Agrihood (housing development with working farm at its center) takes shape in Santa Clara

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agrihood ground breaking

A new housing development with a working farm at its center has broken ground in Santa Clara — another example of the “agrihood” trend taking root across the U.S.

“Because of everyone’s hard work, we’re closer than we’ve ever been to achieving our mission to bring an affordable, vibrant housing community to Santa Clara,” organizers said in a statement following a 2019 sod-turning.

The Agrihood’s 361 homes (181 of which are below-market), urban farm, retail and open space will provide a unique place to live and gather for seniors, veterans, middle-income workers, and other community members. It will connect Santa Clara’s contemporary urban living with our agricultural past.

Vertical construction of Agrihood will take place over the next two years with Phase 1 of construction expected to be completed in 2023.

An agrihood is a development built around agriculture features including community gardens, farms, or orchards. Housing includes single-family homes or apartments, built in urban, suburban, or rural areas.

Most have farm managers, but residents can volunteer to participate in the growing of crops, and in some cases, they get dedicated plots for personal gardens.

Today, there are an estimated 150 agrihoods across the nation, and soon, they’ll be one more, as real estate developer Core Companies has broken ground on a new project named, well, Agrihood.

Santa Clara’s Agrihood is a public-private partnership between Core and the city of Santa Clara. As part of that partnership, nearly half of the development’s 361 residential units will be reserved for people with moderate incomes or low-income seniors and veterans.

At one edge of Agrihood will be a 1.5-acre farm capable of growing 20,000 pounds of produce annually. Oakland-based urban farming company Farmscape will manage the farm, and Agrihood residents will be able to buy produce from it at a deep discount.

Steinberg Hart Architects – using the Project for Public Space’s placemaking principles –reinvented the site plan and aesthetic design for Agrihood.  Originally, the future home of Agrihood was an agricultural research farm known as BAREC (Bay Area Research and Extension Center).

The opportunity to revive Santa Clara’s proud agricultural heritage while delivering critical below-market rate housing for seniors and other groups struggling to stay in Santa Clara inspired the community’s imagination and spawned collaboration.

Core expects to complete construction on Agrihood in the second half of 2023.

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