Longtime San Jose sports club could become housing
Tennis balls on a court at the San Jose Swim & Racquet Club on Pedro Street on April 19, 2023. The club could be turned into housing. Photo by Joseph Geha.

    A beloved tennis and swimming club that’s operated for nearly seven decades appears likely to be sold, demolished and redeveloped with dozens of townhomes.

    The San Jose Swim & Racquet Club is “under contract” to be sold to a developer, Dion Campisi, a real estate agent with Colliers International representing the seller, told San José Spotlight.

    Campisi declined to comment on further details including a timeline for the sale, noting there is a confidentiality agreement on the deal.

    The San Jose Swim & Racquet Club could be replaced by housing. Photo by Joseph Geha.

    Carolyn Lund, the club’s longtime director and “life partner” of the late owner Norman Lariviere, is listed in the preliminary redevelopment application materials filed with San Jose, representing the Norman Lariviere Trust, along with representatives from developer The True Life Companies.

    The early plans, which are still being reviewed by the city, call for the demolition of the existing structures on the 3.2-acre site, and the construction of 85 “attached homes.” A prior filing from the same developer suggested 75 townhomes could be built on the site. The property at 1170 Pedro St. is nestled between the Willow Glen and Rose Garden neighborhoods.

    Some members told San José Spotlight the prospect of a sale and redevelopment of the property became a topic of discussion around the club after Lariviere died in March 2022.

    While regulars who come to the club to swim, play tennis or work out in the fitness center said they’re not surprised by the potential redevelopment, they are saddened.

    “I think it’s unfortunate,” member Jake Goldman told San José Spotlight. “(The club is) something that has been rooted in San Jose for decades and has that kind of family-owned, small business type of appeal that a lot of people enjoy. They’ve had generations of kids come here for various activities.”

    Rob Redding, 77 of San Jose, said he’s been coming to the club for 42 years, and played tennis regularly until about five years ago. Now he swims and works out at the club.

    “It’s very sad. It’s been a great contributor to the community,” Redding told San José Spotlight. “And there are certain people older than me, and this is where they come every day and spend time with their friends.”

    San Jose Swim & Racquet Club member Jake Goldman said it’d be unfortunate if the location was demolished. Photo by Joseph Geha.

    District 6 San Jose Councilmember Dev Davis, who represents the area where the club is located, declined to comment on the specific preliminary proposal for the site, and said she hasn’t seen it yet.

    “I do think we need to preserve our recreational and employment land,” Davis told San José Spotlight. “The San Jose Swim & Racquet Club has been a very strong community booster over the years and they are, as such, a treasured part of the Willow Glen community.”

    Davis noted the club’s current land use designation is private recreation and open space, and any developer proposing homes there would need the San Jose City Council to approve a general plan amendment through a public hearing process to allow for it.

    It’s unclear how long the club might have left. Lund didn’t respond to requests for comment, nor did representatives from True Life.

    “We care a lot about the club community, and there is no change to any of the services at this time,” Campisi said on Lund’s behalf.

    Chris Reid, 62 of San Jose, said he’s been coming to the club for 20 years. His daughter grew up taking swimming lessons at the facility, and he still visits almost daily to swim or exercise. He said the potential closure of the club would be a big loss for the community.

    “It’s a great place for families to gather. It’s got some wear and tear on it, but it’s a great place,” he told San José Spotlight. “I think it will be really missed. I know I’ll miss it.”

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

    Comment Policy (updated 5/10/2023): Readers are required to log in through a social media or email platform to confirm authenticity. We reserve the right to delete comments or ban users who engage in personal attacks, hate speech, excess profanity or make verifiably false statements. Comments are moderated and approved by admin.

    Leave a Reply