Walnut Hill Capital eyes 284-unit apartment complex in Santa Clara

Investor would raze industrial building occupied by semiconductor company

Walnut Hill Capital wants to flatten a 42,800-square-foot industrial building in Santa Clara and replace it with 284 apartments.

The San Francisco-based investor led by Albert Hwang and Jimmy Park has filed plans to raze the building at 4590 Patrick Henry Drive and build an eight-story multifamily complex, the Silicon Valley Business Journal reported.

Plans call for a 284-unit project, including 31 studios, 160 one-bedroom and 93 two-bedroom apartments. 

The project, designed by San Francisco-based BAR Architects & Interiors and developed by KASA Partners, based in San Ramon, includes a half-acre public park.

The beige and charcoal building has floor-to-ceiling windows, exterior balconies and a corner terrace topped by a trellis on its top floor, according to a rendering. The industrial building it would replace is home to California Eastern Laboratories, a Santa Clara-based maker of semiconductors.

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Walnut Hill Capital, doing business as Walnut Hill Group, bought the 2.8-acre property in 2020 for $16.7 million, or $390 per square foot for the building, or $5.96 million per acre for the site. The seller was the Sobrato Organization, based in Mountain View.

The eight-story complex could reach up to 85 feet, below the 12-story or 160-foot limits set by the City of Santa Clara for the area.

The city wants to turn the 74-acre office and industrial area bounded by Calabazas Creek, Mission Community College, Great America Parkway and the Hetch Hetchy right of way into a mixed-use, residential neighborhood. It sees the offices, built in the 1970s and 1980s, as outdated, according to the Business Journal.

One plan calls for 12,000 homes, 150,000 square feet of shops and restaurants, 90,000 square feet of “flex space” and 70,000 square feet for community use.

An alternate plan calls for 10,300 homes, 785,000 square feet of offices, 150,000 square feet of retail, 90,000 square feet of flex space and 70,000 square feet for community use.

— Dana Bartholomew