Affordable homes will be part of housing at old San Jose Fry’s site

Choice property is slated to become huge housing development

SAN JOSE, Calif. — According to city documents, more than 100 affordable homes are slated to become part of a massive housing development at a former Fry’s Electronics site in San Jose, where 1,000-plus residences could eventually be built.

The possibility of affordable housing at the preferred site in North San Jose was included in the details for the development application, which this news organization obtained from the San Jose Planning Department.

The project would rise at 550 East Brokaw Road, the site of a former Fry’s Electronics big-box store and corporate headquarters.

The residential project now being considered at San Jose City Hall represents a turning point for the site’s owners, who abandoned plans to build a massive tech campus totaling millions of square feet on the 19.7-acre property near the intersection of Interstate 880 and East Brokaw Road.

The tech industry’s decision to reduce its appetite for new office space in the Bay Area, including Silicon Valley, has made speculative office projects far less feasible.

Bay West Development, which had proposed a 2 million square foot office campus on the Fry’s site, is now moving forward with a proposal to build residences.

According to newly disclosed details in preliminary plans on file at City Hall, two residential development options have emerged. Hundreds of apartments could spring up on the site, regardless.

One option calls for 1,233 units, with 982 market-rate homes and 247 affordable homes. The affordable housing units would include units for people with low and very low incomes. The 1,233 apartments could be multifamily apartments.

The other option would include 519 units, 414 market-rate units and 104 affordable units. This version also includes units for people with low and very low incomes. This version would include townhomes.

According to the proposals, the plan with 1,233 apartments would consist of four buildings, each with one pool and multiple courtyards. The buildings would house 290, 302, 310, and 331 apartments, respectively.

According to preliminary planning documents, the 519-unit proposal would include 322 apartments, 135 three-story townhomes, and 62 single-family homes.

The former location of the legendary consumer electronics retailer’s Mayan temple-themed store, as well as the headquarters and large warehouse facilities, is at 550 East Brokaw.

Fry’s Electronics declared bankruptcy in February 2021.

Supermicro Computers has leased 124,200 square feet of warehouse space in one of the buildings that will be demolished to make way for the housing development.

The duration of the Supermicro lease was not specified.

What is clear is that if the housing is built, the warehouse will only have a limited shelf life.

“The major physical alterations outlined in this preliminary application include the complete demolition of existing improvements and redevelopment of the site for residential uses,” according to the proposal submitted by Bay West Development.

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