New hotel and housing to line West San Jose street

A major West San Jose development will bring the city’s Urban Village plan closer to reality — with hundreds of apartments and a hotel.

The Stevens Creek Promenade, located at Stevens Creek Boulevard and Lopina Way, was originally planned with four towers — three residential and one for office space. Now the developer, Miramar Capital, wants to ax the office space and instead construct a six-story hotel. The proposal is coming before the city’s planning commission on Wednesday, and is expected to be approved.

The project calls for three residential buildings with 580 units of affordable and market-rate housing, a 250-room hotel with ground floor retail, and an open space park area. The on-site parking — about 704 spaces for the new homes and hotel — would be provided in podium levels under each of the structures.

Rendering of hotel looking southwest from Stevens Creek Boulevard. Courtesy the city of San Jose.

Miramar Capital’s plan to demolish three two-story office buildings from 1977 to build the massive housing development was first approved in 2019. The prolific developer, with commercial and residential projects across the Silicon Valley, has gone through several iterations, but this recent proposal is seeking the biggest change by ditching the office space for a hotel.

“Applicants often change what they’re proposing based on market conditions,” Planning Commissioner Pierluigi Oliverio told San José Spotlight. “There’s a question mark for both hotels and offices post-pandemic, but at the end of the day, they get to submit an application for whatever they want.”

San Jose has historically relied on business tourists to boost the local economy, which decreased significantly during the pandemic. Team San Jose, a nonprofit that manages the city’s arts and cultural centers and tourism, reported zero dollars in revenue in 2021. This year it anticipates bringing in nearly $590 million – which is still a 51.8% drop compared to 2019.

Oliverio said business travel may return to normal rates in time. And with Apple offices close by in Cupertino, the proposed hotel may be advantageous. Still, Oliverio worries about nixing the office plans because property tax revenue from offices can be spent more flexibly by the city than transit occupancy taxes generated from hotels.

“This parcel was looked at as an opportunity for substantial offices — a potential outgrowth of Apple or another supplier of Apple’s,” Oliver said. “So I’m looking to understand what are the implications to projected city revenues?”

Rendering of one of the residential towers at Stevens Creek Promenade from Albany Drive. Courtesy the city of San Jose.

Scaling up

The redevelopment is one of many projects in West San Jose that fulfills the city’s Urban Village plan. Urban Villages are mixed-use areas in the city, with housing, commercial and office space to reduce traffic and balance the city’s jobs-to-house ratio. They are also designed to be walkable and developed along transit corridors. There are 60 Urban Villages planned in San Jose, including in areas such as North Capitol Avenue and near Oakridge Mall in south San Jose.

Other large projects in West San Jose include the Winchester Hotel, which is part of the Winchester Urban Village Plan, and the Costco planned for the Westgate Shopping Center on Prospect Road — a block away from El Paseo de Saratoga. Those projects have drawn sharp criticism from neighbors who say the scale doesn’t match the surrounding single-story home neighborhoods and would increase traffic.

Of the 580 housing units planned in the Stevens Creek Promenade, 173 will be affordable for various income levels.

“A good portion of the residential units are deed-restricted affordable units, which is a great benefit,” Patrick Kelly, a city planner, told San José Spotlight. “It’s redeveloping a highly underutilized site with more intentional use and it creates not only additional housing units, but also additional commercial square footage.”

Randy Shingai, a West San Jose resident since 1980, said the plans fit in the neighborhood and he’s excited to see more housing come online. Shingai said his biggest concern with bringing so many new homes to the area is scarce parking.

“There are a bunch of parking spaces on Lopina Way that are always full by the people who work at the car dealerships nearby and live in the apartments behind,” Shingai told San José Spotlight. “I believe most of those parking spaces are lost. It’s not really clear exactly what the city intends to do.”

The San Jose Planning Commission will meet at 6:30 pm on Wednesday via Zoom.

The story will be updated.

Contact Jana Kadah at [email protected] or @Jana_Kadah on Twitter.

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