St. Anton—One of State’s Largest Affordable Housing Projects—is Set to Break Ground in 2020

To afford living in Silicon Valley, you either need to make enough money to cover sky-high rents or make little enough to qualify for below-market-rate housing.

In Santa Clara, plans to build a 196-unit complex for the latter group reportedly make it one of the largest affordable housing projects in the state.

Last month the Santa Clara City Council approved the Irvine Company proposal dubbed St. Anton. The development is slated for a one-acre pocket of a 45-acre swath of land in the Calle del Mundo neighborhood and will partly make up for the dearth of affordable housing at a nearby Irvine Company mixed-use project called Santa Clara Square.

As proposed, every single unit will be reserved for households making $55,200 or less a year, with income limits adjusted for family size. That figure represents an “extremely low income” household for a family of four, according to state numbers.

“This is a 100 percent affordable housing project,” Mayor Lisa Gillmor said, “and it shows how requiring affordable housing obligations for new developments, like Santa Clara Square, can benefit all people who want to live in our community.”

The apartment building will be located in the heart of a fast-developing part of the city. It lies within walking distance of Levi’s Stadium and a newly-approved, 9-million-square-foot retail complex near the Santa Clara Convention Center.

St. Anton will include 158 low-income units and 37 very low-income units, according to a city memo. The housing will remain permanently tied to area median income, or AMI. That means, using 2019 AMI figures, units can go as low as $1,300 for a studio and   $1,600 for a one-bedroom—prices almost unheard of in Silicon Valley. “This fills a big need,” city spokeswoman Lenka Wright said. “It’s around 10 to 15 percent of AMI.”

The project’s low-income status doesn’t mean it will preclude luxuries reserved for its market-rate counterparts, including a gym, pool and game room, according to blueprints developers submitted to the city.

“Everything is brand new in there,” Irvine Company spokesman Justin Veach said. “The quality is high and it’s in a good location, close to transit.”

Logistics for allocating the units are still being worked out, but the city and Irvine are considering a lottery for qualifying households.

The project will replace an existing 16,760-square-foot warehouse that sits on a 1.2-acre parcel. Construction is set to begin in early 2020. “We’re excited to get people in the units,” Veach said. “It’s a unique project and we’re excited for the potential.”

8 Comments

  1. > “This is a 100 percent affordable housing project,” Mayor Lisa Gillmor said, “and it shows how requiring affordable housing obligations for new developments, like Santa Clara Square, can benefit all people who want to live in our community.”

    A flatly idiotic statement.

    It does NOT “benefit all people who want to live in our community”. It benefits ONLY:

    1. the residents of the 196 units, and
    2, the developer who is building the complex, presumably at a profit underwritten by taxpayers.

    This crowded tenement, densely packed with economically dependent foragers, is likely going to make the quality of life for neighbors WORSE. It is NOT a benefit to for neighbors.

    Mayor LIsa Gillmor should hire a minder whose job is to stick a plug in her mouth whenever she is tempted to say something dumb.

  2. This will be Santa Clara’s future slum. How about some insight to how much this is costing taxpayers and how much Irvine company is profiting off of those taxpayers.

    Construction costs alone would be ~$100-120M. How much does 45 continuous acres of land in prime silicon valley cost? @ $2M/acre (maybe more), add another $90M to the tab.

    So, let’s say ~$200M to house 200 families with subsidized rents that will just cover the operating costs. And this makes sense to whom? 15-20 years from now, this project will be severely dilapidated, Irvine company will be out of the picture with their profits long ago secured and taxpayers will once again be on the hook.

  3. I’m reading between the lines and getting the feeling that they previously built something somewhere else (santa clara square??) w/o the affordable housing goals with the stipulation that they would do this development in the future to make up for it?

  4. The first paragraph states that to live in Silicon Valley, you have to either make a lot of money or make a low enough income to qualify for programs.

    Let’s not forget about the loads of people who grew up here and are still living in their childhood homes, with their parents already gone or maybe moved away. It can be viewed that these people are, in midlife, still sucking at the teat of their mama, enjoying what their parents built. That’s double true if they are enjoying the low property taxes gifted to them via Prop 13, via their mommy and daddy. Most likely they are.

    I’m not against people leaving their “wealth” and assets to their kids, but why would they get special tax treatment too? Time to pay your own way, grown up kiddos.

    • > I’m not against people leaving their “wealth” and assets to their kids, but . . .

      But what?

      Leaving wealth to the kiddos is the essence of capitalism and an insurance policy for the wealth creating parents.

      Presumably, the grateful kiddos will be sufficiently concerned about the comfort and welfare of their loving parents in their declining years that they will ensure their vitality and safety as long as possible.

      Not so under socialism where old people are thought of as “useless eaters”, a destructive carbon footprint and a burden on society.

      Old people should recognize that assisted suicide is their social duty, and the benevolent state will provide a death counselor in case they have trouble getting the message.

      The state has plans for those valuable, underutilized assets that the old coots are selfishly clinging to.

    • Just make sure you put the period after your middle initial to exactly match the voter registration roll..otherwise you voted illegally and will be thrown in jail. Oh yah, and the guy/gal who registered you will too.

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