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California’s Largest Urban Farm and Affordable Housing Community Opens Its Doors

Housing partners celebrate the grand opening of Agrihood, a new urban farm community with affordable housing for seniors and veterans

SANTA CLARA, CALIF. – County leaders, housing partners and community members on Sept. 20 celebrated the grand opening of Agrihood, California’s largest urban farm and affordable housing community.

Agrihood – one of the latest developments funded by the 2016 Measure A Affordable Housing Bond – is a multigenerational hub for seniors ages 55 and over, with preferences for veterans and carless households. The project provides low-income seniors with nutritious produce through an on-site farm and will offer programs such as farmers markets and gardening lessons on its 1.5 acres of open space.

“Agrihood is a long-awaited addition to the supply of safe and affordable housing the Bay Area needs,” said President of the County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors Susan Ellenberg. “This development is particularly exciting in its innovative design that includes a working farm, some units designated specifically for older adults and others for mixed income populations, and planned efforts to build a true community, not simply shared residency, around the theme of local food sourcing. Agrihood is going to be really special.”

Agrihood, located at 90 N. Winchester Blvd. in Santa Clara, includes 165 affordable units allocated for older adults, including 54 units of permanent supportive housing. The project is partially funded by $23.5 million from the County's 2016 Measure A Affordable Housing Bond and $15 million from the City of Santa Clara. Multiple jurisdictions, including the County and City, collaborated closely with Core Companies and other housing partners over several years to make the project possible.

“We are so excited about this new and unique development that will not only create a multigenerational hub with affordable housing for seniors but will also tap into our agricultural history while modeling environmental sustainability into the future,” said City of Santa Clara Mayor Lisa M. Gillmor. “Additionally, Agrihood provides an incredible local resource with over 50 community events per year on its more than 1.5 acres of open space.”

Vince Cantore, Vice President of Development at The Core Companies, said the unique project connects affordable housing and urban living with Santa Clara’s rich agricultural past.

“Agrihood is a perfect example of The Core Companies mission: to build better communities,” Cantore said. “In a time when affordable housing is crucial in the region, this project aims to house our most vulnerable populations while providing them with the unique benefits of fresh produce and open space. To see the vision come together is extremely fulfilling.”

Focusing on sustainability, the project is LEED Gold-certified and has unique features such as a stormwater capture system used to hydrate the farm. Wrapping it all together are a series of eye-catching murals painted by award-winning artist Maxfield Bala, which commemorate the agricultural history of Santa Clara and encompass the project’s commitment to the community. 

The Core Companies was selected as the master developer through the city’s RFP process in April 2015 and shaped the project through dozens of group meetings from a diverse coalition of Santa Clarans. The first group of Agrihood residents moved into their new homes in the summer of 2023.

ATTN: Soundbites and b-roll of the event will be available after the event. Please send requests to [email protected].

About The Core Companies

Established in 1989, The Core Companies is a vertically-integrated real estate development and construction firm. Core’s mission is to create vibrant new home communities at all levels of affordability in transit-, job- and recreation-friendly locations throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, with a focus on enhancing the quality of life for our residents and continuing to play a positive role in the fabric of the neighborhoods we create. In addition to developing and constructing its own projects, Core also offers third-party pre-development, development management and construction services.

About the County of Santa Clara, Calif.

The County of Santa Clara government serves a diverse, multicultural population of 1.9 million residents in Santa Clara County, Calif., making it more populous than 14 states in the United States. The County provides essential services to its residents, including public health protection, environmental stewardship, medical services through the County of Santa Clara Health System, child and adult protection services, homelessness prevention and solutions, roads, park services, libraries, emergency response to disasters, protection of minority communities and those under threat, access to a fair criminal justice system, and many other public benefits.

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Media Contact: María Leticia Gómez / Aaron Kinney, Office of Communications and Public Affairs, (408) 299-5119, [email protected]

Posted: Sept. 20, 2023