After five years of planning, a quiet and largely vacant west San Jose shopping center is set to be transformed into a lively urban village with more than 400 homes, open space, a hotel and places to shop and dine.

On Tuesday evening, the San Jose City Council voted unanimously to approve plans for the new Cambrian Village on the southeast corner of Union and Camden avenues.

The more than 18-acre shopping center, which is known for its iconic carousel sign, will be redeveloped to include 428 homes — 50 of them affordable — and nearly 350,000 square feet of commercial space, including a 229-room hotel and an assisted living center. There will also be 4-acres of open space. Developer Kimco Realty plans on preserving and relocating the historic sign to another part of the property

The 428 homes will be spread out across the urban village with 305 apartments on top of a section of commercial space, 25 townhomes, 48 single-family homes with 27 accessory dwelling units and 50 senior living apartments. Building heights will reach six stories, and a majority of the parking will be located underground.

“It’s huge,” Councilmember Pam Foley, who represents area, told the Mercury News. “It’s going to activate a space, a huge piece of land that hasn’t been activated for a long time. It really needs to be freshened up dramatically and this will be huge for the community.”

The first-term councilwoman, who was elected shortly after the first iteration of the project was submitted back in 2017, said at the meeting that developers listened to the community’s feedback over the years, eventually coming back with a project that was more family-friendly, bike and pedestrian centric and had underground parking.

The new Cambrian Village received significant community support Tuesday evening. Resident Gregg Bunker, who also owns a commercial property down the street, said, “it will probably go down as one of the single most important things ever built in Cambrian Park.”

The number of affordable homes has also increased since the project’s conception. In a memo submitted ahead of the meeting, Mayor Sam Liccardo, Vice Mayor Chappie Jones and council members David Cohen, Raul Peralez and Foley asked Kimco Realty to increase the number of affordable homes from 30 to 50 — a request with which the developer obliged.

The homes will be available to people making 100 percent of the area median income. In Santa Clara County, that’s $168,500 for a family of four.

“Having these types of major development opportunities like this signature project, the ability to develop affordable housing mixed-used projects over the city is truly what we need and what we’re going to need if we’re going to end this housing crisis,” Peralez said.

Cambrian Village is the second signature project that the council has approved in recent months. Signature projects are a part of the city’s urban village strategy and aim to promote development.

In June, the council signed off on the redevelopment of the El Paseo Shopping Center along Saratoga Avenue, Lawrence Expressway and Quito Road. The project will have 994 units of housing — 150 of them affordable — 165,949 square feet of commercial space, with a Whole Foods as an anchor store.

* This article was originally published here