February 29, 2024

Second Modification to “The Rise” Approved


After enduring years of delays and revisions, Cupertino has greenlit the largest single-housing project in its history. The 50-acre Valco site, now called The Rise, has received what should be its final approval. The development by Sand Hill Property Company will mark a significant milestone in the city’s urban landscape. SV@Home has been engaged in this very significant development since 2017 and is pleased to see the project clearing its last hurdles.

The Valco site was originally approved under the state streamlining law SB 35 with 2,402 residential units, half of which were required to be affordable. The original project was subject to multiple lawsuits and has evolved to include 2,669 units with a notable decrease in affordable housing from 50% to approximately 33%, totaling 890 units. Despite this reduction in affordability, the project remains ambitious, leveraging the State Density Bonus to feature a diverse mix of residential units targeting various Area Median Income (AMI) levels:

160 units targeting ≤50% AMI (City BMR)

107 units targeting ≤80% AMI (City BMR)

107 units targeting ≤50% AMI (State Affordable)

516 units targeting ≤80% AMI (State Affordable)

1,779 units at market rate

The modified project now includes 47 townhomes, which were not part of the previously approved plan, and approximately 1.95 million square feet of office space, 226,000 square feet of retail space, and at-grade open space areas. This will result in nearly a 100% increase in the current Low-Income (LI) housing stock and is anticipated to generate around 5,000 new job opportunities.

The project’s approval came after the City received the modification application on December 5, 2023. Despite a tight deadline, the City successfully processed the application, leveraging provisions of state law to streamline the review process. This review process involved providing specified percentages of affordable housing, ministerial review without public hearings, density bonuses for additional market-rate housing units, incentives/concessions for cost reduction, waivers from development standards, and exemption from local parking standards.

While the decrease in affordable units raises concerns, Sand Hill Property Company’s decision to build at higher density levels presents an opportunity to address Cupertino’s pressing housing needs. By scaling back on rooftop parking and redesigning the layout to accommodate three residential towers instead of seven, The Rise aims to create more homes and job opportunities within the city.