SAN JOSE – Hundreds of new homes are being targeted near downtown San Jose and not far from the footprint of a planned Google transit village in a revised plan under review at City Hall.
The Ohlone, a large residential complex, is planned on the corner of West San Carlos Street and Sunol in San Jose, about three blocks from the Google-proposed Downtown West neighborhood.
The project would consist of up to 269 residential units and be 12 stories high, according to a revised proposal submitted by developers Republic Urban Properties and Swenson to the San Jose city planners.
An earlier version of the proposal called for a taller 14-story building for the project, to be built by Green Republic, a joint venture of Republic Urban and Swenson, at 860 W. San Carlos St..
“With 12 stories, we will still get the same number of units as in the previous offering,” said Michael Van Every, president and managing partner of Republic Urban Properties in San Jose. “It’s really just a refresher on the original design. We want to create a more efficient parking structure and minimize costs. “
The builders intend to redesign the residential units so that they become larger. Republic Urban believes that a larger one-size-fits-all option is more appealing to apartment hunters in today’s market.
“As millennials get older, they need more space,” says Van Every. “The units are getting a little bigger. We’ll have fewer studios and more one-bedroom units and more units with caves. “
Studio apartments have suffered the largest drop in rental rates in the area, about a 17% drop, Van Every estimates.
Housing projects with larger units are more likely to be financed by lenders.
“Projects with smaller units are becoming increasingly difficult to build because of the mortgage lending and cost,” said Van Every. “Our building strategy has changed over the years to build larger units.”
One of the main potential attractions for The Ohlone Residences is expected to be their proximity to Google’s Downtown West project and Diridon train station.
Google’s traffic-oriented neighborhood would consist of office buildings, apartments, shops, restaurants, hotel facilities, cultural centers, entertainment centers, and open spaces near the Diridon transportation hub and the SAP Center. Google expects up to 20,000 employees within development.
“The area is set to become the Bay Area’s main transportation hub,” said Republic Urban Properties in a post about The Ohlone’s development on its website.
Light rail, Caltrain, Amtrak, the Capitol Corridor line, ACE train and buses already service Diridon station. One BART stop is permitted for the transit complex. A high-speed line is also in the works for the train hub.
Republic Urban and Swenson have already developed two other residential developments in the same neighborhood. These projects are known as patina and silver.
Ohlone would be the third and last of these housing projects.
Swenson and Republic Urban will also have 12,000 square feet of retail space on The Ohlone’s first floor. The previous version required an underground car park.
In the revised version of the project, parking will be at street level, which works better for retailers.
The new proposal is expected to require a final decision from the town planning commission.
“We really want to move this project forward next year if we can,” said Van Every.