Recent and Pending Projects Hope to Boost Economic Development
By Robert Haugh
Having lingered through one of the worst recessions in history, the City has seen many businesses and redevelopment projects come and go over the last several years.
With the economy slowly rebounding, several new projects and redevelopment projects are moving forward or progressing, including the dilapidated Mervyn’s Shopping Center at Homestead and Scott and the former Kaiser sire of Kiely.
Mervyn’s Plaza (Main Street Santa Clara)
While it’s well known Mervyn’s Plaza will soon be undergoing a major transformation, many are pondering the schedule and status of the redevelopment.
Official plans have been submitted to the City’s Planning Department. However, there are no approvals on the proposed plan as of press time.
According to Deputy City Manager Carol McCarthy, “City staff's understanding of the anticipated schedule per discussions with the architect,” is as follows:
Q3 2012: Demolish bank/begin off-site Walgreens construction (opening Q2 2013)
Q1 2013: Begin upgrades/facelift work on west side (includes former grocery store and westward)
Q2 2013: Demo Mervyn's and stores west to former market
Q3 2013: Begin pad construction at ECR/Scott (opening Q3 2014)
Q1 2014: Begin Target construction (opening Q3 2015)
The Main Street Santa Clara project, owned by Byer & Associates is slated to include a 150,000 square foot Target, 15,000 square foot Fresh N’ Easy Neighborhood Market and many smaller dining and retail tenants such as Panera Bakery & Bread, Starbucks, Chipotle, The Habit Burger, and Footwear ETC.
Many local residents are wondering what happened to Der Wienerschnitzel on El Camino between San Tomas and Bowers, as it appeared to have shut down overnight a few weeks ago.
In November 2011, City Council approved an affordable senior housing project of 48 apartments at the 2525 El Camino Real property, managed by ROEM.
According to City staff, there was a relocation process for tenants of the center, which included Lee’s Kitchen Chinese Food, Fierro’s Auto Repair, Smog Master, Auto Glass Solutions and Mazda Auto Repair & Service by Rotorsport. Groundbreaking ceremonies are slated soon for some of the tenants in their new retail locations. Fierro’s Auto relocated and is already open in a new location at 1481 Main Street in Santa Clara.
Former Wilson’s Bakery Site Open as Catering Company
Restaurant O and Catering and Chef Justin Perez have survived a roller coaster ride in the South Bay, having been forced to close Restaurant O sites in Campbell and Los Gatos after a series of dramatic events, including an alleged embezzlement ploy of approximately $750,000 by a former director at the restaurant.
Restaurant O (www.restaurant-o.com) has taken over the iconic site of the former Wilson’s Jewel Bakery at 1285 Homestead Road, at the corner of Monroe in Historic Franklin Square in Downtown Santa Clara. Walking by the site, onlookers can often view caterers through the windows prepping food. Though open only for catering now, the restaurant is slated to open for dining in Fall of 2012, serving “new American cuisine with global influences.” The 10,000-square foot site will feature three dining rooms with seating for 150.
Former Kaiser Hospital Site Turned Over to Prometheus Management
When Kaiser Permanente opened its state-of-the-art medical facility on Homestead at Lawrence, the main hospital buildings at the old Kaiser site on Kaiser across from Central Park sat empty for some time, before being sold to real estate developer Summerhill Homes. Since then, the site was sold to Prometheus Management, which has begun make-ready work. An approved project is moving forward for more than 700 housing units.
An architectural review will be held May 16 at 6 p.m. in the City Hall Chambers.
BAREC at 90 N. Winchester
After over 10 years of heated discussion, including legal actions and voter initiatives, SummerHill Homes is currently in the process of site grading and utilities for the 110 homes they will build on 10 acres at the rear of the former the Bay Area Research and Extension Center (BAREC) site. According to City staff, once the road is in place, construction of the model homes will begin, making homes available for showcasing and sales by this fall. It is expected to take another year after that to complete the homes and the one-acre park at the northwest corner of the site, adjacent to Forest Avenue. Site plans have not changed from the original approval, with detached small-lot single family homes around the perimeter and attached town homes in the core. The 165-unit senior apartments on six acres at the front of the site is in preliminary planning stages and will need to complete funding before work begins there. View more information on the “Midtown Village” project at www.summerhillhomes.com/coming-soon/midtown-village.