Big affordable housing project may sprout along San Jose train line

Homes could replace older retail site and sports lounge

SAN JOSE, Calif. — A large housing project with more than 100 affordable homes could spring up next to a San Jose train line, replacing a sports bar and liquor store.

According to documents filed with San Jose city officials, the project would include 158 residences. According to Google Maps, the potential development site is located at 1330 North First Street in San Jose and includes The Doghouse sports lounge and Hyde Park Liquors.

The homes would be “100% affordable units” if the project is approved or built, according to the proposal.

The proposed project by RMG Housing, a Los Angeles-based real estate firm specializing in affordable housing, serves as a reminder of the changing nature of Bay Area real estate at a time when numerous office buildings and retail sites have lost some of their luster in a difficult post-coronavirus economy.

Developers are increasingly interested in residential projects. However, it can be difficult for builders to obtain construction financing at times, particularly in the current environment of rapidly rising interest rates and sky-high inflation.

“Our evolution has seen our mission expand from supportive housing for unhoused to providing community workers with affordable housing options,” according to the company’s website.

RMG Housing has yet to purchase the San Jose development site, which is nestled between a large and a small hotel near the interchange of Interstate 880 and North First Street. The property is now controlled by a family trust led by Paul Vu.

RMG Housing’s proposal is very preliminary, and it is being floated to gauge how city politicians, municipal planners, and neighborhood residents will react to the project concept.

“Assuming we move forward with this project after our due diligence period, we will submit a development application for 150 multifamily units,” RMG executive vice president David Lopes-Grunwald said in an email to this news organization.

The development would most likely include a variety of housing types.

“The units will be a blend of workforce, affordable, and supportive housing,” Lopes-Grunwald explained.

RMG Housing’s projects are primarily concentrated in Los Angeles. Aside from the San Jose project, RMG has proposed affordable housing developments in Concord and Oakland in the Bay Area.

According to the company’s website, “our future communities will include housing for hardworking public employees such as teachers, police, and first responders.”

RMG Housing is currently developing over 1,000 units across the state. According to an online post by the real estate firm, the company intends to significantly expand on that.

“We are committed to developing over 10,000 units of affordable and workforce housing over the next decade,” according to the company’s website.

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