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19 North Second Street


19 N 2nd Street, San Jose, CA 95113

Project Overview

• Project Type: Mixed-use+ Affordable Senior Housing

• Owner/Developer: Roygbiv Real Estate Development LLC

• Presented to our members: October 2021

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

19 North Second Street Project Scorecard
Project Overview:

19 North Second Street by Roygbiv Real Estate Development LLC includes 220 affordable apartments and 18,643 sqft of commercial space on 0.22 acres in Downtown San Jose. This building features a mixture of studio and 1-bedroom units, as well as a ground-floor commercial space, a second-floor medical facility, and rooftop solar. This project currently has no proposed parking spaces for cars, 62 spaces for bikes, but will be located next to the future Downtown San Jose BART Station and is adjacent to VTA's Light Rail Service.

19 North Second Street scored an overall 4.15 out of 5 from our Project Advocacy Committee members.

Community Score: 3/5

Our members believe Roygbiv is making solid efforts to engage with the community in regard to this project. Our members appreciate that Roygbiv has been actively engaging the City of San Jose’s Historic Landmark Commission and trying to incorporate some of their feedback. Our members believe that there is still a lot of community engagement to be done for this project and would suggest more efforts to gather support for this project. Some of these efforts could include creating focus groups to identify the unique housing needs of seniors, reaching out to the tenants currently occupying the building, and consulting with surrounding neighbors.

Vibrancy Score: 4/5

Our members appreciate how Roygbiv was savvy in their use of space by providing a medical facility in a 100% affordable senior housing project. Providing these health services may be crucial to countless future senior residents who need easy access to medical care. Our members appreciate the proposed rooftop space that will allow residents to relax and enjoy wonderful views of the San Jose skyline. As an improvement, our members would love to see space on the rooftop for community garden plots that would enable seniors to grow and harvest their own food and provide additional moments of peace and joy. We’d like to emphasize this improvement as highly important as this is the only shared community space proposed in the project.


Transportation Score: 4/5

Our members were pleased to review a project so close to the future Downtown San Jose BART station (and other great transit options). It’s clear this was a major consideration in the design of the project, as it includes no additional parking spaces and will instead use Downtown San Jose’s great transit service. While our members were happy with this thoughtful design element, we encourage Roygbiv to add elements that will help residents utilize alternative transportation options. Some of these suggestions include providing a loading zone that could be utilized by Ride or van-share programs. Our members would also encourage Roygbiv to create a concrete TDM program with offerings like VTA Smart Passes. Additionally, our members would like to see additional bike parking spaces, as the current bike parking ratio of 0.28 spaces per unit is not sufficient. By incorporating wall-mounted bike racks in units that permit this addition, Roygbiv could provide additional bike parking to residents.


Intensity/Zoning Score: 5/5

North Second Street goes above and beyond the maximum density allowed by utilizing California’s density bonus law to further increase the maximum number of dwelling units. With 220 units on 0.22 acres (1,000 dwelling units per acre), our members are incredibly excited to see a site near the future Downtown San Jose BART station maximized to its full building potential.


Sustainability Score: 3/5

Our members feel this project offered some strong sustainability features. The inclusion of rooftop solar and all-electric appliances are excellent sustainability measures that will improve the building’s efficiency. While we commend Roygbiv for achieving the city’s required LEED Silver, our members always encourage developers to attempt and pursue higher LEED or equivalent certification. Additionally, we encourage Roygbiv to examine the ground floor retail and office space, as well as the proposed medical facility, to identify if there are other ways to improve the efficiency of those spaces.


Affordability Score: 5/5

Our members are pleased to see a 100% affordable senior housing project including a mix of studios and one-bedroom apartments. This provides crucial affordable homes to older residents on fixed incomes who are statistically at higher risk of homelessness. This project is uniquely located to enable seniors of all incomes to live in Downtown San Jose and enjoy the wonderful amenities it has to offer. One of the strongest elements of this project is the level of affordability being offered. As we understand it, the development will provide homes to residents making between 60% and 80% of the Area Median Income.


Legacy Score: 5 /5

Our members were glad to get the opportunity to review and score a project with a historical element. We believe Roygbiv has made significant efforts to preserve the historic façade of the Realty Building, which our members believed to be the most significant historic element of the building. We hope Roygbiv will continue to work with San Jose’s Historic Landmarks Commission to finalize the historic design elements and ensure that this project will be able to move forward.

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