Senior housing gets started

First Community Housing is finally occupying the old Corp Yard parking lot to build the new Japantown Senior Housing on Sixth street near Taylor.

We are gradually seeing this block leaving its Ghost Town Days behind.

Cirque du Soleil was storing some of its road gear at the Corp Yard over the winter. Now the circus has moved on, it’s time to rebuild Japantown!


Branagh Inc contractor has their house on the property. To the left, the old Nishioka Fish Market building. Rumor has it that it has been purchased and will be re-habbed, but that’s all I know.



New look at the map

I developed some clarifications regarding the visualization offered by First Community Housing. The orientation of the original picture wasn’t clear. Now it looks more understandable. I think I got confused when they added the proposed apartment complex from the Williams & Dame project at the Corp Yard.

From Google MapsJT03-480x317new

First Community Housing

First Community Housing

Japantown Senior Apartments is a 75-unit apartment development to be constructed on a half- acre infill site in the Japantown neighborhood of San Jose. This highly sustainable building will serve low-income seniors earning 30-60% of the area median income. Thirty of the 75 units will be set aside for seniors living with chronic illnesses or developmental disabilities. Supportive services for special needs tenants will be available.

The new building will include five stories of residential units over a first floor comprised of a residential lobby, manager’s office and enclosed parking. The residential units will include 73 one-bedroom units of approximately 600SF each, one studio unit, and a two-bedroom manager’s unit. Each unit will have a private balcony. Common spaces will include a community room, lounge, and laundry facility as well as landscaped outdoor gathering areas.

Like all First Community Housing (FCH) buildings, this senior housing development will incorporate a variety of green building features such as low-VOC finishes, energy efficient appliances and lighting, water conserving fixtures, and low-water use landscaping. These features provide improved indoor air quality and lower utility bills for our tenants as well as improved operational stability. The building is registered for the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED for Homes Midrise program, and LEED Gold certification is anticipated.

FCH will annually provide all tenants with a free VTA Eco Pass for unlimited transportation on all buses and light rail lines throughout the county. A third-party professional survey of the FCH Eco Pass program illustrated that this is an essential service for seniors. The program enables some seniors to get along without a car and save up to $700 annually on transit fares. The Eco Pass will also be a critical benefit for developmentally disabled residents, who do not drive.

FCH wins!

Approval Of A Funding Commitment For Predevelopment For The Japantown Seniors Apartments Project

May 29, 2012

It is recommended that the City Council adopt a resolution approving a funding commitment of up to $500,000 of funding from the federal HOME Investments Partnership Program (HOME) to First Community Housing (FCH) for a predevelopment loan for the planned 75 unit Japantown Seniors Apartments, an affordable rental development to be located on the former City Corporation Yard Parking Lot site located at 675 N. Sixth Street.

As part of the FY 2009-10 Budget, the City Council approved the Housing Department’s acquisition of the former City Corporation Parking Lot for the purpose of affordable housing development. In April 2009, the site was acquired by the Housing Department with funds from the Low and Moderate Income Housing Funds from the General Services Department for the appraised value of $2,200,000.

The site is a half acre parcel located in the Japantown neighborhood just south of an existing senior residential development and across the street from the former City Corporation Yard. The site and the nearby City Corporation Yard have a long history of development planning that dates back to the City Council’s decision to relocate the City Corporation Yard and seek proposals for redevelopment of these sites. In 2006, FCH was selected as part of a development team with the Olsen Company and again with Williams & Dame, for development of the inclusionary housing portion of a mixed use development containing residential, commercial, and public amenities on the site and former City Corporation Yard site. After Williams & Dame dropped out as developer in 2008 due to the weak for-sale market, FCH decided to pursue funding of the affordable senior apartment project on the site and has submitted updated project information to the Housing Department.

On June 16, 2010, FCH obtained a Planned Development Permit, file number PD08-015, for a 75 unit multifamily project. On February 29, 2012 the PD Permit was amended to enable all requirements to be satisfied not later than June 14, 2014, including the treatment of historic Japanese and Chinese artifacts if these are discovered on the site.

On February 8, 2011, the City Council adopted a resolution authorizing the Director of Housing to enter into an Exclusive Negotiation Agreement (ENA) to allow for exclusive negotiations regarding a potential ground lease of the site from the City to FCH. At this time, there is not an executed ENA between the City and FCH, however the provisions authorized for the ENA will be incorporated into the predevelopment loan documents.

On October 27, 2011, the Housing Department recertified FCH’s status as a Community Housing Developer Organization (CHDO). FCH has been a certified CHDO for the City of San Jos6 for several years, and their status is reviewed annually per HUD requirements. A CHDO is a non-profit housing developer that uses city HOME funds to develop affordable housing. These HOME funds can be used in the pre-development or construction phases of a project.
The City determined that the project will have no significant impact on the human environment and that therefore an Environmental Impact Statement under the National Environmental Policy Act.

Certification Status: Full Certification awarded April 4, 2013
Developer: First Community Housing
Location: 685 North Sixth St., San Jose, CA
Description: Japantown Senior Apartments is a 75-unit apartment development to be constructed on a half-acre infill site in the Japantown neighborhood of San Jose. The building will serve low-income seniors earning 30-60% of the area median income. Thirty of the units will be reserved for seniors living with chronic illnesses or developmental disabilities. Supportive services will be available. The development will offer free transit passes to all residents for the life of the project.

Studio S

Project Name: Japantown Assisted Living Facility

Program: 113 studio and 1 bedroom apartments, with communal dining and no private kitchens. Common outdoor space, recreation, and exercise facilities.

Description: Developed pro-bono for a local grassroots organization, this concept plan was intended to help the community articulate its desires for an assisted living facility for seniors in San Jose’s historic Japantown. Ground floor public space enlivens the sidewalk and screens the parking behind. The parking is treated like an at-grade podium with a common courtyard above. The building materials and massing play off the neighboring historic brick fish market and reference traditional Japanese architecture.

Project Location: San Jose, California

Client Name: CASL Group

Construction Cost: $8,500,000

Project Team: Owner’s Representative: Carl Hirano

Architect: Studio S Squared Architecture; Eugene H. Sakai, AIA, Principal

Studio S has done work for J-town, notably the Akiyama center and a number of single-family homes in JTown.

Akiyama Wellness Center?

Duet Homes

Senior housing

The former parking lot for the City of San Jose’s Corporation Yard, which we will call “Senior Housing” for now, is located on a roughly half-acre lot between Fuji Towers and the old Ideal Laundry/Nishioka Fish Market building.

The address is variously given as 685 North Sixth Street or 675 North Sixth Street.

It appears that there were at least two developers in the running for this project: Studio S and First Community Housing.