We are a grassgroots organization getting things done.
Agrihood Concept Selected by City of Santa Clara
In 2013, the owner of a local pizza shop, Kirk Vartan, saw opportunity in an empty city-owned parcel in his neighborhood. Kirk organized a group of neighbors and paid architects – out of his own pocket – to create a vision for the land. Their vision included mixed-income housing, as well as an urban farm and open space. Kirk and his neighbors called it The Agrihood. Developers took note. One developer included the vision for The Agrihood in their proposal. Three developers submitted bids to the City Council. Kirk and dozens of his neighbors showed up to advocate for The Agrihood. The City Council voted with the neighbors, selecting the developers who wanted to build The Agrihood.
Catalyze SV Gets Transit Passes Added for Future Residents
In May 2019, community members who are part of Catalyze SV's Project Advocacy Committee evaluated an innovative proposal on North 1st Street in San Jose from nonprofit housing developer The Kelsey. Catalyze SV highlighted the proposal's strengths & its areas for improvement. In July 2019, The Kelsey presented a revised proposal that included one of Catalyze SV's main suggestions - complimentary transit passes for all residents to encourage transit usage & reduce the need for more parking spaces as part of the project. Fewer parking spaces means fewer cars, which means less traffic in the neighborhood, less air pollution & more space in the building for more homes. Catalyze SV supporters turned out at a July 2019 community meeting to express their positive perspectives on this project.
Catalyze SV Supports Senior Housing on El Camino
In October 2017, the Santa Clara City Council voted for a 151-unit mixed-use, senior apartment development with 18,000 sq ft of retail on El Camino Real & Anna Drive. It's a few minute walk to a rapid bus stop, two grocery stores, and two pharmacies. The Development includes five homes to be affordable to renters of moderate income or lower and a much-needed community room. Catalyze SV pushed for more units, less parking, and more affordability. With Catalyze SV and others expressing strong support for the project before the City Council vote, a majority of comments favored the proposal. This provided key backing for the City Council to approve the project after it had previously rejected it.
CSV Members Play a Major Role in Improving 259 Meridian
Community members in Catalyze SV’s Project Advocacy Committee first reviewed 259 Meridian in July 2018. Strangis Properties took our member’s feedback seriously. After presenting 3 plans over 2 years - each one improved based on our feedback - CSV was ready to fervently advocate for 259 Meridian. With major improvements, and Catalyze SV’s advocacy, the project was approved by the San Jose City Council in June 2020. This approval attests to our "Improve, then Approve" strategy - urging developers to design more equitable, sustainable, & vibrant projects that can yield huge wins for the community. In working with the developer, we were able to get such improvements added as: on-site affordable housing, family housing added, parking spaces traded for a “mobility stipend”, & public art in a 24-hour plaza. When our members & developers find consensus on designing the best projects possible, the community wins.
Improvements to Race Street Affordable Housing Based on Catalyze SV Feedback
In October of 2017, Catalyze SV’s Project Advocacy Committee reviewed the Race Street Family and Senior Affordable Housing by Core Companies and The Santa Clara Housing Authority. We saw the immense benefit this development could bring to the community, and we offered a few improvements that could be implemented. Catalyze SV asked for an active ground floor with retail on-site, fewer parking spaces, and high-quality bike infrastructure within the building. Core Companies revised the project inline with our suggestions, including a 2,000 sq. ft. of retail space, a bike kitchen, and a reduction in parking spaces. These changes allow for a more vibrant development while reducing air pollution from cars. The City of San Jose approved the project in August of 2020.
1710 Moorpark Affordable Housing for the Formally Homeless
Our members reviewed affordable housing for homeless persons at 1710 Moorpark in San Jose in September 2019. MidPen Housing developed the project in partnership with Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church. We urged MidPen to improve in the categories of Legacy, Transportation, Sustainability, and Vibrancy. Our voices were heard, and improvements were made. An additional 2,500 sq. ft. of public space was reserved for landscaping to improve the vibrancy & sustainability of this project. In addition, MidPen added VTA passes for future residents. The exterior walls that will face Moorpark were dedicated to public art, as we suggested. The project was approved at the end of 2020 using the SB 35 streamlining law.