Seely / Montague
681 E Trimble Road, San Jose, CA 95131
Project Type: Mixed-Use with Affordable
Owner/Developer: Hanover Co.
Presented to our members: March 2022
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)
Seely / Montague Member Feedback
The project proposes a total of 1,470 residential units to be allocated among 4 residential buildings and townhomes. The 22-acre site includes the construction of an affordable rate building, a domestic water well, and approximately
52,000 square feet of commercial space. It includes a total of 2120 parking spots, which includes 1897 residential and 223 commercial spaces to support the viability of the grocery store and surrounding commercial areas. In addition, the site will include a central 2.2-acre public park to be dedicated to the City of San Jose. Residents will be within walking distance to the Coyote Creek Trail, as well as about two miles from the newly-opened Abram Agnew Elementary, Dolores Huerta Middle School, and the new Kathleen MacDonald High School.
Our members were happy to see this project will incorporate affordable homes which are desperately needed in North San Jose and beyond. Unlike other developments which rather pay the in-lieu fee to meet their Inclusionary Housing Ordinance (IHO) obligation, this project will incorporate a stand-alone building composed of 172 affordable units. As we understand it, the site is aiming to provide a mix of affordability ranges - from 50% AMI, 60% AMI, 80% AMI, and 100% AMI. This mix was well-received among our members. Yet they are disappointed that current financing structures result in a separate building for people seeking affordable homes, and so they wonder if the level and quality of amenities will be the same for the market-rate and affordable buildings. To make the project more equitable, our members suggest lowering the affordability mix to 40% and/or 30% AMI to meet the needs of those most vulnerable to displacement.
Our members were very happy to see a project which will provide 1,470 homes to combat the demand for market and affordable housing. The project includes three 7-story buildings which will provide a combined 1,144 homes. In addition, it incorporates 154, 3-story for-sale townhomes. Lastly, it also includes a 6-story, 172-home affordable housing building to meet the Inclusionary Housing Ordinance. Yet our members were disappointed this building is one floor less in height compared to the adjacent market-rate buildings -our members believe homes are being left on the table. Our members fervently want the affordable building to increase one additional floor to match the other buildings. Furthermore, this area is zoned for Industrial Park, and our members believe this project should be denser in general as North San Jose seeks to attract businesses, residents, and jobs.
Among the project features best received by our members was the inclusion of a variety of amenities accessible both to residents of this proposal and to the broader community. Our members were excited to see three mixed-use buildings which will provide commercial opportunities to activate the area and serve the needs of many, many residents. Specifically, Building #2 will include a commercial space to attract a grocery store which will serve its residents and North San Jose. Access to healthier food options is a key need for a part of San Jose that is lacking in them specifically, and other amenities in general. Our members were also happy to hear the site will include a 2.2 acre park which will be designed in collaboration with the City of San Jose. The park will serve as a neighborhood attraction, and a recreational opportunity for residents and the community. With upcoming meetings to arrive at the final park design, our members suggest an urban-oriented design that integrates a public square, children's’ playground, and public restrooms.
Elements to Improve
The project proposes a total of 2120 parking spots, which includes 1897 residential and 223 commercial spaces to support the viability of the grocery store and surrounding commercial areas. As the site is over a mile away from the Bonaventura VTA light rail station, currently there is no adequate public transit infrastructure to support a transit-oriented development. As such, our members see the potential to transform this project into a bicycle-oriented development with multiple access points to the Coyote Creek Trail. Our members would like to see secure bicycle parking areas within each building, including space for cargo bikes, as well as bike parking structures outside the commercial areas and in the park. Lastly, members would like to see the inclusion of a public bike-sharing program (such as linking to Lyft’s Bay Wheels program) to make the project more accessible and a key destination for residents and employees.
The buildings will be all-electric and the site will take advantage of a nearby water point which will provide reclaimed water to water the park and landscaping. Our members particularly liked the inclusion of a public park. The park can help lower temperatures of the surrounding buildings, as well as promote walking and biking, which reduces humans’ carbon footprint. As we understand it, the project will be Green Point Rated (GRP) Certified, yet our members believe it has the potential to achieve GRP Gold, or Platinum. To achieve a higher GPR status, our members suggest taking advantage of the unused rooftops to include vegetation and/or solar panels to offset the utility costs of residents.
Our members are grateful to be part of the community engagement process and provide feedback, yet they believe community engagement should be expanded to include underserved voices. As we understand, there was one community meeting held by the City of San Jose in March of 2022 to discuss the project and the Environmental Impact Report (EIR). Furthermore, the developer has three upcoming meetings with the City of San Jose’s Parks, Recreation, and Neighborhood services to arrive at the final park design and final elements. Although actively engaging with the River Oaks Neighborhood Association (RONA), our members suggest expanded feedback and/or bring back the project once it is more defined for a formal scoring from Catalyze SV PAC members.
Legacy Score: N/A
Our members did not feel that legacy was applicable to this project.