60 Stockton Ave., San Jose, CA 95126
Project Type: Market-Rate residential + Commercial
Owner/Developer: Urban Catalyst
Presented to our members: December 2021
Catalyze SV evaluates project sustainability, equity, and vibrancy. Learn about our project review process.
For more information, please refer to our scorecard below or the following links:
* Projects go through several phases. Developers submit applications to the City, get their design reviewed, do redesigns based on City & community feedback, resubmit proposals for review, and get approval (though can even redesign after approval)
Apollo Tower Project Scorecard
Apollo Tower is a proposal for a mixed-use, multifamily development consisting of a
197-foot building featuring 8,472 square feet of ground floor retail space. This project features a
total of 497 units and 15,954 square feet of common space and residential amenities on 1.21
acres along Stockton Avenue and The Alameda near Diridon Station. The building features
apartment styles ranging from studios up to three bedrooms. Additionally, the project proposes
376 total car parking spaces and 128 bike parking spaces for residents.
Apollo Tower scored 3.25 out of 5 overall from our Project Advocacy Committee members.
Community Score: 2/5
Urban Catalyst is the first developer that refused to present to our members and wouldn’t respond to our emails inviting them. Urban Catalyst did choose to present to the San Jose Downtown Association, yet has not demonstrated a commitment to engage with the larger community. In a city as diverse as San Jose, this is a bad precedent and a bad practice. Without meaningful community engagement, we worry it’s harder for developments like this and others to proceed. Community engagement builds trust with the community, which enables it to be more supportive of good development. Our members strongly believe that Urban Catalyst should engage with the community even though the project is slated for an expedited review process. Our members encourage Urban Catalyst to return to our PAC with more information as to how they engaged the community so that we can hopefully score this category higher.
Vibrancy Score: 3/5
One of the positive aspects of this project our members recognized is its efforts to utilize ground floor retail space to activate pedestrian activity along Stockton Ave. This is especially important given that this project is adjacent to the SAP Center and Diridon Station. Additionally, our members noticed the expansive list of amenities offered to residents. These spaces include a community room, a pool, a fitness room, a sauna, a speakeasy, and a sky deck for residents to utilize. While the benefits to the residents of this project are clear, our members were not sure as to whether or not members of the surrounding community will have access to any of them. Certain amenities such as the speakeasy or yoga studio would be a welcome addition to the surrounding community and would demonstrate that Urban Catalyst aims to develop the site for the benefit of the broader community. To further improve this category, our members would like to see a list of potential tenants for the ground floor commercial space to see how Urban Catalyst intends to activate this space. Furthermore, our members believe the architectural design of the building is not cohesive with the surrounding community, as it leaves us with the impression of a “Las Vegas-style” development that is out of place in San Jose.
Transportation Score: 3/5
Given that this project is within walking distance of Diridon Station, our members believe that this project will be important in improving the walkability of the area. Our members were pleased to see this proposal with a parking-to-unit ratio below 1.0, however, we encourage Urban Catalyst to explore reducing this further by offering Transportation Demand Measures (TDM). These could include options like VTA smart passes for residents to utilize the surrounding transit, and convert some of these parking spaces to EV parking. Additionally, our members want Urban Catalyst to unbundle the parking spaces from the units. This encourages residents to explore other transportation options and increases the affordability of the units. We’d also like to see Urban Catalyst explore adding additional bike parking in areas other than the bike storage room. This will increase the total number of bike parking spaces, including increasing access for employees or customers of the ground floor commercial space.
Sustainability Score: 3/5
Our members noted that Urban Catalyst has included several sustainable design features in this project. In addition to meeting the City’s required LEED Silver, the project also proposes rooftop solar or greenspace as well as landscaping designs that limit water usage. In order to see this score improve, our members would like to see more information regarding the rooftop solar / greenspace. We also want to urge Urban Catalyst to be ambitious and pursue a higher LEED or equivalent green building certification.
Intensity/Zoning Score: 4/5
Our members were pleased with the overall intensity of the proposed project. At 410 dwelling units per acre, this project seeks to transform a site that currently sits unused and will bring hundreds of new residents into a transforming area. Furthermore, our members appreciate that the proposal seeks to push the height limits allowed in the Diridon Station Area Plan (DSAP). Our members would appreciate it if Urban Catalyst could explore increasing the density of the project by further reducing parking to maximize space for residents rather than cars.
Affordability Score: N/A
Our members did not have enough information to score affordability as the project plans did not include details regarding the number of affordable units on-site, if any, that are a part of this project. Catalyze SV encourages Urban Catalyst to come back to our PAC and provide information as to how the project aims to satisfy the City’s Inclusionary Housing Ordinance. We urge Urban Catalyst to exceed this requirement so that we can score this category as high as possible.
Legacy Score: N/A
Our members did not feel that legacy was applicable to this project.