Residents push for single-family homes on defunct San Jose golf site

Tony Arreola and Mark Lazzarini aim to redevelop links into as many as 4,000 houses

Residents Want Single-Family Homes at San Jose Golf Site
Terrascape Ventures' Mark Lazzarini and Tony Arreola with 2050 and 2079 South White Road (Rotary Club of San Jose, LinkedIn, Google Maps, Getty)

A defunct golf course in east San Jose should be redeveloped with mostly single-family homes, parks, small shops, restaurants and a grocery store.

That was the consensus of local residents who weighed in on the fate of the 114-acre Pleasant Hills Golf Course site at 2050 and 2079 South White Road, in unincorporated Lake Cunningham, reported.

What they didn’t want atop the links that closed two decades were stacks of apartments, big box retailers, assisted living facilities or offices. 

The draft principles will be presented at a final community workshop in August. Then the guidelines will be presented to the San Jose City Council for final approval, likely in September.

Lakeside Community, a developer based in San Jose led by Tony Arreola and Mark Lazzarini, pitched a plan last fall to rezone a shuttered golf course in an unincorporated pocket of east San Jose for redevelopment into as many as 4,000 homes.

The move came as the county adopted a state-mandated plan for 6,566 homes, including 2,425 affordable units, by 2031. 

The golf course, which closed in 2004, is at the northeast corner of South White and Tully roads.

The Duino family, owner of Pleasant Hills, listed it a year ago in June for $125 million, or $1.1 million an acre, according to The Real Deal. It’s among the largest development sites in Silicon Valley.

The property is across from the 160-acre regional Lake Cunningham Park and surrounded on three sides by single-family homes. The course is also a 15-minute drive from San Jose. 

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Terrascape Ventures, a San Jose-based developer also led by Arreola and Lazzarini, hopes to persuade San Jose to amend its general plan. That would begin a formal approval process for a specific housing project it wants to build atop the golf course property.

“This is a rare opportunity to plan such a large site,” Lazzarini told the Mercury News.

“We are grateful for the time and thought that local residents and business owners have invested in the community workshops and online surveys,” Arreola added. “We have been eager to hear their vision” for the site’s future.

Residents were asked about their preferences for the redevelopment of the golf course during numerous engagements over the past year.

Among their responses, according to a post on a city webpage: residents preferred single-family homes, townhomes and duplexes over apartment buildings, as well as accessory dwelling units and fourplexes.

They also preferred small shops and restaurants, a community center and community gathering places, plus a mid-sized grocery store, over large retail buildings, assisted living sites and office buildings.

When it came to open space, residents preferred playgrounds, natural and open spaces, a plaza and community gardens over picnic areas, a dog park, sport courts and fields and outdoor exercise equipment.  In other words, dogs and pickleball are out, roses and swing sets are in.

In April last year, Terrascape agreed to buy the 3,700-acre Richmond Ranch in southeast San Jose for an undisclosed price. The century-old ranch was listed for $29.7 million.

— Dana Bartholomew

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