Mixed-use building approved by council

The 78 unit building with be five stories facing Monterey Rd.

The Gilroy City Council this week unanimously approved a mixed use building that will sit on Monterey Road near Highway 101.

The project approved Jan. 14 is planned to have 69 market rate units and 9 affordable housing units for a total of 78 apartments. The rent will range from $2,000 for a one bedroom to $6,000 for a four bedroom, city staff identified the rent as slightly above average Gilroy rent.

After the council members fleshed out details of the project with city staff and the applicant Jan Hochhauser, they eventually came to a consensus hinging on the applicant fulfilling some conditions laid out by the council.

Most notably, Dion Bracco asked that public art be put in the proposed public plaza at the building. He asked that no more than $10,000 be spent and that a local artist be asked to create the piece.

The curb appeal of the project was heavily debated, with newly elected Councilmember Carol Marques voicing concern that the project would look like the Alexander station apartment complex.

“When I looked at the whole blueprint as soon as I opened it up, I thought “Alexander Station,” said Marques. “While I was campaigning I have heard so many negatives about what that building looked like. My platform talked about how every project was going to be aesthetically pleasing.”

The proposed project is not a low-income housing project. The nine units reserved for below-market-rate rents will likely, according to the city’s staff report, be categorized as “moderate income.”

Councilmember Marie Blankley said that the aesthetics of the complex were subjective and that she believed the design would attract tenants. Blankley said, “I trust that you’re appealing to a market that’s going to pay these rents.”

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