The El Paseo proposal by Sand Hill Property and KTGY in San Jose has received the MHN Gold Excellence Award for the ‘Best Unbuilt’ multi-home proposal of 2021. The development would replace a 10.7-acre portion of a sprawling strip mall complex with nearly a thousand new homes and new retail at 1777 Saratoga Avenue in West San Jose, adjacent to the suburb-dominated city of Saratoga.
The ambition guiding El Paseo, as written by KTGY, is to “revitalize a local, big-box shopping center and make for a space to call home, connect and entertain.” The concept promotes pedestrian functions to foster community. The core tenants for El Paseo are that the complex is “walkable, adaptive and vibrant, the design synergistically brings together these elements and defines the community as an anchor that draws people in for practical and social reasons.”
Principal of KTGY’s Oakland office, Jessica Musick, adds, “Another unique characteristic is that all four towers sit above the retail with the parking garages hidden below. The active ground floor with overall project retail at various sizes, from REI and AMC Theatres to a grocer and space to accommodate smaller boutiques, makes the residences more attractive. In turn, the residents help to keep the businesses alive. The convenience factor for new residents is that the development creates a neighborhood where the was none.”
Construction will rise as high as ten floors, yielding 995 new homes and 160,000 square feet for commercial/retail use. Unit sizes will average between 650 to 1,200 square feet each. Around 1,500 parking spaces will be provided for residential use, according to KTGY. The commercial area is primarily expected to be shops, restaurants, and some flex office space.
Plans show that demolition will be required for three structures within the El Paseo de Saratoga center and four structures across the street at Kato Business Square.
Construction will improve the property with 3.5 acres of open area, of which 2.8 acres will be publicly accessible open space. Pedestrians from the remaining El Paseo de Saratoga center will enter the Main Street Promenade through a navigation node. A community park will be built at the southern corner, bridging the property and the adjacent residential neighborhood.
The fourth residential structure will replace the existing Kato Square and will be connected to the three primary buildings with enhanced pedestrian crossings. The site will also benefit from an alcove park.
Landscaping and stepped-back towers will ensure privacy is retained for the nearby single-unit homes.
KRP Architects has been responsible for master planning. Ground-level landscaping will be designed by The Guzzardo Partnership, while Petersen Studio will design amenities and roof terraces. Sand Hill Property purchased the property in early 2019 for over $150 million.