400-square-foot ‘micro apartments’ coming to downtown San Jose near Google village

The latest apartment building approved just west of downtown San
Jose will offer a public plaza, state-of-the-art amenities and an
on-site bicycle shop.

But those who might be eyeing a brand-new apartment in one of
the city’s most sought-after neighborhoods will have to be
interested in living small.

The 226-unit apartment building — approved by the San Jose
City Council this week — will include 206 units that will average
about 400 square feet. The development will be on a 1.39-acre site
at 259 Meridian Avenue, between San Carlos Street and Park
Avenue.

One of the main selling points for potential tenants will be its
proximity to San Jose’s Diridon Station and Google’s transit
village, which is expected to consist of 6 million to 8 million
square feet of offices, retail and restaurants.

During a council meeting this week, Mayor Sam Liccardo called
the project “a great addition to a corridor that is quickly
becoming very vibrant.”

Often called micro-units, the downsized studio apartments have
been growing in popularity for the past decade in major American
cities like San Francisco, New York and Seattle as they find a way
to deal with high density, little housing availability and soaring
rental costs.

Jerry Strangis, a local real estate agent who is the project
consultant for the development, touted the tiny studio apartments
as “affordable by design.” But looking at current rental rates
for other studio units in San Jose, Stangis said he still expects
the monthly rent for one of the micro-units to cost about
$1,100-$1,200 a month.

“It’s definitely a different project from that standpoint,
but we’re targeting young millennials that want an affordable
place to live under the current market conditions,” Strangis
said.

The development, which is expected to break ground in early or
mid-2021, will feature 1,400 square feet of retail space that is
expected to be occupied by a bicycle shop, 162 parking spaces, an
upper-floor patio deck and a public square with landscaping,
walkways and seating areas.

To encourage tenants to use public transit, the owners will
provide them with an on-site bike-share program and monthly transit
stipends or passes, according to the project plans.

Of the 226 units in the building, 20 will be two-bedroom
apartments and 206 micro-units — 34 of which will be set aside
for individuals earning 50% to 80% of the area’s median income,
or up to about $73,000 for a single person.

The project proposal has been
in the works for more than three years
and during that time,
the developer and architect participated in more than half a dozen
community meetings, gathered feedback and used it to make some
considerable alterations to their plans.

The developer increased the number of affordable housing units
on the site, added the monthly transit passes for tenants and
increased the number of trees and native landscaping in the public
square.

Strangis said not only did it allow the developer to gather more
widespread support for the project, but it also “quite frankly
made the project better.”

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“This project is the best example we’ve seen on what happens
when community members and developers find consensus on developing
the best projects possible,” Alex Shoor, executive director of
the policy nonprofit Catalyze SV, said during a recent council
meeting.

Source: FS – All – Real Estate News 1
400-square-foot ‘micro apartments’ coming to downtown San
Jose near Google village