Developer donates 1.5 acres to build affordable housing in Los Gatos

Second phase of the North 40 will include 90 low-income units

The developers behind the contentious North 40 project in Los Gatos have submitted an application for the project’s second phase, which would include 451 housing units, 90 of which would be affordable housing.

The project, which will be built at the intersection of Highways 17 and 85, will include both rental and market-rate multifamily housing, as well as a stand-alone affordable housing project developed by Eden Housing.

“We’re really aligned with the town in trying to provide as much affordable housing as we can,” said Steve Buster, senior vice president of Grosvenor Property Americas, the North 40’s developers.

All California cities must develop a Housing Element to plan for housing growth in eight-year cycles. Los Gatos has been tasked with constructing 1,993 housing units over the next eight years, 310 of which must be affordable.

The North 40 project’s Phase 2 includes 90 affordable housing units for low-income residents earning 60% of the area’s median income. While the exact price of the affordable units will not be announced for some time, Eden Housing President Linda Mandolini said the range for rental units could be around $1,000-$2,500 per month.

According to Zillow, the average home value in Los Gatos is $2.5 million, which is 3.5% lower than last year.

There are also plans for 119 townhomes, 250 multi-family units, commercial spaces, and a two-acre public park.

If approved, the project would bring the total number of housing units in the North 40 development to more than 800, with 139 of those units being affordable.

In the first phase of the North 40 project, Eden Housing worked on the Walnut Grove affordable senior community.

“For Eden, we can’t work in Los Gatos without a partner like Grosvenor,” Mandolini told the crowd. “We cannot afford to compete for land in those areas.” It is clearly one of the most coveted communities in the region, if not the state.”

Walnut Grove residents began moving in earlier this year. There were over 340 people on the waiting list for the 49 units, and residents were chosen at random. Ten units rented for $948 per month, while 39 were listed for $1,580 per month.

“When we did the opening, I think one of the things that really was most moving was hearing from the residents,” Mandolini told me, “and just the story of the woman who had lived in Los Gatos for her whole life but couldn’t afford to live there anymore, but moved back and moved in with us at the North 40.”

In its preliminary application to the town earlier this year, Grosvenor cited Senate Bill 330. The state housing law prohibits cities from changing zoning laws after an application has been filed to halt the construction of high-density apartment buildings.

Phase 1 of the North 40 is currently under construction at the northwest corner of Los Gatos Boulevard and Lark Avenue and will include 253 market-rate units at Bellaterra, 49 affordable units for seniors at Walnut Grove, and a market hall with restaurant and retail space.

According to the developers, approximately half of the units at Bellaterra have already been purchased. Construction is expected to be completed by the summer of 2024, and prices for the 23 different styles of units, which include townhouses, flats, detached units, bungalows, and houses, range from $900,000 to $2.3 million.

The North 40 has been in the works for decades, and it is a contentious development for residents who do not want to see an influx of high-density housing.

Grosvenor proposed a development plan for the land that was initially rejected by the town council because the housing density was too high and did not include enough affordable units.

The developers won their lawsuit against the town, allowing the development to proceed.

Plans for Phase 2 of the North 40 will be presented to the planning commission and town council in the coming months.

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