SAN JOSE – An affordable housing project in San Jose has gotten closer to reality with a new loan and the purchase of the real estate that will be used to build the homes.
Kelsey Ayer Station has received more funding from Google, and the developer has just completed a purchase of the real estate required for the 115-unit development. This is evident from public documents filed in Santa Clara County on January 15th.
“Google has allowed us to accelerate our development plans and keep this project going,” said Micaela Connery, founder and general manager of The Kelsey, a co-developer of Kelsey Ayer Station.
The Kelsey, through an affiliate, paid just over $ 3 million to purchase four packages on North First Street near Fox Avenue on the north edge of downtown San Jose.
Google Endeavor, a unit of Alphabet, owner of search giant Google, has completed a funding package for the pre-development phases of the project.
“With the aftermath of COVID-19 exacerbating the housing crisis, we are investing more in Kelsey Ayer Station to bring it closer to the next stage of development,” said Michael Appel, a Google spokesman. “We look forward to the start of construction this summer as the project progresses.”
According to Connery, the new development should be fully accessible to all people with physical, sensory or mental disabilities. Google Endeavor has raised $ 6.9 million in funding.
“When we made our first investment in 2019, we helped create more affordable San Jose housing and an inclusive community for those who are often overlooked when talking about affordable housing: adults with developmental and other disabilities,” said Appel .
The $ 6.9 million financing is comprised of $ 5.3 million in the initial phase of the project in 2019 and $ 1.3 million from the last loan taken on Jan. 15.
“I give Google a lot of credit for providing funding at the beginning of the project, when there were still many unknowns about Kelsey Ayer Station,” said Connery.
The next big step: state and state tax credits that complete the first phase of funding the project.
Once the tax credits are received it should be possible to obtain funding to actually build Kelsey Ayer Station. Construction on Connery is expected to begin in June or July.
Housing Trust Silicon Valley CFO Julie Mahowald believes Google’s interest and involvement in the project were critical to the success of the development. Housing Trust runs a fund that invests in affordable homes in the Bay Area, including loans from Google Endeavor.
“Google took the time to understand this project and how creative it is,” Mahowald said.
Kelsey Ayer Station offers a mix of two bedroom studios and apartments. It is developed using units that are affordable for people with a wide range of incomes.
“The building will be affordable in a range from extremely low-income to moderate-income,” said Connery.
Based on Santa Clara County’s median area income, units may be rented to individuals with an annual wage between $ 33,150 and $ 78,850.
About 30% of the units are offered for less than $ 500 per month.
“We’re seeing Google working to develop as many affordable homes as possible in San Jose and other Bay Area cities,” Mahowald said.