November 23, 2004 > What's Happening on Fremont's Washington Boulevard?
What's Happening on Fremont's Washington Boulevard?
It is obvious to all who travel along Washington Boulevard between the Irvington District and Mission San Jose in Fremont that work is progressing on widening the road between Osgood/Driscoll intersection and Hwy 880. There are other changes due for the area as well. One is a housing development by Santa Clara Development, approved by the Planning Commission and set to begin soon. TCV asked developer Mark Robson about the new housing and his success in the Tri-City area.
TCV: What are the plans for your housing project on Washington Boulevard?
Robson: We do not have a name for it yet. We hope to demolish the existing building at the intersection of Palm Avenue with Washington Avenue [near Paseo Padre Pkwy] within the next 60 days. Construction of the new homes is scheduled to begin in May of next year.
Twenty-two homes and two duplexes will be built in an early California, bungalow style in keeping with the Mission theme of the area. We want to use authentic materials and details to give a unique feel to the homes and be a positive addition to the neighborhood. These will be one and two story homes plus, per the housing ordinance, 15% "below market rate" housing that will be duplexes.
TCV: How many projects have you built in Fremont?
Robson: This will be the tenth development that we have constructed in the area. The first was Mission Harvest ten years ago. We try to build good homes and create neighborhoods. We just finished a thirteen home development on Driscoll Road. The development at the old school site in Mission San Jose was a mixed commercial and housing development. We have another housing project on Canyon Heights that is currently in progress and finished a development in Newark about a year ago.
TCV: You have been successful in this area. What is the "secret" of your success?
Robson: We have a track record of doing good developments that have been well accepted by the community. Building infill projects in not easy anywhere, but it is important that your word means something; you do what you say you are going to do and do a good job!
There are many neighborhood issues to deal with when building in an established neighborhood. People in existing neighborhoods want to be satisfied that their interests are protected. I am involved personally in neighborhood meetings. I have never missed on of these. People want to be informed and make sure that the development will be an asset to the neighborhood. On this project, we had a neighborhood meeting in June. When the General Plan in Fremont changed, we responded to that. The buildings on Washington will be a nice change since currently the building is designed for a use that is incompatible with the neighborhood.
TCV: Any other developments scheduled in the area?
Robson: A twenty-five home townhouse development is scheduled for the Spring at Mission and Walnut.
TCV: What will the pricing be for the new homes? Do you feel the home market is solid?
Robson: The homes on Washington will be over $1 million. These will be nice homes in a nice neighborhood. The market here is a good one.
TCV: Where else has Santa Clara Development done construction projects?
Robson: We have been active in San Jose, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Campbell and Los Gatos. However, the majority of our projects have been in Fremont. We usually have about a half dozen projects in various stages (drawing board to finish). We are a moderate-sized builder. A nice thing about a company our size is that if people want to talk with me, they can - I'm available.