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October 14, 2009 > Sisters seek partner to preserve historic property

Sisters seek partner to preserve historic property

Submitted By Dominic Dutra

The Sisters of the Holy Family, a community of Roman Catholic Sisters who reside at 159 Washington Boulevard, in the Mission San Jose area of Fremont, commonly known as Palmdale, recently decided to seek proposals for the preservation of approximately 9.16 acres of their 14.82-acre estate.

In making the recent announcement, Gladys Guenther, President of the Sisters of the Holy Family, made clear that while the Sisters consider all options, they are resolute in their desire to preserve the land, vegetation, historic buildings and shrines/grottos as closely as possible to their current serene state. This is especially true of the core area of the property which is dominated by landscape and historic resources.

The Sisters use the property, which includes office and residential functions, for their ministry. Certain facilities on the site are available for private, outside use, such as weddings and special receptions and meetings.

While the site has a General Plan designation of "Residential, Medium 6.5-10 units per acre," it is identified as a Historic Resource referred to as Palmdale and contains at least two major historic residences referred to as the Best House and the Starr House in a park-like setting. Mission Creek flows through the site in an improved concrete channel.

The Sisters seek an entity with the technical, design and financial capabilities to provide a creative and innovative proposal for the improvement, conservation and operation of the property and proven track record and understanding of projects of this nature. To this end, the Sisters engaged land use and development consultancy Dutra Cerro Graden to manage both the land use and disposition responsibilities for the property.

The firm recently launched a website,, containing details about the property including access to a full Request for Proposal, photo gallery, virtual tour and estimates for the 20-year maintenance and capital reserve costs for the property.

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