would like to see some added. “Affordable housing is something I really want to push on these projects coming forward,” said Councilmember Lisa Gillmor.

Vice Mayor Debi Davis also said the location would be suited for senior housing as it is walkable to retail, restaurants and neighborhood services.

Additionally, San Mateo-based Prometheus Real Estate Group, Inc. presented its proposal to demolish the 105,000-squre-foot Lawrence Square Shopping Center at 3501-3593 El Camino Real in favor of a mixed-use project. The three-, four- and five-story development would sit on 10.6 acres and comprise 701 apartments above 84,000 square feet of retail space. The site is along the VTA bus route and about one mile from a Caltrain station.

The shopping center, built in 1959, “is in need of refreshing,” said Nathan Tuttle, senior development manager at Prometheus, one of the largest private owners of multifamily properties in the Bay Area. The company’s portfolio includes 3,432 apartments in Santa Clara, Tuttle said.

Some of the project’s amenities, such as a pool and seating area, would be located on the roof of the parking garage. Courtyards and open space would surround the property, and retail areas would offer outside seating and patio space, Tuttle said.

Jacksonville, Fla.-based Regency Centers Corp. is partnering with Prometheus on the retail portion of the project. The company’s Bay Area portfolio includes the recently completed Persimmon Place, a Whole Foods, Nordstrom Rack and HomeGoods-anchored retail project in Dublin, said Alison Warner, manager of investments for shopping center owner Regency Centers.

Councilmember Dominic Caserta said both projects would provide needed facelifts to “dilapidated” El Camino structures.

However, some councilmembers and residents said they would rather have more retail than housing in the area. SummerHill’s project “is a natural commercial site,” Gillmor said.

Prometheus also would be suited for more retail space because it is on the edge of town and could draw traffic from Sunnyvale as well as Santa Clara, Gillmor said. “We are retail starved and you are sitting on a perfect [retail] node,” Davis added.

Both proposals are in the early concept stages and more community discussions about the projects will be planned, said City Manager Julio Fuentes.

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