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Apollo Tower

Approved

60 Stockton Ave., San Jose, CA 95126

Project Overview

• Project Type: Market-Rate residential + Commercial

• Owner/Developer: Urban Catalyst

• Presented to our members: May 2022

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

Apollo Tower Project Scorecard
Project Overview:

Apollo Tower is a proposal for a mixed-use, multifamily development consisting of a 20-story building featuring 7,600 square feet of ground floor retail space. The retail will be composed of a food court offering space to various vendors to cater before and after sports games. The site will also incorporate 3,500 square feet plaza with seating areas. A total of 472 units will be build on this 1.21 site along Stockton Avenue and The Alameda near Diridon Station. The building features apartment styles ranging from studios up to three bedrooms. Additionally, the project proposes plenty of bicycle parking and a vehicle parking ratio of .76.

Apollo Tower re-scored an overall 3.6 out of 5 from our Project Advocacy Committee members in 2022. The project previously scored a 3.2

Community Score: 3/5

Despite our continued attempts last year, Urban Catalyst refused to present the Apollo Tower project directly to our members. Our members continue to believe lack of engagement is a bad precedent and should not be the norm in a city as active and engaged as San Jose. Without meaningful community engagement, we worry it’s harder for developments like this and others to proceed. Active engagement builds trust with the community, which enables it to be more supportive of good development. Because of that reason, CSV staff were happy to attend a city-led community meeting on April 25, 2022, to finally ask questions to our members’ concerns regarding Apollo Tower. We were happy to hear some level of engagement had been done with a handful of residents, yet our members were disappointed to learn our attempts of engagement might have been deliberately left out. We encourage Urban Catalyst to engage the broader community which results in trust, better projects, and better outcomes for residents of the City of San Jose.
2021 Score = 2

Vibrancy Score: 5/5

One of the positive aspects of this project our members recognized is its efforts to utilize ground floor retail space to activate pedestrian activity along Stockton Ave. This is especially important given that this project is adjacent to the SAP Center and Diridon Station. Our members believe this was achieved through an excellent ground-floor design which includes space for food vendors, outdoor seating space, and a lively green wall to enhance the pedestrian experience. Our members are particularly excited to see a “hot spot” in a great location to relax before and after sports games. On-site amenities include a community room, a pool, a fitness room, a sauna, a speakeasy, and a sky deck for residents to utilize. On that note, our members believe that amenities such as the speakeasy or yoga studio would be a welcome addition to the surrounding community and would demonstrate that Urban Catalyst aims to develop the site for the benefit of the broader community.
2021 Score = 3

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Transportation Score: 4/5

Given that this project is within walking distance of Diridon Station, our members believe that this project will be important in improving the walkability of the area. Our members were pleased to see this proposal with a parking-to-unit at .76, however, some members encourage Urban Catalyst to explore reducing this further by offering Transportation Demand Measures (TDM). These could include options like VTA smart passes for residents to utilize the surrounding transit, and convert more of these parking spaces to EV parking. Additionally, our members believe Urban Catalyst should explore unbundling the parking spaces from the units to further incentivize the use of surrounding transit options. Our members really liked the raised bicycle lane along the curve, as well as the ample amount of bicycle parking slots.
2021 Score = 3

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Intensity/Zoning Score: 4/5

Our members were pleased with the overall intensity of the proposed project. At 421 dwelling units per acre, this project seeks to transform a site that currently sits unused and will bring hundreds of new residents into a transforming area. Furthermore, our members appreciate that the proposal seeks to push the height limits allowed in the Diridon Station Area Plan (DSAP). Our members would appreciate it if Urban Catalyst could explore increasing the density of the project by further reducing parking to maximize space for residents rather than cars.
2021 Score = 4

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Sustainability Score: 4/5

Our members noted that Urban Catalyst has included several sustainable design features in this project. Among the best-received features include the rooftop greenspace as well as the greenwall along W Santa Clara. The latter will enhance the pedestrian experience, as well as help cool off during hot days, enhancing the Vibrancy and Sustainability. Our members were also very happy to hear this project will pursue LEED Gold.
2021 Score = 3

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Affordability Score: 2/5

In December of 2021, our members did not have enough information to provide a substantive score on Affordability. However, during the April 2022 community meeting, Urban Catalyst shared that they proposed 5% of the units for households with Very Low Income. Our members believe this number of units is extremely low and Urban Catalyst should increase this amount to 10% or the required 15% through the Inclusionary Housing Ordinance.
2021 Score = N/A

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Legacy Score: N/A /5

Members of Catalyze SV didn’t think this category was applicable to this site.
2021 Score = N/A

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