777 West San Carlos Project Scorecard
777 West San Carlos
777 West San Carlos, San Jose , CA 95126
Project Type: Affordable Housing + Daycare
Owner/Developer: Danco Communities
Presented to our members: June 2020
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).
777 West San Carlos by Danco Communities in Midtown San Jose is a 6-story affordable housing development with 154 apartments, with 1/3 of the units for extremely low-income, 1/3 for very low-income, and 1/3 for low-income residents. It also includes a 2,500 square foot childcare facility, an attached 1,250 square foot play yard, a residential amenity space, and 160 car parking spaces. The development is located next to the VTA line 23 bus stop and is a 10-minute walk from Diridon Station with VTA Light Rail, Caltrain, and future BART transit service.
777 West San Carlos scored 4.17 out of 5 overall from our Project Advocacy Committee members.
Project Update: Danco Communities has added flex commercial/amenity space with a patio and public seating on West San Carlos. They have also increased bike parking to one space per unit.
Community Score: 4/5
We appreciate that Danco Communities is working with Destination: Home on community engagement and engaging the Office of Councilmember Davis. Understanding that 777 West San Carlos plans to utilize Senate Bill 35 to streamline the project, we applaud Danco Communities for planning a community engagement effort beyond what is required. We would recommend that you reach out to the Delmas Park & Shasta/Hanchett Park Neighborhood Associations, as well as local businesses, to get additional community input.
Vibrancy Score: 3/5
We’re pleased to see Danco Communities include a daycare facility, placing windows on the building frontage, and seeking ideas for art that would increase the project’s vibrancy. While we understand that the site has limited frontage, we believe that more activation could be done to improve street life, particularly on San Carlos Street. We appreciate that the building will have two lobbies oriented toward pedestrians and believe that the placement of commercial space for a coffee shop, small retail, or flexible community space on San Carlos would benefit the neighborhood. Another way of fostering vibrancy is by adding street furniture or a seating area to the wide sidewalks on San Carlos. We appreciate Danco’s openness & creative thinking around the idea we brainstormed of sharing gym space with a neighboring development. Finally, we believe that the project would benefit from incorporating historic aspects of the canneries that used to occupy the area such as ironworks or industrial design elements.
Transportation Score: 4/5
We appreciate that this project has been designed with wide sidewalks, parking that is hidden, and utilizes stackers to efficiently achieve its proposed parking ratio. We believe the designed parking ratio of 1 parking space per unit is still higher than is needed in this transit-rich neighborhood. A reduction should be explored. As an alternative to parking, VTA Smart Passes and car-sharing services could be offered to residents. We’d also like to see Danco Communities work with other developments in the area and the City of San Jose to improve walkability between San Carlos Street and Diridon Station. We suggest that shared scooter parking be explored on the wide sidewalks. Finally, with a bike lane on Park Ave and a 10-minute bike ride to Downtown, we believe bike parking should be increased and made available to all residents as a sustainable and economic alternative.
Sustainability Score: 4/5
This development is the first zero net energy building that Catalyze SV has reviewed, with plans to draw all the power from rooftop solar panels. We were really impressed. We are also glad to see this project will use only electric appliances. We’d like to see more details on the zero-net energy design and suggest that seeking a sustainability certification would further ensure the project meets the highest environmental standards.
Intensity/Zoning Score: 5/5
By utilizing the state density bonus, 777 West San Carlos is being developed to the maximum allowed density under existing regulations. With a good mix of studio, 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom, and 3-bedroom units, this development will create as many affordable homes as the City of San Jose allows.
Affordability Score: 5/5
777 West San Carlos plans to provide affordable housing to a mix of residents most in need: 1/3 extremely low-income, 1/3 very low-income, and 1/3 low-income households. In addition to focusing on the lowest income levels, Danco Communities proposes to build an onsite daycare that would provide subsidies to residents. Moreover, it ends to construct a net-zero energy building that should reduce electricity costs for the residents. These additional benefits will further increase the financial stability of residents, especially those with young children who might occupy the 79 family units of 2 and 3-bedrooms.
Legacy Score: N/A
Members of Catalyze SV didn’t think this category was applicable to this site.