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SummerHill Apartment Communities to Celebrate Groundbreaking of 186-Unit Villas on the Boulevard

October 7, 2014 | Multifamily Biz

IRVINE, CA - Award-winning national architecture and planning firm KTGY Group, Inc. and SummerHill Apartment Communities, a division of SummerHill Housing Group and a leader in providing quality, smart growth, multi-family rental housing and mixed-use developments, announce the groundbreaking of "Villas on the Boulevard," a new 186-unit luxury residential rental community in the City of Santa Clara, Calif. The groundbreaking ceremony will be held on Wednesday, October 8th at 4:00 p.m. The property is located on 2611 El Camino Real in Santa Clara, Calif., between Bowers Avenue and San Tomas Expressway, along Saratoga Creek.

The project was a complex assemblage of six parcels and more than a dozen property owners, including the largest tenant, Russell’s Furniture, according to Robert Freed, CEO of SummerHill Housing Group. “Today’s groundbreaking ceremony is a celebration of the collaboration between the City of Santa Clara and SummerHill Apartment Communities. Our goal was to produce high quality housing located near jobs, transportation and existing services. We are proud to put our name and reputation on the Villas community and we look forward to working with the City of Santa Clara on future opportunities,” Freed said.

Russell’s Furniture had been at that location for over 48 years and closed its doors last month. Responding to changes in the furniture business, owners Richard and Eleanor Rusnak sought to downsize but hoped to remain in Santa Clara, the Rusnaks wrote to the City Council in November 2013. The Rusnaks recently announced that they will be opening a new store in Santa Clara in November at the corner of Lafayette Street and Walsh Avenue. “The City of Santa Clara staff worked very hard in helping us remain in the city. We are very grateful and thrilled to stay in the community,” said co-owner Eleanor Rusnak.   

The site is part of the City’s 2010 General Plan El Camino Focus Area, which envisioned transforming the city’s most visible and identifiable commercial corridor into a tree-lined pedestrian- and transit-oriented corridor. “A high quality project like Villas on the Boulevard helps us meet our goal of revitalizing El Camino and creating economic vitality along this key corridor in our City - and we are very excited to see its completion," stated Santa Clara Mayor Jamie Matthews. 

Villas on the Boulevard features a 4-story residential building over a 1-story partially subterranean garage and includes a 1½-story retail-like frontage along El Camino Real featuring a leasing office and lobby terrace. This El Camino frontage will also include a new widened sidewalk with street trees and landscaping, and tiled stoops leading to apartment homes.  A new public plaza will highlight adjacent Saratoga Creek and a new crosswalk constructed on El Camino Real.  

One and two-bedroom floor plans will be complete with in-unit washer/dryers, private balconies/patios and private storage. Gourmet kitchens will feature stainless steel appliances, European-style cabinetry, and quartz stone countertops.

"The Villas on the Boulevard is truly 'four-sided architecture,'" said KTGY Principal Manny Gonzalez. "The building pays homage to the Mission style architecture that the City of Santa Clara and El Camino are known for. The frontage on El Camino has an urban massing that meets the street with ground floor stoops. The rear steps down in scale to maintain the privacy of the single-family homes it faces.  One side embraces the beauty of Saratoga Creek while the other responds to the retail uses by orienting the living spaces inward to the courtyard."

The community’s amenities will include a clubroom with an entertaining kitchen and fitness studio, facing one of the two courtyards inside the community. The amenity courtyards will provide a series of outdoor “rooms” for residents to gather and socialize. The main courtyard adjacent to the club and fitness rooms will include a pool, spa and BBQ. A breezeway will connect residents to a second courtyard with an outdoor kitchen and amenities, living room with a fire place, and a bocce ball court. Additional amenities include a pedestrian promenade, fitness par course and a public plaza.  Transportation amenities include electric vehicle charging stations, secure bicycle storage, a web portal for resident carpooling, and provisions for car-sharing vehicles.

The property is ½ block from the proposed VTA Bus Rapid Transit Bowers Station and within walking distance to grocery stores, retail and services. The first units are expected to be completed in fall 2016, with pre-leasing in late summer 2016.  

SummerHill Housing Group combines the expertise and market strength of the highly respected development firms San Ramon, Calif.-based SummerHill Homes and SummerHill Apartment Communities. SummerHill Homes specializes in mid- to high-end homes, and is nationally recognized for customizing development plans to accommodate a site’s special characteristics. SummerHill Apartment Communities has a long track record of developing award-winning apartment and mixed-use infill rental housing communities. Both firms specialize in the San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California.

Celebrating 23 years, KTGY Group, Inc., Architecture and Planning, is a national award-winning firm providing comprehensive planning and award-winning architectural design services for residential communities, retail, hospitality, mixed-use and related specialty developments. KTGY delivers innovative solutions that reflect clear understanding of development, market and consumer trends, and financial performance. KTGY serves clients worldwide from offices in Irvine, Los Angeles and Oakland, Calif., Denver, Colo., and Tysons, Va.


SummerHill Homes is a nationally-recognized home builder focusing on the unique needs of the San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California. SHH has earned recognition and respect as one of the nation’s premier residential community builders. The company is renowned for developing specialized single-family detached and multi-family housing communities in established residential settings throughout California. Since its inception in 1976, SummerHill Homes’s goals have been to provide quality homes for its customers, Communities of Distinction for cities, and sound business opportunities for its partners.


SummerHill Apartment Communities is the leader in providing quality, smart growth, multi-family rental housing and mixed-use developments located throughout the western United States. SHAC defines excellence in customer relationships, the quality of products and in every aspect of operations. Criteria for site development are highly selective to meet the company’s objectives. SHAC uses extensive market analysis to identify housing needs, and then customizes each development to achieve the highest potential.

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