Joint Venture secures public financing for San Jose apartments

Core Companies and Republic Urban Properties to build 135 units at $1M each

Core Companies' David Neale and Republic Urban Properties' Michael Van Every with rendering of 1197 Lick Avenue (Core Companies, Republic Urban Properties, Studio T Square)
Core Companies' David Neale and Republic Urban Properties' Michael Van Every with rendering of 1197 Lick Avenue (Core Companies, Republic Urban Properties, Studio T Square)

The Core Companies and Republic Urban Properties aim to build 135 affordable apartments in Downtown San Jose with $135 million in approved public funds. The cost: $1 million per unit.

UrbanCo Tamien, a joint venture by the San Jose-based developers, received a key state grant for the proposed Tamien Station, a transit-oriented complex of affordable and market-rate housing at 1197 Lick Avenue, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

The California Debt Limit Allocation Committee awarded $64 million from a state bond toward the 569-unit complex planned next to Tamien Station, of which 135 units would be affordable.

The project’s affordable component had already received $28.7 million from the state’s Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities program, $25 million from Santa Clara County and $17.25 million from the city of San Jose.

“The bond allocation was the final piece of the financing puzzle to fall in place,” Vince Cantore, vice president of development with Core, told the Mercury News in an email, adding the grant will allow the project to break ground between April and June.

Plans call for a phased development on a 6.7-acre parking lot owned by the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority next to a rail station for Caltrain, light rail and buses.

The project, designed by Long Beach-based Studio T Square, would include three apartment buildings in white, beige and yellow, topped by low-pitch tile roofs, according to renderings.

The first phase, to be built on 1.6-acres, would include the 135-unit affordable apartment complex with a 3,000-square-foot child-care center on the ground floor, according to the Mercury News. Earlier plans included a market-rate building in the initial phase.

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The affordable apartments will include one-, two-, and three-bedroom units set aside for tenants who earn between 30 percent and 60 percent of the area median income. An estimated 67 of these units would be set aside for the rapid rehousing of residents.

A second phase would construct the market-rate apartments by 2025.
Tamien Station is on the southside of Downtown San Jose, a few rail stops removed from its main transit hub at Diridon Station, where Google plans a major transit development.

“This project advances VTA’s goal for 40 percent of all housing built on its transit-oriented development sites to be affordable,” Ron Golem, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority’s director of real estate, told the newspaper.

Elsewhere, The Core Companies aims to build a 20-story housing tower in Downtown San Jose, with 300 affordable apartments at 470 South Market Street.

The company also is moving ahead with Agrihood, an affordable development of 361 homes in Santa Clara, with a 1.5-acre urban farm.

Republic Urban Properties, a unit of Connecticut-based Republic Family of Companies, plans to build 328 apartments, including 89 affordable units, at 605 Blossom Hill Road in South San Jose.

— Dana Bartholomew

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