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EAH Housing to build all-affordable apartments in Los Altos

Santa Clara County owns land under 90-unit complex in upscale city

By: Dana Bartholomew
The Real Deal San Francisco

EAH Housing will build the first all-affordable apartment complex in Los Altos, among Silicon Valley’s most expensive housing markets.

The nonprofit affordable housing developer based in San Rafael won approval to build the five-story, 90-unit building at 330 Distel Circle, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

The county bought the 0.87-acre property early last year, which formerly housed the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District. The apartments are funded by Measure A, a $950 million bond for affordable housing, according to the Los Altos Town Crier.

Plans call for 88 apartments that will collect below-market rates from families earning between 30 and 80 percent of area median income, and half set aside for those with extremely low incomes. Two units would be set aside for managers.

The project, designed by KTGY Architects of Los Angeles, will feature a charcoal building with white trim, large windows and a wood-trimmed ground floor. A modular design of mass timber will include sustainable solar panels, appliances and drought-tolerant landscaping.

Its studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments will be enhanced by a community room and lounge with kitchenette, laundry room and bicycle storage. Parking will serve 90 cars.

The building is located within a half-mile of a major transit stop, as well as additional bus stops, providing transit options for residents.

The approval is the result of months of planning between Los Altos and Santa Clara County, which held community meetings on how to build affordable housing to reduce homelessness.

The county committed to develop a 90-unit affordable housing project with certain affordability levels, while the city pledged to waive $4.6 million in development impact fees, including traffic and park in-lieu fees.

Median household income in Los Altos is about $240,000 a year, one of the highest in Silicon Valley and the nation. Its zip code 94022 had an average household income in 2020 of $359,982, while 94024 earned $347,690, according to a recent analysis.

EAH Housing, founded in 1968, has developed 106 properties at a cost of $2.2 billion, and manages more than 230 complexes in 92 cities in California and Hawaii, according to its website.

Its development projects include teaming up with Republic Urban Properties to build 328 apartments with shops and restaurants in South San Jose, including 89 affordable units.

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