San Jose OKs six-story apartment complex in Five Wounds
This commercial building along North 27th Street in San Jose's Five Wounds neighborhood will be demolished and replaced with a six-story apartment complex under a developer's plan approved on May 31, 2023. Photo by Annalise Freimarck.

    Nearly 200 apartments are coming to San Jose’s Five Wounds neighborhood near a future planned expansion of a walking trail.

    A two-story commercial building at 70-80 N. 27th St. will be razed, and in its place a six-story, 198-apartment complex with a parking garage will be built, after getting the green light at a city planning director’s hearing Wednesday. The plans from developer H.C. Investment Associates call for 210 parking spaces, including mechanical lift parking stackers, city reports said. The project is located where the city is planning an urban village adjacent to the future 28th Street/Little Portugal BART Station.

    Urban villages are areas of San Jose where leaders have pushed for focused growth, with dense housing and commercial development, and mixed-use walkable neighborhoods. 

    The existing 21,454 square-foot building is surrounded by businesses including the nonprofit Portuguese Band of San Jose, the Goulart Portuguese Sausage Company, Valencia Brothers Upholstery and a McDonald’s.

    This rendering shows what a 198-apartment complex could look like when complete in the Five Wounds neighborhood of San Jose. Image courtesy of San Jose.

    About 5% of the apartments will be restricted as affordable to very-low income renters, or 10% will be reserved for low-income renters. The project qualifies for the state density bonus law because of its affordable apartment restrictions, and the city is granting the developer special exceptions as a result.

    While the urban village plan calls for nearly 38,000 square feet of commercial space in the development, the city granted an incentive for the developer to include no commercial space, saving about $17 million to make the affordable apartments in the project more financially feasible. The developer is also being granted an exception to make a planned paseo in the project 14 feet wide, two feet narrower than standard city requirements.

    Jacquelyn MacDonald, a business owner on the street, said during the planning director’s hearing that she and other business owners are concerned about the loss of the commercial space in the area, and asked if the developer will help current business tenants relocate.

    A computer repair shop, photography studio and auto repair shop are leasing space in the existing building, city reports said.

    Melanie Griswold, a consultant and real estate agent representing the developer, said there will be no relocation assistance for tenants.

    “There have not been those plans at this point. I believe the plan is more to allow the tenants to do a process of natural attrition, to complete their leases,” Griswold said. “And if they complete their leases and opt not to renew, then there’s nobody to provide relocation assistance to.”

    She added that none of the tenants will be evicted during the terms of their current leases.

    The Five Wounds urban village update being pursued in the area is an “umbrella plan” that consolidates four separate approved urban village plans for Five Wounds, Little Portugal, Roosevelt Park and 24th and William streets.

    Contact Joseph Geha at [email protected] or @josephgeha16 on Twitter.

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