Castro Commons - Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the purpose of the community outreach meetings?
A: We are seeking a study session with City Council to explore the potential option of closing a 60-yard portion of Hope Street. We are only looking to discuss it, we are not asking for anything else. The GPR team cares about being good neighbors as their office is in the current project and will remain there in the future as their headquarters. GPR has had over 50 individual meetings, open houses, community meetings, and group meetings with community leaders. Through this outreach, the design has changed to reflect the neighborhood and community’s needs and wants. Of course, it is based on a consensus and not a 100% agreement among the entire community. We seek to continue adjusting the conceptual design to accommodate the community's needs but we ultimately hope to be able to speak with City Council about Hope Street.
Q: When will GPR be submitting a formal proposal to the City Council?
A: GPR Ventures / Castro Commons does not have the authority to bring this conceptual design to the City including the partial Hope Street closure. We seek to continue our community outreach and to empahsize the benefits we see in closing off part of the street.
Q: What is the maximum number of stories currently proposed at the Castro Commons site?
A: While most of the project will be fewer than four stories, some areas have been proposed for five stories and six stories. The conceptual site plan steps down like a wedding cake. A section of the build is proposed at seven stories. This design not only respects the existing neighborhood due to massing but also allows for more affordable housing units with that additional floor. Again, the 7th story is conceptual.
Q: What factors are considered when determining the number of affordable housing units?
A: 15% of the units will be allocated for BMR. We are open to increasing this percentage. While this is a somewhat complex topic, simply put, the number of units allocated to affordable housing in large part is a function of the total square footage of the residential units being built. The more square footage we are able to build, the more affordable housing units we can provide to the community.
Q: How will Castro Commons blend in with the surrounding single-family homes in adjacent neighborhoods?
A: Castro Commons was designed to minimize the transitions from our multi-story project to the surrounding neighborhood. The project has been designed like a wedding cake, stepping down from the highest points, furthest away from the single-family neighborhoods to much lesser heights as it approaches the street level, down to four, three, and 2 stories. Castro Commons will also act as a sound barrier to the high-traffic Castro Street and El Camino making for much quieter living. Another plus is the proposed three large, partially covered, and well-lit, paseos. They will be connecting Old Town neighborhood to Gateway Park, El Camino Real and Castro crosswalks. Two of the Paseos will be 30’ wide and one will be 40’ wide, with partial, and well-lit canopies up to 24’ over the top. All of this will encourage outdoor walking, bicycling, shopping, and dining for the community in a clean and open environment. This is what we like to call outdoor-indoor living. The back end of the project will include an open space/park area, further enhancing the transition from the building to the neighborhood.
Q: Will the residential units be apartments or condominiums?
A: Our current conceptual design is being modeled to be for-sale condominiums.
What is the benefit to the project and to the neighborhood with the closure of these streets?
A: GPR is currently authorized to negotiate the purchase of a portion of Fiamront Ave at a fair market value. GPR does not have any authority to purchase or use the portion of Hope Street. Should the City grant these requests, however, those two blocks will be closed to through traffic and become walkways (aka. paseos) to enhance the walkability to shops, restaurants, and housing. The Paseos that replace these two blocks (one for each street) will be very wide (between 30-40 feet each) and will have heights of 24’ to provide a light and airy feel.
Q: What will happen to the Heritage Trees in the area?
A: Our underground parking structure has since changed due to these concerns, especially with the Heritage Trees at Gateway Park. Our underground parking structure has been re-designed to make sure it will have no impact to the trees above. As for the rest, it’s too early to determine at this stage of the development process, however, we value all trees and will make every effort to retain as many as possible.
Q: Do the current drawings represent the project design?
A: Our current drawings are conceptual only. They have not been discussed or reviewed by the city. We submitted a preliminary plan to the City informally in March 2022, but our conceptual plans have changed substantially since that time. We are working on getting updated architectural renderings to show the massing of the project. Be sure to check back periodically on the PROJECT UPDATES page for the latest information.
Q. Will there be tenant relocation benefits for the residents in the apartments?
A. Yes, specific details will be provided and shared with current residents when that information is determined. We are still early in the conceptual planning process so we cannot determine that at this time.
Q. How will the massing of the project affect the shading in the area?
A: We are working on a shadow study, which will accurately depict where shadows will be cast by the conceptual 7-story building. A 3D model for public viewing in also in the works. Please check into the PROJECT UPDATES page for these.
Q. What type of feedback have you received?
A: We have been doing extension community outreach and many of the comments we have received are in regard to keeping/relocating Gateway Park, the building height and massing, shadowing, traffic and parking, as well as support/opposition to the vacation of 60 yards of Hope St. See more of the types of comments we've heard in the TOWN HALL page.
Q. Will there be tunnels?
A: No, there will be an overhang from the upper levels that will pass over small portions of the paseos. Each paseo is 30-40 feet in width and up to 24’ high. These will be well-lit and active areas, ensuring a safe and clean environment.
Q. Will there be affordable housing (BMR) units available?
A: Yes, 15% of the total unit count is being allocated to affordable, below-market-rate housing. We are open to considering increasing this percentage. Our design has a 7th story and closes Hope Street. This is conceptual but with this additional square footage, we will be able to provide more BMR units.
Q. What will the architecture look like?
A: Right now we are working on a 3D model and digital renderings that will only show the massing of the project, however the actual architecture and design details will need to come later on in the design process. Again, this is only a conceptual design which needs to go to City Planning.
Q. Is this design submitted to the city?
A: No, this design is purely conceptual. This design has not been studied, reviewed, or discussed by the City.
Q. Do you have the authority to close small portions Fairmont St and Hope St?
A: We have the right to negotiate the purchase of the small portion of Fairmont St. at a fair market value.  The closure of 60 yards of Hope St has not been submitted, reviewed, or discussed with the city, however, we have still included it in our conceptual designs. This closure will allow for more units, hence more BMR units. We also feel that Hope Street presents many issues to the community.
Q. Are we maxing out the square footage and unit count?
A: No. In fact, we are under the maximum number of units and square footage. We made these changes to the site plan after community outreach expressed concerns about the building setbacks and massing. However, due to this, there will be a loss of units and a loss of BMR units, but can be offset with additional square footage from a 7th story and closure of a portion of Hope Street.
Q. Does the building go right up to the street?
A: No, there is 14-foot setback to the building in addition to the sidewalk.
Q. The previous plans had Gateway Park moving, why are you keeping it?
A: Even though the Precise Plan calls for the relocation of Gateway Park, the Old Town Mountain View community and others have advocated for keeping it. We've heard those voices and have changed our plans accordingly.

Castro Commons

CONCEPTUAL PROJECT
LOCATIONS
843 Castro Street Mountain View CA, 940412720 Gateway Oaks Drive, Suite 110 Sacramento CA, 958332323 S Bascom Avenue Suite 100 Campbell CA, 95008
DISCLAIMER:
This is a conceptual design. This design has not been submitted to, discussed with, or reviewed by the city of Mountain View. Project is subject to change. Illustrations are for visualization purposes only and reflect what we envision this project to be like. Preliminary designs do not reflect actual architecture. The current concept designed with the feedback of the community, conceptualizing closing 60 yards of Hope St to vehicular traffic. GPR has the authority to negotiate the purchase of a portion of Fairmont Ave. GPR does not have the authority for a 7-story design.