1371 Kooser Road, San Jose, CA 95118
Project Type: Affordable Housing
Owner/Developer: Affirmed Housing
Presented to our members: October 2022
Catalyze SV evaluates project sustainability, equity, and vibrancy. Learn about our project review process.
For more information, please refer to our scorecard below:
* Projects go through several phases. Developers submit applications to the City, get their design reviewed, do redesigns based on City & community feedback, resubmit proposals for review, and get approval (though can even redesign after approval)
1371 Kooser Project Scorecard
The 1371 Kooser Apartments by Affirmed Housing propose to demolish the now-closed Chuck E Cheese restaurant and be replaced with a 100% affordable housing building on a 2-acre gross site. The project features a total of 191 units consisting of 75 studios, 18 one-bedroom, 48 two-bedroom, and 50 three-bedroom homes. Residents will receive on-site supportive services and will enjoy amenities like a conference room, a courtyard, and free VTA transit passes. Additionally, the project will incorporate 130 vehicle parking spaces, and 162 bicycle parking spaces. With your community engagement efforts underway, our members would like to offer the following feedback on the project:
1371 Kooser scored 4.3 out of 5 overall from our Project Advocacy Committee members.
Community Score: 4/5
Affirmed is engaging the community leading into project approval (tentatively scheduled for March 2023). As we understand it, three community meetings with the surrounding neighborhood have been scheduled between September and December of 2022. In addition, Affirmed presented the Kooser apartments to our Project Advocacy Committee (PAC) members during that same window. Our members are happy to see community engagement broadened to include organizations like us, yet we believe more could be done to reach underrepresented voices. Going forward, our members want the continued engagement with neighborhood organizations, as well as outreach to disabled/elder organizations and affordable housing groups like Destination Home.
Vibrancy Score: 4/5
Our members appreciate the variety of services proposed to directly serve the needs of many individuals and families. Among the best-received features were the inclusion of a community room, computer rooms, and resident support services like the food pantry. Our members were also happy to see the ground level floor activated by including a courtyard to promote neighborhood interactions, as well as an art mural visible from Kooser Road. Yet aside from the proposed art mural, our members were unclear how the project would benefit the surrounding neighbors. One recommendation from our members is to explore a robust setback from the gas station to minimize exposure to gas and exhaust fumes; another idea offered up was a live wall, enhancing both Vibrancy and Sustainability.
Transportation Score: 4/5
Our members appreciated the modest number of vehicle parking spaces provided as a way to dedicate more room for homes and not cars. Similarly, we really liked Affirmed taking the lead in providing VTA transit passes to all residents. As we understand it, the project proposes 130 parking spaces, including electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, for a 0.68 parking ratio. In addition, it proposes 162 spots for bicycle parking. Our members believe adding more bicycle parking spaces could benefit the project. Some suggest a 1:1 bike parking ratio – an additional 30 spots from the current plan. Additionally, we recommend including a designated rideshare area for services like Uber/Lyft.
Sustainability Score: 4/5
The project is pursuing GreenPoint Rated (GPR) Gold certification, which goes above the City’s minimum sustainability standards. Our members appreciated the variety of sustainability elements like energy-efficient appliances, drought-tolerant landscaping, and the solar panels on the rooftop to offset residents’ utility bills. Our PAC members encourage Affirmed to pursue the GPR Platinum certification to make this a model project in terms of sustainability standards. We suggest achieving this through a more robust water management plan that includes recycled water by exploring a purple pipe system.
Intensity/Zoning Score: 5/5
It’s fantastic to see 191 affordable homes within 7-stories proposed within a more well-off neighborhood that definitely needs more projects like this. Our members appreciate Affirmed’s efforts to max out the height and provide homes within proximity to jobs, commercial areas, and schools like Almaden Elementary and Pioneer High School on Blossom Hill Road. Our members also appreciated the early design and setbacks which will separate the building from the gas station located at the corner of Kooser Road and Dellwood Way. Overall, our members believe the density is appropriate to meet our affordable housing needs. Our members would push back forcefully on any changes that would reduce the height or number of homes.
Affordability Score: 5/5
Our members were very happy to see this project as 100% affordable housing. We really liked the variety of income levels which will support residents on fixed-incomes such as seniors and/or disabled people, as well as individuals like teachers, grocery clerks, etc. As we understand it, this site will provide 39 Supportive Housing units, 25 units for residents earning up to 50% AMI, 125 units for residents earning up to 80% AMI, and two manager units. Overall, our members liked the variety of affordability and believe it will meet key affordable housing needs for many individuals and families in the area.
Legacy Score: N/A
Members of Catalyze SV didn’t think this category was applicable to this site.