Stevens Creek Promenade
4300 Stevens Creek Boulevard, San Jose, CA 95129
Project Type: Office + Retail + Market-rate Housing + Affordable Housing
Presented to our members: April 2018
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)
Stevens Creek Promenade Project Scorecard
Stevens Creek Promenade by Fortbay includes 2 residential building with 582 units, a 6-story 90’ commercial office building totaling 233,000sf, 22,000 sf of ground-floor activated space, a large parking garage, and 1.6 acre privately owned public open space.
Stevens Creek Promenade scored 3.67 out of 5 overall from our Project Advocacy Committee members.
Community Score: 5/5
Fortbay has held multiple community meetings with the Stevens Creek Advisory Group (SCAG) and enthusiastically met with CatalyzeSV. In addition, Fortbay project leader Tom deRegt has attended every SCAG meeting as a committed member of the community. From this engagement, Fortbay has made many modifications to address the community’s concerns: Traffic and parking along Albany Dr, provisions for 1.6 acre park, inclusive housing, building setbacks, etc.
Vibrancy Score: 5/5
The mix of uses (commercial, retail and residential) combined with the Privately Owned, Public Open Space (POPOS) should make for a vibrant social space at many hours of the day. The retail not only faces Stevens Creek but wraps to interface with the park. The park schematic design includes a variety of spaces: flat for recreational play; hilly for relaxing and/or amphitheatre seating. The park still need a finalized plan and programmatic strategies for activation, especially along the midblock alleyways. If possible the Fire Access Aisles should be multi-purposed for events with food trucks or farmers markets.
Transportation Score: 2/5
Mixed-use projects are a critical strategy for reducing traffic impacts based on Vehicle-Miles-Traveled (VMT) analysis. As a mixed use commercial-housing project, this project has the opportunity to reduce total parking construction through shared parking (commercial use during the work day and residential use during the evening/weekends). Instead, the project proposes 1,695 units with half guaranteed to sit empty everyday. This is the exact opposite of a transit oriented design and a huge waste of financial resources and land than can be better utilized for: larger park, more affordable housing units or commercial/retail space. Based on the offset hours of use, 700 shared parking spaces can meet the peak demand for the office uses and the combined residential/retail uses and should be the preferred transportation strategy for the project.
If this massive amount of parking must be built, Fortbay should investigate possible uses for unused capacity at any time during the day. Options include designing the garage for a future commercial office or residential conversion, structuring both the residential and commercial parking for future cash-out and/or offering surplus capacity to satisfy parking requirements for future developments of adjacent properties.
The project exceeds the requirements for bike parking and proposes a separated bike lane along the project frontage and a midblock pedestrian crossing. Whether this new median will accommodate future BRT service was not provided. A Transportation Demand Management plan (TDM) is undergoing but details were not provided at this time.
Sustainability Score: 3/5
The project meets the City of San Jose’s minimum LEED silver requirement. Plans indicate the fire access lanes mid block with be pervious turf block which reduces stormwater runoff and helps replenish groundwater resources. No additional information was given such as the use of native plants for landscaping, EV charging stations or solar panels.
Intensity/Zoning Score: 4/5
The site is zoned for 120’ and a minimum 65 dwelling units per acre w/ unlimited commercial and retail. At 69 DU/acre and .5 FAR commercial, the proposed project meets the minimum requirements for the site but does leave significant development potential on the table. At 85’, the buildings could go higher and/or the stand alone garage could be replaced with additional development. Taking into account the existing low rise context, the proposed density is a good start for the corridor that should be encouraged.
Affordability Score: 3/5
The project includes 15% affordable housing onsite. Fortbay committed to this inclusive housing prior to the city’s new inclusive housing ordinance. In light of the housing crisis and San Jose’s ordinance, CatalyzeSV would prefer to see a higher ratio or information on relocation for displaced existing commercial/retail tenants.
Legacy Score: N/A
No buildings of merit were identified on the site. The project requires removing multiple heritage trees however the existing stripmall layout makes it difficult to save many of the trees. If possible heritage trees located within the future park should be protected and saved.