SANTA CLARA — A unique mixed-use project of affordable homes and a working farm proposed for Santa Clara has landed key financing from a state bond, clearing the way for a construction start next year, the developers said.
Agrihood, which will consist of 361 homes and an urban farm across the street from the Westfield Valley Fair mall, has obtained $50 million in tax-exempt bonds from the California Debt Limit Allocation Committee, Core Cos., the developer of the Santa Clara project, said.
“Our success in securing bond financing reflects the importance of the Agrihood in providing stable, sustainable housing,” said Vince Cantore, a vice president of development with Core Cos.
The 361 new homes in Agrihood will include 181 that will be offered at below-market rates. Of the 181 affordable homes, 165 will be set aside for low-income seniors.
Along with the housing, Agrihood will also offer an urban farm, a cafe, a community room, and learning shed.
“Creating communities like Agrihood that have been intentionally designed to combine high-density living, social services, and access to healthy produce are needed now more than ever,” Cantore said.
Construction should begin in 2021, Core Cos. said.
Agrihood can also help address at least some uncertainties and health worries ushered in by the coronavirus, Core Cos. said.
“The focus on our residents’ health and wellness is incredibly important in these challenging times,” the developer said Wednesday.
Proposals had emerged as early as 2005 for affordable homes on that site, which for a number of years had been used for agricultural research by the University of California.
Neighbors, however, opposed the notion of affordable homes on the property and the outcry torpedoed the 2005 proposal.
Now, however, with a project groundbreaking in view for some time during the first three months of 2021, those old anti-housing fears appear to have faded.
“Santa Clarans have waited well more than a decade for housing at this site,” Cantore said. “We’re excited to bring the Agrihood to life.”