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Media Coverage

Jul 24

Silicon Valley Business Journal “BART boom: Housing set for key site across from Milpitas station”

Nathan Donato-Weinstein

Real Estate Reporter-Silicon Valley Business Journal

Citation Homes has tied up a key residential site directly across from the under-construction Milpitas BART station campus where it plans to build a dense mixed-use project.

Citation in recent weeks submitted plans to build 381 units on the 5.6-acre site, located at 737 Montague Expressway, next door to where it’s already putting up a large housing project.

The site’s destiny was being closely watched because it is within spitting distance to the transit station, the first extension of BART into Santa Clara County slated to open by 2018. Planners and urban advocates are keen to see intense development near the station stops, including one in San Jose’s Berryessa area.

The site, currently a recycling center, is so close to the BART station, the city hopes to build a pedestrian bridge across Montague, linking the residential community to the BART stop.

“That’s what’s exciting for us,” said Sheldon AhSing, senior planner for the city.

Residential developers have been snapping up industrial sites around the stop — which itself is next to Simon Properties’ huge Great Mall shopping juggernaut — after the city implemented a new planning district that encouraged high-density housing five years ago. So far, 3,700 new housing units have been approved. The plan allows for some 7,000 units in the area.

Density of both office and residential is considered key for making transit stops effective. At roughly 68 units to the acre, the Citation proposal comes in at the high end of Milpitas’s planning guidelines. It will be built as a five-story “wrap”-style residential building, where the units wrap around a parking structure. About 5,000 square feet of retail will face Piper Drive and Montague Expressway.

Citation is no stranger to the submarket. It is in the early construction of a 732-unit project adjacent to its new development.

It is not alone. Warmington Homes just received approval to build 206 attached housing units on a 12.5-acre site nearby. Also, Trumark Homes started construction this month on 134 units on 8 acres.

A representative of Citation Homes did not return a call by Wednesday afternoon.