Housing at Vallco Approved by Cupertino City Council

Courtesy of The Rise

Construction to begin at The Rise following years of delay

In a big win for the Vallco project, the Cupertino City Council granted approval to advance the largest single housing project in Cupertino’s history.

Palo Alto-based developer Sand Hill Property Company will kick off construction in the coming months once the necessary permits are obtained. After years of delay, Sand Hill Properties prevailed even amid a challenging economic environment.

Tina Kapoor, deputy city manager, expressed how The Rise reflects Cupertino’s commitment to catering to its residents’ diverse needs. She remarked, “It’s offering residents a full range of housing choices that accommodates the changing needs of our demographic and economically diverse population.”

Reed Moulds, managing director at Sand Hill, emphasized the importance of flexibility amid higher construction costs and interest rates as well as declining housing demand.

“The market forces that have continued to impact projects across the Bay Area over the past 18 months have pushed us all to new levels of creativity and adaptability, and surfaced an even deeper commitment to working together to ensure this project is successful,” said Moulds.

The project underwent significant modifications after facing community contention and legal hurdles. These changes include an increase in housing units, a reduction in affordable homes to 890 apartments, the elimination of rooftop parking, and a decrease in the number of residential towers from seven to three. The proposal also reduces retail space from nearly 430,000 square feet to about 230,000 square feet.

Despite its long journey, The Rise reflects Cupertino’s dedication to sustainable growth and compliance with state law, according to Mayor Sheila Mohan. She affirmed, “The approval is a testament to Cupertino’s dedication to fostering sustainable growth, while striking a balance between progress and compliance with state law.”

The Rise plays a crucial role in addressing Cupertino’s housing needs, satisfying over half of the city’s housing obligations as part of its housing element requirement. The City submitted its proposed housing element to the California Department of Housing this month, but it has not secured. According to its identified housing need Cupertino must accommodate 4,588 homes, including 1,880 deemed affordable, by 2031.

Without a compliant housing element, the City may be subject to builders’ remedy, a California State Law that requires cities without compliant housing elements to approve any housing project as long as at least 20% of the homes are low-income or 100% of them are moderate-income.

Kapoor anticipates that The Rise will contribute to the city’s vibrancy and resilience, stating, “We’re looking to the future and bringing more resiliency to the community.” As Cupertino moves forward with an approved housing element expected in April, The Rise signifies a pivotal step toward meeting its housing goals and shaping its future urban landscape.