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Freedom Circle

Approved

3905 Freedom Circle, Santa Clara, CA 95054

Project Overview

• Project Type: Housing + Commercial + Park

• Owner/Developer: Greystar

• Presented to our members: May 2022

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

Freedom Circle Project Scorecard
Project Overview:

Freedom Circle by Greystar is for 1,075 apartments, with 15% affordable to those making an average of 80% of the Area Medium Income and 2,500 sq ft of commercial or community space. The 13-acre development includes a 2-acre park, 1,413 car parking spaces, and a 1:1 bicycle parking ratio.

Freedom Circle scored an overall 4.3 out of 5 from our Project Advocacy Committee members in 2022. The project previously scored a 3.5

Community Score: 5/5

Our members believe Greystar has done an excellent job of reaching out and engaging residents and stakeholders, including neighboring Pedro’s. Because there are not a lot of surrounding residences, working with nearby businesses was critical to ensure adequate access to the park and potentially encourage employees to move to Freedom Circle. Our members were very happy that their suggestion to engage the City of Santa Clara’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) was followed through. With BPAC’s endorsement, our members are hopeful that the engagement conducted will generate a quality project with adequate bicycle access for everyone.
March 2021 Score = 4

Vibrancy Score: 4/5

With 1,075 homes and a 2-acre public park set to replace an empty lot running next to the San Tomas Aquino Creek trail, this project will undoubtedly increase the area’s attractiveness and vibrancy. From the beginning, our members have appreciated the park’s potential for open space and the array of physical activity options for residents and the surrounding community. As we understand it, the park will include a set of amenities like a children’s playground and a multi-use sports court to promote health, wellness, and socialization. Our members were excited to see their suggestions integrated resulting in a more active and lively community. The inclusion of public restrooms and a designated space for food trucks will help make the area a top destination for leisure and recreation. Our members understood the challenge of additional commercial space, hence they hope to see a commitment to create a varied public programming plan which includes less formal retail such as food trucks, mobile farmers markets, etc.
March 2021 Score = 3

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Transportation Score: 4/5

Freedom Circle’s location with minimal public transportation options nearby makes prioritizing non-car trips a challenge. Our members believe Greystar provides the appropriate number of parking spaces and is correct in pricing parking. By providing designated drop-off and pick-up locations for ride-share and deliveries, the proposal encourages a car-lite lifestyle. Our members were very excited to see an updated 1:1 bicycle parking ratio, a needed feature where access to transit options is a challenge. To further incentivize the use of alternative transportation modes, our members suggest providing on-site residents with VTA SmartPass, as well as a bikeshare program such as Lyft’s Bay Wheels program. Together, these amenities could support a transit connection to the San Tomas Aquino Creek trail by providing safe biking access to VTA Light Rail at Great America Station, large employers, and south to Central Santa Clara.
March 2021 Score = 3

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Intensity/Zoning Score: 4/5

Freedom Circle takes an underutilized lot and works to maximize the residential units by adding a 3rd level of partially underground parking and wrapping most of the podium with apartments. The residential density remains at 95 units per acre and will complement the surrounding tech/commercial properties in this area of Santa Clara. That said, our members continue to encourage the maximum number of new homes to combat our ever-growing housing crisis.
No Substantive Changes for Re-Score

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Sustainability Score: 4/5

Our members were glad to see Freedom Circle designed to meet GreenPoint Rated (GPR) Silver and feature all-electric appliances to remove gas use out of units. We also appreciate the high-efficiency building systems to reduce energy and water consumption and the addition of a rainwater capture system to reduce runoff. As previously shared in March 2021, our members would like to see Greystar push for GPR Gold or even Platinum.
No Substantive Changes for Re-Score

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Affordability Score: 4/5

Catalyze SV members place a high value on projects where affordable housing is on-site and mixed with market-rate units, as is the case here. We also appreciate that because of the scale of Freedom Circle, this development will produce 166 affordable homes, including larger 2-bedroom units for families. Our members were very happy to hear that the original proposed 100% AMI has been modified to include lower affordability. By providing a target average of 80% AMI, this project will support the efforts in providing affordable homes for teachers, administrative aides, etc. However, some members believe the AMI could go even lower to include residents on fixed-income and potentially the people who will work the on-site retail.
March 2021 Score = 3

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Legacy Score: N/A /5

Members of Catalyze SV didn’t think this category was applicable to this site.
No Substantive Changes for Re-Score

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