Whole Foods struck a deal to anchor a proposed redevelopment of the El Paseo de Saratoga center in southwest San Jose, the grocery chain’s third outpost in the city.
The project team, composed of developer Sand Hill Property and architects Kenneth Rodrigues & Partners and KTGY Architecture, revealed Whole Foods’ lease during a community meeting on Jan. 20, the Mercury News said. Described by the team as a “major grocery,” the company — which didn’t have a representative at the meeting — will “anchor the site and set the tone,” the developer and architects said during its presentation. It’s unclear how much square footage Whole Foods agreed to take, the length of its lease term or when it signed the agreement.
The deal underlines the Amazon-owned chain’s confidence that the city will eventually approve Sand Hill’s plans to redevelop about a third of the 30-acre El Paseo site, on the southeast corner of Campbell and Saratoga avenues. The center, which Sand Hill acquired for almost $147 million in 2019, is home to San Jose’s only REI store and an AMC theater.
The developer aims to demolish three vacant big-box retail buildings between the REI store and Quito Road, the center’s western edge, and build more than 700 new homes and almost 160,000 square feet for shops and restaurants. Its El Paseo plans also include replacing several small office buildings on the opposite corner of Quito Road and Saratoga Avenue with 268 residences and some ground-floor retail in a single structure, bringing the total number of homes across the two sites to almost 1,000.
The city completed a draft environmental impact report for the project and circulated it for public review last year. It hasn’t scheduled a meeting to take the development, which remains under review, up for approval.
[The Mercury News] — Matthew Niksa