2655 The Alameda
2655 The Alameda, Santa Clara, CA 95050
Project Type: Mixed use
Owner/Developer: Kapital Partners
Presented to our members: April 2023
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)
2655 The Alameda Project Scorecard
Kapital Partners’ proposal is to construct a four-story retail and residential mixed-use development on a 0.4-acre vacant parcel. The structure will consist of 1540 sq. ft. of ground floor commercial space and 39 residential (1 and 2 bedroom) units above. On-site amenities include a central courtyard and retail cafe space with public plaza on the corner. It includes 38 parking stalls, including 3 stalls for retail tenants and a large bike room for on-site residents. Our members offer the following feedback on the project:
2655 The Alameda scored an overall 3.8 out of 5 from our Project Advocacy Committee members.
Community Score: 4/5
Catalyze SV (CSV) members appreciate that Kapital Partners is engaging the community and concerned stakeholders to get feedback for this housing project, especially since this is a relatively small project. Our members were happy to hear engagement has occurred through two city-led community meetings, one of them on April 24, 2023. Our members also appreciate that Kapital’s development team is meeting with additional key stakeholders like Santa Clara University, its students, and the Old Quad Neighborhood
Association. We also applaud the development team for highlighting how the project has incorporated community feedback into its revised design. That being said, our members do recommend Kapital engage some additional stakeholders, such as underrepresented voices, labor unions, and the adjacent Safeway to discuss shared parking possibilities. Overall, we appreciate that the development team is responsive to the community.
Vibrancy Score: 4/5
Catalyze SV supports projects that include vibrant spaces for people to live and enjoy. Our members were very impressed with the wide sidewalks that are pedestrian friendly. One of the best received features was the use of land at the edge of the site for a public plaza. The community-serving retail space on the ground floor, opening into the plaza, acts as an inviting feature for students and the community at-large. We appreciate the thoughtfulness of a designated spot for the broader community. We also recognize the effort to put greenery in the form of a pergola around the parking entrances. To further enhance this project, members suggestions include outdoor activities in the courtyard, better lighting for safety purposes, more pet-friendly elements, a mural on the exterior walls of the project, and activating the rooftop.
Transportation Score: 4/5
Our members are almost always happy to see a proposal with a low parking ratio like this project, though some members expressed a preference for even fewer parking spaces. In its current design, the project proposes 38 parking spaces, including 3 for retail. One of the best received features was the integration of a large bike room with electric bike charging in it. Yet some members would like to see additional bike parking reserved for the employees of the retail space. We ask Kapital Partners to explore more locations for visitor bike parking that is easily noticeable from the streets and inside. We appreciate the multimodal design approach that supports a bike and pedestrian friendly environment. With that said, our members also suggest offering free VTA transit passes for residents for a long period of time. We highly recommend unbundling the parking and designing the parking to be adaptable to change of use so it can be converted to accommodate more residential units in future.
Sustainability Score: 4/5
Our members emphasize buildings that go above and beyond on sustainability. We appreciate the Silver certification for LEED. Although we understand third-party certifications such as LEED or GreenPoint Rated (GPR) can be challenging, there are 2 higher standards for LEED – Gold and Platinum. We recommend Kapital Partners pursue one on this project. Our members were happy to see a proposed all-electric building with integration of solar panels – that will mean lower electricity bills for residents. We were very happy to see the design of units overlooking the central courtyard that promote cross ventilation and passive cooling. However, some of our members had concerns regarding the sustainable disposal of materials – one mentioned organic waste composting, another wondered about where excavated soil will go, and another suggested a combination of softscape with large hardscape patches on sidewalks to aid groundwater recharge.
Intensity/Zoning Score: 4/5
The project proposes the construction of a 4-story building with 39 homes on a 0.4 acre site. Our members appreciate seeing a lot of homes on a small site near Santa Clara University. At 98 homes per acre, this density was welcomed by our members, who wish to see greater efforts to meet our local housing needs. Overall, our members like the height and density and wish to see no changes that would reduce it. In fact, our members wish to see Kapital Partners add one more floor to include more homes. In our discussion with the development team, this seems highly feasible. We would passionately support this extra effort,
even in the face of any neighbor concerns. This is a key priority of Catalyze SV members.
Affordability Score: 3/5
Our members strongly support the inclusion of on-site affordable housing in residential projects. As we understand it, the project proposes 15% of the units on-site as affordable units. This was well-received by our members who understand we desperately need affordable housing options for those most vulnerable to displacement. Our members also value that some of the homes will be more affordable because of their smaller floor plans. We strongly recommend the affordable homes be at lower income levels (AMI), as well as increasing the number of affordable units overall. Some of our members are also concerned about the availability of market rate units for the students who will be probable residents.
Legacy Score: N/A
Members of Catalyze SV didn’t think this category was applicable to this site. However, the architectural design adapted to celebrate the historical aesthetics of the neighborhood and fit in with the University was well received by our members.