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1710 Moorpark Ave


1710 Moorpark Ave, San Jose, CA 95128

Project Overview

• Project Type: Affordable Housing + Flex Space

• Owner/Developer: MidPen Housing & Immanuel Lutheran Church

• Presented to our members: September 2019

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

1710 Moorpark Ave Project Scorecard
Project Overview:

1710 Moorpark by MidPen Housing and Immanuel Lutheran Church includes 107 studios (and 2 manager units), of which 100% would be set aside for those making less than 50% of our area’s median income. It also includes a flexible 2,000 square feet ground floor space, 37 parking spots for cars, 109 spots for storing bikes, and residents will receive VTA transit passes. Project Update: MidPen Housing and Immanuel Lutheran Church has decided to design for Green Point Rated Platinum, added 2,500 sq ft of landscaped public space, and will dedicate the exterior walls facing Moorpark for public art. They will also provide all residents with VTA transit passes to prioritize sustainable transportation.

1710 Moorpark Ave scored an overall 3.7 out of 5 from our Project Advocacy Committee members.

Community Score: 5/5

MidPen Housing and Immanuel Lutheran Church have created an unusual yet effective partnership for planning this development, including long-term, extensive efforts at engaging the Church and the broader community alike, including speaking in Spanish to nearby neighbors. What makes all this engagement even more impressive is it has been before the developer filed an application.

Vibrancy Score: 3/5

We recognize it is hard to build vibrancy on a busy street overlooking a freeway, yet efforts are important. We think the developer is trying to do so, particularly on the part of the project facing the church. We like the flex space and the community garden. We would like to see the flex space be open and free to the public, as well as the community garden be open to neighbors. In terms of safety, we like the 24-hour desk clerk and case managers on-site.


Transportation Score: 3/5

Unfortunately, this site isn’t close to enough public transit, especially considering one of the main bus lines in the area (the 65) is slated for cancelation in a few months. We don’t hold that against the developer. While we agree that people who live in affordable housing own fewer cars and thus this development needs fewer parking spaces, we know the case managers serving the residents, as well as folks using the development’s flex space, may drive to this location. With a variety of people coming to this site, we recommend the developer improve its overall transportation strategy. We recommend it consider transit passes for residents to offset lower parking ratios. We like the amount of bike parking on-site. We wonder if a bikeshare station nearby would serve this new development.


Intensity/Zoning Score: 4/5

This is a pretty small site at only 0.7 acres. Although building taller here may be more difficult as a result, we encourage the developer to explore doing so, including if that requires a General Plan Amendment or pursuing a state density bonus. We wonder if more homes could be built in particular on the northside of the site because it faces down onto a busy road (Moorpark) above a busier highway (280) that doesn’t abut single-family homes.


Sustainability Score: 3/5

We like the solar panels the developer has proposed and the community garden concept it is considering. As always, our score is higher for projects that go above and beyond government requirements. We’re open to being corrected, yet many elements of what the developer presented appeared to be following these requirements. Our members would like to see the developer pursue ways to lower energy costs for the building overall and its residents. In particular, we’d ask the developer to explore more shading strategies to cut down on cooling costs, such as shading into the proposal’s courtyard and the south and west facades. Or can there be on-site energy storage in case the electric service is cut? We’d also like to see more street trees. If the developer achieves a high rating through a green building certification process - such as the Platinum level of The GreenPoint Rated system the developer suggested it might - we would score this category higher.


Affordability Score: 5/5

Any project that is 100% affordable housing usually wins extremely high marks from Catalyze SV members. This proposal’s affordability is even more significant - it includes housing for some of our community’s neediest, at area median income levels below 50%.


Legacy Score: 3 /5

Up close, the sanctuary of the Immanuel Lutheran Church is impressive - it has a distinct arch seen from the exterior and an even more striking interior. Since this housing project is being built on the Church’s land and with its heavy involvement, we agree with the developer that this proposal should celebrate the legacy of this Church. Unfortunately, we could not clearly see evidence of the church’s legacy in the drawings MidPen showed us. More than a small community room should draw inspiration from the existing church. For instance, the tall vertical band of windows at the lobby could draw inspiration from the church’s grand vertical entry window. In short, we like the effort but we didn’t see the results.

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