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1271-1279 East Julian Street

In Design

1271-1279 East Julian Street, San Jose, CA 95116

Project Overview

• Project Type: Market-rate Housing

• Owner/Developer: Yi First Seed LLC

• Presented to our members: July 2023

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Catalyze SV evaluates project sustainability, equity, and vibrancy. Learn about our project review process.

1271-1279 East Julian Street Project Scorecard
Project Overview:

The project proposes a seven-story building offering 140 apartments on a 0.97 acre site. The building creates courtyards and community gathering spaces with amenities include a children’s play area, community garden, and private pet area. This proposal includes 10% on-site affordable units accessible to those earning less than 30% of the Area Median Income (AMI). Our members offer the following feedback on the project:

1271-1279 East Julian Street scored an overall 3.33 out of 5 from our Project Advocacy Committee members.

Community Score: 3/5

Our members were happy to hear engagement has happened through a city-led meeting held on April 24, 2023. We appreciate that the developer’s representative is committed to engaging Catalyze SV and other community stakeholders. However, our members recommend broadening the scope of community engagement to encompass additional stakeholders. This could involve potential tenants, including the Latino community, the workforce community, local groups, and more neighbors. This inclusive approach would provide valuable insights into their unique needs in a neighborhood in jeopardy of displacing its current residents. Overall, our members express a desire for increased outreach to the communities in the surrounding area.

Vibrancy Score: 4/5

Our members were impressed by the thoughtfulness and diversity of on-site amenities and open spaces designed for residents. Notably, the three exterior courtyards were particularly well-received, offering family-oriented activities such as a children's play area, community garden, private pet zone, and a bocce ball court. While the proposal caters to new resident amenities, our members highlight the significance of walkable and mixed-use projects that enrich the pedestrian experience and seamlessly integrate with the existing neighborhood. In this light, our members suggest energizing the street-facing front to establish a dynamic and welcoming ambiance for the broader neighborhood.


Transportation Score: 3/5

Our members are pleased with the proximity of the proposed homes to transit service such as the future BART station . We commend the inclusion of bike parking spaces, as they cater to the needs of numerous commuters and encourage the adoption of alternative transportation methods. However, our members express a desire for additional bike parking facilities to contribute to a more bike and pedestrian-friendly atmosphere. Additionally, our members hope to witness bike parking infrastructure that can accommodate larger cargo bikes, electric bikes, and scooters, along with infrastructure for charging electric bikes. In line with our commitment to sustainable transportation, we suggest the implementation of a program that provides free VTA transit passes to residents over an extended period. This initiative would empower residents to conveniently access nearby VTA & future BART services, thereby fostering a culture of eco-friendly and efficient travel.


Intensity/Zoning Score: 4/5

The project's proposal to construct a 7-story building with 140 homes on a 0.97-acre site garnered positive feedback from our members. They’re pleased to see this intensely zoned development situated conveniently close to transit access. However, one of our members raised a concern about the design of the 3-bedroom unit, noting an imbalance in proportion between the bedrooms and the living room area. Underlining the significance of addressing local housing requirements, our members voiced their preference for maintaining the existing height and density without making any reductions.


Sustainability Score: 3/5

Our members appreciated the thoughtful design of the buildings, which promotes natural cooling and ventilation by incorporating courtyards and shading devices. We emphasize buildings that go above and beyond on sustainability and encourage developers to exceed the basic City of San Jose's sustainability standards for new buildings. While the proposal already includes commendable features like an all-electric building, drought-tolerant landscaping, and energy-efficient appliances, the members suggest pursuing higher third-party certifications such as LEED Gold or Platinum. Additionally, we'd like the developer to follow through on their goal by committing to installing solar panels and providing VTA transit passes, as these measures would further minimize the environmental impact of the new building and align with our dual goals of sustainability and transportation.


Affordability Score: 3/5

Our members are staunch supporters of including on-site affordable housing in residential projects. We appreciate the project's proposal to designate 10% of the units on-site as affordable housing. The concept of providing affordable units tailored for individuals with lower income levels (specifically less than 30% of the Area Median Income) was met with enthusiasm by our members. While acknowledging the positive impact of the proposed 10% allocation, our members would love to see the entire project transformed into a comprehensive 100% affordable housing one, an endeavor as the developer suggested might be possible. This aspiration reflects our dedication to addressing the critical need for accessible housing options, especially for vulnerable populations who stand to face displacement challenges.


Legacy Score: N/A /5

Members of Catalyze SV didn’t think this category was applicable to this site. However, the project's efforts to preserve oak trees, a Gateway sign, maintain the park, and include murals are appreciated. The idea of a "Gateway" sign was particularly well-received as a potential place marker for Castro Street's entrance.

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