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Blossom Hill


397 Blossom Hill Road, San Jose, CA 95123

Project Overview

• Project Type: Affordable Senior Housing + Commercial

• Owner/Developer: Charities Housing

• Presented to our members: June 2018

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

Blossom Hill Project Scorecard
Project Overview:

Blossom Hill by Charities Housing encompasses a mixed-use project on 2 acre site with ~81,000 sf for 147 dwelling units (74 DU/Acre), 27,000 sf of commercial space, 26,500 sf underground parking with 81 spaces and 62 at grade parking spaces. A secure courtyard is provided for the exclusive use of the residents and a small enclosed patio is provided for residents and approved community groups. The existing building provides 32,000 square feet of commercial space and the replacement project will include ~27,000 sf to substantially replace the lost employment space as required by the urban village plan. Bicycle and vehicular traffic will enter the site from Blossom Hill Road. The site is within walking distance of bus lines 27, 66, 122, 304 and .5 miles from the Snell Light Rail Station.

Blossom Hill scored an overall 3.5 out of 5 from our Project Advocacy Committee members.

Community Score: 5/5

Charities Housing has met with every community member that has inquired about the project including voluntarily presenting to CatalyzeSV. Charities Housing has listened to the community feedback and even keeps the existing building occupied with free rent to community groups and artist during the development process to address concerns about a vacant property blighting the neighborhood during the development process. Per community feedback, Charities Housing will investigate a pedestrian crossing on Blossom Hill as part of their EIR process.

Vibrancy Score: 2/5

While the project is mixed-use, it has minimal interface with the general public and all outdoor space is fenced for private use. Rather than modify the project tenants, we feel all efforts should be made to create a welcoming public plaza (or park) as identified for the site by the draft Urban Village plan. A plaza would be a great opportunity for residents and neighbors and activate the project outside of the 9-5 workday. Slight shifts in the building plan per below would consolidate left-over space along Blossom Hill for a small plaza in front of the Catholic Charities space on Blossom Hill.


Transportation Score: 3/5

The project provides free (subsidized) parking at a low ratio of .5 spaces per bedroom. The project is located within walking distance to neighborhood retail, to 1 medium frequency bus line and VTA lightrail. Since the project provides subsidized parking, CatalyzeSV would like to see the project provide VTA smart passes to any residents that desire to utilize public transit. Additionally a signalized pedestrian crossing on Blossom Hill Road should be investigated to improve walkability.


Intensity/Zoning Score: 2/5

The project proposes 147 dwelling units in 4 stories on a 2 acre site. The Draft Urban Plan allows for up to 350 dwelling units (175 DU./Acre) in buildings up to 60’ (6 stories). At 42% of the allowable density, the project leaves significant capacity unused that could greatly help with the current housing crisis. In our current housing crisis, CatalyzeSV feels we do not have the luxury of leaving such significant development capacity on the table. The project could include an additional floor with 47 units for a total project size of 196 units which is still just 56% of the maximum density and less than the 60’ allowed in the draft Urban Village plan. Many community leaders and private citizens have repeatedly expressed the pressing need for housing during the Station Area Advocacy Group public meetings. People are scared of the rising housing costs and we urge every developer to help us boost housing production.


Sustainability Score: 4/5

The project will seek Build Green certification and includes solar PV panels and solar water panels. Catalyze recommends additional steps be taken such as pervious concrete in the parking lot, native plants for landscaping, a 65% construction waste diversion program, extremely low or no VOC interior finishes, CalGreen Tier 1 water reduction and CalGreen Tier 1 reduced HVAC mechanical loads.


Affordability Score: 5/5

The project is 100% affordable housing with rents restricted towards 30-50% AMI. 30% of units will be reserved for formerly homeless seniors. This delivers affordable housing units in the most expedited manner by eliminating the years of negotiations and approvals necessary for an off-site affordable housing development.


Legacy Score: N/A /5

Members of Catalyze SV didn’t think this category was applicable to this site.

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