By Jacob Bourne
The Planning Commission approved a conditional use permit for the construction and operation of a behavioral-psychiatric hospital on a 5.6-acre vacant property in South San Jose. The project’s sponsor is Signature Healthcare Services, LLC, the largest owner and operator of behavioral health hospitals in the U.S. The company is based in Corona, California and has hospitals in several other states. IN2IT Architecture designed the conceptual site plan.
“This was one of the City’s visions for a hospital site,” said Rina Shah, project manager. “It’s part of the Edenvale Area Development Policy. It will provide a good service and benefit to the community. The hospital will be privately staffed and operated by a healthcare service franchise 24 hours per day, seven days per week.”
The project site is located on Enzo Drive just north of Rue Ferrari in an Industrial Park zoning district surrounded by Coyote Creek trail, vacant land, and vacant commercial and light industrial buildings. The hospital will be one 80,000 square foot building with two stories and a maximum building height of 38 feet. Up to 126 beds will be available to patients in rooms with mostly two beds, bathroom and shower. The building will be equipped with a commercial kitchen, dining area, nursing stations, indoor gym, laundry facility and a 3,300 square foot landscaped open-air courtyard in the center of the structure.
About 250 total employees will work at the hospital to provide acute psychiatric inpatient and outpatient care. Inpatient stays are expected to last an average of seven days while outpatient visits will be between three and four hours. The healthcare service will be open to adults, seniors, youth and military personnel, though no incarcerated individuals will receive treatment there. The facility is to be licensed by the California Department of Public Health.
Public improvements associated with the project include an extension of Enzo Drive along with various streetscape upgrades. Surface parking areas will span the perimeter of the building providing 127 automobile spaces, four motorcycle spots and bike racks. Plans had originally projected groundbreaking to be in spring 2018, but according to Shah, building permits will likely be secured in the next four months allowing for a sooner start. The construction period should last about 18 months.
“It’s just a vacant site right now and they’ll be planting about 130 trees and providing sufficient parking,” added Shah. “The plans show good architecture using stone, stucco and metal panels with a canopy entrance and a good street presence. It’s a very modern design. There will be an internal courtyard as well as open space surrounding the structure.”
The hospital site is located less than a mile from the San Jose Behavioral Hospital, which also focuses on treating psychiatric conditions. The new facility will be one of at least four in San Jose addressing the increasing demand for mental health care. A representative for Signature Healthcare Services declined to comment about the project at this stage.
The Edenvale Area Development Policy was first adopted in June 2000 and then updated in June 2007 and then again in April 2014. The policy was created to address increasing traffic congestion associated with new development, promote tech-focused economic development goals, increase the amount of jobs in South San Jose filled by workers living in North San Jose and foster transit-oriented mixed-use development. EADP allows certain industrial, office and commercial projects to move through the planning process prior to traffic mitigation measures being taken for the policy area spanning 2,312 acres in South San Jose. The 2014 update included additional planning potential for 720 residential units, 604,000 square feet of retail, 260,000 square feet of office and one million square feet of R&D.