Santa Clara Agrihood complex pushes ahead with property deals

A unique mixed-use working farm and affordable homes project in Santa Clara has pushed ahead with property deals for the purchase of the site where the development will sprout.

Two development firms, Core Companies and Pulte Homes have bought sections of the 5.8-acre site where the project would be built, according to documents filed on June 11 with Santa Clara County officials.

It wasn’t immediately clear how much acreage Core and Pulte bought in their separate purchases. The city of Santa Clara was the seller in both transactions.

Together the two companies paid $15.8 million for the land at the infill site, which is near the western edges of Westfield Valley Fair shopping mall.

San Jose-based Core Cos., through affiliate Agrihood Multi Holdco, paid $9.4 million for its section of the site, documents filed with the County Recorder’s Office show.

The Pleasanton office of Atlanta-based Pulte paid $6.4 million for a portion of the property, according to public records.

In addition, Core Cos. obtained from the city of Santa Clara a ground lease that would last 75 years, the county documents show.

“Agrihood offers a forward-thinking and noteworthy approach to affordably house seniors, veterans, and others struggling to stay in Santa Clara,” a post on the Core Cos. website states.

Located at 80 N. Winchester Blvd. in Santa Clara, the development would produce 361 residences. Of those, 181 homes will be offered at below-market rates. Of the 181 affordable homes, 165 will be set aside for low-income seniors.

Perhaps the most unusual component of the project is the working farm, which is slated to take root on 1.5 acres of the project.

The farm is expected to supply some food for residents to consume or use as well as provide an area for people to engage in healthy outdoor activities or simply pass the time.

Vegetables, herbs and nuts will be part of the produce on the working farm.

“The agricultural spaces are expected to be productive soon after residents arrive,” Core Cos. stated on its website.

In September 2020, the project obtained $50 million in tax-exempt bonds from the California Debt Limit Allocation Committee. The funding cleared the way for construction to begin, most likely before the end of this year.

“Agrihood will connect Santa Clara’s contemporary urban living with the agricultural past,” Core Cos. stated on the website. Core Cos. added that it envisions Agrihood as an “affordable, vibrant housing community.”

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