A major affordable apartment project is set to begin construction in Santa Clara on the site of a former YMCA.
San Francisco-based Maracor Development plans to build 200 apartments on a nearly two-acre lot at 80 Saratoga Ave. A two-story building that housed a YMCA of Silicon Valley office and a separate automotive repair building on the site will be demolished, according to city reports.
The building will be six stories, with five levels of apartments above one parking level. The apartments will all be priced below market-rate except for one manager’s unit, city reports said. Of the 200 apartments, 71 will be studios, 21 will be one bedrooms and 54 each will be two bedrooms and three bedrooms.
The project is required to provide at least half of its homes as affordable to people earning 80% or less of the area median income because it was submitted for review under SB 35. That state law requires the city to evaluate a project using predetermined design standards if it meets certain requirements. SB 35 is aimed at streamlining housing development that could otherwise be stopped or delayed by local preferences.
The majority of apartments, 119, will be reserved for people earning up to 60% of the area median income, and 39 will be for people earning up to 80% of the median. Twenty apartments will be for people earning 50% of the median and another 20 will be for people earning 30%, city officials said.
Alex Shoor, executive director of housing advocacy organization Catalyze SV, said his group gives the Maracor project high marks because of its density, height, location on a major roadway and mix of affordability levels.
“Our members believe that when people who are different, in this case different socioeconomically, live next door to each other, it creates harmonious communities,” Shoor told San José Spotlight. “We need to make sure communities are inclusive and integrated.”
In Santa Clara County, one of the most expensive housing regions in the nation, a family of four earning up to $181,300 annually is considered median income. A family of four at 80% of the median can earn up to $137,100, according to the California Department of Housing and Community Development. A family of four at 30% of the median could earn up to $53,500.
Shoor also said the project is located close to transit stops and grocery stores, and provides several amenities for residents such as a small dog park, children’s play area, a half-size basketball court and a community garden, as well as 8,600 square feet of commercial space.
Representatives from Maracor didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.