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826 N Winchester Blvd

In Design

826 N Winchester Blvd, San Jose, CA 95128

Project Overview

• Project Type: Market-rate Housing

• Owner/Developer: VCI Companies

• Presented to our members: February 2024

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

826 N Winchester Blvd Project Scorecard
Project Overview:

826 N Winchester Boulevard is a 17-story, 135-unit, mixed-use building just north of Valley Fair Mall in San Jose, proposed by VCI Companies. In compliance with San Jose's Inclusionary Housing Ordinance, the developer has allocated 20 of the 135 units for affordable housing. Proposed onsite amenities include 18,800 square feet of privately owned public space, 7,469 square feet of amenity space, and 12,000 square feet of commercial space. The project will have a total of 170 parking spaces, 60 for retail and 110 bundled with the units. Based on the developer's presentation, our members offer the following feedback:

826 N Winchester Blvd scored an overall 4 out of 5 from our Project Advocacy Committee members.

Community Score: 5/5

All of our members in attendance gave 826 N Winchester Blvd a 5 out 5 in this category because they
were greatly impressed by VCI’s level of engagement. We appreciate the extent of outreach,
especially since the project is very early on in the development process. VCI Companies has facilitated several
public engagement meetings with community groups, including two meetings with the Cory Neighborhood
Association in January. VCI Companies stated they will continue searching for every opportunity to keep the
community involved during the development process. Our members hope the final design of the 7,469 square
feet amenity space will reflect the extensive outreach and cater to the needs of the community and future
residents.

Vibrancy Score: 5/5

Our members value the inclusion of ground-floor retail and a restaurant with outdoor seating, as
these elements contribute significantly to activating a building’s ground floor. Additionally, our
members commend the developer on their planned park and playground space for its potential to create lively
and family-friendly areas. These park spaces must be visible and accessible from outside the project while also
ensuring the security of the building's future residents. Safety is especially important regarding the interior
public community spaces on the upper floors and roof. Our members highlight the rooftop activation and
interior community space as valuable and unique additions to the project. Some members suggest using the
interior community space as a library or studio space for artists. Overall, our members look forward to seeing
how the design of these spaces changes and evolves going forward.

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Transportation Score: 3/5

Our members point out that this site is near three VTA transit bus lines: the 60, 23, and 523. The 60
connects the project to several key locations, including the Winchester Transit Center, the Santa Clara
Transit Center, and San José’s Airport. Considering these transit connections, our members view the 170
parking units as appropriate. However, our members want to emphasize the importance of active
transportation and accommodating robust bicycling infrastructure. VCI Companies has stated they intend to
enhance the bike lanes south of the project to provide greater connectivity to Valley Fair. While this is a
welcome improvement, our members would like to see it accompanied by refined plans for bicycle parking (for
both residents and visitors) that include space for cargo bikes, e-bikes, and scooters.

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Intensity/Zoning Score: 5/5

The density of 826 N Winchester Blvd is highly commendable. Our members remark how rare it is to see a project of this magnitude, a 17-story project situated in an area of countless single-family homes. To reach the desired height, the developer seeks a General Plan Amendment to change the property's land use designation from Neighborhood Community Commercial to Transit Residential, allowing the project to exceed the maximum under the current designation.

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Sustainability Score: 3/5

The developer has committed to LEED Silver for 826 N Winchester Blvd, but our members point out that LEED Silver is the minimum level of energy efficiency required by San José. Members desire to see the developer attain a higher LEED ranking, such as Gold or Platinum. Regarding the privately owned public park space, our members appreciate the inclusion of native and drought-tolerant plants to help cut down on water usage.

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Affordability Score: 3/5

Our members are staunch supporters of affordable housing. San José's Inclusionary Housing Ordinance (IHO) requires projects with more than ten units allocate a minimum of 15% of the total units to affordable housing. While 826 N Winchester Blvd meets the minimum affordability requirements, our members want to see the developer go beyond the bare minimum and bump the affordable unit allocation to 20%. Since the project offers for-sale units, our members emphasize the importance of providing this relatively rare form of affordable housing.

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Legacy Score: N/A /5

The majority of our members did not think this category applied to the site. However, some members emphasize that future art installations should reflect the community's cultural history.

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