The North 40 communities are filling in the land once full of orchards in the corridor between Highway 17, Highway 85, Los Gatos Boulevard, and Lark Avenue. The project is being built by two companies, including SummerHill, which is doing the first phase, Bellaterra. off Lark and Los Gatos Blvd. This area has the Los Gatos Union School District and the Saratoga Los Gatos Joint Union High School District (Los Gatos High).
Grosvenor also will be building, and Eden Housing, which works on affordable homes, is partnering with SummerHill on less expensive senior housing referenced below.
Bellaterra is providing 253 new housing units in Los Gatos. Per their website, 120 units have been sold so far. SummerHill is a highly regarded and well known name in Los Gatos.
• The Towns – 97 Rowhomes – 2-3 Beds, 1,508-1,974 sq.ft. approx.
• The Flats – 80 Condos – 1-3 Beds, 1,039-2,089 sq.ft. approx.
• The Bungalows – 76 Urban Homes with Yard per Plan – 1-3 Beds, 910-1,999 sq.ft. approx.
Yesterday we took a quick drive through some of the accessible area in Phase 1, Bellaterra, to see how it looks so far. The photos above and below are of the same area in the North 40 but from different positions.
Typical of new construction, we saw many attached homes of 2 and 3 stories. The three story units that we glimpsed did not appear to have any outdoor space, and the rowhouses or townhouses we saw had some balconies, but otherwise we did not see private outdoor space. The website says otherwise, though, so I presume we didn’t see it all.
The architectural style seems to be influenced by the farmhouse or perhaps even a cannery look.
It appears that most of the living units being built in the North 40 will be within the Los Gatos Union School District. Everything currently under construction or just built in Phase 1 is within the LGSD.
You can view a sampling of what’s for sale there now using this link. Not every available home will be listed on the MLS. The idea is to draw people into the community so that they see the full array of properties for sale. If you would like to have the assistance of a Realtor with your purchase there (or in any new home community), it is imperative that you go with that real estate agent on your very first visit and register together.
Part of this phase does include some commercial developments. Harmonie Park Development is in charge of those. The Junction at North 40 is going to be a type of hub for the neighborhood.
Preservation – the Gianandrea House
Below is a photo of the about-to-be-moved Gianandrea house (John Andrea in Italian). This historic farmhouse once belonged to grape growers Victor and Rose Gianandrea, who owned but never lived in this house at what is now known as the North 40. You can learn more about the house and The Junction here.
Walnut Grove in the North 40
Walnut Grove below market rate housing for seniors will make available some units at the southest corner of of Highway 17 and Highway 85. The Eden Housing website explains:
Walnut GroveSenior Housing 55+ will provide 49 1-bedroom units for seniors earning 30-50% of Area Median Income, and 1 2-bedroom manager’s unit. The 50 units will be situated on the 3rd and 4th floors above two stories of a “market hall” with a restaurant and retail spaces.
Some history of the projects there:
2016 (on this site) – Planning Commission: deny North 40
2022 (Town’s website) – North 40 Specific Plan Area
More info and FAQs on what is coming at the North 40 on the Grosvenor website
Any concerns for the North 40?
The traffic issues and school crowding have been discussed extensively elsewhere, but for those new to this area that would be an issue to research.
There is no perfectly safe area in Santa Clara County. Every square inch seems to be at risk from something, whether natural or environmental hazards. The major zones include flood (flood plain or inundation from dam failure or levee breaks), fire (most or all of Los Gatos has some sort of fire risk), liquefaction, unstable soils, fault zones of various kinds, and many environmental risks, too. Those can include Superfund sites (especially in Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, and Mountain View, but elsewhere also) and more.
Relevant to the North 40 that I don’t see being discussed much is the risk to health from being close to busy roads and freeways. There have been a tremendous number of studies regarding the ill effects of the noise and pollution (think fumes, inhaling the bits of tires as they wear off) and perhaps other unknown causes of problems. Seniors will be housed next to not one, but two freeways. Children, seniors, and those with less healthy bodies will be most at risk.
The state of California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Awareness has an online article, “Health Studies of Traffic Exposure“, which states “Many studies have linked proximity to busy roads to a variety of adverse health outcomes in both adults and children, including respiratory symptoms, asthma attacks, decreases in lung function, heart attacks, and low birth weight.”
A few more links:
Living near major roads linked to risk of dementia, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and MS University of British Columbia- ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 January 2020.
Living near busy road stunts children’s lung growth, study says – article in The Guardian (British publication), with links to the academic studies
Kids living near major roads at higher risk of developmental delays – (American study) ScienceDaily.com April 9, 2019
More encouragingly: Air pollution cancer breakthrough will rewrite the rules – BBC, 2022