971 Meridian Avenue, San Jose , CA 95126
Project Type: Mixed-use Affordable Housing
Presented to our members: February 2020
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)
Meridian Ave Project Scorecard
Meridian Ave by ROEM includes 233 homes, of which 100% will be affordable housing. It also includes 1,780 square feet of ground-floor retail, 290 parking spaces for cars, 63 for bikes, is 500 feet from frequent buses 26 & 64B and 0.3 miles from VTA’s Fruitdale light rail station.
Meridian Ave scored 3.8 out of 5 overall from our Project Advocacy Committee members.
Community Score: 3/5
We commend ROEM for meeting with Catalyze SV and hosting two community meetings that include the local councilmember. While attendance to the first two meetings was very low, we believe it is important to make sure the community’s voice is heard and would recommend reaching out to neighborhood organizations in the area and holding additional community meetings.
Vibrancy Score: 4/5
We commend the effort to activate Meridian Ave. with retail, amenities, and 15 foot sidewalks that enable potential outdoor seating. The inclusion of retail is particularly noteworthy; this is one of the few affordable developments Catalyze SV has evaluated with it present. To further add vibrancy, we would suggest that a public connection with St. Elizabeth Dr. be explored and the developer considers adding multi-generational amenities such as playgrounds and exercise stations.
Transportation Score: 3/5
We like that this project is located in a transit-rich area. But we believe that a more direct route to Fruitdale Station [see the diagram in the accompanying letter] could be explored in partnership with neighboring properties. This route would reduce the walking & biking distance to the station by 500 feet, create a more pleasant experience, and reduce the potential conflicts between cars and cyclists. While we believe this project has plenty of parking for cars, we encourage parking spaces to be rented independent of units (unbundled parking) and adding more bike parking. While we’re excited to see ROEM working with the City to connect the Los Gatos Creek Trail, we encourage coordination with the city in implementing a bike lane on Meridian Ave. Finally, we’d like this project to include TDM measures such as transit passes for residents, bike share memberships, or other efforts to reduce driving..
Sustainability Score: 4/5
We like the commitment to LEED Gold that the developer has made and appreciate the inclusion of EV charging stations. We encourage ROEM to look at committing to LEED Platinum and follow through on the rooftop solar panels it has suggested as a possibility.
Intensity/Zoning Score: 4/5
The project has a density of 110 units/acre and a FAR of 2.62 while the site is capped at 250 units/acre and a FAR of 10. While Catalyze SV likes to see projects that maximize density we understand that there are limitations to this type of construction and appreciate the efficient design that maximizes units.
Affordability Score: 5/5
The project is 100% affordable housing catering to veterans and families making between 30% and 80% of the Area Median Incomes. It includes a good number of amenities, public space, and the aesthetics of a market-rate apartment building.
Legacy Score: N/A
Members of Catalyze SV didn’t think this category was applicable to this site.