Yi’s First Seed files plan for apartment complex in San Jose

140-unit building near Little Portugal would replace two century-old homes

Yi's First Seed eyes 140-unit apartment complex in San Jose
Rendering of 1271 and 1279 East Julian (Getty, Ten Over Studio)

Yi’s First Seed wants to replace two century-old homes in San Jose with a 140-unit apartment building.

The locally based developer has filed plans to build the seven-story building at 1271 and 1279 East Julian Street, near Little Portugal, the Silicon Valley Business Journal reported.

It would replace an 800-square-foot house, built in 1920, and an 1,800 square foot house, built in 1916, while removing 50 trees, according to the city, as well as public records.

A Planning Director’s Hearing will consider the project on Jan. 10.

The 1-acre project on Julian near Wooster Avenue would rise across from the Five Wounds Urban Village, near a future Little Portugal BART Station, southwest of Highway 101.

Plans call for the top five floors to contain 140 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. The bottom two floors would contain a parking garage.

The developer, led by Chun Yi, seeks density bonus incentives for a larger building than zoning rules allow in exchange for 14 affordable units set aside for very low-income households. 

The green, charcoal and white building, designed by Ten Over Studio, based in San Luis Obispo, would include large windows with narrow, perpendicular awnings facing the street, according to a rendering.

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San Jose is now updating its Five Wounds Urban Village Plan, which consolidates the four urban villages at Five Wounds, Little Portugal, Roosevelt Park and 24th and William Streets. The urban village plan update includes the future 28th Street/Little Portugal BART Station and covers 582 acres.

San Jose and the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority have pushed transit-oriented developments, or residential projects close to transit, to help alleviate an affordable housing crunch while connecting residents to transportation other than cars.

The BART extension into Downtown San Jose and Santa Clara, which has seen years of delays and cost increases, is expected to cost $12.2 billion and finish construction by 2036, according to the Business Journal.

In November, locally based Roygbiv Real Estate Development was approved to build more than 900 apartments at East Julian Street and Tripp Avenue, including 407 affordable homes.

At the same time, locally based Intelli, led by Do Van Tron, paid $2.4 million for a public auditorium in Little Portugal, with plans to replace it with 80 homes at 37 North 27th Street.

In May, Palo Alto-based HC Investment Associates was approved to build 198 apartments at 70-80 North 27th Street.

— Dana Bartholomew

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