African American Cultural Center, affordable homes, eyed in San Jose


SAN JOSE — An African American cultural center, affordable homes, retail and other concepts could sprout at a high-visibility site in San Jose, according to plans being floated at San Jose City Hall.

The mixed-use complex is being planned at 2001 The Alameda on a site that occupies one of the most visible locations in San Jose, city documents show.

The proposed development is called the African American Signature Project of Silicon Valley. African American Community Service Agency and First Community Housing are among the key groups heading up the project.

“The vision of the African American Signature Project is a mixed-use center combining affordable housing, nonprofit commercial, and outpatient clinic programs, along with community gathering spaces and retail,” the proposal states.

Street-level view of a San Jose site that will include the African American Cultural Center of Silicon Valley, affordable apartments, cultural facilities and retail at 2001 The Alameda, concept. 

The project would rise on a triangle-shaped parcel that’s perched next to the interchange of Interstate 880 and The Alameda.

“One of the goals of the project is to provide visibility to the African American community in Santa Clara County,” planning documents state. “It will be a center for events, meetings, and retail activities focused on serving this population.”

While the cultural center is envisioned as a unique destination for the region, affordable homes are a crucial part of the planned project, according to the proposal on file with the city.

“The main programming element is the 100% affordable housing component to serve local needs,” the city records state. “The project aims to use the state density bonus to provide a substantial number of units.”

The nine-story project would create 109 residential units. The highest structures would be along Interstate 880.

Site plan for a project that will include the African American Cultural Center of Silicon Valley, affordable apartments, cultural facilities and retail at 2001 The Alameda in San Jose, concept. 

“The building will be most prominent near the freeway to reveal its iconic presence while reducing in height toward the neighboring lots to merge with the scale of adjacent residences and offices,” the city documents state.

The African American Community Services Agency is slated to operate its offices at the center as well as provide cultural and recreational services, according to the proposal.

Roots Clinic and Ujima Adult & Family Services, organizations that provide African American-centered health and behavioral health needs, will also have facilities on site.

“This extraordinary project is an example of persistent leadership combined with a forward-thinking vision,” said Bob Staedler, principal executive with Silicon Valley Synergy, a land-use consultancy.

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