Hundreds of Affordable Homes Could Replace San Jose Mall

SAN JOSE — A large residential complex with hundreds of affordable homes and retail businesses could replace a San Jose mall, with plans being showcased at the City Hall Show.

An estimated 280 homes would be developed on the site of a strip mall at the corner of Union Avenue and South Bascom Avenue in southwest San Jose, according to a very preliminary proposal filed with San Jose planners.

The residences considered for the proposed development would be “100% affordable”, the planning documents show.

The building would have six floors, including ground floor retail, ground floor parking, and five levels of residences.

The site currently includes a shopping center called Maplewood Plaza, which is occupied by numerous shops and restaurants.

“The Maplewood Plaza development proposal follows a pattern of underperforming commercial sites converted to affordable housing,” said Bob Staedler, senior principal of Silicon Valley Synergy, a land-use planning consultancy.

Existing retail on the site where the development would occur totals 23,800 square feet, according to project plans.

Among the merchants whose locations could be bulldozed for the proposed development: Gyro’s Burgers & More, Harbor Fish & Chips, Anwar Bazaar & Bakery, Union Chinese Restaurant, Maya’s Cafe, Diamond Shoe Repair, Song’s Kung Fu, Lush Spaw and Vogue Lounge & Lounge .

In addition to the 280 homes, the proposal envisions the development of 11,900 square feet of new retail space.

The new retail would occupy part of the ground floor and would be located primarily along Union Avenue.

San Francisco-based Maracor Development is listed as the applicant seeking city approval for the affordable homes project.

The development proposal is at a very preliminary stage and has been submitted for comments from municipal authorities. The ultimate plans could be significantly different from what is currently on file.

Maracor has proposed several projects in the Bay Area, including some in San Jose, as well as others in San Francisco, Oakland and Fremont, according to the real estate company’s website.

The Affordable Homes project at the Union and Bascom Avenues site would include a variety of unit sizes.

Of the 280 units, 112 would be studios, 77 would be two-bedroom units, 75 would be three-bedroom homes and 16 would be one-bedroom units, according to preliminary plans.

The proposed affordable home development is located approximately 1.5 to 2 miles from several light rail stops that are on the Old Ironsides-Winchester line and the Baypointe-Santa Teresa line.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if similar retail sites with some level of vacancy receive multiple unsolicited offers for affordable housing redevelopment,” Staedler said.

Edwin S. Wolfe