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aka: "formerly Cadence" -- 555 River Oaks
Status: Phase I & II now leasing, Phase III permits started
Permit: PD08-056
Events: Community Update Meeting, Monday, November 21, 2011 7:00pm, 3960 N. 1st St. (Novellus Auditorium)
Developer: Essex
Acres: 14.5 acres, of which 2.6 acres is a park
Units: 785 apartments
Leasing Website:
  • 7/6/2017: Update on the status of Iris Chang Park buildout, section 4 of the minutes here.
  • 3/5/2015: The future park has a confirmed name, Iris Chang Memorial Park. The official document is here, a short SJ Mercury News snippet is here, a more in-depth article here.
  • 1/15/2014: 
    • Parks Dept slides confirm that 2.61 acres of parkland will be dedicated when the 692nd unit is built. Essex has also paid $2.7 million in park fees.
    • Essex slides show that Phase I & II are complete. Phase III will complete September 2015.
  • 9/1/2013: Essex is leasing.
  • 5/21/2012: Essex will be installing a sanitary sewer line along ROP and Seely. There will be some traffic disruption between 8am-4pm weekdays as this goes forward. We will post details on the local mailboxes and on the northsanjose yahoogroup.

    Also, Jean asked Who is going to pay for the repaving of River Oaks and Seely and when, after the upgraded Sewer pipes are put in. Will it just be a patched job? and Sheila answered:
    In terms of repavement of ROP and Seely, the work is part of the permit agreement. It states:
    1. Construct new sidewalk along River Oaks Parkway and Seely Avenue. Provide a 10' total detached sidewalk with park strips along River Oaks Parkway and a 10' attached sidewalk with tree wells along Seely Ave. Dedication may be required to accommodate this requirement.
    2. Remove and replace any broken or uplifted curb and cutter along all project frontages.
    3. Construct curb, gutter, sidewalk, and pavement section fro all proposed public streets.
    4. Close unused driveway cuts.
    5. Proposed driveway width to be 26'.
    6. Dedication and improvement of public streets shall be to satisfaction of Director of Public Works
    7. Repair, overlay, or reconstruction of asphalt pavement may be required. Existing pavement will be evaluated with street improvement plans and any necessary pavement restoration will be included as part of final street improvement plans.
  • 4/30/2012: Updated drawings here: here (15MB pdf).
  • 11/21/2011 -- Community Meeting: Epic by Essex Property Trust (old Cadence site) (Laura says: apologies if I spell these names wrong...)
    • Kansen Chu introduces the Essex team for the Epic project.
      • Josh Corzine, Project Manager.
      • Zack Miles, Architect
      • Brian King, ZCon Builders SuperIntendant (on-site)
      • Deann Driscol, support
    • Mr. Corzine speaks...
      • Phase I with 280 units is under construction. This is the building at corner of ROP and Seely. The "mat" foundation is done, doing some vertical post/walls. Will get the vertical permit next week, then will start constructing above-grade.
      • Phase II with 290 units will start foundation in December once permit is approved.
      • Phase III and park -- no construction plans yet.
    • Mr. Miles speaks...
      • Park has connection to Coyote Creek trail.
      • Fire access road between Crescendo condos & buildings. Public street between buildings & park. Fire access road will be turf block.
      • 4 stories along ROP. 5 stories interior. 1 story below-ground parking. There are 452 spaces total in first 2 phases.
      • Italian/Mediterranean style, similar to North Park. 1st story will have stonework instead of stucco.
      • The only ROP access is for the restricted-access fire road. No residential access directly to ROP. All traffic will enter/exit via Seely.
      • Apartments: studio, 1br, 2br. All under 1100 sqft.
      • Amenities: pool, spa, gazebo, bbq, fitness, lounge, small theater.
      • No retail space.
      • Seely/ROP traffic light.
      • Park will be dedicated to city after 520th unit built. Then city can start building park. Essex is NOT doing a turnkey park like Irvine did for Crescent. Essex NOT pushing city for a park build-out. Trail access from park will be dealt with by the city.
      • Phase III: Essex not committed to building it yet, but have the entitlements to do so eventually. Phase III land will be levelled and turfed over for safety until it is built out.
      • Putting in a lot of new trees. Trees along ROP. Will switch to using recycled water about June 2012.
      • The Phase I construction falls under the affordable housing waiver. Phases II and III will also fall under the waiver if they start construction within 2 years from Phase I.
      • Security: Once built, will have 24-hour on-site maintainence and a live-in leasing agent. During construction, we have an after-hours security team, plus motion-sensors. We've had some problems with transients vandalizing the site at night, so that's why the lighting level is so high.
      • SJ Water is "straightening" their easement so it better matches the path of the levee.
      • Who owns the chainlink fence between Crescendo & Cadence? Will it go away? Crescendo residents to ask their management.
    • Mr. King speaks...
      • Construction traffic required to stay off ROP past the fire access road. We have 500 trucks travelling to/from the site on a busy day.
      • Phase I estimated completed July 2013. Phase II estimated September 2013.
      • Deep into the concrete work now. Concrete pours cannot be delayed, so we are sorry if we go early/later than the 7am-7pm limits. We will either get permits or pay fines.
      • Security 5pm-7am + weekend and holidays.
      • Flagmen & radios on Seely. Trying to keep it clean.
      • City does follow up on code violations -- came out and video-taped us.
      • We are in Stormwater Class 2 zone -- strict zone. Must control silt runoff and keep it out of rivers. We treat all stormwater before putting it in city's pipes.
      • Can't do much of anything about constant "backup beeps" from construction vehicles, the OSHA requirements are very strict.
      • Concrete done: Phase I: March; Phase II: May. That will be the end of the long pours.
      • They have flyered Crescendo to warn of the pours, but missed flyering Villagio. Will fix in future.
      • Mr. King's name and cell is on fence sign. (510) 774-5988. He is on-site 6am-5pm workdays.
    • Q&A session...
      • How much roadwork is planned? How much will ROP be torn up?
      • Will have to remove and replace existing storm and sanitary sewers. This means we'll have to start at Seely, go down ROP to Montague, then along Montague to Research. This construction will start next summery. We're hoping to allow 1-way traffic along ROP. It will be about 10 days along ROP. The Stoplight will go in May 2013.
      • Will there be another community meeting?
      • There are none on the schedule now. We will set up another one if there is demand.
      • How many parking spots per unit?
      • 1.4 to 1.6
      • What is the DU per acre?
      • about 70 for Phase I and II. Phase III will be bigger units so less dense.
      • What's happening with trees in park area?
      • We are keeping them intact and will give them to the city with the park land.
      • Landscaping plan along Crescendo boundary?
      • Keeping the redwoods, turf-block the EVA road, add some bushes, etc.
      • Landscaping interior?
      • Between buildings will be grassy because we need fire access. Some trees along buildings.
      • How much guest parking?
      • A little in Phase I building. Street parking on the internal street that goes from Seely to the park.
    • Laura asked Mr. Corzine for copies of the Essex plan and left her contact info. As of 12/3 she hasn't received any communication.
    • Mike says he got a postcard about the meeting. Laura doesn't think she got one. Need to confirm the city is actually sending these notices to all residents, not just the vocal ones.
  • Update 11/2/2011: It will be 3 buildings. The first 2 are in Phase 1 and are shorter, woodframe; these are the buildings closer to ROP and are being constructed now. The last one is a steel-frame high-rise (aka more than 6 stories), and they're putting it in Phase 2 because steel prices are too high right now to build. The park is 2.6 acres, a triangle-ish shape along the riparian corridor.
  • Update 10/6/2010: Jean called Joe Horwedel (planner, city of San Jose) inquiring about the status of the Essex Site. He said:
    "Essex is restarting their project and looking for some changes, move around some of the buildings, pull down the height of the building a bit.. Joe has not seen the plans yet, one of his staff member was in the meeting with Essex. He should have the plans shortly. Essex did say they want to meet with the neighbors, which Joe is recommending."
  • Traffic Operational Analysis
  • Updates 5/1/2008: Site Plan
    • The park has been moved to the back along the creek.
    • The height of the tall buildings have been lowered to 5 stories (over 1/2 story of parking above ground + 1 1/2 stories of parking below ground).
    • The new negotiated transition height limit of 45 degrees from the property line seems to have been met.
    • The city still feels that there is a structural problem with the exit onto River Oaks.
    • 1.1 acres public right-of-way + 2.8 acres park + 10.5 acres residential = 14.5 acres total
    • 1358 total parking spaces, or 1.73 spaces/unit
    • 785 units/ 10.5 acres = 74.9 du/ac
    • Sun/shadow studies: Winter Solstice 9am, Winter Solstice 3pm
    • Elevation along Seely and Crescendo
    • Landscaping
  • March 6, 2007 update: Essex has sent us a letter saying they have reduced the height of their 8-story tower to 5-stories, and improved the general site layout in terms of traffic flow (more public streets with parking) and park layout (closer to existing neighborhood) and added more pedestrian linkages. Read the full text of the letter.
  • Community Meeting 1/7/2008 6:30pm at Cadence Bldg. 3 Cafeteria; meeting notice here
  • Dec 2007, updated plan map. The buildings closest to River Oaks are 4 stories of apartments over 1 story of parking. The building between the apartments and the park is an 8-story condominium complex.
  • Mike Bertram has filed a protest with the city and developers on behalf of RONA regarding the height/density issues and lack of cooperation with the developers. Read it here.
  • We met informally with an Essex representative on 10/22/2007. They gave us an updated site plan.
    • Their notes: "Progress since last Community Meeting:"
      • Architecture has been updated to incorporate changes to site plan.
      • Multiple meetings with Planning staff to discuss how to incorporate community comments/concerns.
      • Participated in Redevelopment Agency Design Guideline/Park Planning meeting with community prior to initial task force meeting.
      • Became involved in Neighborhood Planning Task Force to see how our project can get "out ahead" of any recommendations that may be presented to council next year.
      • Incorporated 45 degree angle setback condition as was used in Baypointe area which was suggested by Planning to help mitigate height impact. This situation can be used in cases of adjacent development of differing height or density.
      • Developed 3D models of neighborhood, including proposed projects (Irvine, & Cadence Building 10) to show ultimate build-out of entire neighborhood.
      • Completed shade/shadow study which shows minimal shadow impact on neighboring properties.
      • Completed a Hazardous Materials Risk Assessment which shows no risk to new residential development from potential chemical release from surrounding properties.
      • Allowed time for new District 3 councilperson (Kansen Chu) to take office and have engaged him and solicited feedback on our project.
      • Rodrigo Orduna, the second Planning Staff member assigned to our project has resigned and we are now beginning the process with our third Planner.
    • RONA's Notes:
      • They have changed very little from their last proposal.
      • The buildings are back just a few feet from where they were, the tallest only 56 feet from the property line. The tallest buildings are still 8 stories, although the angle of the buildings changed slightly. They didn't even know the city had been presenting a different park locations (along the creek). They said the city is saying the setback requirement is 45 degree angle up to 50 feet distance, then no limit. The city still has not shown them the design guidelines.
      • Their design still had the park on the far side. They said they were open to moving the park to the front side as a buffer, but the city won't let them.
      • The next Essex community meeting will probably be mid to late November.
      • They have briefed Kansen Chu, but he has not taken any position.
      • We told them the height issue was still a major problem for us.
      • We told them the traffic flow (everything dumping onto River Oaks) was a big problem for us and their residents.
  • park 2.4 acres back along the Coyote Creek Trail
  • 2/22/2007 Meeting Notice:

    Location: Cadence Design Systems (Bldg. 3 Cafeteria), 545 River Oaks Parkway, San Jose

    Date: Thursday, February 22, 2007

    Time: 6:30pm -- 8:30pm

    Dear Neighbor:

    Essex Property Trust and its development team, along with representatives of City Council and the Planning Department would like to invite you to a second community meeting on the proposed Planned Development Rezoning of the 14.2 acre parcel located at the eastern corner of River Oaks Parkway and Seely Avenue.

    On November 30th an initial community meeting was held in which many concerns and suggestions were raised and taken into account. This follow up meeting is designed to encourage those who were unable to attend the November 30th meeting to attend, as we will be presenting the same proposal. Our goal is to gather as many suggestions and questions as possible before addressing specific concerns.

    At the meeting, Essex and their architect will again presetn an overview of the proposed project, and City staff will explain the Planned Development Rezoning process. There will also be an open forum for questions and comments. We hope you will join us, and look forward to meeting you.


    /s/ Jeff Panek, Associate Development Manager 
    Essex Property Trust, Inc.

    Essex Property Trust, Inc. 
    Jeff Panek, Associate Development Manager 
    Phone: (650) 849-1600 

    City of San Jose: 
    Planning Services Division 
    Rodrigo Orduna, Project Manager 
    Phone: (408) 535-7890 

    /Enclosures: map/

  • Map of the site
  • Elevation of the proposed buildings
  • Notice of proposed development
  • Previous community meeting was held on 11/30/2006.