Two new preliminary applications have been filed to construct housing on the former Fry’s Electronics box store site at 550 East Brokaw Road in North San Jose, Santa Clara County. The applications show a shift in focus from the developers, who, as early as January this year, went to the Planning Commission to review their plan for nearly two million square feet of office space.
The two preliminary permits, first reported by George Avalos for the Bay Area News Group, only provide applicant details and a potential capacity for 519 multi-family units or 1,233 units, respectively. No other information is provided regarding height or dwelling sizes. Caracol Property LLC remains the project application, while Form Group LLC, connected to Bay West Development, is now listed as the application payee.
Caracol Property Owner LLC is listed as the property owner. Reporting by the Bay Area News Group in 2020 connects the former Fry’s CFO/CIO, David Fry, as the general partner for Caracol. The name of the LLC ties the San Jose box store’s Mayan temple theme to the large ancient Maya complex in Belize named Caracol. It’s unclear if the existing Mayan temple entryway will be retained for the new development.
If these are two distinct plans that will be pursued simultaneously to gauge city staff opinion, it will not be the first time. In June this year, Santa Clara considered two diverging plans by Related Companies for mid-rise apartments or a double-tower high-rise at Tasman East Parcel Four.
The two preliminary permits have been filed early to be reviewed for qualification under Senate Bill 330. The 2019-passed state law writes that once a project demonstrates that it qualifies, SB330 “prohibits a local agency from disapproving, or conditioning approval in a manner that renders infeasible, a housing development project for very low, low-, or moderate-income households or an emergency shelter….”
The 19.7-acre property is located along Brokaw Road next to Highway 880, by Coyote Creek, and over a mile east of the San Jose International Airport. The housing application comes three weeks after Bay West signed a lease with Supermicro Computer to occupy the existing structure. While the new applications almost certainly won’t include space for the manufacturing firm, they will have a few years to operate from the site before considering moving again.