A residential facility for seniors is coming to West San Carlos Street in San Jose’s Burbank neighborhood, following final approval of a plan in the works since 2020.
Real estate investment group Oak Glen Ventures’ plans call for a seven-story, 227,617-square-foot mixed-use building that will include a 246-bed residential senior care facility known as San Carlos Commons. Plans also include housing, with 61 apartments and 6,000 square feet of ground floor retail space on a lot including 1881 W. San Carlos St.
The San Jose Planning Commission gave unanimous approval to the project Sept. 13.
The development is planned for a 1.2-acre plot of land between Boston Avenue and Brooklyn Avenue, where four adjoined commercial buildings stand. All four will be demolished for the redevelopment project, including several antique shops. Two buildings are eligible to be city landmarks.
Business owners in the existing buildings previously told San José Spotlight they cannot afford to relocate, and redevelopment will mean the end of their businesses.
The San Jose City Council approved plans for the project in February and March, including annexing part of the land from Santa Clara County. The planning commission approval last week marked the final step of public vetting needed to allow the plans to proceed.
Commissioner Sylvia Ornelas-Wise said she has kept an eye on the historic Burbank neighborhood ever since she worked as a county planner.
“The Burbank area had so much potential and we really wanted to see some of this annexed to the city so we could see great projects like this coming in and really revitalize the area,” Ornelas-Wise said at the meeting. “I know there are some historical structures that will be demolished, but I think in this particular case, the need for housing is more important.”
Morgan Hill-based Oak Glen Ventures is headed by Lori Greymont, an investor, developer and TV personality, who also runs the San Jose Real Estate Investors Association.
Greymont told San José Spotlight the inspiration for the project was the “desperate need” for senior housing in the area. The development brings together senior living facilities on the same site as market-rate apartments, so adults with aging parents can choose to live close together.
“We’re excited that the city could see the vision,” Greymont said, noting that workers at the senior care facility could potentially live in the apartments.
Her investment group is working to find a development partner to build the project, but hasn’t selected one yet, and the timeline for starting is unclear.
Greymont said her group worked with the current landlord to ensure rents offered to existing businesses are lower or the same as they have been paying. When the development gets a green light to begin demolition, the businesses will be given 90 rent-free days to wrap up their affairs and move out, Greymont said. She also said the businesses are getting some assistance from the developer, but didn’t specify what kind of assistance or a dollar amount.
“That’s a confidential matter between each one of them, but they are being assisted,” Greymont told San José Spotlight.
Commissioner Chuck Cantrell said he would have liked the developer to build some affordable housing into the project, but Oak Glen instead plans to pay an “in-lieu” affordable housing fee to the city. San Jose’s affordable housing rules allow developers to choose to include below market-rate homes in residential developments or pay into a city fund for creating affordable housing.
“I really hope that developers like you will find a way to make affordable housing in this area, specifically for seniors, more likely and possible,” Cantrell said at the meeting. “Paying into a fund is meeting your obligation, but I think we need to go beyond our legal obligations and meet an ethical obligation to help find and create housing for every vulnerable senior as well.”
Greymont said the apartments will be in line with the middle of the market for the area. As for the senior living facility costs, she said it will be “moderate to mid-range, we’re not doing luxury.” However, Greymont is quoted on the project investment website as saying, “San Carlos Commons is like luxury cruise-ship living on land.”