San Jose approves 328 apartments next to Blossom Hill station

Developers have ground lease of railroad-owned land for $118M project

Republic Urban Properties' Michael Van Every and EAH Housing's Laura Hall with rendering of Blossom Station Hill (Republic Urban Properties, EAH Housing)
Republic Urban Properties' Michael Van Every and EAH Housing's Laura Hall with rendering of Blossom Station Hill (Republic Urban Properties, EAH Housing)

A pair of local developers are set to build two buildings containing 328 apartments with shops and restaurants next to a railroad station in South San Jose.

Republic Urban Properties and EAH Housing were approved to build a mixed-use complex containing 239 market-rate apartments at 605 Blossom Hill Road, the Silicon Valley Business Journal reported. A second building containing 89 affordable units was also approved.

The companies are expected to break ground in 2024 and complete the $118 million project in 2026.

The Blossom Hill Station project will be built on a parking lot at the Blossom Hill Station light-rail stop owned by the Valley Transportation Authority east of Highway 85 and Blossom Hill Road.

The development of the six-story apartment building and a five-story complex is part of an effort by the VTA to spur ridership by encouraging housing projects on land it owns near light-rail stops.

The six-story building with market-rate apartments will include 13,590 square feet of ground-floor shops and restaurants. An 809-square-foot meeting room would be open for public use.

The five-story building, developed by San Raphael-based EAH Housing, will include 89 affordable apartments, of which two-thirds would be set aside for households earning 30 percent or less of area income and the remainder earning 60 percent or less.

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The project, designed by San Jose-based Swenson, includes two buildings in white, taupe and caramel, with the larger complex featuring a central courtyard, according to renderings.

About 300 parking spaces will be included in the market-rate building, with 212 surface slots set aside for transit riders. Based on the City Council approval, Republic Urban agreed to make $3.1 million in improvements to streets and a trail to nearby Marshall Cottle Park.

Republic Urban Properties, a San Jose-based unit of Republic Family of Companies of Connecticut, won a bid to develop the 7.4-acre VTA property in 2017 and signed a ground lease for the project in 2020, according to Michael Van Every, the company’s president and managing partner.

Republic Urban expected its development to be approved in less than 80 days through the fasttrack process allowed under SB 35, which streamlines projects near public transit with affordable units. It was delayed by a required environmental review triggered by projected commutes by residents.

Mayor Sam Liccardo asked why Republic and EAH aren’t planning on providing transit passes to Blossom Hill Station residents as part of their development proposal. A city staff member said such a requirement is not part of current city policy.

— Dana Bartholomew

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