80 Saratoga Avenue, Santa Clara, CA 95051
Project Type: Mixed-Use with 100% Affordable
Owner/Developer: Maracor Development
Presented to our members: April 2022
Catalyze SV evaluates project sustainability, equity, and vibrancy. Learn about our project review process.
For more information, please refer to our scorecard below or the following links:
* 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)
80 Saratoga Member Feedback
The proposal consist of a six-story, 200-unit, mixed-use building with commercial space and podium parking on the first floor with five floors of residential apartments above. This 100% affordable project will be composed of studios, one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and three-bedroom homes. On-site residential amenities include recreational and exercise areas such as a half-size basketball court, workout stations, a child’s play area, a picnic area, and a dog park. It includes 65 spaces for residential parking, as well as an additional 29 spaces for commercial use. Residents will be encouraged to use alternate modes of transportation by receiving free transit passes, as well as having access to 54 bicycle parking slots. As we understand it, this project has been submitted for ministerial review under California SB 35.
Saratoga Apartments Scored 4.8 out of 5 overall from our Project Advocacy Committee members.
Community Score: 4/5
Our members were happy to hear local residents were engaged during a community meeting held back on March 29, 2022. In addition, they were glad to hear a local Native American tribe was consulted to review the historical significance of the site. Although not required as part of the SB 35 approval process, our members would like to highly encourage Maracor to reach out to lower-income residents to get feedback on their needs. Our members believe community engagement should include the people who the project seeks to serve. Overall, our members were excited to provide feedback and appreciated the developer’s effort
to engage the community even when they don’t have to do so.
Vibrancy Score: 5/5
Our members were very impressed with the number and variety of on-site amenities and open space. Among the best-received features: the integration of a courtyard within the building, a surrounding open space composed of picnic areas, a dog park, a children’s play area, and a half-size basketball court. The site also proposes a small community garden, enhancing both the Vibrancy and Sustainability of the project. For the tenant of the approximately 8,600 square feet of commercial space included in this project, our members hope to see a tenant that directly serves the needs of the residents and surrounding community.
Good example include a retailer - and/or, as Maracor brainstormed, the YMCA. Overall, our members are happy to see a lot of active options for residents and efforts to make this space
vibrant for everyone.
Transportation Score: 5/5
Our members were happy to see a site take advantage of the surrounding transit options and propose a low parking ratio. To incentivize residents to explore alternate transit modes, Maracor commits to providing VTA transit passes to on-site residents. In its current design, the project will incorporate 65 residential parking slots, as well as 29 commercial parking spaces. A well-received feature was the flexibility of the parking design, which allows the site to add parking lifts if more parking spaces are needed. Our members really liked the inclusion of a designated ride-share area, as well as the proposed secured rooms for bicycle
Sustainability Score: N/A
As we understand it, the project meets the City of Santa Clara’s green building ordinance. However, our members did not have enough information to provide substantive feedback and a score. Among the known features, our members liked the all-electric building, as well as the inclusion of a community garden. A recommendation was to explore solar panels on the rooftop to offset utility costs, as well as a third-party sustainability certification such as GPR (GreenPoint Rated) or LEED. With more information from Maracor on its Sustainability commitment, we’d be happy to score this re-score category.
Intensity/Zoning Score: 5/5
It’s fantastic to see 200 units in 6-stories on a small site in an area of Santa Clara that desperately needs affordable homes. At 101 du/acre, this project more than doubles its allowable General Plan density thanks to California's Density Bonus Law. Our members are excited to see developers maximize space and create homes for people, not additional parking spaces. Our members were also happy to see intensely-zoned projects like this within access to transit and grocery stores.
Legacy Score: N/A
Our members did not feel that legacy was applicable to this project.
Overall Score: 4.8 out of 5.
Affordability Score: 5/5
Our members were very happy to see this project as 100% affordable with the capacity to serve individuals and families. As we understand it, the project proposes a mix of 30% AMI, 60% AMI, and up to 80% AMI, with a projected average of around 50% AMI. Our members appreciate this variety of affordability, and hope no units go above the 80% AMI threshold so they remain accessible to residents with less income.