A local firm will redevelop a shopping center in southwest San Jose with nearly 1,000 new apartments, of which 150 would be made affordable.
Sand Hill Property Co., based in Palo Alto, won approval to build the 167,000 mixed-use project at the El Paseo de Saratoga at 1312 El Paseo De Saratoga & 1777 Saratoga Ave., the Silicon Valley Business Journal reported.
The El Paseo de Saratoga project was given the unanimous go-ahead by the City Council despite objections from neighborhood groups concerned about higher density and traffic.
“Approval of El Paseo de Saratoga was a victory for San Jose in its effort to combat the housing affordability crisis,” said Allison Koo, managing director for Sand Hill Property. “(It) will turn the vacant side of a retail center into a vibrant, retail-lined community gathering space for all to enjoy.”
The project will redevelop the El Paseo de Saratoga commercial center and an adjoining parcel at 1777 Saratoga Ave., next to the Lawrence Expressway.
The shopping center across Campbell Avenue from the Westgate Center is now home to a REI store, Petco and AMC Saratoga 14 movie theaters, which would remain in place. The project would add a Whole Foods market.
Sand Hill bought the nearly 30-acre shopping center in 2019 for $146 million.
It plans to demolish 126,345 square feet of commercial buildings and remove 120 trees to make way for a new “neighborhood village” of four towers from nine to 12 stories. The 167,000 square-foot towers would include nearly 1,000 apartments and ground floor shops and restaurants.
Support for the project included construction workers and residents who said it would bring jobs, housing and amenities to the neighborhood. Such groups as Green Belt Alliance, Catalyze SV and the Silicon Valley Leadership Group also gave it a thumbs up.
Critics included homeowners and residents of the nearby Westbrook, Moreland and Saratoga Creek neighborhoods, who expressed concerns about the height of the buildings and expected traffic congestion, with some worried about a lack of transit infrastructure.
Mayor Sam Liccardo recognized neighborhood concerns, but said the project conformed with development guidelines in the city’s General Plan.
This is part of bringing a world-class city to our corner of the city,” Liccardo said.
[Silicon Valley Business Journal] – Dana Bartholomew