Santa Clara County

Groundbreaking Planned for 135-Unit 100% Affordable Housing Project in SJ

San Jose will break ground on one of its biggest 100% affordable housing projects Friday, with plans to bring 135 units to the downtown market by 2022.

Construction crews are currently clearing out the 0.7-acre site at Bassett and Terraine streets near state Highway 87 and laying groundwork for what will become North San Pedro Studios.

The roughly $30 million undertaking is located about a half-mile from the city's first 100% affordable housing project, the 83-unit Villas on the Park slated to open this fall. Both projects are funded in part by the $950 million Santa Clara County Measure A housing bond approved by voters in 2016.

North San Pedro Studios also received a $24.16 million Infill Infrastructure Grant from the state Department of Housing and Community Development. It will be the first in the city to set aside 55 units specifically for chronically homeless veterans, according to Elisabeth Handler, spokeswoman for the city's Office of Economic Development.

The six-story structure will have a manager unit, 118 studio units and 16 one-bedroom units for those receiving 30% to 50% of the area's medium income, which is about $25,000 to $40,000 for one person.

OJK Architecture and Planning is designing the project with developer First Community Housing, which is also in charge of Second Street Studio Apartments. The project broke ground at 280 N. Second St. on March 17 and will be the largest affordable housing project in San Jose when it opens later this year, also with 135 units.

The two companies have planned North San Pedro Studios to include a community room and kitchen, gym, building-wide internet, bike storage, greenhouse, laundry facility, on-site resident support services and LEED Platinum certification with solar thermal heating and water heating.

Residents can apply to the waitlist beginning in 2020 and will receive a free, annual VTA Eco Pass for bus and light-rail travel throughout the county.

L&D Construction Co. crews churned earth at the site Wednesday in advance of the official groundbreaking ceremony Friday, which will be attended by Mayor Sam Liccardo, state Sen. Jim Beall, D-San Jose, and city and county leaders.

The empty expanse of dirt is located adjacent to the Fountain Plaza luxury housing development, as well as a homeless encampment on Southern Pacific Railroad Tracks near the Guadalupe River.

Since they began clearing the site in March, workers at the site say they've been helped by "Terry" the hawk, who's named after the neighboring Terraine Street. Terry was unflappable among loud bulldozers and construction noises Wednesday, sitting on Fountain Plaza's ledge and assessing the site's progress.

Crews said the building is optimistically expected to be completed in about two years, but could take longer. The studios are the affordable portion of the city's larger, 5.72-acre North San Pedro Residential Project.

The groundbreaking is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Friday at 201 Bassett St., San Jose.

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