Posted on March 16, 2016
Though reduced in size and modified in height and architecture from their initial proposal, officials of The Irvine Company are looking forward to starting construction on their Mission Town Center mixed-use complex after getting a green light from the Santa Clara City Council.
Carlene Matchniff, Northern California vice president of entitlements and public affairs for the Newport Beach-based developer, said construction could begin as early as late 2016, with the first of 318 units scheduled for completion by late 2018 or early 2019.
“The company is pleased that the City Council reached a consensus and compromise with the community and unanimously supported the project,” Matchniff said. Initially, the project called for the construction of 450 apartment units.
The development will be built on a site of more than six acres between El Camino Real, Benton Street and The Alameda, across the street from both the Santa Clara Caltrain station and Santa Clara University, in a neighborhood that now contains older homes and light industrial buildings. A handful of existing Victorian and Craftsman homes in the district will be preserved, according to city officials.
Matchniff said the approved project will range in height from three to five stories and include four different architectural styles: Craftsman, Mediterranean Revival, Mission Revival and Spanish Monterey in various parts of the complex. And since the city of Santa Clara has an “affordable” requirement, three percent of the apartments will be priced for low-income renters and seven percent for moderate-income residents.
Julio Fuentes, Santa Clara city manager, said city officials welcome high-density, multi-family housing developments of this type as a way to provide badly needed housing at more affordable levels in the heart of Silicon Valley.
Mission Town Center will also feature a five-level parking garage and a retail component, with 22,000 square feet of ground-floor space. Matchniff said the majority of that space will be filled with restaurants and service-oriented retail.
“Most of the restaurants will be casual dining with cafes and small eateries,” she said. “We are also exploring other creative retail spaces to take advantage of the proximity to the nearby rail system and Santa Clara University.”
Matchniff said plans include building the project to LEED Gold or equivalent standards — the acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design as determined by the U.S. Green Building Council. She said green elements will include the use of recycled water for the irrigation system, installing energy-efficient appliances and fixtures in the apartments, and a solar photovoltaic system atop the garage structure.
In addition, the Zipcar car-sharing service will be made available to residents in the garage, as will charging stations for electric cars.