SAN JOSE — Two affordable home projects in San Jose have taken a step forward with separate deals by Santa Clara County to purchase the sites where scores of residences would sprout. Santa Clara County has bought a site on West San Carlos Street just west of downtown San Jose and a parcel on South Bascom Avenue in southwest San Jose, documents filed on Jan. 26 show. In both instances, the purchases were accomplished by the county as a way to help smooth the path for the development of the separate projects, according to a county government staff report.

The projects are both designed to add affordable housing in San Jose. Here are some details regarding the properties:

— Mariposa Place at 750 W. San Carlos St. between Sunol Street and McEvoy Street would consist of 80 affordable apartments that would be developed by Danco Group, a real estate firm based in Arcata, a city in Humboldt County.

Vitalia Apartments at 3090 S. Bascom Ave. in San Jose between Foxworth Avenue and Camden Avenue would consist of 79 affordable apartments that would be developed by San Diego-based Affirmed Housing.

Street-level view of Vitalia Apartments, a 79-unit complex of affordable homes at 3090 S. Bascom Ave. in San Jose, concept. (Van Meter Williams Pollack)

Santa Clara County didn’t disclose on the grant deeds what it paid for the properties. However, a November 2021 staff report did disclose the maximum amount that the county was authorized to pay for the respective properties. In both instances, affiliates of Danco Group and Affirmed Housing sold their respective properties to Santa Clara County, the public records show. The transactions were separate and completed independently. Danco will develop the West San Carlos project and Affirmed will develop the South Bascom site, even after the property sales. In each case, the county agreed to lease back the land to the developers for $1 a year. The county was authorized to pay no more than $5.5 million for 750 W. San Carlos St., which totals 0.5 acres, according to the staff report. That site is within walking distance of the Diridon train station and is within a block of the footprint of Google’s proposed transit-oriented neighborhood. County officials were authorized to pay no more than $5.45 million for 3090 S. Bascom Ave., which totals 0.6 acres, the staff report stated.

The South Bascom Avenue site is of note because the property was previously occupied by a well-known Guitar Showcase store. The store has relocated next door to 3058 S. Bascom Ave.

In addition, some residents of the neighborhood have raised concerns about the size of the project. After discussions with neighbors, Affirmed Housing agreed to scale back the size of the development. “As a result of the community input, a decision was made to reduce the development by one floor, which resulted in a reduction of total units from 90 to 79 units,” the county staff report stated.

Source: The Mercury News